This module can only be taken as part of the Systems Engineering MSc or as an elective of the Defence and Security Programme

As a foundation for the degree, an introduction into systems science, systems philosophy and systems thinking in specific relation to engineered systems. The module will provide the theoretical basis for the remainder of the degree.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£920 - Accredited Short Course fee

What you will learn

On successful completion of the course you will be able to:


  • Outline the nature of systems philosophy and its relationship to the engineering of systems throughout the lifecycle.
  • Apply a systems thinking approach to suitable areas of consideration.
  • Critically evaluate the role of models in the systems thinking and engineering approach.
  • Appraise current approaches to Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) and the value of MBSE through the systems lifecycle.

Core content

Unit 1: Systems Science

• Overview of systems science, philosophy and systems theories.  Open system definitions and General Systems Theory, why and how can we apply systems ideas to a complex world, system complexity, emergence, viability, resilience, etc.

• Systems Science workshop, exploration and evaluation of key systems science literature

Unit 2: Systems Thinking

• Overview of how system science ideas relate to real world problem and solution contexts.  Definitions of Engineered Systems, Product, Service and Enterprise Contexts and the relationship between Capability and Solution.

• Systems Thinking workshop, explore a number of relevant systems thinking case studies

Unit 3: SE Life Cycle

• Overview of life cycle principles and standards, introduction to the principles of Model Based SE (MBSE), MBSE benefits, tools and implementation issues

•  Life Cycle workshop, SE Life Cycle case studies

Unit 4: Systems Modelling

• Overview of modelling principles, the role dynamics and static models, overview of different kinds of hard and soft modelling method, introduction to multi method approaches

•  Modelling workshop, introducing relevant notations including the Systems Modelling

Upgrade to a professional qualification

After successful completion of this Accredited Short Course, 10 credit points can be put towards the Systems Engineering MSc.

Find out more about short course credit points.


Location and travel

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.