Online CPD course An Introduction to Systems Thinking

An Introduction to Systems Thinking covers the key theories and principles behind this discipline. This course will discuss and critically evaluate various organisational and engineering systems in a variety of contexts. We will teach you the methods, tools and techniques used for analysing, improving and designing systems. These methods are applicable in all kinds of organisations, including industrial, commercial and in the public sector.

Topics covered in the course

Systems theory, concepts and approaches

  • Connectedness, complexity, hierarchy and emergence
  • Understanding and modelling the concepts of value, variation, time and constraints
  • Hard and soft systems analysis
  • Peter Checkland’s soft systems methodology
  • Viable Systems Model
  • Systems Dynamics

Systems & organisational performance

  • Systems thinking and its impact on personal vision and professional role
  • Deming’s theory of profound knowledge and organisational learning
  • Understanding and managing complexity
  • Leadership in a systems environment
  • Seddon’s systems thinking concepts
  • Purpose Measure Method
  • ‘Design’ in a systems environment

Practical application of Systems Thinking

  • Industrial case study
  • Public sector case study
  • Service sector case study


We would recommend that this online course provides 4 weeks of learning material, at 10 hours a week.

The benefit of online learning is you can progress through the educational material at your own pace, and complete the course quicker or slower than the average 4 weeks. You will also gain access to the course material for a full year, so that you can refer back to your notes or material after completing the course.

With long-standing research expertise and proven industry experience from the Department of Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management, the course is available to students to start flexibly throughout the year.


The course costs £250.

This course fee includes access to MyPlace our online learning platform, the course material for one year and a digital certificate of completion if you pass the final course test.

Who should attend

This course is for anyone who wants to develop an introductory understanding of Systems Thinking and the tools and techniques to apply it. Anyone from public or private organisations who might want to better react to the fast-changing nature of their organisation can benefit from this course. If you’re looking to better improve the processes within your team or company, this course can help. It is particularly suited to professionals looking for personal development opportunities, to upskill or further develop themselves towards the next promotion.

There are no entry requirements for this course.


If you complete the course by passing the final test, you will gain a digital certification of completion from a recognised university, adding to your CV and gaining competitive edge.

Online learning

This CPD course in Systems Thinking is delivered entirely online, using MyPlace (Moodle) as the delivery vehicle. The course itself comprises of videos, articles, polls, discussions, tutorials, quizzes, activities which mirror the learning objectives of the residential course. 

Online education has numerous benefits, for instance, many students can’t make enough time for on-campus courses due to their full-time work schedules, family, and other personal responsibilities. Due to the nature of this course there will be no day to day support instead students will have the flexibility to work at their own pace. Online delivery offers the flexibility increasingly required by professionals in the field.

Choosing us as your CPD training provider

We are a leading provider of CPD training in Scotland.  Our programmes are delivered by University of Strathclyde staff equipped with in-depth research knowledge and years of practical industrial experience in the field.

Our training is built on solid academic foundations of what makes a difference. Participants on our courses will be awarded a digital Certificate of Performance in Introduction to Systems Thinking from the University of Strathclyde.

Our faculties & departments