Systems Thinking


This module is for anyone grappling with change in a complex environment, where systems, relationships and business boundaries are interdependent.  This is becoming more prevalent in healthcare organisations whereby acute trusts, community healthcare, public health and social care are having to work across traditional boundaries to problem solve.  Despite this, systems thinking is applicable to organisations in other sectors.  For example a major US software organisation used systems thinking to analyse poor sales performance by using systems thinking tools to understand cross divisional processes and relationships.  During this module you will explore complexity science theory and human system dynamics, evaluating tools and techniques to identify creative and efficient solutions to problems

Duration, attendance and delivery

The course usually lasts approximately 10 weeks. 

The delivery of this module is through our online+ model for distance learning consisting of online learning, self-study, reflection, discussion and sharing learning with and from others, application of learning to your organisational context and the completion of assessment tasks. There is also the opportunity for students who value face-to-face workshops to attend optional themed workshops.


At the end of the course you will undertake an assessment. This is an applied work based assessment rather than a theory based essay. This means that typically you will be required to apply what you have learnt to your context at work, evaluating concepts for their applicability and usefulness.

The assessment format may be a reflective account, a project report, a presentation or portfolio of evidence; all being the equivalent of 2000 words in length.

Entry requirements

You will need to be in a work role (paid or unpaid) which allows you the scope to put the concepts learned into practice. There are no formal qualification requirements for entry; we assess suitability on each individual application.

Start dates

  • May

N.B. CETAD reserve the right to cancel or move the course to a later date if the number of students registered for the advertised course is not sufficient.