This course explores complex adaptive systems, such as organisations and large-scale engineered solutions, and provides concepts, methods and ways of thinking that can deal with such complexity. Read more Read less

In particular it will present different ways of looking at the systems requirements of defence and will consider the characteristics of methodologies appropriate for modelling defence problems and capability needs.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£1,750. includes a folder containing all material presented in the course. Concessions available

Course structure

This 5 day course is taught by a mix of lectures and practical sessions. All delegates receive a course folder containing all material presented in the course.

What you will learn

On successful completion of the course delegates will be able to:
  • Differentiate systems concepts
  • Assess the underlying principles of systems methods
  • Consider how systems engineering information may be elicited using soft and hard systems methods
  • Demonstrate the ability to think systemically and to able to conceptualise
  • Apply a set of systems methods and techniques
  • Construct relevant models of systems problems and analyse them appropriately to propose viable solutions
  • Judge the practical application of systems methods and techniques.
  • Core content

    Systems Thinking

    • Why Systems Thinking
    • The philosophy behind systems thinking
    • Unravelling complexity
    • Map of methods
    • Systems challenges.

    Systems methods and techniques

    • Types of systems
    • Representing systems with models
    • Overview of a relevant set of systems methods and techniques
    • Use of multiple methods.

    Application of Systems Methods

    • Practical application of methods and techniques
    • Discussion on systems, methods and techniques


    Residential: twice per year.

    Upgrade to a professional qualification

    Systems Engineering for Defence Capability

    Modern Systems Engineering principles, practices, methods and tools; focused on practical application to develop skills in understanding and resolving complex real world problems.


    Who should attend

    A prerequisite of this course is normally the successful completion of the Systems Approach to Engineering Short Course.

    • Systems analysts and engineers of all disciplines
    • Managers/decision makers
    • Individuals who need critical thinking skills to deliver successful outcomes in a complex working environment.

    Cranfield's regulations apply to MSc/PGDip/PGCert enrolment.  


    A limited number of MOD sponsored places are available.

    Location and travel

    Cranfield Defence and Security (CDS) is a Cranfield School based at the Ministry of Defence establishment on the Oxfordshire/Wiltshire borders.

    Shrivenham itself lies in the picturesque Vale of the White Horse, close to the M4 motorway which links London and South Wales. It is 7 miles from Swindon, the nearest town, which lies off the M4 at the hub of Britain’s motorway network.

    Bath, Cheltenham, Bristol and Oxford are all within an hour’s drive and London less than two hours away by car.

    All visitors must be pre-booked in at reception by the person they are visiting on the campus.

    For further location and travel details

    Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.