This module can only be taken as part of the Systems Engineering MSc and applicants must have completed the Introduction to Systems and Systems Engineering module before undertaking the course. 

Analyse the life cycle cost and importance of resilience as a function of time of systems to enable judgments about the value for money afforded by design alternatives. This module will enable you to work at the interface of the systems engineering concern with the system and the business concern with Return on Investment (ROI).



At a glance

  • Duration5 days
  • LocationCranfield campus

What you will learn

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


  • Apply the time value of money concept to judge project Return on Investment.
  • Construct complex engineering economics analyses of proposals to determine Return on Investment in complex, multifaceted, scenarios.
  • Evaluate the impact of design options on the value of the system resilience afforded by those option through the system life cycle.
  • Perform analysis of engineering economics problems with uncertainty, cost estimation and other limitations to data completeness and quality.
  • Analyse scenarios with return in either or both the financial and physical domains.

Core content

           Unit 1: Foundations

  • Value and utility – financial value and cost of systems and benefits provided in the application domain
  • Alternatives in design and engineering
  • Interest, compound interest, time value of money
  • Formulae for equivalent value over time

    Unit 2: Methodology
  • Life cycle cost situation
  • Life cycle cost analysis
  • Cost over the life cycle
  • Estimating cost – methods analogy, parametric methods, accounting data, reference class forecasting

    Unit 3: Errors in estimation and sensitivity analysis

  • Errors in estimation – methods to describe
  • Sensitivity analysis – single and multiple alternatives
  • Monte Carlo analysis and applications

    Unit 4: Additional Factors Affecting Decisions

  • Inflation
  • Depreciation (real and book value)
  • Taxation effects on analysis
  • Projects with no financial return (typically government asset and service provision)

    Unit 5: Application to complex System Planning

  • Optimisation of investment decisions
  • Planning of fleet size
  • Economic life calculations 

           Unit 6: System Life Cycle Events

  • Effect of change of scenario during life
  • Valuation of system resilience

Location and travel

Situated close to Milton Keynes and Bedford, the Cranfield campus is situated in Wharley End, very close to Cranfield village, and is about 10 minutes from the M1 motorway.  There is rail and road access to most major airports as well as coach and train stations. Cranfield campus also has its own airport for private executive business travel.

Download a visitor guide including map, directions and health and safety information.

Campus address

College Road
MK43 0AL

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