Course Description

The Master of Complex Systems degree will provide you with the expertise to model, analyse and design resilient technological, socioeconomic and socioecological systems, as well as develop strategies for crisis forecasting and management.

Smart cities, megaprojects, power and data grids, ecosystems, communication and transport networks are all complex systems. They generate rich interactions among components with interdependencies across systems. This interdependent behaviour creates challenges for designing and managing complex systems.

Complex systems are composed of numerous diverse interacting parts, making them susceptible to unexpected, large-scale, and apparently uncontrollable behaviours. 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, and the emergence of a new pathogen in a remote village can give rise to a devastating global epidemic.

The Master of Complex Systems will develop your skills in quantitative modelling and computational simulation of system dynamics, complementing your existing skills in engineering, computer science, information technology, physics, mathematics, health, biology or business. These unique skills will enable you to operate across discipline boundaries, providing key input and insights to help solve complex global challenges.

As an expert in complex systems, you could pursue a career in major multinational research and development companies, government and crisis management agencies, health, construction or transport organisations.

You have the flexibility to tailor your learning to your professional interests with the choice of four specialisations: Engineering, Biosecurity, Ecology, Transport.

You will undertake an industry-based capstone project. A research pathway is also available.

Commonwealth Supported Places

The Master of Complex Systems has a limited amount of Commonwealth Supported Places (CSPs) available to domestic students in 2018.

Tuition Fees

Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP): $9,359 per year full-time, $18,718 total course cost
International Students: $43,500 per year full-time


2 years full time, 4 years part time

Graduate Rating

Graduates of Computing & Information Systems postgraduate courses at University of Sydney (USYD) rated their degrees as follows:

Teaching quality: 61.8% (national average 68.9%)
Improved skills: 83.8% (national average 80.9%)
Overall satisfaction: 76.5% (national average 79.4%)

The ratings above refer to the proportion of surveyed graduates who agreed with the statement about their postgraduate degree from University of Sydney (USYD). You can find out more about these results here.

Employment Outcomes

Graduates of Computing & Information Systems postgraduate courses at University of Sydney (USYD) had the following employment outcomes:

Employed full time: 93.9% (national average 82.9%)
Studying full time: 5.9% (national average 5.8%)
Median full time salary: $102,500 (national average $87,600)

You can find out more about employment outcome results here.

Course codes

CRICOS Code: 089810G
University of Sydney (USYD) Code: MACPXSYS1000

Entry Requirements