This module can  be taken as a Short Course for Credit.
Please go to the 'Upgrade to a professional qualification' section for more information.

All applicants must have completed the Fundamentals of Systems Thinking module before undertaking the this course


This module introduces students to research methods, their selection and application, specifically with regard to the varying perspectives of engineering, science and social science, such that the most appropriate approach for systems research can be developed.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration3 days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£1,490

What you will learn

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Compare and contrast a range of quantitative and qualitative assessment and evaluation methods for determining outcomes and impact of interventions and for evaluating effectiveness and impact of intervention decisions and processes
  • Articulate the role of ‘self’ within research and their related, personal, strengths and weaknesses
  • Appraise, select and apply a range of inquiry techniques to gather quantitative and qualitative information, including inputs, transformations, outputs and outcomes, incorporating hard and soft measures
  • Assess the design of research and research outputs in terms of validity, reliability and generalisability.

    Core content

    Topics covered include:

    • Critical appraisal of various qualitative and quantitative research methods used in systems research.
    • Examining the role of ‘self’ within various ontologies and theoretical frameworks.
    • Problem structuring and ownership
    • Introducing the principles of research design, literature search and review, sampling, and research ethics

    Upgrade to a professional qualification

    When taken as a Short Course for Credit, 10 credit points can be put towards the Systems Thinking Practice MSc

    Find out more about short course credit points.

    Who should attend

    The course is aimed at:

    • Systems Analysts and Engineers of all disciplines
    • Managers/decision makers/policy makers
    • Individuals who need critical thinking skills to achieve successful outcomes in a complex working environment.

    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

    How to apply

    To apply for this course please use the online application form.

    Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.