This part-time course meets the requirements of the Level 7 System Engineering Master's Apprenticeship. Eligible organisations will be able to use their Apprenticeship Levy to cover the cost of the course tuition fees. View Fees and Funding information, or find out more about Master's Apprenticeships.

Systems engineers address some of the most complex challenges and problems that society faces. Our course will equip you to address the root causes of a problem situation, understanding requirements from multiple perspectives and the tension that may exist between them.

You will learn to think about the issues that may arise throughout the lifetime of a system, from concept to retirement, and to check robustly and rigorously that the system will meet user requirements throughout its lifecycle. The course will help you to understand how systems engineers, domain engineers and project managers come together as multi-disciplinary teams to develop solutions to real world problems.


  • Start date 25th September 2023
  • DurationMSc: up to three years part-time; PgDip: up to two years part-time
  • DeliveryBlended learning
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip
  • Study typePart-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

  • Experienced and/or qualified engineers, scientists, managers or leaders wishing to broaden and deepen their skills or apply them in systems engineering or related roles.
  • Recent graduates wishing to extend their knowledge and skill within systems engineering professional roles.

Why this course?

The Centre for Systems Engineering has been at the forefront of developing systems engineering education for the past fifteen years, blending the breadth of systems thinking with the rigour of systems engineering and closely integrating this within acquisition management.

The course has been set up to enable students better understanding to focus content and delivery on systems engineering professionals working in distributed, agile teams using shared models and flexible working approaches, with an emphasis on professional skills such as leadership, team working, communication, data management and ethics.

The MSc in Systems Engineering is designed for those seeking Professional status in their chosen career. A PgDip (two years) is usually the minimum qualification used for mapping to the UKSPEC.

However, the University recognises that personal circumstances may change and as such there is a possible exit route after one year’s successful completion of study, of a PgCert in Systems Engineering.

Institute for Apprenticeships - Systems Engineering Degree

Course details

In this section

The course is modular and you will accumulate credits for each module you successfully complete - 10 credits per module. The thesis is worth 80 credits.

The course structure has been devised to give the maximum amount of flexibility for you to create your own learning pathway whilst ensuring that the fundamental principles of systems engineering are compulsory.

Course Structure

Course delivery

Blended learning

Individual project

The Individual Project provides you with an opportunity to undertake an in-depth study of an area of particular interest to you or your sponsor which is written up as a thesis or dissertation. The study might include, for example: 

  • Application of systems engineering tools and techniques to a real-world problem,
  • Analysis of underpinning systems engineering theory and practice,
  • Development of new or tailored systems engineering processes.


Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.

Teaching team

You will be taught by Cranfield's leading experts with capability expertise, industry knowledge and collective subject research, as well as external speakers from industry and defence. The Course Director is Steve Barker. The teaching team includes:

Your career

Takes you on to impressive career prospects across a range of roles commensurate with your experience. This includes membership of multidisciplinary teams in acquisition, supply or research organisations. This could be in both general systems engineering roles or as a focal point for specific skills such as availability, reliability and maintenance (ARM), human factors, requirements, architecture test and evaluation etc. It is also applicable to key roles in MoD acquisition such as project team leader, capability manager and requirements manager.

Cranfield Careers and Employability Service

Cranfield’s Careers and Employability Service is dedicated to helping you meet your career aspirations. You will have access to career coaching and advice, CV development, interview practice, access to hundreds of available jobs via our Symplicity platform and opportunities to meet recruiting employers at our careers fairs. We will also work with you to identify suitable opportunities and support you in the job application process for up to three years after graduation.

How to apply

To register your interest, please use the button below. If you'd like to speak to a member of the admissions or course team then use the 'Get in touch' details at the top of the page.