Intersection of motorways under fluorescent lights
Unit of study_

Complex systems

Anticipate, control and manage the complexity of the unexpected

Smart cities, infrastructure and ecosystems are complex systems, susceptible to abrupt, large-scale, disruptive dynamics. Gain the expertise to model, analyse and design strategies for crisis forecasting and management.

What are complex systems?

Complex systems are composed of large numbers of diverse interacting parts that can be prone to unexpected and often disruptive dynamics. Small changes can generate large, amplified effects.

For example, a single malfunction in a local substation can lead to cascading state-wide electricity grid failures, or the emergence of a new pathogen in a remote village can give rise to a devastating global epidemic.

Systems engineers are tasked with modelling, analysing and designing resilient strategies for crisis forecasting and management in technological, socioeconomic and socioecological systems. You can apply these skills to a wide range of industries.

Why study complex systems with us?

Our Master of Complex Systems is the only degree of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and designed to develop your skills in quantitative modelling and computational simulation of system dynamics.

It is ideal for those graduates wanting to pursue a career at a major multinational research and development company, government and crisis management agencies, or large health, construction and transport organisation.

You can tailor your learning by leveraging the strengths of the Centre for Complex Systems as well as the ongoing complex systems and social network analysis research being undertaken by the Faculty of Engineering.

Our graduates

Mike Li
Mike Li, Master of Complex Systems
“I chose to study complex systems because I wanted to pursue a career in the field of artificial intelligence. It allowed me to work on interesting projects using the skills I developed in computation modelling, data visualisation and systems dynamics.”
Master of Complex Systems


Our Master of Complex Systems will help you to develop your skills in quantitative modelling and computational simulation of system dynamics.

You will develop further specialised technical knowledge in one of four specialisations:

You will also undertake an industry-based capstone project focused on modelling a complex problem and delivering a novel solution related to your area of specialisation or vocational objectives.

Your prior qualifications or, in some cases, work experience may enable you to reduce the number of credit points required to complete your degree.

To see how it works, read about credit for previous study for your Master of Complex Systems.

At the master’s level, this degree will take 1.5 years full time to complete (72 credit points). This program can also be taken as a: