European Master in System Dynamics

European Master in System Dynamics

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.


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With more than 11,000 students and 2,750 employees, the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) is one of the largest universities of applied sciences in Switzerland. The interdisciplinary group of the ZHAW Institute for Sustainable Development (INE) identifies future-oriented topics, estimates the development of technologies and their acceptance as well as their potential for dissemination […]


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Curriculum and Structure of the European Master in System Dynamics

During the programme you will study at three of the four cooperating universities. You will earn a degree from all the universities you attended (as part of a joint or multiple degree). Living and learning across different campuses and cultures will be an enriching experience that will help you to develop the intercultural and personal skills that are needed when starting an international career.


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.

More detailed information can be found at the EMSD website