Fully Funded European Master in System Dynamics 2017-2019

Publish Date: Sep 20, 2016

Deadline: Dec 01, 2016

The European Master programme in System Dynamics is specifically designed for students who are interested in learning how to initiate strategic change in organizations.

With the growing interconnectedness of society and increasing turbulence, organisations in the public and private sectors are continuously confronted with the need for improvement in strategy development, policy design and decision making in and across complex, dynamic domains. History is full of examples where decision makers did not succeed in designing such effective policies: overoptimistic leaders have started wars they were bound to loose, learning-by-doing policies have not been sufficient to prevent overutilisation and depletion of renewable resources, very successful start-up-firms have over-expanded and gone bankrupt, governments have tried in vain to reduce health care costs, and so on.

A common denominator here is a lack of understanding of the systems people control: they ignore or misperceive the nature of stocks and flows, feedback loops, delays, and non-linearities. Many such dynamic systems are not yet properly understood, confer the recent financial crisis. Model based policy analysis and design (with the help of System Dynamics) has long been recognised as a way to help people make better decisions when confronted with the complexity of dynamic systems.

 The European master programme in System Dynamics builds on the strengths of four leading universities: the University of Bergen (Norway), the New University of Lisbon (Portugal), the University of Palermo (Italy) and Radboud University (the Netherlands). The programme is specifically designed for students who are interested in learning how to initiate strategic change in organizations, supported by the use of computer simulation models.

This master programme is the first international master programme in System Dynamics in Europe. Our goal is to teach you everything you need for starting an international career in strategic modeling with System Dynamics. After you have finished our master programme, you will know how to build a System Dynamics model, how to apply it to a variety of real life problems and how to facilitate the model building process with the client, in such a way that not only a high-quality model can be built, but what is equally important, that a strategic change can be achieved and policies can be implemented. No other programme in System Dynamics in the world offers you this combination of model building and group facilitation skills.

All courses in the European Master in System Dynamics are taught in English. The courses that are offered during the programme, are:

Semester 1, University of Bergen
1. Principles of Dynamic Modelling and Policy Design (10 ECs)
2. Fundamental of Dynamic Social Systems (10 ECs)
3. Model-based Analysis and Policy Design (10 ECs)

Semester 2, New University of Lisbon
1. Sustainability Science (10 ECs)
2. Integrative Modelling (10 ECs)
3. Sustainability Strategies Lab (10 ECs)


Semester 2, University of Palermo

1. Planning and Control Systems (8 ECs)
2. System Dynamics for Business Strategy (9 ECs)
3. Planning, Policy Design, and Management in the Public Sector (7 ECs)
4. System Dynamics for Planning, Policy Design, and Management in the Public Sector (6 ECs)

Semester 3: Radboud University
1. Computer Simulation Models and Organizational Decision-making (6 ECs)
2. Group Model Building I (6 ECs)
3. Strategic Decision-making (6 ECs)
4. Group Model Building II (6 ECs)
5. Research Methodology (6 ECs)

Semester 4 is fully dedicated to writing your thesis.

If you wish to enroll in the European Master programme in System Dynamics, you should meet the following requirements:

You should have a University bachelor degree (BSc), equal to the educational standards set by the European Higher Education Area and higher education partners in the programme and consortium, in ‘social sciences’, ‘management sciences’, ‘natural sciences’ or ‘engineering sciences’.

  • Your grade average must be between an A and B.
  • You must be able to hand over proof of proficiency in English: a legally certified copy of an IELTS, a TOEFL or a CAE/CPE certificate which may at the time of application not be taken longer than two years ago.
  • Your cv, including a short summary of your Bachelor thesis (in English).
  • A letter of motivation, describing why you feel you should be admitted to the programme (in English).
  • 3 letters of recommendation (in English).
  • Legally certified copies of your diplomas and transcripts.
  • Legally certified translations of your diplomas and transcripts by a sworn translator (in English).
  • Legally certified copy of your passport.
  • TOEFL ≥ 80 (lnternet-based); or
  • IELTS ≥ 6.0 (overall score); or
  • CAE/CPE at least level C (copy of degree required).

If you are a native speaker of English, you will not be required to provide an English language test score. You are considered to be a native speaker of English if you are from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, the UK, USA or South Africa.
If English was the language in which you gained all your qualifications but you are not a national of one of the above-mentioned countries, we still require a TOEFL/IELTS/CAE/CPE certificate.


Currently, for the 2016-2018 cohort the European Master in System Dynamics will have the following scholarships available:

  • 3 Erasmus+ Erasmus Mundus full scholarships with a maximum amount of €49.000,- covering the participation costs, travel and installation costs and living costs of the programme
  • 5 EMSD consortium scholarships of €16.900,-  covering the participation costs of the programme (ie. waiving the tuition fees and insurance costs of the programme). All other costs will be at the expense of the student.

Please check this website for regular updates concerning the different types and number of scholarships the EMSD programme will be able to offer for the 2016-2018 cohort.

The application period for the 2017-2019 cohort on the basis of scholarships is now open, and will close on December 1st, 2016. The deadline for self-financing students will be 10 February 2017 for non-EU/EEA students and 10 April 2017 for EU/EEA students.



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