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This Postgraduate Certificate has been designed for engineering professionals who are interested in developing their careers into systems engineering or project management roles in the defence and security domains.

About this degree

Students will develop a powerful set of skills and knowledge about defence and security systems and gain awareness and understanding of the economic and organisational context within which defence and security systems are developed, including the limitations these can impose. Depending on the modules chosen, students may focus more on business, project management, reliability or design aspects.

Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits.

The programme consists of four taught modules of 15 credits each.

Compulsory modules

Students must take Defence and Security Systems (15 credits) and either three from the list below or two from the list below and one optional module.

  • Business Environment
  • Lifecycle Management
  • Risk, Reliability and Resilience
  • Systems Thinking and Engineering Management

Optional modules

  • Delivering Complex Projects
  • Project Management (leading to Association for Project Management examination)
  • Systems Design
  • Technology Strategy

Teaching and learning

The programme consists of four taught modules, each of which is delivered as a five-day block week consisting of a blend of interactive lectures, small-group exercises and presentations, case studies and workshop activity. Formative feedback is given to students throughout the modules. Modules are formally assessed through coursework to be completed a few weeks after the module, and for some modules there is also a short test or a 1.5 hour written examination.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Students who have studied this subject have found employment in defence, aerospace, rail, construction, cybersecurity, engineering, IT, management consultancy and many other areas.


Systems engineering is a highly sought-after expertise, particularly in engineering and technology-based organisations.

The programme's industrial advisory board ensures that the subjects students learn about cover the key issues faced by industry.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The programme combines interactive lectures, group exercises and case studies to reinforce key points. Lecturers are experts in the field, many of whom have engaged in the practice of systems engineering in industry, and all of whom oversee research across a broad range of subjects relating to systems engineering, project management and technology management.

Students with this degree will gain the skills, knowledge and confidence to further their careers. They will be able to build their professional contacts with like-minded individuals from different organisations.

On successful completion of the 60-credit programme, students may choose to apply to transfer their credit towards a 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma or a 180-credit MSc in Systems Engineering Management.


The MSc in Systems Engineering Management (which students may choose to go on to study on successful completion of this Postgraduate Certificate) is accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Department: Space & Climate Physics


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at:

Who can apply?

The programme caters both for:

  • individuals who already work in systems engineering or project management roles and want to refresh their knowledge
  • individuals who are interested in developing their careers from specialist roles into systems engineering or project management roles.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Defence Systems Engineering at graduate level?
  • why you want to study Defence Systems Engineering at UCL?
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how do your academic and professional background and skills meet the demands of this challenging programme?
  • what programming experience you have
  • where would you like to go professionally with your degree?

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver. Applicants who have a portfolio are strongly recommended to submit it when they apply.

Visit the Defence Systems Engineering PG Cert page on the University College London website for more details!