School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Postgraduate taught

man using a laptop

Systems Engineering Essentials distance learning

As systems become increasingly complex, engineers can need additional skills to manage this increasing complexity in their products and organisations. To meet this demand for new skills, Loughborough University have developed a new online, distance learning course - Systems Engineering Essentials - so engineers can gain these new skills from the comfort of their own home or office.

Systems Engineering Essentials is a brand new way to gain an awareness of ‘systems thinking’ for engineers to use in their organisations. The awareness in this context is that defined by the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) competencies framework.

Systems Engineering Essentials is unique in that all the materials are available online and the lectures have been designed specifically to fit around busy schedules negating the need for lengthy training courses. The course also provides 15 credits at Masters level, so those with a taste for further learning can progress on to the Systems Engineering MSc. Systems Engineering Essentials is not a solitary experience however, as online group projects and activities have been designed to develop the acquired skills as well as build networks.

Features include:

  • Delivered by experienced systems engineering professionals
  • Online lectures designed to fit into busy schedules
  • Timetabled online tutorials
  • Discuss your progress with other students and academic staff
  • Course Content
1 What is a System? Introducing Systems Engineering with topics such as The role of a systems engineer, Examples of Systems Failures, Systems Topology
2 Systems Concepts – Lifecycles Introducing concepts such as The Development Lifecycle, Lifecycle Identification and Planning and, The Systems and Software Engineering Lifecycle Standard (ISO/IEC 15288)
3 Requirements Management Introducing Stakeholder Identification and Management, Functional and Non-Functional Requirements and Quality Function Deployment (QFD).
4 Systems Design Introducing Functional Analysis and Concept Generation.
5 Systems Architectures Introducing Architectural Design, Design Integrity and Modelling and Simulation.
6 Organisational Aspects Introducing Governance and Enterprise.
7 Systems Design 2 Introducing Selecting Preferred Solution, Trade-Off and Through Life Management.
8 System Realisation Introducing Systems Integration, Transition to Operation and Validation
9 Consolidation Introducing MDAL (Major Data & Assumptions List) and SEMP (Systems Engineering Management Plan).

Benefits to Engineers

As a short course delegate, you may attend a module purely for your knowledge and skills needs, but if you would like to work towards a Postgraduate qualification, you may elect to take the appropriate assessment as a temporary student.

In order to get the most from our courses, you need to be a science or engineering graduate, or equivalent who is working in a relevant industry.

Benefits include:

  • Enhanced professional competency
  • Designed to fit into busy schedules
  • Part fulfilment of a post-graduate award
  • Continuing Professional Development
  • Networking opportunities
  • Stay competitive

Benefits to Employers

This course are advantageous to employers because:

  • it provides access to university facilities and expertise
  • it initiates improvements in business / individual knowledge and skills
  • employees can fit study into normal working schedules.
  • the course is linked to a Postgraduate qualification

The course is 15 weeks.

Depending on experience and ability, a very general guide is that a 15 credit course requires approximately 150 hours of effort.

The course is made up of short lectures and both individual and group exercises, both assessed and unassessed. The lectures are pre-recorded so can be viewed whenever via a personal computer or other devices.

There are a number of live online tutorials throughout the course; these take place between 6pm and 7pm on dates announced at the beginning of the course. The tutorials are not compulsory but do give the opportunity to ‘talk’ with the lecturers. Tutorials can be accessed via a personal computer and other mobile devices.

The next start date is scheduled for 1 October 2018.   The final deadline for booking will be 3 September 2018.

Course Fee - to be confirmed.

There are two ways to pay:

Book online with a credit/debit card


Payments by invoice are also accepted on receipt of a purchase order number. Please contact the Course Manager to make arrangement for payment by invoice. Suitability of the candidates undergraduate qualification should be confirmed by the Course Manager prior to issuing a purchase order.


In the event of cancellation by the delegate, an administration fee of £250.00 for each student place is levied. Cancellations must be received at least 10 working days prior to the start of the course. We regret that no refund of course fees can be made for cancellations received after this date.

To apply for a refund you must inform us, in writing, and provide written evidence of the original payment as refunds will only be paid to the account from where it originated.

In the event that you are unable to attend the course, you may send a substitute in your place. Please inform us of this as soon as possible and before the commencement of the course.

The University also reserves the right to make reasonable alterations to the content of the course. In the event of cancellation by the University, fees will be refunded in full. It does not accept liability for costs incurred by delegates or their organisations for cancellation of travel arrangements and/or accommodation.