Continuing Education
Online Course

System Dynamics Modelling and Analysis

Do you want to learn the basics of the System Dynamics method and how this can be used to explain how change takes place, why people misunderstand change, and why so many policies fail to solve problems? Sign up for the free online Mooc in System Dynamics Modelling and Analysis.

Online course in System Dynamics Modelling and Analysis
Take our online Course in System Dynamics Modelling and Analysis and learn to build and analyze your own models.
Janne Lønne

Main content

The System Dynamics method is a problem-oriented method. It builds on a systems perspective where “everything influences everything”. Thus, the method is interdisciplinary where knowledge from different fields is used to describe system parts, where stock and flow diagrams and models are used to describe how parts influence each other, and where simulations show how “everything influences everything” over time. “Everything” should here be interpreted to mean everything that is needed to understand a problem sufficiently well to identify successful policies.

Students work with problems of importance for the UN's sustainable development goals such as: global warming, over-utilization of natural resources, epidemics, and price fluctuations. Students learn to formulate hypotheses for why problems develop, and they learn to test their hypotheses in light of various types of data. Finally, models that give satisfactory explanations of problem developments are used to identify and test alternative policies. At a more general level, the course gives training in applying the scientific method to socio-ecological-economic problems, it provides a common language for interdisciplinary research, and it gives training in project formulation and reporting.

The MOOC utilizes a variety of online teaching tools including: animations, videos, quizzes, interactive learning environments, and simulation models. Immediate feedback to quizzes helps students correct their understanding and is an important part of the teaching material. The tools help you work with models without being a mathematician; although, a minimum of mathematical skills is helpful.

Read full course description

How to sign up and attend?

The MOOC is 100 % online via the course platform Canvas. The course is taught in English, but you can activate automatic translations to other languages. 

  • The course is open for everyone and you can study at your own speed.
  • There is no tuition fee.
  • You can register and start learning immediately at any time within the spring or fall semesters.
  • In the spring semester, the course is open from 10 January until 10 June.
  • In the fall semester, the course is open from 1 July until 20 December.
  • If you are not able to finish the course within one semester, you can sign up again the next semester and start from scratch.
  • There is an upper limit to the number of students. When the limit is reached, self-enrollment shuts down.

Note: This course requires that you have a certain understanding of some basic mathematics. If you have great problems with the mathematics in this learning environment after making a serious effort, we recommend that you do not sign up for the course.


Since the sign-up pages are in Norwegian, this a step-by-step description of the enrolment process with the needed translations to English:

  • Fill inn your email (Vennligst skriv inn e-post) and tick off for New user (Jeg er en ny bruker) unless you have already signed up for another course with Unit (bibsys.instructure), then choose (Jeg har allerede en Unit Canvas logg inn).
  • Write your full name (Fullt navn) and tick off for terms of use (Jeg er enig)
  • Tick off for I am not a robot (Jeg er ikke en robot) and select the pictures with the indicated item (use Google to find out what the item is in English).
  • Then click the button to register (Registrere deg på emnet). You will get an email, usually after few minutes.
  • Click the link (Klikk her for å fullføre registreringsprosessen) to enter a password (8 signs or more) for your login email address and to set your time zone. Remember your password! 
  • End by clicking the button "Register." This procedure brings you to the Dashboard for courses and you can click on your course and start working.
  • To login after having previously logged out, it is practical to have bookmarked the login to the dashboard page with the following URL: https://unit.instructure.com/login/canvas
  • When returning via the bookmark, always choose the button (Ikke Feide) for your login. Do not fill in the (E-post) option with your full email, rather choose the option with your first name only. Make sure your password is entered. Press (Logg on) and arrive at the Dashboard where you click the icon for your course, and continue working.

You may also want to register for another of our courses. Go to our course portal and click on the course you are interested in and click on the URL to enroll for that course. If in the same semester, you already have an account, and you should tick off (Jeg har allerede en Unit Canvas log in), click Register, and use the password you have already created. Then you go to the dashboard and get access to the new course as well. Now, your bookmark gives you access to all your registered courses.

What is required to take the exam?

The course is accredited at the master level at the University of Bergen. At the end of each semester there is a 5-hour exam, which gives 10 ECTS. To get credit for the course, note the following deadlines and rules: 

  1. To get access to the exam, you must finish the entire course before the exam starts.
  2. Your grade is determined by the exam result only and not by the course quizzes.
  3. Only after you have taken the exam, you can apply to get credit for the course.
  4. To apply to get credit for the course, you must meet the minimum entrance requirements for higher education in Norway OR be older than 25 years of age. Towards the end of the course, you will all get exact information about how and where to apply.
  5. Credit and transcript are offered for free.