Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Systems Engineering Concepts
Academic Year
Semester 1
Mutually Exclusive

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written Exam  100%
Supplementary Assessment 2 Hours   Written Exam  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Display an understanding of the processes and tools required throughout the engineered system lifecycle.

Be able to decompose a product requirement, investigate alternative designs and analyze their characteristics using a variety of systems engineering techniques.

Have an appreciation of the interaction and tradeoff between software and hardware elements of a (mechatronic) system.

Be able to display an appreciation of the characteristics of traditional and novel approaches to systems control afforded by the presence of software.

Brief description

System engineering is a creative but rigorous and analytical discovery process and this module will consider the processes and tools required throughout the product lifecycle with particular emphasis on software controlled mechatronic systems. The module will consider the 7 steps in the INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering) SIMILAR process: State the problem, Investigate alternatives, Model the system, Integrate, Launch the system, Assess performance, and Re-evaluate. Within these aspects the module will include cross domain modelling and analysis techniques aimed at the development of systems that contain significant software elements. The module will address non-functional requirements including safety, quality and complexity.


The aim of this module is to focus on the wider systems engineering process and techniques for systems that include software and control aspects. It introduces methodologies for the system design lifecycle and maintenance from the viewpoint of the many different stakeholders, technologies and competing demands.
The module is open to student without specific prerequisites.


1. The Systems Engineering Process Overview (INCOSE)
a. Quality management systems and standards.
b. Process and management tools; Managing product and project complexity .

2. The product life cycle
a. Requirements engineering:
Functional decomposition/reasoning, functional flow diagrams, process charts, design synthesis, decomposition and COTS components.
Value Analysis including tear-down, trade studies.
b. Modelling and simulation overview.
c. Reliability and maintainability.
d. Diagnosis, Diagnosability, Prognosis.
On-board and workshop requirements; Sensing and observation cost and complexity trade-offs; Model based and other approaches.
e. System integration, security and performance analysis.

3. Software at the heart of the system overview.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Inherent to the subject.
Communication Written technical communication important aspect.
Improving own Learning and Performance Some independent study expected.
Information Technology Inherent to the subject.
Personal Development and Career planning Some elements directly impact employability.
Problem solving Inherent part of design and analysis.
Research skills Information literacy central to the subject.
Subject Specific Skills Inherent as part of learning outcome 2.
Team work Important to understand team operation in systems engineering..


This module is at CQFW Level 6