This course addresses the design, development, procurement, use and management of models and simulations for applications in experimentation, training, testing, analysis and assessment of military forces, systems and equipment.

The application of modelling and simulation continues to enhance and transform both systems development and training. It allows representation of increasingly complex equipment, systems and scenarios for the purposes of decision support and helps to reduce wear on live equipment and on test and training areas.


  • Start dateSeptember (Full-time) / January (Part-time)
  • DurationMSc: one year full-time, up to five years part-time; PgDip: up to one year full-time, up to four years part-time; PgCert: up to one year full-time, up to three years part-time
  • DeliveryAssessment is 60% by coursework and 40% dissertation
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time
  • CampusCranfield University at Shrivenham

Who is it for?

The course is suitable for both military and civilian personnel, including those from defence industry and government departments.

Ten places are normally available for the full-time cohort.

Why this course?

On successful completion of the course you will be familiar with the technologies, methodologies, principles and terminology of modelling and simulation as used across defence, including the challenges and issues as well as the benefits. Through use of facilities such as the Simulation and Synthetic Environment Laboratory (SSEL), with its wide range of specialist applications, students will gain a broad understanding of modelling and simulation in areas such as training, acquisition, decision-support, analysis and experimentation.

Informed by industry

The aim of the Industrial Advisory Panel, which is common to all components of the AMOR Postgraduate Suite (which comprises the DSM and MOR courses) is to offer advice and input to the course director and the teaching team in terms of curriculum content, acquisition skills and other attributes that the practitioner community may be seeking from graduates of the course. Currently the Industrial Advisory Panel for this programme has members on it from both the defence industry and the MoD.

Course details

In this section

MSc students must complete a taught phase consisting of eight standard modules, which includes two core modules (Foundations of Modelling and Simulation and Networked and Distributed Simulation), plus four advanced modules, followed by an individual thesis in a relevant topic.

Standard modules normally comprise a week of teaching (or equivalent for the limited distance learning options available), followed by a further week of directed study/coursework (or equivalent for part-time and distance learning).

Advanced modules, which enable students to explore some areas in greater depth, are two week (or equivalent for part time) individual mini-projects on an agreed topic in that subject which includes a written report and oral presentation.

Course delivery

Assessment is 60% by coursework and 40% dissertation

Individual project

An individual research project on an agreed topic that allows you to demonstrate your technical expertise, independent learning abilities and critical appraisal skills.

Thesis topics will be related to problems of specific interest to students and sponsors of local industry wherever possible. PgDip students are required to undertake the same taught phase as the MSc, but without the individual thesis. PgCert students must complete the core module (Foundations of Modelling and Simulation) together with five other modules; up to three of these may be advanced modules. Part-time students will typically not study as a cohort, but will follow an agreed individual programme of study, attending courses as convenient.


Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.

Teaching team

You will be taught by Cranfield's leading experts with capability expertise, industry knowledge and collective subject research, as well as external speakers from industry and defence. The Course Director is Jonathan Searle. The teaching team includes:

Your career

This qualification will equip you for simulation-specific appointments within the armed forces or government, or in the defence related activities of commercial organisations.

How to apply

To register your interest, please use the button below. If you'd like to speak to a member of the admissions or course team then use the 'Get in touch' details at the top of the page.