Systems Thinking Practitioner Apprenticeship

Our Level 7 Systems Thinking Practitioner Apprenticeship prepares those in support or strategic decision-makers in strategic and leadership roles to understand and address complex and sometimes even ‘wicked’ problems through provision of expert systemic analysis, advice and facilitation.

Who is it for?

• Delivering expert problem-solving and solutions for multi-layer/multi-organisation/multi-government problems.

• Engaging with colleagues, peers, stakeholders and decision-makers, to facilitate the creation of shared methods of defining, interpreting and understanding the system of interest (e.g. models, pictures, stories, maps).

• Identifying patterns, dynamics, power and inter-relationships within and affecting the system, using systems thinking methodologies; applying appropriate tools, techniques and drawing on relevant theory (e.g. systems science, complexity science, social psychology, action research) with rigour to yield new insights and alternative perspectives.

• Engaging with key actors to co-design suitable experiments and interventions – activities, policies, new products or services, new governance, structures, or processes – to address the challenges; evaluating relative fitness and efficacy.

• Exploring outcomes, consequences and facilitating learning with others.

• Ensuring intervention and engagement methods are ethical and legal.

• Taking the role of co-learner and participant within the system under scrutiny; acting as a ‘reflexive practitioner’ aware that they are engaged in iterative work, and also that their own activity will influence the system they are working in.


How is the apprenticeship delivered?

Our apprenticeship is delivered by blended learning, primarily using both distance learning and face-to-face tutorials based at our Cranfield campus in Bedfordshire. The duration of the apprenticeship is three years including End Point Assessment.

Apprentices will take their learning from the course into their organisation and apply their learning through workplace practice, evidencing their new-found knowledge, skills and behaviours as part of their portfolio of evidence.

Why choose Cranfield University as your apprenticeship provider?

One of the most powerful ways you can generate value from your Apprenticeship Levy is to upskill your existing workforce.

At Cranfield, we’re passionate about providing education tailored for industry. As one of the first universities in the UK to offer degree apprenticeships at master’s level, we understand what is needed to develop industry-led apprenticeship standards and have the expertise to deliver that training.

Cranfield will provide a widening portfolio of master’s level apprenticeship training required by industry.

Entry requirements

A first or second class honours degree or equivalent. Alternatively, a lesser qualification together with appropriate work experience may be acceptable.

Apprentices on Level 7 apprenticeships in England are required to provide evidence of attainment in English and maths in the form of an accepted qualification at level 2 or above. This is a statutory requirement stipulated by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) for all apprentices in England on apprenticeships which are level 3 or above.

You can see the list of acceptable qualifications and equivalents by visiting the UK Government's website and opening the document entitled ‘Apprenticeship standards: list of acceptable current and prior qualifications for English and maths requirements in apprenticeship standards at Level 2 and above’. Please ensure you select the ‘Level 3 Apprenticeships’ tab for the correct list of acceptable qualifications. If your qualification is not listed, unfortunately it will not be accepted by the EPA organisation at gateway.

For more information about entry requirements, please see the Information for Apprentices page.

Qualifications underpinning the standard


The Systems Engineering Standard has a funding band of £18,000. The MSc in Systems Thinking Practice is charged at £19,500, while the Systems Thinking Practice Apprenticeship (PgDip) is charged at £18,000 inclusive of End Point Assessment and is therefore fully funded by the Apprenticeship Levy