The aim of this course is to define a Systems Approach, introducing Systems Thinking and Systems Engineering, and illustrating their use across the acquisition lifecycle.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • 14 - 25 Jan 2019
  • Duration2 weeks
  • LocationCranfield University at Shrivenham
  • Cost£1,750. A limited number of MOD sponsored places are available

Course structure

The course is formally assessed, and provides the foundation module for the Systems Engineering for Defence Capability suite of courses.

What you will learn

This course will be of benefit to military, MOD and industry involved in applying Systems Engineering in Defence Acquisition as well as individuals from research, industry or government wishing to understand the fundamental principles of a systems approach to complex problems. This may be to update existing knowledge, embark upon more detailed study or to take advantage of interaction with other delegates from a range of backgrounds in a classroom setting.

Core content

  • Admissions Programme
    • SE Professionalism (inc. Competency mapping)
  • Intro to IT
    • Online Access
    • Emails
    • VLE etc
  • Student Experience
    • Maximising value from study
    • MBTI
  • The Philosophy of Thinking about Systems
    • Rationale behind Approaches to problem solving
    • Types of Problem
    • Types of thinking and their application
  • Management of Defence
  • The Evolution of Systems Engineering
  • Academic Study Skills (1)
    • Analysing the Research Question
    • Understanding Systematic Research process(es)
      • Approaches to research
      • Reading & interpreting material
      • Structured Writing
    • Applying research process to a given case study
  • Introduction to Systems and Systems Concepts
    • What is a system?
    • Systems Concepts and their definition
    • Applying Concepts to Problem Types
  • Library Study Skills
    • Introduce library facilities
    • Research Skills
    • Critique case study example
  • Systems Methods and Techniques
    • Modelling the Systems Context
    • Problem Structuring Techniques
  • “The Systems Lifecycle”
    • Introducing the Systems Lifecycle
    • SE Technical Processes and their place within the lifecycle
    • Systemic thinking applied to the acquisition lifecycle
  • Lifecycle Modelling Workshop
    • Applying SE across an example lifecycle
  • Academic Study Skills (2)
    • Undertaking an assignment
    • Preparing for an Examination
    • Revision styles
    • Approaching the Examination

Upgrade to a professional qualification

This is an accredited short course, providing one of the core modules that comprise the MSc in Systems Engineering for Defence Capability.



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.