This course will develop knowledge and skills in understanding the wider context of defence capability and guiding the development of operational, support and enabling business solutions which both deliver cost effective outcomes and contribute to the attributes of defence as a whole.

At a glance

  • Start dateSeptember and January
  • DurationMSc: 11 months full-time, up to five years part-time. PgDip : Up to 11 months full-time, up to four years part-time. PgCert: Up to 11 months full-time, up to 3 years part-time
  • DeliveryCoursework, written examinations, oral examinations, portfolio and, for the MSc only, an individual thesis
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typeFull-time / Part-time

Who is it for?

We have a diverse student body drawn from numerous industries and institutions in the UK as well as overseas providing a rich educational experience. Our class size is normally between 10-20 comprising a combination of full and part time students.

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.

All those involved in the wider defence enterprise, across government, military, industry, science and technology have changing needs and aspirations for defence. Agility, resilience, continuity of supply, skills and innovation now complement the continuing need to balance cost, time and performance in everything we do.

The course covers the wider context of defence capability and guiding the development of operational, support and enabling business solutions.

Informed by Industry

The course's Industrial Advisory Board meets once a year to discuss the course structure and content. Members include Cranfield University and Defence Academy staff with industrial representatives from, for example: 

  • AWE
  • MoD's Defence Equipment and Support
  • MBDA UK Limited
  • Thales
  • QinetiQ
  • MOD's Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.

Accreditation

The course is accredited by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

This programme is accredited as a programme of further learning for CEng registration. When presented together with a CEng accredited Bachelors programme the educational requirements for CEng registration will be met in full. Students who do not have a first degree should contact the relevant institute directly for further details on whether they meet the requirements.

Course details

The course is modular and you will accumulate credits for each module you successfully complete - 10 credits per module. The Advanced Systems Engineering Workshop is worth 20 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. 

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.

Assessment

Coursework, written examinations, oral examinations, portfolio and, for the MSc only, an individual thesis

University Disclaimer

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 modules and (where applicable) some elective modules affiliated with this programme which ran in the academic year 2017–2018. There is no guarantee that these modules will run for 2018 entry. All modules are subject to change depending on your year of entry.

Compulsory modules
All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Advanced Systems Engineering Workshop (ASEW)

Aim

    The module will consolidate the material in the taught phase of the Systems Engineering for Defence Capability, providing an opportunity to assess your ability to apply this knowledge to a realistic systems problem.

Syllabus

    The module uses learning from all core and some optional modules to allow the implementation, practice and use of learning together in an evolving, example case study

Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate a systematic and critical knowledge and appropriate use of advanced Systems Engineering techniques
  • Analyse a real-world problem using Systems Engineering approaches and tools as part of a through-life acquisition approach
  • Evaluate the application of advanced Systems Engineering techniques to real-world systems problems
  • Demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team in tackling a realistic systems problem.

Applied Systems Thinking

Aim

    The module will differentiate between a range of systems approaches relevant to Systems Engineering and their applicability across the Systems Engineering Lifecycle.

Syllabus

    This module explores complex adaptive systems, such as organisations and large-scale engineered solutions, and provides concepts, methods and ways of thinking that can deal with such complexity.  In particular it will present different ways of looking at the Systems Engineering requirements of defence and will consider the characteristics of methodologies appropriate for modelling defence problems and capability needs.

    Systems Thinking

    • Why Systems Thinking
    • The philosophy behind Systems Thinking
    • Unravelling complexity
    • Map of methods
    • Systems challenges

    Systems Methods and Techniques 

    • Types of systems
    • Representing systems with models
    • Overview of a relevant set of Systems Methods and techniques
    • Use of multiple methods.

    Application of Systems Methods

    • Practical application of methods and techniques
    • Discussion on systems, methods and techniques.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Differentiate systems concepts
  • Assess the underlying principles of systems methods
  • Consider how Systems Engineering information may be elicited using soft and hard systems methods
  • Demonstrate the ability to think systemically and conceptually
  • Apply a set of systems methods and techniques
  • Construct relevant models of systems problems and analyse them appropriately to propose viable solutions
  • Judge the practical application of systems methods and techniques.

Capability Context

Aim

    The module will enable you to develop potential solutions to capability level problems using System Engineering methods and techniques.

Syllabus

    Enterprise and Capability 

    • Capability models
    • Constraints, trade-off and boundaries System of System Engineering
    • Characteristics
    • Acquisition models
    • Verification and validation (V&V), ITEA
    • Interoperability Capability solutions
    • Requirements, constraints and legacy
    • Functional to physical design Problem Solving
    • Applying Systems Engineering methods to analyse capability issues and select potential solutions to address the identified capability gap.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Interpret System Engineering Lifecycle in the context of capability
  • Assess the trade-off and legacy issues which affect capability requirements
  • Examine how capability requirements can be interpreted at the programme and project level
  • Consider the purpose of architectures and architecture frameworks in a capability context
  • Apply Systems Engineering methods to allocate capability functional views to physical systems views
  • Assess the implications for acquisition in using a system of systems approach to capability.

Lifecycle Processes Introduction

Aim

    The module recognises how Systems Engineering processes can be used to support acquisition through a generic project and life cycle

Syllabus

    This module provides and overview of how Systems Engineering is applied to the delivery of system products and services in a generic project lifecycle. The main focus is on the early life cycle stages exploring problems, proposing and evaluating solution options and planning for subsequent life cycle stages. Some of the broader issues of delivery, use, acquisition, people, etc are introduced and discussed.

    A defence case study is used across the module, but the module applied a standard Systems Engineering project life cycle approach, not directly mapping to any particular current defence acquisition approach. The relationships to defence acquisition practice are discussed, with reference to how they are covered in other course modules.

    Basic SE Lifecycle Processes 

    • History and evolution of Systems Engineering standards and guides, overview of SE Body of Knowledge (SEBoK)
    • Relationships between life cycle processes and principles of systems thinking e.g. Boundary, Contest, Purpose, Relationship, Scenarios etc.

    Architecture and Requirements

    • Architecture and Requirement definitions (views, viewpoints, frameworks, atomized requirements, levels of specification, measures of effectiveness and performance)
    • Logical Architecture (defining a system of interest); Physical Architecture (top down vs bottom up solutions synthesis); Analysis and Trade-off
    • Nature of Requirements (Stakeholder and System) and the role of Intelligent Customers
    • Anatomy of a Requirement, pitfalls of writing and assessing good requirements, Requirements Management

    Through Life Approaches (basic introductions and discussion)

    • Dependability definitions and topics

    • Integrations, Verifications, Acceptance and Validation

    • Through life planning and life cycle tailoring

    • Relationships to defence acquisition (including individual and team competencies).

Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Discuss the relationship between lifecycle models and processes and key systems principles in the context of a generic project life cycle
  • Evaluate the evolution of Systems Engineering standards and how current standards apply to Defence Acquisition
  • Apply the principles of requirements, architecture and analysis in a project context
  • Explain the issues of integration, verification, acceptance and validation to a project context
  • Evaluate through-life management of Systems Engineering processes, including people and organizational issues, in a complex environment such as Defence Acquisition
  • Create system models to explore a complex problem, describe and bound a selected system-of-interest
  • Propose atomised stakeholder requirements which are consistent with the problem context and can form the basis of validation
  • Create logical and physical architecture views appropriate to different levels of solution detail
  • Propose atomised system requirements which are consistent with the system-of-interest context and can be verified
  • Judge the suitability of different integrations and verification methods in relation to requirements and the lifecycle
  • Criticise the broad range of trade-offs necessary in the analysis of solution options (including issues of dependability and resilience)
  • Evaluate the importance of individual and team competencies in the conduct of Systems Engineering activities.

Lifecycle Processes Advanced

Aim

    The module examines the application of Systems Engineering Processes in detail.

Syllabus

    This module provides further depth on lifecycle processes from the Lifecycle Processes Introductory (LPI) module and expands to look at dependability and the challenges of specialist domains from a lifecycle processes perspective.

    Consideration of Lifecycle Processes for Specialist Domains

    • Define the dependability topics and their interrelationships

    • Discuss when the dependability topics should be considered within a lifecycle

    • Explain the principles of requirements, architecture, integration, verification and validation and trade-offs in the context of the specialist domains

    • Discuss the principles and practices which underpin lifecycle tailoring for specialist domains.

    Problem Solving

    • Applying Lifecycle tailoring and requirement capture to defence example from a specialist domain perspective.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Define the dependability topics and their interrelationships
  • Discuss when the dependability topics should be considered within a lifecycle
  • Explain the principles of requirements, architecture, integration, verification and validation and trade-offs in the context of the specialist domains
  • Discuss the principles and practices which underpin Lifecycle tailoring for specialist domains
  • Choose lifecycle process tailoring appropriate to specialist domains
  • Evaluate trade-offs across the lines of development with awareness of dependability topics
  • Defend the selection of suitable verification and validation methods used throughout a lifecycle
  • Develop a test and evaluation plan for the dependability topic requirements.

Systems Approach to Engineering

Aim

    Given the ever-changing nature of challenges facing defence procurement in the 21st century, this module defines a Systems Approach, introducing Systems Thinking and Systems Engineering, and illustrates their use across the acquisition lifecycle.

Syllabus
    • Admissions Programme: Systems Engineering  professionalism (including competency mapping)
    • Introduction to IT: online access, emails, VLE etc
    • Student Experience: maximising value from study; Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (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: analysing the research question; understanding systematic research processes; approaches to research; reading and 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 definitions; applying concepts to problem types
    • Library Study Skills: introduction to 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; Systems Engineering Technical Processes and their place within the lifecycle; systemic thinking applied to the acquisition lifecycle
    • Lifecycle Modelling Workshop: applying Systems Engineering across an example lifecycle
    • Academic Study Skills (2): undertaking an assignment; preparing for an examination; revision styles; approaching the examination.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Explain personality types through Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Outline the nature of Systems Philosophy
  • Interpret and apply a Systemic Research Process
  • Interpret alternative ways and approaches to considering a problem
  • Differentiate between Systems Concepts
  • Illustrate a suitable approach to assessment/examination
  • Express principles of systems, viewpoints, lifecycles and processes within the context of Systems Engineering
  • Apply the theory of Systems Approach to an appropriate defence example
  • Demonstrate use of correctly referenced literature.

Elective modules
A selection of modules from the following list need to be taken as part of this course

Availability, Reliability, Maintainability and Support Strategy (ARMSS)

Aim

    The aim of this module is to enable the students to understand the principles and application of Availability, Reliability and Maintainability (A,R&M) and to understand the influence and contribution of the strategies adopted for maintenance and logistic support on the mission effectiveness and availability of equipment.

Syllabus
    • The concepts of function, failure, fault and defect in the context of reliability, maintenance, maintainability and availability
    • The relationship between Availability, Reliability and Maintainability (A,R&M) and Systems Engineering
    • Investigate Availability and the constituent parts that management can influence
    • Contracting strategies for Availability including Contractor Logistic Support, Contracting for Availability and for Capability
    • Current and novel measures of reliability and maintainability
    • Combining reliability and maintainability to achieve availability
    • Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) and its contribution to system effectiveness during the design process and subsequently once equipment has entered service
    • Lifecycle reliability using e.g. the ‘bathtub’ curve
    • Estimating system reliability using tools such as Fault Tree Analysis
    • MOD’s methods and procedures for assured delivery of A,R&M
    • Analysing redundancy using tools such as reliability block diagrams
    • A brief introduction to design of maintenance and maintenance strategies – e.g. corrective and preventative maintenance and impacts on A,R&M
    • Maintenance Strategies to provide equipment repair and overhaul and Through-Life Support (TLS)
    • Logistic Support and the Support Chain, including strategies and initiatives to minimise delay
    • The Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) process
    • ILS tools: Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis (FMECA) and Level of Repair Analysis (LORA)
    • Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) and prognostics – the contribution to maintenance and TLS.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the knowledge associated with A,R&M concepts, measurement and strategies, and how these can be applied to real-world systems
  • Identify and appraise relevant A,R&M domain expertise and standards
  • Systematically comprehend the prime influences on Availability
  • Critically examine the maintenance and support strategies that can be applied to defence equipment and their delivery of operational availability at minimum life cycle cost (LCC)
  • Assess the contribution to availability and Through-Life Support (TLS) provided by Integrated Logistic Support, Reliability, Maintainability and Maintenance strategies including Health and Usage Monitoring Systems (HUMS) and Prognostics
  • Expose trade-offs between availability, reliability and maintainability and with other system issues such as safety
  • Critically analyse current, relevant published procedures and guidance for MOD processes and identify to what extent these procedures take a Systems Engineering approach
  • Compare contracting strategies for Availability
  • Critically examine Logistic Support and Through-Life Support (TLS) strategies and initiatives
  • Critically examine a range of Maintenance Strategies
  • Critically examine the Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) process
  • Evaluate Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) and its contribution to system effectiveness during design and in-service operation
  • Evaluate the processes of FMECA and LORA in the ILS process.

Decision Analysis, Modelling and Support (DAMS)

Aim

    The module will provide you with an awareness and understanding of a wide range of modern analytical methods to support and enhance your decision making for complex system engineering problems.

Syllabus

    Dealing with Uncertainty and Risk

    • Pay-off Matrices: Structuring decision problems using a pay-off matrix to represent the value or utility of each option for each possible state of nature.  Analysing the pay-off matrix under conditions of uncertainty and risk; sensitivity/robustness of decisions to the inputs.
    • Decision Trees: Structuring and analysing decision problems using a decision tree to represent sequential decision making under conditions of risk and uncertainty; the application of Bayes' Theorem to update probabilities in the light of new information.  The calculation of the value of perfect and imperfect information.
    • Bayesian Networks and Influence Diagram Decision Networks: These modern tools are examples of probabilistic graphical models which offer a powerful framework for reasoning and decision-making under risk and uncertainty.  Structuring and analysing decision problems using Bayesian networks and decision networks.
    • Game Theory: Application of classical zero-sum game theory and some of its extensions to decision-making under conditions of competition or conflict.
    • Judgement Methods: Elicitation and analysis of individual judgments as part of the decision-making process.  Cognitive biases which affect human judgment, problems of group decision-making.

    Dealing with Conflicting Objectives and Trade-Offs

    • Approaches used in multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA) where several, often conflicting, criteria are important to a decision-maker: structuring and analysing MCDA problems using the Simple Multi-Attribute Rating Technique (SMART), the Analytic Hierarchy Process and the portfolio optimization approach.  The use of scenario planning approaches.

    Practical Exercises 

    • Model building and analysis using decision tree software
    • Model building and analysis using Bayesian network and decision network software
    • Questionnaire-based judgement elicitation exercise
    • Model building and analysis using MCDA software
    • Game theory exercise.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Explain the need for different types of decisions across the system lifecycle
  • Demonstrate how decisions are made under conditions of risk and uncertainty and where conflicting objectives must be dealt with
  • Describe cognitive biases which are relevant to decision making and their effects
  • Construct a range of models to represent decision situations and support decision making
  • Analyse a range of models to represent decision situations and support decision making
  • Organise preferences and trade-offs to arrive at an objective decision.

Human Centric Systems Engineering (HCSE)

Aim

    This course offers a fresh and stimulating evaluation of Systems Engineering approaches that can address and integrate human aspects of systems across the life-cycle.

Syllabus

    The module is structured around a core of group activities, supported by introductory lectures, resources and facilitation. 

    The main themes are: 

    What & Why: Definitions and perspectives on human aspects of systems (including people as systems, as users of systems and as components in systems alongside process and technology in the context of simple to super systems; systems as human enablers and disablers; scope of human factors; performance; safety I & II/resilience; the value drivers for HCSE).

    How: Review of current key approaches, methodologies and best practice to addressing human-system requirements and of the challenges across lifecycles, processes and sectors (including Human Factors Integration (HFI), Human Systems Integration (HSI), Human Centred Design (HCD), Through-life Engineering Services (TES), 'system worthiness' )

    Specifics:

    • The science and application of Human Factors
    • Human Factors Engineering
    • Human Factors and MBSE: Architecting Human Views
    • Human Factors Integration in Defence
    • HFI and the Defence Lines of Development
    • Human Centric analysis (including aspects of soft & hard systems, organisational issues, leadership, accident investigation, learning from experience)
    • Systems Engineering Capability (socio-technical systems)

    The curriculum will include individual and group exercises:

    • Developing Human Centric Context Diagrams
    • Early Human Factors Analysis
    • HFI Planning
    • Human Centric Evaluation of a Case Study (assessed)
    • Debate to explore the cases for and against an aspect of HCSE
    • An online quiz.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

  • Explain the relationship between humans and systems
  • Propose the value of taking a Human Centric Systems Engineering approach
  • Differentiate the range of human issues that are important in a systems context
  • Assess the risks associated with ignoring the human factor
  • Evaluate the difference between Human Factors, Human Factors
  • Engineering, Human Factors Integration, Integrated Logistics
  • Support and Human Centric Systems Engineering
  • Propose appropriate methods and tools for managing Human Factors concerns within Systems Engineering and judge their effectiveness
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of Human Factors Integration and its compatibility with Systems Engineering
  • Judge appropriate methods and tools for managing Human Factors concerns across the Systems Engineering lifecycle
  • Assess and solve a case study from a Human Centric Systems Engineering perspective.

Introduction to Defence Capability

Aim

    The module will review the Department's use of Systems Engineering in its drive to assist the “development and management of military capability ... supporting the 'whole force' which delivers Defence outputs".

Syllabus

    The module will review the latest initiatives in relation to:

    • Defence Policy, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) structure and purpose, Defence Acquisition and Defence Reform
    • The drivers lying behind current and future needs for Defence Capability, exploring the Maritime, Land, Air and Space, and Joint Components
    • Key technologies and the approach by which Defence Capability is enabled
    • Defence Case Studies, including: International Collaborative programmes, and evidence gained from sources such as the National Audit Office (NAO) will be used to offer an insight into common recurring challenges within the Defence environment
    • The Department's use of Systems Engineering will be initially reviewed in the taught phase and further critical analysis of this aspect will be conducted as part of the assignment.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Explain how Defence Capability contributes to UK Defence and Security Policy
  • Describe the organisation of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) and its enterprise practices, in relation to systems development and acquisition
  • Explain how technology contributes to acquiring of Defence Capability and how it is managed
  • Explain the Department’s approach to Systems Engineering in Defence
  • Analyse critically the effectiveness of the Department's organisation and enterprise practices with respect to systems development and the acquisition of Defence Capability
  • Judge the effectiveness of how Defence Acquisition is being executed, in terms of both Systems Thinking and Systems Engineering, and compare with industrial best practice.

Model Based Systems Engineering

Aim

    The module will enable students to evaluate the role of Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) within the defence context and to construct models within the framework of MBSE.  The module will build on the introduction provided by Systems Approach to Engineering (SAE).

Syllabus

    MBSE Theory

    • Value of MBSE

    • Advanced MBSE concepts

    • MBSE Ontology

    • Links to Architectural Frameworks

    • Competencies

    • Processes, Practices & Methods.

    Analysis of Tools & Technology

    • Tool evaluation and selection

    • How to build support for using a tool

    • Tools for system design & simulation.

    Applied MBSE

    • Scenario-based application of MBSE and model building techniques

    • Systems of Systems MBSE

    • Model Based Requirements.

Intended learning outcomes On successful completion the module you will be able to:

  • Explain the principles of MBSE and modelling concepts
  • Explain the MBSE ontology, competencies and processes
  • Asses how MBSE could be appropriately applied to aid system design and integration
  • Explain MBSE application to Systems of Systems problems
  • Describe MBSE from different stakeholders value systems
  • Describe the role MBSE has in through-life system design and development
  • Critically evaluate a number of modelling tools and select the most appropriate for a given application
  • Defend tool selection for MBSE application
  • Construct a coherent systems model using multiple interacting and composite views, using a representative case study.

Simulation and Synthetic Environments

Aim

    The module will develop a critical but broad awareness of the roles, concepts, utility and applications of modelling and simulation in defence Systems Engineering and provide an understanding of how to construct simple models.

Syllabus

    Modelling and Simulation

    • Principles of modelling and simulation
    • Simulation methods and tools
    • Simulation technology
    • Distributed Simulation and Synthetic Environments
    • Validation and Verification of simulations
    • Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) Simulations.

    Modelling and Simulation in Defence Systems Engineering

    • Applications for modelling and simulation from analysis to training
    • Application of modelling and simulation through a system lifecycle.

    Defence Synthetic Environments and Systems Engineering based Acquisition

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion the module you will be able to demonstrate a systematic knowledge of the utility of modelling and simulation on defence systems acquisition. Including:

  • The verification and validation of defence models and simulations
  • The acquisition, operation and evolution of defence models and simulations
  • Hard and soft approaches to modelling
  • Deterministic and stochastic models
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • The role of modelling and simulation in supporting defence decision-making
  • Critically evaluate the current research and applications for defence modelling and simulation throughout a system lifecycle
  • Critically evaluate the advantages and limitation of simulations and synthetic environments in a Systems Engineering approach and in support of Defence Acquisition
  • Explain and apply the general principles of modelling and simulation and to explain the importance of modelling and simulation in supporting defence decision-making
  • Apply the ideas of verification and validation to defence models and explain the issues involved
  • Design simple simulation models using different approaches
  • Explain the technologies of live, constructive and virtual simulation and their defence applications.

System of Systems Engineering

Aim
    Given the ever-changing nature of challenges facing defence procurement in the 21st century, this module aims to explore system-of-systems (SoS) and how their understanding and application can benefit the defence environment.
Syllabus

    Introduction to SOSE

    • Systems vs System of Systems (SoS)
    • SoS Approach
    • SoS Architecture
    • Historical perspective on SOSE.

    Principles of SOSA

    • Generic principles
    • Adapting principles for the Defence Environment
    • International perspectives on SOSA.

    Application of SOSE

    • Mapping SOSA principles to a Situation of Interest
    • Issues workshop
    • Enterprise vs Organisation.

    The Philosophy of Thinking about Systems

    • Rationale behind Approaches to problem solving
    • Types of Problem
    • Types of thinking and their application.

    System-of-Systems Through-Life

    • Managing and Engineering S-o-S across the lifecycle
    • Through-life considerations and issues
    • Applying SOSE process to a worked example.

    SOSE Case Study Workshop

    • Student-led application of SOSE to a real-world case study
    • Evaluation of issues, constraints, threats and opportunities.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Summarise the key principles of SoSA
  • Differentiate key benefits and disadvantages to the implementation of SOSE
  • Consider different approaches to SOSE
  • Critique suitable approaches for SOSE implementation within context
  • Analyse complexities posed by the adoption of SOSE
  • Evaluate impact of SOSE upon Defence Acquisition
  • Develop SoSA principles for application to a representative example.

Thesis Selection Workshop

Aim

    To prepare students for their thesis by explaining the process, rules and regulations and identifying key members of staff.

Syllabus

    The Module runs over a period of one week and comprises a number of lectures, workshops, preparation time and a final presentation that will focus the student towards:

    1. The submission of their Thesis Proposal form 
    2. An end-of-week presentation.

    Introduction to Your Thesis
    The intent of this material is to:

    • Introduce the administration required to complete a Thesis Proposal form
    • Introduce the what, why and how of completing a Thesis.

    Formatting your Thesis
    This session, which is run by staff from the Academic Information Systems Group, will introduce the handling of complex documents in Microsoft Word to enable the write up of the thesis with as few IT problems as possible. This session is highly recommended.

    Study Skills
    The study skills material consists of lectures on how to use the library for research. The intent of the material is to enable the students to:

    • Understand the need to reference and carry out sound research
    • Analyse and store the large amount of data collected during the research process.

    Thesis Pitfalls
    During this discussion session the student will be introduced to the possible pitfalls and issues that could be encountered during the thesis period. These will include: 

    • General errors when writing the thesis
    • Ethics awareness
    • Common mistakes when presenting your thesis to the examiners
    • Common mistakes with communication skills. 
Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this un-assessed module the student will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose of a thesis
  • Discuss the desirable characteristics of self-directed research
  • State the University regulations and procedures which are applicable to their thesis
  • Write a thesis proposal
  • Identify the risks associated with undertaking a thesis
  • Locate information relevant to the creation of a thesis
  • Judge the value of information gathered in the course of research.

Systems Engineering and Software

Aim

    The crucial role software plays in both development processes and systems functionality has made it an ever increasing part of projects involving complex systems.  This makes it important for systems engineers to have knowledge of the relationship between Software Engineering and Systems Engineering, and to understand where they correlate, conflict, and complement each other. This module will provide this understanding by covering central principles, tools and techniques of Software Engineering and placing these in a Systems Engineering context.


Syllabus

    • Software Engineering Principles
    • Software development methodologies and their Systems  Engineering counterpart.
    • Types of Software Systems
    • Relationship between Systems Engineering and Software Engineering

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion the module you will be able to demonstrate a systematic knowledge of the utility of modelling and simulation on defence systems acquisition. Including:

  • Summarize the relationship between Systems Engineering and Software Engineering in terms of processes, levels of abstraction and the role of people
  • Explain central software engineering principles used in the development life-cycle
  • List different types of software systems and describe the differences between them
  • Describe key software development methodologies and compare these to the methodologies of systems engineering
  • Identify the root causes for delays in software intensive projects
  • Summarize system architectures and project development plan for a software-intensive system
  • Analyse the role of Software Engineering in Systems Engineering and identify where they correlate, conflict, and complement each other
  • Critically evaluate how design decisions in Software Engineering and Systems Engineering processes affect each other
  • Design a system architecture and project development plan for a software-intensive system with respect to the type of software system, use of software engineering principles and software development methodologies.

Systems Engineering Workshop

Aim
    The module consolidates and further develops systems skills through the application of Systems Engineering methods to a representative enterprise problem.  Students will plan, design and build real systems, in order to gain practical experience and understanding of the impacts functional design, sub-system integration and through-life choices have on projects.
Syllabus
    • Application of the system engineering principles and methods on a representative problem in a group working scenario
    • This week will comprise aspects across the lifecycle, such as problem scoping, requirements and V&V, system logical and physical design
    • Students will be expected to construct a real system and evaluate the impacts of their analysis and decisions
    • Through-life trade-offs and dependency considerations will drive system design
    • The workshop will culminate in a final demonstration
    • Practice in planning individual contributions and dividing effort amongst the members of a team working on a systems problem.
Intended learning outcomes

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

  • Interpret a systems problem and context
  • Explain the relationship between systems models and constructed system
  • Consider the external impacts upon a system performance and recognise constraints on systems design
  • Defend the selection of methods used to solve problems associated with complex systems
  • Plan a logical systems engineering approach to a given problem and be able to evaluate the selection of methods, tools and processes
  • Apply systems engineering methods and techniques to given problem in order to design and build a real system
  • Demonstrate the ability to work effectively as part of a systems engineering team
  • Critically evaluate the impacts of decisions on the performance and through-life management of a real system.

Networked and Distributed Simulation Exercise

Aim
    The module will allow students who have completed the Networked and Distributed Simulation (NDS) module to design, setup and conduct a basic battlespace Synthetic Environment (SE) exercise employing local- and wide-area network (LAN and WAN) distributed simulation technology.
Syllabus
    • A group project to design, set up and conduct a basic distributed battlespace exercise using both Distributed Interactive Simulation (DIS) and High Level Architecture (HLA) systems.
    • An individual written report on the project including a detailed description of the Synthetic Environment (SE) and the experiments that were conducted, an explanation and analysis of the results obtained and a critical technical appraisal of the project.
Intended learning outcomes On successful completion of the module the student will be able to:

  • Apply the principles of modelling and simulation and the technologies of networked and distributed simulation in the context of a specific project
  • Design, set up and conduct a basic battlespace exercise using a DIS/HLA based synthetic environment
  • Communicate and discuss the results of their experimentation orally and in writing.

Fees and funding

European Union students applying for university places in the 2019 to 2020 academic year will still have access to student funding support. Please see the UK Government’s announcement (24 July 2018).

Cranfield University welcomes applications from students from all over the world for our postgraduate programmes. The Home/EU student fees listed continue to apply to EU students.

MSc Full-time £19,000
MSc Part-time £19,000 *
PgDip Full-time £15,300
PgDip Part-time £15,300 *
PgCert Full-time £7,650
PgCert Part-time £7,650 *
  • * Fees can be paid in full up front, or in equal annual instalments, up to a maximum of two payments per year; first payment on or before registration and the second payment six months after the course start date. Students who complete their course before the initial end date will be invoiced the outstanding fee balance and must pay in full prior to graduation.

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • For self-funded applicants a non-refundable £500 deposit is payable on offer acceptance and will be deducted from your overall tuition fee.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.
MSc Full-time £19,000
MSc Part-time £19,000 *
PgDip Full-time £15,300
PgDip Part-time £15,300 *
PgCert Full-time £7,650
PgCert Part-time £7,650 *
  • * Fees can be paid in full up front, or in equal annual instalments, up to a maximum of two payments per year; first payment on or before registration and the second payment six months after the course start date. Students who complete their course before the initial end date will be invoiced the outstanding fee balance and must pay in full prior to graduation.

Fee notes:

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period agreed at their initial registration.
  • For self-funded applicants a non-refundable £500 deposit is payable on offer acceptance and will be deducted from your overall tuition fee.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • Fee eligibility at the Home/EU rate is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle, EU nationals (including UK) who are ordinarily resident in the EU pay Home/EU tuition fees, all other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

Funding Opportunities

To help students find and secure appropriate funding, we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs. Visit the funding finder.

Under the Apprenticeship Levy scheme employers can fund apprenticeships for any new and current staff with the right to work in the UK and whose main place of work is England. The Systems Engineering for Defence Capability PgDiploma meets the requirements of the Level 7 Systems Engineering Masters Level apprenticeship standard. Eligible organisations will be able to use their Apprenticeship Levy to fund the programme. If you think you could qualify for sponsorship under this scheme please consult the information pages on becoming an Apprentice.

Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia)
Cranfield offers competitive scholarships for Mexican students in conjunction with Conacyt (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia) in science, technology and engineering.

Postgraduate Loan from Student Finance England
A Postgraduate Loan is now available for UK and EU applicants to help you pay for your Master’s course. You can apply for a loan at GOV.UK

Santander MSc Scholarship
The Santander Scholarship at Cranfield University is worth £5,000 towards tuition fees for full-time master's courses. Check the scholarship page to find out if you are from an eligible Santander Universities programme country.

Chevening Scholarships
Chevening Scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year master’s at Cranfield university. The scholarship includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS)
The Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) is a funding programme providing affordable tuition fee and maintenance loans for full-time UK/EU students studying technology-based MSc courses.

Commonwealth Scholarships for Developing Countries
Students from developing countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the UK can apply for a Commonwealth Scholarship which includes tuition fees, travel and monthly stipend for Master’s study.

Future Finance Student Loans
Future Finance offer student loans of up to £40,000 that can cover living costs and tuition fees for all student at Cranfield University.


Funding is available to MoD students. For more information contact MoD Enquiries by calling 01793 314485 (Option 4) or Mil: 96161 4485.

For more information on funding for non-MoD students please contact cdsadmissionsoffice@cranfield.ac.uk.





Entry requirements

A first or second class Honours degree or equivalent in science, engineering or mathematics. Alternatively, a lesser qualification together with appropriate work experience may be acceptable.

English Language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.

Security clearance for Shrivenham

Some Cranfield University courses are delivered at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, Shrivenham which is a Ministry of Defence (MOD) site. All applicants to courses that are wholly or partially delivered at Shrivenham must complete the BPSS (HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard V4 April 2014) prior to registration on the course or must already hold a security clearance to this level or higher.

Please visit our security clearance page for further information.


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.

Applying

Applicants may be invited to attend an interview. Applicants based outside of the UK may be interviewed either by telephone or video conference.

Apply now