Writing for Defence Online, Emma Sparks, Professor of Systems Engineering Education Centre for Systems and Technology Management at Cranfield University, looks at Cranfield’s new Defence and Security Programme.
Cranfield University are Official Event Partners at DPRTE 2020. They will take their place at the event’s Technology and Innovation Knowledge Transfer Zone, which brings together some of the leading technology organisations to deliver sessions designed to keep you up to date on defence technology innovations, how to access funding and how you can bring your product to the marketplace.
Innovation in defence education – developing skills for the future
Defence is a continually evolving arena that in turn requires people with diverse knowledge, skills and experience. Across the sector there is a question of how to attract, retain and manage talent particularly in niche areas.
With a drive for continued innovation in educational delivery for the defence and security sector, Cranfield has launched its new Defence and Security Programme, offering three streams (engineering, technology and leadership and management) and two routes to achieve an MSc.
Following extensive feedback from the defence and security sector, it has been recognised that employers and learners need greater flexibility in their learning pathways. It is not just about providing deep technical education, but also the wider skills and competencies for continued professional development and natural career progression over time.
The concept of the new Programme is to open up a large portion of the teaching portfolio so that learners can choose electives from a range of existing specialist courses. With a core set of overarching modules delivered at a distance to provide a grounding in leadership and management, defence capability and decision analysis and support alongside organisational and stakeholder modelling, learners can then take up to a further seven modules from the engineering, technology or leadership and management stream, with two of these seven potentially coming from across any of the three streams.
There is also a capstone route where learners can take three modules at a distance and up to three residential modules before embarking on a portfolio that is linked directly to the individual’s work needs including a module on innovation and exploitation. This latter option is seen as particularly appealing to more senior individuals who can gain significant value from an applied portfolio relating directly to their work needs.
With an evolving defence domain there is also a need to evolve and innovate our approach to education. The new Defence and Security Programme shows exciting progress in supporting our learners and industry partners, reflecting Cranfield’s commitment to leading the way in educational practice linked to the needs of our industry.
Professor Emma Sparks is Head of the Centre for Systems and Technology Management at Cranfield University and Director of Programme Portfolio Delivery and Deputy Director of Education at the University’s school of Defence and Security.
The new Defence and Security Programme at Cranfield
The Defence and Security Programme (www.cranfield.ac.uk/defenceandsecurityprogramme) opens up our teaching portfolio and is designed to give students the flexibility to tailor their own learning pathways. The Programme offers three degree streams (Engineering, Leadership and Management and Technology – all containing extensive elective module choices) and two learning routes: a traditional MSc route and a Capstone MSc route. The Capstone route is mostly delivered at distance and, unlike the traditional MSc route that includes the completion of a thesis, contains a Capstone Development and Exploitation module followed by a Capstone Portfolio Project. The Project is made up of multiple pieces of work that can be applied to a business case, with direct impact and exploitation potential within the learner’s business context.
The Leadership and Management stream of the Defence and Security Programme meets the requirements of the Level 7 Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship. Eligible organisations will be able to use £18,000 of their Apprenticeship Levy towards the overall cost.
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