This research emanates from a systems-oriented process of investigation into the educational approach of masters in engineering management programmes in order to find ways to improve student through-put rate and the quality of learning. The document describes the educational process, with specific emphasis on student preparedness, including the value and impact of a pivotal preparation test. This process is guided by constructive alignment; learning cycles through interactive blended teaching; and a focus on student learning. A longitudinal descriptive case study of the programmes was undertaken, focusing on a systems engineering module, which is integral to all masters programmes. The case is described with regard to its context; the educational process and teaching approach; and an educational and statistical analysis of the preparation test. The main contribution of the paper is the resulting structured, holistic, and integrated education process, designed to address the challenges, including a specific focus on student preparation and the pivotal preparation test. A clear link was established between student preparedness and the subsequent levels of teaching and learning. The preparation test was found to be on the relevant cognitive level; a predictor of course success; influencing positively the motivation of students; as well as impacting on the adaptation of the educational process. The use of the adapted Bloom’s taxonomy to evaluate cognitive levels of an intervention; the application of learning cycles and constructive alignment; as well as the impact of a preparation test, can significantly enhance the quality of the education process and consequently, student through-put rates.