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.

At a glance

  • Start dateSeptember/January - throughout the year by approval
  • 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 50% by coursework, 10% by exam and 40% thesis/dissertation
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time

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.

Your teaching team

External speakers from industry and defence (due to frequency of post changes it is not practical to include names).

Course details

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. 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. 

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.

Assessment

Assessment is 50% by coursework, 10% by exam and 40% thesis/dissertation

University Disclaimer

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 core modules and some optional modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2016–2017. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2017 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Core modules

Foundations of Modelling and Simulation

Module Leader
  • Mr Mark Lewis
Aim
    The module will make students aware of the roles, concepts and applications of modelling and simulation in defence, and to understand how to construct simple models.
Syllabus

    The General Principles of Modelling and Simulation

    • The verification and validation of defence models and simulations. The acquisition, operation and evolution of defence models and simulations. Hard and soft approaches to modelling. Deterministic and stochastic models. Monte Carlo simulation. The role of modelling and simulation in supporting defence decision-making.

    Continuous and Discrete Event Simulation

    • The design and application of simple discrete event simulation models. An introduction to system dynamics models.

    Synthetic Environments

    • An introduction to defence synthetic environments. The technologies of live, constructive and virtual simulation and their defence applications.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Explain and apply the general principles of modelling and simulation and to explain the importance of modelling and simulation in Supporting defence decision-making
  • Apply the ideas of verification and validation to defence models and explain the issues involved
  • Design simple simulation models using different approaches
  • Explain the technologies of live, constructive and virtual simulation and their defence applications.

Networked and Distributed Simulation

Module Leader
  • Mr Jonathan Searle
Aim
    The module will enable students to appreciate the main ways in which defence simulation systems make use of networking technology. The emphasis of the module is on Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the Internet Protocol (IP) style networking with particular reference to the emerging role of large scale networks of fully distributed systems which form the basis of defence Synthetic Environments.
Syllabus
    • Fundamentals of computer communications, networking, Local Area Networks and Wide Area Networks
    • Main hardware components of computer networks
    • The International Standards Organisation's Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) architecture and network protocols
    • The features and facilities of network protocols Transmission Control Protocol and Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and their relevance to simulation systems
    • Networked and distributed simulation architectures
    • Interoperability and composability
    • The design, management, configuration and testing of distributed simulation systems and networks
    • Networking standards in defence simulation, e.g. Distributed Interactive Simulation, High Level Architecture
    • Practical experiments and case studies in the application of Networked and Distributed Simulation technologies.


Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Recognise and recommend network strategies and architectures appropriate to the needs of a particular simulation system
  • Carry out simple network configuration and testing functions using standard network tools
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the issues and processes of simulation interoperability
  • Appreciate and explain the issues in the design and application of synthetic environments in the defence arena.

Discrete and Continuous Simulation

Module Leader
  • Dr Ken McNaught
Aim
    To provide students with a good understanding of the principles underlying both discrete event simulation and continuous simulation focussing, in the latter case, on System Dynamics modelling.
Syllabus
    • Simulation modelling paradigms
    • Conceptual models (activity cycle diagrams, causal loop diagrams and stock/flow diagrams)
    • Input modelling (the selection and fitting of appropriate probability distributions for stochastic simulations)
    • Output analysis (methods for comparing and analysing the results of simulation experiments)
    • Discrete Event Simulation principles and types of software
    • Developing and experimenting with Discrete Event Simulation models using an appropriate software package (currently SIMUL8)
    • System Dynamics principles
    • Developing and experimenting with System Dynamics models using an appropriate software package (currently Vensim)
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Describe the origins and the main principles underlying both Discrete Event Simulation and System Dynamics
  • Develop conceptual models of systems prior to their simulation
  • Identify feedback loops within a System Dynamics model and understand the effects of positive and negative feedback
  • Distinguish between the different types of variables commonly used in System Dynamics models
  • Develop a System Dynamics model from an appropriate diagram
  • Select appropriate probability distributions for use in stochastic simulations
  • Develop a Discrete Event Simulation model of a simple system
  • Perform appropriate experiments, policy analysis and output analysis with the completed simulation model.

War Gaming and Combat Modelling

Module Leader
  • Mr Jeremy Smith
Aim
    To provide students with a general knowledge of the techniques used in wargaming, combat simulations and analytical battle models.
Syllabus
    • Introduction: An introduction to the methods used in combat modelling and their application in support of defence decision-making and training
    • Combat Simulation: The basic principles of discrete event Monte Carlo simulations of combat illustrated through the use of a simple engagement model. Extension of the concepts to allow more realistic representation of the battlefield. Aggregated models of combat
    • Lanchester's Equations: The deterministic and stochastic Lanchester equations for direct and indirect fire as used for both homogeneous and heterogeneous forces. The application of Lanchester's equations in current models of combat
    • War Gaming/lnteractive Simulation: The underlying principles of war gaming and the interactive simulation of combat as used for the assessment, testing and training of military forces and their equipment. The synthetic battlefield. Synthetic Environments: constructive, virtual and live simulations of combat. Manual Combat Wargames. Other gaming techniques.
    • War Gaming and Combat Modelling Practicals: The practical application of war gaming and combat modelling with issues such as: data and scenarios, terrain modelling, combat algorithms (attrition and movement), the representation of human factors, measures of effectiveness, the verification and validation of combat models, automated forces, simulation for training and distributed simulation.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module you will be able to:

  • Critically appraise the full range of wargames and combat simulations and apply them to defence problems
  • Use the deterministic and stochastic Lanchester equations to represent combat between both homogeneous and heterogeneous forces
  • Use interactive computer based representations of military operations
  • Explain how the different methods of representing the operations of military forces are used in the training, testing and assessment of those forces and their equipment.

Computer Graphics

Module Leader
  • Mr Jonathan Searle
Aim
    To enable students to gain an understanding of the methods and applications of 3D computer graphics.
Syllabus
    • Coordinate systems and transforms
    • Geometric modelling
    • Rendering techniques
    • Graphics application programming
    • Scientific visualisation
    • Real-time virtual environments
    • Graphics hardware and architectures
    • Serious games technologies
    • Applications of computer graphics.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding, appropriate to the student’s degree, of the fundamental representations, techniques and processes underpinning 3D computer graphics
  • Describe the role of graphics programming libraries
  • Discuss the different techniques for creating and rendering scenes, and identify those relevant to given applications
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the issues in specifying and designing real-time computer graphics systems, with particular reference to interactive virtual environments
  • Discuss the use of graphics as a means of data visualisation
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the tools and methods used in creating scene content, including 3D object and terrain modelling
  • Discuss uses of computer graphics relevant to the student’s degree
  • Develop appropriate computer graphics components or software.

Weapon System Performance Assessment

Module Leader
  • Mr Jeremy Smith
Aim

    To enable students to understand the application of operational research techniques to the assessment of weapon systems.

Syllabus
    • Concepts of performance and effectiveness measures
    • Dispersion of fire
    • Accuracy, consistency and precision
    • Calculation of Single Shot Kill Probability for direct fire weapons
    • Modelling of area effect weapons (eg shells, grenades) including using the damage function
    • Modelling of minefields and calculation of stopping power
    • Assessment of direct fire systems examples
    • Methods for modelling of land, sea and air targets
    • Approaches to the analysis of various other weapon systems
    • Force effectiveness comparisons
    • Practical exercises to illustrate the theories
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Describe the cycle of weapon assessment studies and the measures of performance and effectiveness
  • Demonstrate the application of statistics to weapon delivery errors
  • Discuss the nature of direct fire weapons and demonstrate how to calculate their performance
  • Review the nature of area weapons and demonstrate the use of the damage function and lethal area in the analysis of their effects
  • Use a technique for the analysis of anti-tank minefields
  • Appreciate the different emphasis in the study of guided weapon systems
  • Review the special nature of other weapon systems and the ideas involved in their assessment
  • Evaluate the need and collection methods for data in models
  • Explain the issues surrounding practical weapon assessment projects including force effectiveness and cost effectiveness analyses.

Intelligent Systems

Module Leader
  • Dr Venkat Sastry
Aim
    To provide students with basic knowledge of intelligent systems techniques that can be applied in a variety of disciplines.
Syllabus
    • Review of intelligent systems
    • Problem spaces and architectures
    • Classical inference techniques
    • Review of search algorithms
    • Reasoning under uncertainty
    • Fuzzy reasoning
    • Bayesian networks
    • Rule based programming.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Develop a simple application using rule based programming
  • Develop simple applications using fuzzy inference and Bayesian network techniques
  • Assess available architectures and techniques for a practical problem under consideration.

Networked and Distributed Simulation Exercise

Module Leader
  • Mr Jonathan Searle
Aim
    The module will allow students who have completed the Networked and Distributed Simulation (NDS) module to design, setup and conduct a basic battlespace Synthetic Environment (SE) exercise employing local- and wide-area network (LAN and WAN) distributed simulation technology.
Syllabus
    • A group project to design, set up and conduct a basic distributed battlespace exercise using both Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) and High Level Architecture (HLA) systems.
    • An individual written report on the project including a detailed description of the Synthetic Environment (SE) and the experiments that were conducted, an explanation and analysis of the results obtained and a critical technical appraisal of the project.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Apply the principles of modelling and simulation and the technologies of networked and distributed simulation in the context of a specific project
  • Design, set up and conduct a basic battlespace exercise using a DIS/HLA based synthetic environment
  • Communicate and discuss the results of their experimentation orally and in writing.

Advanced Module 1

Module Leader
Aim

    The aim of this module is to allow students to conduct an in-depth study in an area of particular personal interest or relevance to them, in the context of their degree.


Syllabus

    A self-study ‘mini-project’ conducted over two weeks, on an individually selected and agreed topic, which must follow on from one or more already completed standard taught modules in that degree.

    Part-time students will typically complete their work over a 10-week period, one such block of 10 weeks being offered in each academic term.



Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module a diligent student will be able, within the individual topic agreed, to:

  • Plan, organise and undertake an individual, open-ended research activity with appropriate supervision
  • Demonstrate an ability to acquire, organise, discuss, assess and apply relevant knowledge
  • Demonstrate an ability to gather and critically appraise data and to utilise it within the appropriate context
  • Critically apply appropriate methods, tools, techniques, processes and knowledge to the topic selected
  • Communicate findings in the form of both a written deliverable and an oral presentation.


Advanced Module 2

Module Leader
Aim

    The aim of this module is to allow students to conduct an in-depth study in an area of particular personal interest or relevance to them, in the context of their degree.


Syllabus

    A self-study ‘mini-project’ conducted over two weeks, on an individually selected and agreed topic, which must follow on from one or more already completed standard taught modules in that degree.

    Part-time students will typically complete their work over a 10-week period, one such block of 10 weeks being offered in each academic term.



Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module a diligent student will be able, within the individual topic agreed, to:

  • Plan, organise and undertake an individual, open-ended research activity with appropriate supervision
  • Demonstrate an ability to acquire, organise, discuss, assess and apply relevant knowledge
  • Demonstrate an ability to gather and critically appraise data and to utilise it within the appropriate context
  • Critically apply appropriate methods, tools, techniques, processes and knowledge to the topic selected
  • Communicate findings in the form of both a written deliverable and an oral presentation.


Advanced Module 3

Module Leader
Aim

    The aim of this module is to allow students to conduct an in-depth study in an area of particular personal interest or relevance to them, in the context of their degree.


Syllabus

    A self-study ‘mini-project’ conducted over two weeks, on an individually selected and agreed topic, which must follow on from one or more already completed standard taught modules in that degree.

    Part-time students will typically complete their work over a 10-week period, one such block of 10 weeks being offered in each academic term.



Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module a diligent student will be able, within the individual topic agreed, to:

  • Plan, organise and undertake an individual, open-ended research activity with appropriate supervision
  • Demonstrate an ability to acquire, organise, discuss, assess and apply relevant knowledge
  • Demonstrate an ability to gather and critically appraise data and to utilise it within the appropriate context
  • Critically apply appropriate methods, tools, techniques, processes and knowledge to the topic selected
  • Communicate findings in the form of both a written deliverable and an oral presentation.


Experimentation Analysis and Trials for Simulation

Module Leader
  • Mr Mark Lewis
Aim
    To provide students with the skills to design, manage, analyse and assess simulation based trials in support of Training, Experimentation and Acquisition
Syllabus
    Experimental Design including sampling and ethical considerations.
    Methodology and analysis of statistical data (Inference, ANOVA and Regression)
    Definition, Execution, Analysis, Present and Critical assessment of simulation based experimentation and trials reports.
    Visiting speakers from MOD and Defence Industry to include:
    Operational Analysis (OA),
    Integrated Test Evaluation and Acceptance,
    Simulation Experimentation
Intended learning outcomes Describe the place and utility of simulation based experimentation and trials within Defence Core Business.
• Critically assess the design, planning and execution of simulation based experimentation and trials and the analysis of results.
• Critically assess the impact of experimentation and trial constraints on the data collection and analysis methods used.
• Using simple Operational Research techniques, calculate appropriate ways to combine or balance multiple variables and benefits in a simulation based experimentation and trials context.
• Appropriately quantify and graph the results of an experiment or trial and statistically analyse these results in relatively simple cases.
• Develop effective methods to design, perform, analyse and report a simulation based experiment or trial.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2017 to 2018 academic year will still have access to student funding support.

Please see the UK Government’s Department of Education press release for more information

Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.

MSc Full-time £17,250
MSc Part-time £17,250 *
PgDip Full-time £13,900
PgDip Part-time £13,900 *
PgCert Full-time £6,950
PgCert Part-time £6,950 *
  • * Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

MSc Full-time £17,250
MSc Part-time £17,250 *
PgDip Full-time £13,900
PgDip Part-time £13,900 *
PgCert Full-time £6,950
PgCert Part-time £6,950 *
  • * Students will be offered the option of paying the full fee up front, or in a maximum of two payments per year; first instalment on receipt of invoice and the second instalment six months later.  

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2017 and 31 July 2018.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • A deposit may be payable, depending on your course.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged and can be found below.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

For further information regarding tuition fees, please refer to our fee notes.

Funding Opportunities

There are a number of MOD funded places each year.

Please contact prospectus.shrivenham@cranfield.ac.uk  for more information on funding.

Entry requirements

Normally a first or second class Honours degree or equivalent in science, engineering or mathematics. Alternatively, a lesser qualification together with appropriate work experience may be acceptable.

English Language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

IELTS - 6.5
TOEFL - 92
Pearson PTE Academic
- 65
Cambridge English Scale - 180
Cambridge English: Advanced - C
Cambridge English: Proficiency - C

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.


Security clearance for Shrivenham

Some Cranfield University courses are delivered at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Shrivenham which is a Ministry of Defence (MOD) site. All applicants to courses that are wholly or partially delivered at Shrivenham must complete the BPSS (HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard V4 April 2014) prior to registration on the course or must already hold a security clearance to this level or higher.

Please visit our security clearance page for further information.

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.

Applying

Applicants may be invited to attend an interview. Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.

Apply Now