• Code CECS6002
  • Unit Value 6 to 12 units
  • Offered by School of Cybernetics
  • ANU College ANU College of Engineering Computing & Cybernetics
  • Course subject CECS Experimental, Interdisciplinary
  • Areas of interest Engineering, Ethics, Algorithms and Data, Artifical Intelligence, Cybernetics
  • Work Integrated Learning Projects
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • STEM Course

In this course, we will build on the conceptual approach to Applied Cybernetics developed in CECS6001. Students will investigate and analyse socio-environmental-technological systems using cybernetic methodologies.  

Through the course, we will challenge students to study and analyse various examples of cybernetic systems, employing systems analysis and complementary methodologies to explore concepts of safety, sustainability, responsibility and scale.   


By the end of the course, students will be able to critically explore the ways cybernetic systems are planned, designed, built, operated, maintained and regulated, as well as assess how complex systems link to and affect other systems, both physical and non-physical. Students will be able to identify mechanisms that restrict, shape and support cybernetic systems being deployed at scale.    

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate conceptual understanding of cybernetic systems and emerging abstractions for explaining and interrogating such systems, including through the concepts of safe, sustainable and responsible sysytems at scale. 
  2. Develop and fluently apply relevant assessment, evaluation and decision making tools and techniques relevant to managing cybernetic systems at scale and communicate these to others. 
  3. Identify and critically appraise new developments, advances and emerging knowledge within domains relevant to Applied Cybernetics.
  4. Demonstrate ability to frame critical and constructive questions and appropriately apply existing and emerging methodologies to describe and explain the design, construction, commissioning, management and decommissioning of cybernetic systems.
  5. Demonstrates an appreciation of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable technological practice and how they are enacted and contested for cybernetic systems. 
  6. Demonstrate ethical, respectful, and professional conduct, and contribute positively to the School community. 
  7. Synthesise a wide range of data sources and inputs, and generate and communicate complex outcomes of systems research in relevant formats for diverse audiences or partners. 
  8. Demonstrate a creative, innovative, and pro-active approach in efforts to explore and analyse cybernetic systems with the goal to further develop and improve the core concepts and methodologies associated with Applied Cybernetics.
  9. Fluently apply teamwork and project management skills to enable a collaborative project with peers who have a variety of skills, knowledge and viewpoints, leading to the creation of an in-depth analysis of cybernetic systems. 

Work Integrated Learning


Multidisciplinary projects, innovation project

Indicative Assessment

  1. Tutorial exercise (Engaging with concepts and resources) (10) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9]
  2. Applied Cybernetics Methodology Essay (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9]
  3. Individual Portfolio (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9]
  4. Industry Project (30) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The quantum of work through the semester will be approximately 130 hours per 6 units of course. This will include a mixture of workshops and group work, as well as independent reading, viewing, listening and study. They will also participate in whole-of-School activities.

Inherent Requirements

Information on inherent requirements for this course is currently not available.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed CECS6001.

You will need to contact the School of Cybernetics to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts


Preliminary Reading

Resource lists for this course range from book chapters and journal articles on core theoretical concepts and research methods drawn from a range of research traditions, to think tank and industry white papers and case studies, to media stories and podcasts of relevance to the course content for a given topic. Participants will also be encouraged to continue to draw on materials and tools from CECS6001 and CECS8001.

Students are expected to engage with all the resources assigned.

Here is an indicative selection from across the course.

  • Andrews, Zoe, Fitzgerald, John, Payne, Richard and Alexander Romanovsky (2013) Fault Modeling for Systems of Systems in 2013 IEEE Eleventh International Symposium on Autonomous Decentralized Systems (ISADS), pp. 108 IEEE.
  • Beamon, Benita M (1998) Supply Chain design and analysis: models and methods. International Journal of Production Economics 55, no 3: 281:294
  • Friedman, Batya, and Peter H. Kahn. “Human Agency and Responsible Computing: Implications for Computer System Design.” Journal of System Software 17, no. 1 (January 1992): 7–14. https://doi.org/10.1016/0164-1212(92)90075-U.
  • Midgley, Gerald. 2000, Systemic intervention : philosophy, methodology, and practice / Gerald Midgley Kluwer Academic/Plenum New York
  • Meadows, Donella H., and Diana Wright. 2015. Thinking in systems: a primer.
  • Miller, T. Christian, Megan Rose, Robert Faturechi, and Agnes Chang. “The Navy Installed Touch-Screen Steering Systems To Save Money. Ten Sailors Paid With Their Lives.” ProPublica, December 20, 2019. https://features.propublica.org/navy-uss-mccain-crash/navy-installed-touch-screen-steering-ten-sailors-paid-with-their-lives/.
  • Vespignani, Alessandro (2010). Complex networks: The fragility of interdependency. Nature 464, no.7291: 984.
  • de Visser, Ewart J., Richard Pak, and Tyler H. Shaw. (2018) "From ‘automation’ to ‘autonomy’: the importance of trust repair in human–machine interaction." Ergono

Assumed Knowledge

The assumed knowledge and requirements to take this course will be documented in the application pack available at https://cybernetics.anu.edu.au/education/masters/


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 to 12 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
7.00 0.14583
8.00 0.16667
9.00 0.18750
10.00 0.20833
11.00 0.22917
12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $830 per unit
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $1060 per unit
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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There are no current offerings for this course.

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