*Applications are now open for the September 2023 cohort.

The ever changing external climate we now find ourselves in has changed how organisations work and their decision making process. Systems Thinking has become critical to success; organisations need to focus on their systems and the need for adaptability and resilience like never before. This course will help you develop your knowledge and application of systems thinking to support organisational viability and the development of appropriate governance and decision making processes for organisations.


  • Start dateSeptember 2023
  • DurationMSc: Up to three years part-time; PgDip: Up to two years part-time; PgCert: Up to one year part-time
  • DeliveryCoursework, written examinations, oral examinations, portfolio and, for the MSc only, an individual thesis.
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip, PgCert
  • Study typePart-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is it for?

The Systems Thinking Practice MSc aims to enhance the knowledge and understanding of those in positions in their mid-career decision-making roles or part of strategy development. 

The broad purpose of the Systems Thinking Practitioner occupation is to support decision-makers in strategic and leadership roles to understand and address complex and sometimes even ‘multi-layered’ problems through provision of expert systemic analysis.

Course details

Our education philosophy is led by the basic principles of:

  • Practice- and research-led teaching through a course team that are active practitioners and researchers;
  • Technology-enhanced learning to maximise student engagement and available time in order to maximise the student experience;
  • Learning through a mixture of formative and summative feedback and assessment using a variety of methods.

The course is taught through a blend of on-site and remote methods. Three modules are taught as residential modules, combining face-to-face lecturing, workshops and group work. Two modules begin with a short residential period, and then continue to completion in the workplace. Four of the core modules are taught through our learning portal providing flexibility to the student. Two modules begin on-site, but are then completed through practice in the workplace, with remote mentoring by Cranfield academic staff.

Full use will be made of blended learning, combining distance learning material via the VLE with online and onsite workshops. A wide variety of remote learning methods and materials will be used across the course. This is structured around a core of online lecture material and supporting text, with additional multimedia methods employed to maximise student learning time and approaches. This may include audio podcasts and audio-visual multimedia-based resources.

Course delivery

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


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, including:

Your career

The primary opportunity for graduates is to complete their studies and continue upwards on their career within their current organisation, and have a much greater awareness and expertise in Systems Thinking. The course also aims to ensure that graduates are better prepared to tackle the current and emerging demands of the increasingly complex demands of the world we live and in.

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.