MSc Systems Engineering Management

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Study mode and duration: MSc: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Study with us


  • gain skills to manage the complexity within systems engineering programmes and projects.
  • understand the interconnected nature of decision making through the life of engineering to order products.
  • learn and apply a systems-thinking approach to transform the management of people, process, information and technology.
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Why this course?

The management of large complex systems engineering projects demands a unique set of skills that are not taught within conventional engineering or business management programmes.

The aim of our MSc in Systems Engineering Management programme is to develop systems engineering management capability by creating graduates who understand the complexities of the management situations they face, and who can apply systems thinking approaches and techniques to address the challenge of managing the complexity between the technical system being developed and the people and organisations that are responsible.

You'll focus on engineered systems, however, many of the skills and techniques you'll acquire are equally applicable to other complex systems such as manufacturing and organisations.

The programme is based within the Department of Design, Manufacturing & Engineering Management, the only department in the UK combining end-to-end expertise from creative design, through engineering design, manufacture and management of the entire system.

We work in partnership with global companies who have extensive systems engineering expertise. This ensures our teaching is based on the latest research and the skills you gain are cutting edge and relevant. It also enables us to incorporate practical challenges and solutions through your project work with an industrial partner.

Woman standing on top of a balcony in a factory holding a touchpad.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

Through compulsory classes and a choice of two options, you'll develop a unique set of skills to help you manage systems engineering projects. You'll also undertake a group project set by an industrial client. In addition, students complete an individual project and submit a dissertation.

On the programme, you'll gain skills in:

  • systems decomposition and integration
  • management of complexity and uncertainty within engineering, business and socio-technical systems
  • processes for managing the lifecycle of systems
  • verification and validation

This course is ideal for:

  • project managers who need to develop their skills to address the challenges of large systems engineering projects
  • recent graduates from any engineering discipline, either employed within or interested in systems engineering industries, looking to develop their skills to enhance their career
  • staff and graduates who'd like to move into leading-edge systems engineering research or consultancy careers

Industrial experience

You'll undertake an industrial group project and an individual project. These will help you to develop and apply your skills as a systems engineering manager.

The industrial group project provides the opportunity to work as part of a team. You'll develop your people, project management and leadership skills. You'll do this by applying systems engineering management principles to address a practical problem for an industrial client, gaining direct industry experience. These projects work in conjunction with major organisations who face challenges with the management of major systems engineering projects and have a demand for the skills gained from this course.

For the group project, you'll work with fellow students and an industrial client to address a practical problem. You'll gain direct industry experience to add to your CV, develop skills, manage a project through to completion and practice working in a multidisciplinary group, preparing you for collaborative work throughout your future career.

Take a look at our Industrial Group Project video

Who we work with

We work with around 50 organisations per year and previous students have worked with organisations such as:

  • Alexander Dennis
  • Atkins
  • Babcock
  • BAE Systems Air Systems
  • BAE Systems Maritime
  • Ballard Motive Solutions
  • Jacobs
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Spirit AeroSystems (Europe), Inc
  • Terex Trucks
  • Thales

Teaching Staff

You'll learn from leading experts in the field of systems engineering management. All our staff have great experience working with major systems development and operation organisations. Staff include:

Dr Whitfield is an internationally recognised expert in collaboration within large engineering projects, knowledge and information management through life, and modular systems design.

Dr Andrews is recognised for his considerable industrial experience in applying systems thinking and lean for the improvement of manufacturing systems operations

Professor Mehnen is a leading expert in Industry 4.0 technology, Internet of Things and Through-Life Engineering as well as Cloud Manufacturing.

Dr Vuletic has worked with systems engineering industry investigating the use of model based systems engineering and architecting within early design phases.

Dr Wong is head of the Engineering Management research group and an expert in quality management, capability management, and supply chain management.


As a Masters student in Department, you'll also have access to a private postgraduate student community area, including collaboration work areas, computer suites and social areas, as well as a kitchen. Find out more about our facilities.

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Course content

Strategic Technology Management

This module provides a series of strategic frameworks for managing high-technology businesses.

The module emphasises the development and application of conceptual models which clarify the relationships between a firm's strategy, technological and market change patterns and processes for the development of organizational capabilities.

This module is not about how to manage product or process development. The main focus of this module is on acquiring a set of powerful analytical tools, which are critical for developing a technology strategy as an integral part of business strategy. These tools can provide a guiding framework for deciding which technologies to invest in, how to structure those investments and how to anticipate and respond to the behaviour of competitors, suppliers, and customers. The module should be of particular interest to those interested in managing a business for which technology is likely to play a major role, and those interested in consulting or venture capital.

The module utilizes lectures, case analyses and independent reading. The readings are drawn from research in strategy, technological change and organizational theory. The case studies provide an extensive opportunity to integrate and apply these abstract tools in a practical, business policy and Industry 4.0 context.

Systems Thinking & Modelling (10 credits)

This module aims to introduce students to the theories and principles of Systems Thinking. The module also introduces the methods, tools and techniques for modelling, analysing, improving and designing systems in a variety of organisations including industrial, commercial and public sector.

The module covers: Systems theory, concepts and approaches; Hard and soft systems analysis and systems dynamics; Systems and organisational performance – including leadership in a systems environment and ‘design’ in a systems environment and Practical application of Systems Thinking.

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  • show clearer understanding and knowledge of hard and soft approaches and how they can be used to deal with complexity and system behaviour in a business context
  • develop understanding of fundamental cybernetic principles that form the foundations of Checkland’s Soft System Methodology and Beer’s Viable System Model
  • develop knowledge and skills in systems analysis and business process modelling
  • critically evaluate the most appropriate methodology to model, analyse and design engineering/business systems across a range of organisations
  • demonstrate an understanding of how to model a business system and to develop a solution to solve a business system problem
  • develop an awareness of the importance of system approaches in management interventions

Assessment and feedback is in the form of a group presentation and one coursework in the form of a reflective diary.

Engineering Risk Management (10 credits)

This module aims to introduce the basic principles and techniques of engineering risk management and demonstrates the appropriate application of this knowledge within an engineering context.

The module covers: Risk definitions and basic risks in engineering; Risk management processes; Reliability - achieving reliability; Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety (RAMS) cycle; failure rate; Mean Time Between Failure; Mean Time to Fail; Mean Life; failure stages within bathtub distribution; downtime; repair time and availability; Risk classification - failure rate; severity and detection; As Low As Reasonably Practicable (ALARP); Risk identification - Failure Modes and Affects Analysis; Hazard and Operability Study; Fault and Event Tree Analysis; Risk-based decision making – uncertainty, decision trees, Pareto optimality, Analytic Hierarchy Process and Risk legislation and litigation in engineering.

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate awareness of and ability to make general evaluations of risk issues in the context of the particular specialisation, including health & safety, environmental and commercial risk
  • Demonstrate awareness of relevant regulatory requirements governing engineering activities
  • Demonstrate ability to work with information that may be incomplete or uncertain, quantify the effect of this on the design and, where appropriate, use theory or experimental research to mitigate deficiencies

Assessment and feedback is in the form of a group coursework to show understanding of the risk management process in practice (100% for group contribution and submission of main reports).

Systems Architectures and Design (10 credits)

This module aims to develop an understanding of the principles of complexity and the systems architecting process to allow application to a wide range of engineering, business and socio-technical systems.

The module covers: Understanding types of systems and their requirements: engineering systems; business systems; socio-technical systems; System architecting process; Architecting using different perspectives: enterprise; operational; systems; logical; physical; decision; The lifecycle perspective; Optimising the solution; Applying architecting in practice.

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how complicatedness, complexity, uncertainty are related to systems
  • Describe how systems can be adapted in order to make them adaptable, resilient, agile and sustainable
  • Demonstrate the use of a structured approach in order to create enterprise, operational, systems, logical, physical and decision architectures
  • Apply optimisation techniques to improve relevant aspects of the system’s performance
  • Use appropriate research techniques in order to demonstrate integration between the system perspectives
  • Demonstrate that good research practice has been adopted in investigating, modelling and documenting the architecting of an engineering, business or socio-technical system

Assessment and feedback is in the form of coursework (100%), there is no exam

You'll learn about the principles of complexity and the systems-architecting process which can be applied to a wide range of engineering, business and socio-technical systems.

People, Organisation and Technology (10 credits)

This module aims to introduce students to the “softer” aspects of engineering management. Given some key organisational and technological issues, the main focus is to examine the relationship between “human” elements and change management from an engineering-oriented perspective.

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Discuss key issues in organisation and technology by critically defining and discussing key characteristics of an organisation and evaluating the impact of technology on the workplace of the future
  • Understand modern people management concepts and practices by evaluating leadership and motivation techniques using analytical approaches and will demonstrate critical understanding of the role of people in a modern organisation
  • Identify the challenges and consequences of change, including defining and discussing the skills required to handle organisational change and the drivers and obstacles towards organisational change
  • Understand the impact of organisational and technological issues on people when managing changes. This includes identifying drivers and obstacles from organisational, technological and human perspectives using analytical methods as well as creating strategies to help implement changes

Assessment and feedback is given in the form of:

  • Group presentations and a group report
  • An individual essay

Systems Engineering Concepts (10 credits)

This module will enable participants to understand the principles and techniques of Systems Engineering.  Participants will learn how to apply systems engineering techniques in engineering contexts, taking into account a range of regulatory requirements as well as commercial and industrial constraints.

Design Management (10 credits)

The module will teach the following:

  • background and design for competitiveness and sustainability
  • integrated Product Development, and different approaches and aspects to design development including concurrent engineering, team engineering, product management, design management, distributed design, and decision support
  • the design activity, methods and process models including the role of the market, specification, conceptual and detailed design
  • basic team and management structures (organisation)
  • key issues related to design complexities (e.g. relating to the people, processes, resources, product, key considerations, knowledge and information, decision making) and the key aspects of design co-ordination 
  • design performance and innovation


Postgraduate Group Project (40 credits)

This module aims for students to integrate and apply design, manufacturing and engineering management knowledge and skills to an industry based product and process development project and to develop project management skills.

The module consists of a team-based industrial project where an outline project brief is set by an industrial client. The team is expected to manage all aspects of the project through to a finished solution. This can be a product, system or process depending on the nature of the project. Teams meet with academic staff and industrial clients regularly through the project.

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Have in-depth understanding and knowledge of products and management practices in industry
  • Critically review and evaluate products and management practices of the particular company and the business impact of proposed solution
  • Demonstrate knowledge and ability in applying and using various analysis and modelling tools and techniques
  • Demonstrate project planning and management, presentation, consulting and team working skills
  • Plan, control and lead an industrial project from inception to completion.
  • Evidence achieving deliverables which meet the client company requirements.

Assessment and feedback includes a project report, a presentation to the client and any other deliverables specified in the project brief.

Postgraduate Individual Project (60 credits)

The aim of the individual project is to allow students to combine the skills learned in other modules of the course and apply them within a significant project in a specific area of design, manufacture, or engineering management. This will be achieved through students carrying out work into a particular topic relating to their course and preparing a dissertation that documents the project.

On completion of the module the student is expected to be able to:

  • Define a valid project in a cutting-edge field of study relevant to the student’s degree – with an appropriate methodology and work plan for the project
  • Plan, manage and complete project, involving where appropriate technical analysis and independent critical thinking. This involves giving a thorough, logical and critical review of the subject matter; using appropriate tools, processes and levels of analysis in the project and applying project management techniques to manage a successful project
  • Document their project using suitable presentation techniques (such as language, figures, writing, layout, structure etc.); showing clear evidence of the value of the project and its outcomes and describing the project with clarity

Based on the work of a project, a student will submit an individual dissertation that will account for 90% of the final mark for the class. An interim project justification report will account for the remaining 10% of the mark.

Choose at least two from this list

Product Modelling and Visualisation (10 credits)

You'll be introduced to the concepts of multi-perspective product modelling and techniques used to visualise products before they are fully designed and manufactured.

Strategic Supply Chain Management (10 credits)

This module aims to introduce the fundamental techniques of risk management, risk-informed decision making and the general principles of risk analysis and its place in risk management, as well as the chance to develop skills in applying these methods to a variety of engineering examples.

The module covers: modelling approaches and methods used by industry currently to manage risk; tools and techniques that are gaining popularity in industry but are not widespread; the basic principles of uncertainty and consequence modelling and the tools and techniques required to apply these principles and Industry standard processes and software tools.

At the end of this module students will be able to:

  • understand theory that underpins standard approaches to elicitation of expert judgment
  • understand basic theory of fault and event tree modelling
  • understand the standard approaches to modelling dependency between random variables
  • develop the ability to assess the robustness of a risk model
  • understand the standard methods used in ALARP decision-making
  • appreciate the consequences of choosing specific measures for risk

Assessment and feedback is in the form of 40% individual work and 60% group work.

Design Methods (10 credits)

You'll gain a structured introduction to the design management process, issues and tools.

Knowledge and Information Management for Engineers (10 credits)

You'll develop the skills to design develop and implement knowledge and information management systems.

Sustainable Product Design and Manufacture

You'll develop the skills to address global challenges in sustainable product development and the study of environmental legislation.

Design for Industry 4 and Smart Products

The aim of this module is to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the key concepts for the Design for Industry 4 and Smart Products, current practices, tools and processes, and possible future development routes.

Business Simulation Methods (10 credits)

This class introduces two main forms of business simulation: discrete-event simulation and system dynamics (a continuous simulation technique).

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Normally a first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant engineering, technology, science or business-related discipline.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, please visit our English language requirements page for full details of the requirements in place before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde.

Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

Please note: Previous Maths & English qualifications and your undergraduate degree must meet GTCS minimum entry requirements as well as the pre-Masters course and an interview will be conducted before an offer can be made.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Fees & funding

The fees quoted below are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

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England, Wales & Northern Ireland





Part-time, campus-based courses are typically completed over two years and are available for Scotland/EU and Rest of UK students. Fees are normally charged per year at 50% of the published full-time fee. Fees for students studying over a longer period will be appropriately adjusted.

Please note, students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may be subject to increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

For more information on whether a part-time course could suit your needs please email

Additional costs

Course materials

Those on design courses or selecting design based optional modules will need to purchase materials, tools and printing of up to £50. There are two taught modules which explicitly require students to obtain their own design materials and tools, although if doing both, the same tools can be used across both.

Other costs

  • model making – basic costs (up to £50) are covered by department for individual design project classes; further costs to be met by students
  • individual project report/folio printing – £50
  • poster printing – up to £50
  • joint MSc programmes with compulsory mobility require students to purchase visa and travel for Germany – up to £300

Visa & immigration:

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: The fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Faculty of Engineering International Scholarships

If you're an international applicant applying for a full-time, on-campus postgraduate taught course in the Faculty of Engineering, you'll be eligible to apply for a scholarship award equivalent to a 15% reduction of your fees, which will typically be up to £4,240. In addition to this, we also have a limited number of Dean’s International Excellence Awards for our postgraduate taught applicants. These scholarships are worth £5,000 and £8,000 and will be offered to exceptional applicants at postgraduate taught level only. Applicants need to only submit one application and will be considered for all levels of postgraduate taught scholarships.

Scholarships are available for applicants to all self-funded, new international (non-EU) fee-paying students holding an offer of study for a full-time, on-campus postgraduate taught course in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.

Please note you must have an offer of study for a full-time course at Strathclyde before applying. You must start your full-time postgraduate taught course at Strathclyde in the coming academic year (2024-25), this can be in September 2024 or January 2025.

The deadline for applications for the Dean’s International Excellence Award is 28 June 2024. 

Faculty of Engineering Scholarships for International Students
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Engineering management blends engineering principles and manufacturing technologies with project management and business, while systems engineering considers the combination of complex interrelated systems, as well as the human factors, that make up modern engineering projects.

Industries that lead the development of aerospace, automotive, civil and construction, defence, electronics, infrastructure, and power generation projects have identified that systems engineering management skills are the scarcest in the sector and are a rare commodity in today’s recruitment environment.

Example graduate job titles include:

  • Systems Engineering Manager
  • Systems Engineer
  • Control Systems Engineer

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

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During the application process, you're required to upload the following supporting documents. If these are not provided, we'll not be able to process your application:

  • certified individual semester mark sheets/academic transcript showing subjects taken and grades achieved for all qualifications
    • if still studying, provide individual semester mark sheets to date
  • certified degree certificate for all qualifications
    • if still studying, provide this after completing the qualification
  • provide evidence of suitable English language proficiency if English is not your first language, or you're not from a “UKVI recognised "Majority English Speaking" country”; check the University’s language requirements
  • if you have been out of full-time education for over two years, provide a CV, detailing employment history, organisations worked for and a brief description of roles and responsibilities
  • a copy of your passport containing your photo and passport number
  • a copy of your sponsor letter/scholarship award (if appropriate) 
  • names, job titles and email addresses for two nominated referees

Start date: Sep 2024

Systems Engineering Management

Start date: Sep 2024

Start date: Sep 2024

Systems Engineering Management

Start date: Sep 2024

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Contact us

Faculty of Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5484