UCL Centre for Systems Engineering


Systems Thinking at UCLse

The Systems Thinking Perspective

We spend our lives interacting with all kinds of systems - often complex mixes of technology and people. How can we ensure they perform as effectively as possible? We can start by understanding them better but this is often easier said than done. This is where systems thinking approaches come in.

Instead of looking at the parts of the system each in isolation (a reductionist approach), systems thinking helps us understand the emergent behaviour that arises from the interactions between system elements. Even in a simple system there can be a number of subtle cause-and-effects that we have to manage if we want to change or improve things. Learning about systems thinking means learning about these behavioural properties and characteristics. It gives us a framework to help us make sense of complexity - to analyse the system, understand it better and to make changes that improve its effectiveness.

We have a number of courses running throughout the year that will enable you to develop your understanding of how to apply systems thinking techniques to problem solving. Please click on the course titles below for further information.

Course Title


Next Running

Systems Thinking Workshop 1
10th February 2017
Systems Thinking Workshop 1
7th April 2017
Systems Thinking Workshop 1
9th June 2017
Systems Thinking Workshop 1
4th September 2017
Systems Thinking Workshop 1
27th October 2017
Systems Thinking Workshop 1
11th December 2017

  2018 dates to be announced. In general the course runs four to six times per year.