UCL Centre for Systems Engineering


Systems Engineering in Practice

Module Director: Mr Ian Raper

Credits: 15

Brief Description

The module is a structured research activity, with the purpose of increasing understanding of how to apply systems engineering concepts and techniques within an industrial context.

The purpose of the module is to:

  • Demonstrate that the taught elements can be applied in the work environment
  • Promote the role of SEM students and graduates as effective agents of practice improvement

There are two options in which the research can be approached, dependent on the study mode. For full-time students, the default option is to complete a group research project, whereas for part-time and modular/flexible students, the default option is an individual research project. These are explained further below.


Those undertaking individual research will use their companies for the assessment of relevance of systems engineering practices. This module enables the students to develop and expand their roles, helping them to make visible and valid contributions to policy, influencing the development of a systems approach within the business. 

Those undertaking the group research will be given an industrial scenario as the basis for developing a practical systems engineering plan. This module provides an opportunity to develop and demonstrate the ability to contribute to the planning of the systems engineering activities of a project.  

Where the student is sponsored by their employer, it provides a means of taking advantage of the investment in the MSc, so that lessons learned can be applied.

Course Outline

Individual Research Option

For each of taught modules, students assess the relevance of the material covered to their organisation through considering the implications of the theory and how that can be applied. They then write a report on that relevance, suggesting how the lessons of the course could improve current practice and reflecting on barriers to implementation. 

Group Research Option

Students will be required to prepare a Systems Engineering Management Plan for an imagined project defined by the tutors. This will draw upon theory from the taught modules in order to create an appropriate and robust plan.

Assessment Details

Assessment is via a 5000-word report and a presentation.