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Systems Thinking and Systems Engineering


To establish key principles and methods of systems thinking to help students address complex problems and needs of Enterprises. This will include identifying stakeholders, capturing and managing requirements and translating these into appropriate solutions. Students will be given an appreciation of whole lifecycle views and approaches, and the major systems engineering management processes essential to deliver successful, complex programmes.


Upon successful completion participants will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate the role of systems thinking and soft systems methodology in complex, multi-stakeholder environments
  • Select and justify appropriate architectural frameworks for product-service and enterprise development scenarios
  • Explain the hierarchy of vision, outcomes, business and system programme goals and apply tools to support the prioritisation of goals and stakeholders
  • Apply the principles of systems engineering to create more effective development, delivery, in-service support and retirement of product-service and enterprise systems
  • Understand and evaluate systems engineering development processes and associated competencies, including needs & requirements capture, requirements management, validation, verification, integration and risk management.
  • Critique developments in systems engineering of relevance to business and industry


  • Systems thinking and systems engineering concepts
  • Soft Systems Method and approach
  • Linking vision, outcomes and goals deployment
  • Prioritising goals, stakeholders and needs
  • Developing and evaluating high level Concept of Operations (Conops)
  • System development lifecycles vs programme lifecycles
  •  Alternative architectural frameworks – pros and cons
  • Systems engineering processes and competencies for successful outcomes
  • Concept of Operations – high level design principles, visualisation and evaluation
  • Systems Engineering developments for future enterprises and product service systems
  • Systems development exercise and assessment
  • Case studies – the good, the bad and the ugly in defence and security systems


4,500-5,000 word individual written assignment (70% weighting), in-module exercise assessment (15%), post-module self-directed group assignment (15% weighting)


1 week in classroom ( 18 hours of lectures, 12 hours of seminars, 12 hours of practical class) plus 2.5 days of facilitated group work

This is a course module on MSc International Technology Management.

Please note: the details of this module are correct for the current year of study and may be subject to change for future years.