Please read our student and staff community guidance on COVID-19
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Systems Thinking & Systems Engineering


To establish key principles and methods of systems thinking to help students assess complex problems and needs of the Malaysian defence and security sector. 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.


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 commercial and defence applications
  • 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 defence and security systems
  • Understand and evaluate systems engineering development processes, including needs & requirements capture, requirements management, validation, verification, integration and risk management.
  • Critique developments in systems engineering of relevance to the defence and security sector


  • Systems thinking and systems engineering concepts
  • 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
  • Soft Systems Method and approach
  • Alternative architectural frameworks – pros and cons
  • Systems engineering processes for successful outcomes
  • Concept of Operations – high level design principles, visualisation and evaluation
  • Systems Engineering developments for future defence and security systems
  • Systems development exercise and assessment
  • Case studies – the good, the bad and the ugly in defence and security systems


4000 words assignment (80% weighting) plus in-module exercise assessment (20% weighting)


1 week; including 18 hours of lectures, 2 hours of seminars and 13 hours of practical class/workshops