In the first half of the module, students are given an introduction to: the systems engineering process and how it can be applied to a variety of real world situations; the management skills necessary to facilitate the development of complex systems on time and within budget; how to recognise and manage risk and uncertainty. The key issues are examined for various strategies for implementation of sub-modules - analogue hardware, digital hardware, mechanical hardware, software. Limitations and imperfections of each approach, and sources of instability and catastrophic failure are considered. Method of design and modelling system elements and their interaction are considered.
In the second half of the module, students carry out a major group assignment that utilises the systems engineering approach to the design of a complete product.