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Unit information: Introduction to Systems in 2015/16

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Unit name Introduction to Systems
Unit code AENGM0008
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Theo Tryfonas
Open unit status Not open

Professional development content of an accredited engineering degree or equivalent



School/department Department of Aerospace Engineering
Faculty Faculty of Engineering


This unit is the first taught element in the EngD in Systems and introduces the student to the basics of traditional “hard” systems engineering with a product based emphasis. In addition, wider aspects are introduced to highlight that the material is a starting point rather than a complete coverage of Systems Engineering. Students will be of high graduate standard so that although the topic is new to them they will be learning at Masters level.


To provide an introduction to basic systems with a practical bias relevant to the student‟s industrial background.

Intended learning outcomes

To provide an introduction to Systems Engineering and relate it with a practical bias relevant to the student’s industrial background On successful completion of the unit the student will:

  • possess an elementary and mostly qualitative knowledge of systems engineering theory, modelling techniques and industrial conventions and practice;
  • have an increased practical understanding and some experience in implementing the requirements generation and other key lifecycle processes through the workshop, requirements project exercise, and essay on their company’s practices
  • have an awareness of and ability to evaluate a wider range of systems engineering concepts beyond the scope of the unit material, in part thorough the essay assessment
  • have developed skills in writing technical documentation.

Teaching details

Lectures, group workshops, practical sessions

Assessment Details

  • In-class test, administered on-line via the Virtual Learning Environment (10%)
  • Coursework, in the form of an individual essay related to some aspect of the unit’s material and activities (90%, word count ~ 2500)

Reading and References

  • "Systems Engineering and Analysis" by Blanchard and Fabrycky (latest edition),
  • “Introduction to Sytems Engineering” by Sage and Armstrong (latest edition),
  • NASA (2007), Systems Engineering Handbook, NASA/SP-2007-6105 Rev1,

Online:, last accessed 13 March 2011.

  • Systems Engineering Fundamentals. Defense Acquisition University Press, 2001
  • INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook, Version 3.1 (2007)