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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Introduction to Systems Engineering by UNSW Sydney (The University of New South Wales)

695 ratings

About the Course

"Introduction to Systems Engineering" uses a structured yet flexible approach to provide a holistic, solid foundation to the successful development of complicated systems. The course takes you step by step through the system life cycle, from design to development, production and management. You will learn how the different components of a system interrelate, and how each contributes to a project’s goals and success. The discipline’s terminology, which can so often confuse the newcomer, is presented in an easily digestible form. Weekly video lectures introduce and synthesise key concepts, which are then reinforced with quizzes and practical exercises to help you measure your learning. This course welcomes anyone who wants to find out how complex systems can be developed and implemented successfully. It is relevant to anyone in project management, engineering, QA, logistic support, operations, management, maintenance and other work areas. No specific background is required, and we welcome learners with all levels of interest and experience....

Top reviews


Oct 17, 2020

Thank You!

This course has been extremely helpful for me to develop an understanding of systems engineering so that I can facilitate application of SE to a new technology my company is developing.


Nov 19, 2021

Excellent course! Provides good initiation to system engineering. I enjoyed the practical examples to explain some of the concepts. Course is recommended for those looking after system engineering.

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1 - 25 of 287 Reviews for Introduction to Systems Engineering

By Joan V

Feb 14, 2020

It is OK to learn the terminology and get some references, but it does not go beyond a general "beware, everything affects everything, lack of proper planning may result in project failure". Quizzes focus on details of the author's definitions of SE concepts; assignments revolve around a dwelling and are too simplistic to be of interest (except for a study case on a real building and a task on requirement templates that forces you to review some standards); grading is poorly conceived (4 vague questions, and you need 80% to pass, which means 4/4, and peer reviewers don't seem to realize it, which leads to tedious resubmissions). I needed to quickly ramp up on SE for professional needs, so it was not a total waste of time, but I believe that the authors, who you can feel are subject experts, could have put together something much more enriching and effective. Not to mention the permanent sponsored content on their book and MSc program...once is nice, twice is acceptable, more is spam.

By tolga h

May 15, 2019

very broad, not deep. not deep enough for engineers with a little work experience.

ideal for undergrad. students. negative: does not introduce typical system modeling languages used by the industry (UML, SysML).

By Brian L

Jan 21, 2021

Overall, a pretty good intro to systems engineering. The first 4 weeks are very definition and acronym dense. Weeks 5-8 go more into the topic of system life cycle phases and I personally found this more useful. This course unfortunately doesn't teach any practical tools like SysML or UML, but learning the foundations in this course would make it a lot easier to approach those.

The peer review system is not great however. On almost every week, you need to submit a peer review assignment and review two other students. The assignments themselves are fine, but the active population of students (especially in the later weeks) is fairly low. Therefore, it's within your best interests to submit very far ahead of the deadline, so your assignment will be reviewed by the deadline. The grading criteria for the reviews are not great either. If you miss one criteria (out of four), you essentially fail the assignment.

By Anthony Y

Apr 25, 2016

Frequent and forced peer reviews with no opportunity to complete once deadline is missed makes this course nu-necessarily difficult for people with conflicting schedules and responsibilities.

By Kevin T

Oct 20, 2018

I have completed three weeks of this course thus far, and I have highly enjoyed every lecture and every exercise. The quizzes really help to confirm my understanding, and the exercises encourage me to think outside the box and to think carefully. Dr. Mike Ryan's lectures have proven themselves to be engaging, thoughtful, and overall exceptional.

If systems engineering is an area that I would try to pursue in my career, I will definitely place UNSW as a top choice to get my Master's in Systems Engineering. Since I do not live in Australia, I'm not quite sure how that would work out, but overall I have very been impressed by the quality of education and content provided in these videos.

Week 8 Edit: While I really like the exercises, I don't like the idea of requiring two peer reviews. This makes it difficult for students to have their assignments get graded or conversely grade other students' assignments if there are not enough students taking the course and are on the same module. As an aside, I really like Dr. Ian Faulconbridge's lectures and his personal anecdotes from his experience in the industry.

By Greg C

Feb 15, 2019

The course itself is fine. The instructors are good. But the design of the peer-reviewed rating system and the course moderator's inability to correct erroneous reviews significantly weakens this course's attractiveness. A MOOC is fine, but should be set up so that one individual is not allowed to disrupt progress. In my case, the other reviewer gave me 100%. The errant reviewer in question indicated I did not answer the question by attaching a document. I had, in fact, answered the question in-line. Because of this reviewer's score of zero, my other reviewer's score of 4/4 was lowered to 2/4. At minimum, an error check comparing one against the other would have caught this. Bad engineering on a course all about systems engineering,

By Adail M R

Apr 6, 2018

I wish I had studied Systems Engineering many years ago, particularly with such a great introduction as in this course. I feel confident to advance in this field with this broad overview, just deep enough to guide me on what to look for next. The instructors take it very seriously (with a bit of humour here and there), and transmit the confidence and experience they have to us. I strongly recommend this course not only to aspiring Systems Engineers, but to Project/Product/Software Managers, Agile Coaches, Logistics Specialists, and definitely to Business Owner and Entrepreneurs. Thanks a lot, Prof. Ryan and Prof. Faulconbridge!

By N P N

Nov 11, 2016

This course gives a lot of insights into the SE activities, which we normally don't notice. This would be useful for the system developers as well System Safety engineers to appreciate the system

By Sunny K

May 9, 2022

This course, on top of relevant work experience, helped me get a systems engineering job. It is an excellent introduction and has many relevant use cases for different systems engineering tools.

By Yash D

Feb 25, 2020

Overall it is a good course for beginners as well as experts. The structure and flow of the course can be improved as the organization of the course is haphazard and not incremental in terms of learning. The quizzes set were very good but some terms and abbreviations used in the quiz were not discussed in the course or differently discussed. It would be helpful to provide cheat sheets along with notes to outline the modules and important terms. The example of the house was a good example. Additional project options can be added so that the students can undertake a small system engineering project within their field.

By Diana C

Jul 28, 2017

Overall, the content was structural and comprehensive enough for a broad Systems Engineering course overview. However, the delivery of the information was a bit regimented and uninspiring. Would have been nice to have added reading material available online rather than through a textbook as I am located in a country that does not have access to these books easily. Thanks!

By Gabriel G C M

Sep 22, 2016

Excellent course! The content is great in quality, quantity and structure!! 5 stars to that! However, I am giving 4 stars since passing the course or not depends mostly on Extension Exercises, which at the beginning seem to be optional but they in fact mandatory.

By Robert B

Jun 21, 2021

Overall it is a good overview of SE / intro to the topic for people. But peer review is convenient for the instructors for sure. But when someone grading the exercise doesn’t understand it themselves it provides no benefit for the student being graded. If something is deemed to not meet course requirements for the exercises detailed comments should be mandated.

If a student has a discrepancy vs the grader it should be able to be flagged to the instructors / moderators.

By Maxim R

Jun 20, 2017

The first week assignment is pathetic. It's all about memorizing the terminology that was introduced in a couple of words in the videos, which looks arbitrary. No readable material is provides in the course.

I'm dropping out.

By Heinrich H D

May 12, 2016

It is not easy to teach a methodology, knowing that the students come from very different backgrounds and system domains. The instructors were able to teach the concepts with the right pace and to provide examples which were easy to follow. In my opinion, a key success criterion for the course is the chosen running example: a dwelling. Every student, independent from background and system domain, can relate to it and apply the methodology. Because of the dwelling example, students could review the work of other students and don't get confused by a system domain they don't understand. It is worthwhile to mention that the course material is based on ISO 15288 and ISO 29148. I can highly recommend the course as an introduction to Systems Engineering.

By Raul P

Oct 9, 2019

Its a good brief course of Systems Engineering. Covers about 90% of the material I learned from the Systems Engineering course I took in university. I will say the time I put into each week except the 8th and 9th was more than the estimated 3 hours per week, 9 hours on average, taking notes and trying to grasp it all. Even though it's a brief review of Systems Engineering, it's still alot of information to absorb. The 1st 3 weeks are going to be most information-heavy (don't take it all in one day), it's not the fault of the course, its because of System Engineering; there is alot of planning ahead. Overall its what you make of it, I'm more confident of my grasp of Systems Engineering, but there are bits I forget, so got to keep learning.

By Mobasher A

Oct 6, 2020

The course is impressive, very valuable , I never ever gone through similar course, indeed, the content is comprehensively covers IE and Systems, supported with further reading and references.

The course deserve couple of months spent grasping the material, moreover the submitted assignments exposed me to different knowledge areas : concepts of process, lifecycle of system of service/products (business cycles) , conceptual to retirement of system has really enhanced my skills very much.

PDF course attachments helped me a lot to improve and guided me to read more and search.

Thank you

Mobasher Alasmari

K.S.A -Jeddah City


By Mohamed O M H

Apr 1, 2017

The course outline is very good, however the presentation (especially the slides) can be monotonous. The usage of various system engineering terminologies and jargon can be intimidating at times. Appreciate the instructors intention of keeping the videos and material very digestible on a weekly basis, I would suggest them to include more case studies and activities, from the professional realm as well. I would also suggest them to bring in the awareness of various tools that are used throughout the systems engineering process. It is still an excellent course and would highly recommend to any engineer out there.

By Piyush D

Apr 17, 2020

Hands down the best course you could ever wish for in the field of systems engineering. Dr. Mike Ryan & Dr. Ian Faulconbridge make even the toughest topics look so simple and it gives a clear idea about approaching a problem. The best thing about this course is that of its exercises and helping us understand the way in which all of the topics are to be applied in a real-life scenario.

Dr. Mike Ryan & Dr. Ian Faulconbridge, I thank you immensely for making this MOOC and helping many students like myself with this informative and knowledgeable course.

By Gopinath P

Nov 23, 2020

The course is designed very well. It will be of great help if you include some examples for each concept. People who have experience will be able to understand very easily where as for Fresh graduates it will be difficult. It is worth spending time on this course and given lot of insight on systems engineering. Very good course... Please let me know whether I can get a copy of this entire course in pdf format... we can refer the material when ever we have some doubts.. Thanks, Gopi

By Simon T

Sep 16, 2020

An excellent course with well developed structures that helped me systematise my knowledge and experience. Requirements management and design modules were particularly good and came with accessible and very useful exercises. The course also aligns well to the INCOSE Handbook and is therefore good preparation for the INCOSE ASEP qualification. Collaboration with fellow students was a little more patchy, I had some useful feedback from peer reviews but often just one or two words.

By affan a

Feb 2, 2022

Software Engineering is my passion and my career I only took this course because its doesn't matter Software or System's Engineering it has same approaches same type of testing and same type of management. It was a wonderful course a wonderful journey i hope this would have never ended but every thing got a Retirement . Hoping one day could get a chance to meet out instructors in person Thank You So much for such a amazing course❤❤😍😍😘😘🙌🙌

By Emille G

Oct 14, 2017

A powerful course that enriched my professional life and equipped me to participate deeply in technical conversations. It also inspires me to take my knowledge further and to consider studies in related disciplines. The course itself is well designed (as it should be) and engaging from start to finish. This course will equip you with the tools you need to think more efficiently and to approach problems methodically, in life and in work.

By Alex Z

Apr 17, 2021

Fantastic overview of Systems Engineering. Both lecturers were knowledgeable and highly experienced in the fields bringing insightful examples to the topics covered. Lecture material was well prepared, and the extension exercises were extremely thought provoking and useful in solidifying content learned in the modules. Highly recommend to anyone with with an engineering background, and even to others who don't.

By Adam G

Apr 27, 2022

Great introductory course to Systems Engineering. I have practical exposure of SE prinicples given my employment history in railway systems and manufacturing and found the course content to be highly familiar and logically set out and paced. Would highly recommend the course to those considering post grad studies in SE like myself or for practical knowledge to complement Project Management.