UCL Centre for Systems Engineering


Systems Engineering Master's Degree Apprenticeship

UCL has developed a new apprenticeship programme with PA Consulting aligned to the Systems Engineer (Degree) Level 7 apprenticeship standard. 


This programme aims to equip you with an integrated, interdisciplinary view of complex systems and systems engineering. You will gain an understanding of the systems engineering process by undertaking taught modules and research modules leading to an MSc in Systems Engineering. The MSc programme consists of 6 taught modules and 3 research activities. Five of the taught modules are compulsory and you may select one from a list of options.

The apprenticeship also ensures that you will gain direct experience of applying the systems engineering process in real-world situations through significant relevant projects undertaken with your employer. The programme has been designed to map to the existing Systems Engineering Master’s Degree Apprenticeship standard. 

The programme has been specifically designed for the needs of engineering professionals working in the field of complex systems development. The programme encompasses not only the technical tools and approaches needed to build success in this area, but also the management dimension of the relevant processes.

You will be assigned a UCL Personal Tutor and an Employer Mentor. Both of these will support you and monitor your progress throughout the programme. The programme consists of an MSc and a vocational component.

Structure for the MSc component

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits, consisting of 90 credits of ‘taught’ content and 90 credits of ‘research’ content.

Taught modules

The following five compulsory taught modules must be taken (15 credits each):

  • Systems Thinking and Engineering Management
  • Lifecycle Management
  • Systems Design
  • Risk, Reliability, Resilience
  • Business Environment

You must also take one 15-credit optional taught module. For students without significant project management experience, students would be expected to select Project Management as the optional module. Otherwise, any of the modules offered on the UCLse MSc programmes are available as optional modules. 

Research modules

You will take one compulsory reflective report module (15 credits), one compulsory project concept module (15 credits) and a 60-credit major individual research project.

Since this is a flexible mode programme, you will have the option of spreading modules over one-three years and then taking the research modules in the following 1-2 years (five years maximum). A standard cohort-based programme has been designed in which you take the five compulsory modules in year 1, with one optional module plus the two 15-credit research elements in year 2, and the major individual project in year 3.

Structure for the vocational component

The MSc is delivered in parallel to a vocational component undertaken with your employer. 

Learning outcomes

You will develop knowledge skills and behaviours as detailed in the SE apprenticeship standard, in line with the INCOSE new competency framework

Entry criteria

Academic qualifications

Essential: 2:2+ Level qualification in Engineering or related subject (STEM subject – science, technology, engineering or mathematics).

English and maths at Level 2 or above (e.g. GCSE Grade A-C). For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. British Sign Language qualification is an alternative to English qualifications for those whom this is their primary language.


Essential: English Language: UCL Good 


Essential: Current employment in an engineering/technology-focused organisation, and commitment from employer to provide mentoring necessary for the vocational component. This will be managed by having a pre-selection of candidates by the employers (all of whom will be required to meet the UCL academic and language entry requirements).

Applicants without a Level 6 STEM subject qualification will be considered only with significant relevant experience.

Further Information


UCL Centre for Systems Engineering
3 Taviton St, London, WC1H 0BT, UK