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System Dynamics, Master's, 2 years

In a complex and developing world, we need theories, methods and tools to help us understand, manage, and communicate effectively. System dynamics studies how and why things change over time.
  • Years2 years
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Intake25
  • Tuition feeNone

How do we develop a well-balanced set of policies to guide decision making that altogether contributes a successful strategy causing a favorable development over time. 

  • Which policies cause the most favourable development over time?  
  • How do we avoid shaping strategies, policies and decisions based on misperceptions? And how do we assess their consequences effectively before implementing them in our social context?  
  • What is the wider impact of our decisions over a longer time span? 

To answer questions such as these, you are trained to develop simulation models that represent the cause-and-effect structure of the systems studied, to derive their dynamics by way of simulation, and to investigate the relationship between the two. 

We offer a vibrant, international student life focusing on the study of System Dynamics - a study available to very few students across the world. We use state-of-the-art learning technology and client-based case studies.

Currently System Dynamics is sought after for research and education in many separate fields as well as analysis by large companies, governments, international agencies, and consulting companies.  

Take the readiness test to see if this programme is a good fit for you! 

See more examples of System Dynamics - what is it and how can it be used? 

Career 

Our students typically go on to work in academia and research organizations, international organizations and agencies, NGOs and consulting companies and larger private and public enterprises. In short, all organisations facing complex, dynamic challenges.  

With this degree, you will have a remarkably wide set of skills in methods, techniques and tools that reach across disciplines and sectors. You will be able to apply these skills to enhance communication through knowledge elicitation and dissemination; knowledge organization and storage, as well as analysis. 

More information below

Student life 

This is a fulltime study that will require dedication and focus, but it also offers a vibrant student community with informal gatherings and new friends. 

In a typical week, you will be busy discussing and interacting with your fellow students and professors in and out of class. There are lectures, labs and assignments throughout the week. We use client-based case studies and state-of-the-art learning technology. 

You are expected to work in collaboration with your fellow students, but in many cases, assignments are written on an individual basis. The distribution between reading and practical work is about 35/65. 

You will spend most of your time at the Department of Geography, which is in the city centre of Bergen. There are reading rooms and computer labs dedicated to master's students. 

Master’s thesis 

Your final semester is spent writing your master’s thesis. The thesis is an independent scientific work that you write with the guidance and support of a supervisor. When you choose a topic for your thesis, you can develop one yourself or choose among available master’s thesis topics. 

Structure

Semester 1

  • GEO-SD302 Fundamentals of Dynamic Social Systems
  • GEO-SD303 Model-based Analysis and Policy Design
  • GEO-SD304 System Dynamics Modelling Process

Semester 2

The following courses may substitute for a second semester course, with permission of the Department:

  • GEO-SD322 Special Topics in System Dynamics, Policy
  • GEO-SD323 Special Topics in System Dynamics, Applications
  • GEO-SD324 Special Topics in System Dynamics, Methodology

Semester 3

  • GEO-SD309 Model Based Interactive Learning Environments
  • GEO-SD310 Writing course and project description
  • GEO-SD330 Natural Resource Management

Semester 4

In your final semester, you write your master’s thesis (GEO-SD351, 30 ECTS). You are assigned a supervisor to guide you through the writing process. You are also included in the activities of the System Dynamics research group

In your thesis you get the chance to specialise even further in your chosen field. 

See our list of previous master’s topics to get an idea of the variations and possibilities.  

See the full table

What you will learn

With a master's degree in System Dynamics, you will know 

  • inherent challenges in understanding the dynamics of social systems 
  • the system dynamics paradigm and alternative methods of analysis 
  • system dynamics applications to problems in public and private sectors 

See full list of learning outcomes

Practical information

ECTS credits:
120
Study start:
Autumn

See full study plan

Admission Requirements

Applicants should hold a Bachelor's degree in social sciences, management sciences, natural sciences or engineering sciences. Students from other disciplines, but with a strong interest in System Dynamics, are also invited to apply and will be considered. Applicants should have average grades between A and B and be able to document proficiency in English.

The language requirements for admission to the programme are: TOEFL: minimum 80 (internet based), IELTS > 6.5 or previous degree in English, for example CAE/CPE (copy of degree required). If your first language is 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, and if English was the language in which you gained all your qualifications. 

How to apply

Self-financing degree students may apply. Follow the guidelines depending on which applicant group you belong to.

 

More information

Phone 
+47 55 58 30 62