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Defence Acquisition Management MSc/PgDip/PgCert

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  • Course description
    Course Description :

    If you are involved in any aspect of defence acquisition, then this course is relevant to you. Whether you are involved in establishing or managing capability requirements; engaged in procurement, commercial or contracting activities; or developing and implementing support solutions, this course will provide the underpinning knowledge and develop the critical thinking skills required for effective management of defence acquisition. This course offers three pathways - General Acquisition, Through Life Support and Commercial. The MSc programme also provides recognition by a number of professional bodies including the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), as this is a CIPS-accredited course, accreditation by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), and, eligibility for a Chartered Management Institute Diploma

    Start Month


    Full Time/ Part Time :


    School :


    Theme :

    Defence and Security

    Entry Requirements

    A first or second class UK Honours degree (or equivalent) ideally in a related subject. Other recognised professional qualifications or several years relevant industrial experience may be accepted as equivalent; subject to approval by the Course Director. For further and specific information please visit the course page.

    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 - 7
    • TOEFL - 100
    • Pearson PTE Academic - 68
    • Cambridge English Scale - 190
    • Cambridge English: Advanced – with a minimum of Grade A
    • Cambridge English: Proficiency – with a minimum of Grade B

    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.


    Full-time MSc - one year, Part-time MSc - up to three years, Full-time PgCert - one year, Part-time PgCert - two years, Full-time PgDip - one year, Part-time PgDip - two years

    Course Format:
    • Taught
    • MSc/PgCert/PgDip

    Whether you are involved in establishing or managing capability requirements; engaged in procurement, commercial or contracting activities; or developing and implementing support solutions, this course will provide the underpinning knowledge and develop the critical thinking skills required for effective management of defence acquisition.

    Who is it for?:

    The course is focused on the wider Defence community and attracts civilian and military students from the public and private sectors globally.

    Serving military officers and Ministry of Defence civil servants will be well prepared for a range of roles, including: the leadership of strategic change; project team leadership and management; commercial and contracts management; resources management and programme scrutiny; engineering management; capability management; and the management of integrated logistic support and supply chain operations.

    Students from defence industry, commercial organisations, research organisations, and other Government departments should also acquire a more detailed knowledge of how Defence procurement and through life support works and be able to advance their business and personal career interests accordingly.

    Why this course?

    Whether you are involved in specifying or managing capability requirements; engaged in the procurement of systems, services, equipment and materiel; managing commercial relationships and contracts; designing and optimising supply chains through better logistics and inventory control; or managing efficient and effective support solutions to sustain large diverse fleets of maritime, land, and air systems through long service lives; this course will provide the underpinning knowledge and develop the critical thinking skills you will require.

    The course teaches and encourages you to develop the skills to critically evaluate and apply a rich array of management theories, models, tools and techniques to meet your needs effectively in a dynamic national and international context
    Your teaching team

    •     Dr Peter Ito
    •     Dai Jenkins
    •     Laura Lacey
    •     Professor Derrick Neal
    •     Jeremy Smith
    •     Dr Bryan Watters
    •     Dr Julieanna Powell-Turner
    •     Petros Boutselis
    •     Dr Irfan Ansari
    •     Dr Mike Pryce
    •     John McCormack
    •     Matthew Summers
    •     Stuart Young

    Visiting lecturers from Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), other government departments, ADS, QinetiQ, BAE Systems, Thales, BMT, Rolls Royce, and Leonardo Finmeccanica.


    The course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS), the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), and we are an Approved Centre for the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

    Course details

    Students are offered a range of modules, of which eleven are compulsory and one is elective. Eight of the compulsory modules are common to all students, and three are determined by the student’s choice of pathway: General Acquisition, Through Life Support, or Commercial. The twelfth module is the elective.

    Success in 6 modules will earn a student the postgraduate certificate (PgCert). On passing 12 modules the student will earn the postgraduate diploma (PgDip) and be able to go on to complete the Thesis to earn the MSc.

    Individual project:

    The individual research project begins with a one week compulsory module on Research Methodology and the subsequent production of a 20,000 word research-based thesis.
    A mixture of written assignments, examinations, case study analyses and individual reports

    Core modules:
    • Introductory Studies
    • Strategic Management and Introduction to Acquisition
    • Financing Acquisition
    • Project & Programme Management
    • Sourcing Strategies and the Industrial Interface
    • Managing Acquisition Change
    • Knowledge in Defence
    • Leading Acquisition Change
    • Supply Network Management in Defence and the Commercial Environment
    • Supply Network Analysis and Modelling
    • Cost Estimation and Planning
    • Advanced Negotiation
    • Commercial Relationships in the Defence Environment
    • Sustainability in Defence
    • Availability, Reliability, Maintainability and Supportability
    • Efficient and Effective Through Life Support
    • Defence Capability Management
    • Elective
    • The International Dimensions of Defence Acquisition
    • Capability, Requirements and Systems
    • Personal and Organisational Development
    Fees and funding:

    Home EU Student Fees
    • MSc Full-time £17,250 
    • PgDip Full-time £13,900 
    • PgCert Full-time £6,950 
    Overseas Fees
    • MSc Full-time £17,250 
    • PgDip Full-time £13,900 
    • PgCert Full-time £6,950 
    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.
    • 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.
    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.

    Your application and BPSS clearance application will be shared during the application process with the MOD who have ultimate discretion over whether to admit applicants to the Shrivenham site. This information will be returned by the MOD to Cranfield University after checks are completed and no copies will be retained by the MOD.

    BPSS checks may involve confirmation of the following:
    •     Identity (e.g. Photo ID)
    •     Nationality and Immigration Status
    •     Employment/Academic History (covering the past 3 years)
    •     Criminal record (unspent convictions only)
    Additionally, applicants are required to give a reasonable account of any significant periods (6 months or more in the past 3 years) of time spent abroad.

    This may be revised from time to time dependent on national security requirements. For more details, please consult the BPSS Guidance.

    It will take additional time to process your BPSS clearance application once you have completed your course application.

    Inability to access the Shrivenham site as a result of failure to meet security clearance requirements will result in a withdrawal of offer, or, if already registered, a termination of registration.

    Your career

    This qualification will take you on to career development in the equipment capability area, a defence equipment and support organisation (or other relevant areas such as defence estates), defence manufacturers, commercial organisations or government departments. It also provides a relevant lead-in towards PhD studies focused on acquisition.

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