Search programme

​Use the search function to search amongst programmes at Chalmers. The study programme and the study programme syllabus relating to your studies are generally from the academic year you began your studies.

Syllabus for

Academic year
VTM081 - Life cycle assessment
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-17 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPTSE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Main field of study: Energy and Environmental Systems and Technology

Course round 1

Teaching language: English
Application code: 28111
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: D
Maximum participants: 90

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0199 Examination 7,5 c Grading: TH   7,5 c   02 Jun 2022 am J,  09 Oct 2021 am J   25 Aug 2022 pm J

In programs

MPTSE INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGY, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)
MPPDE PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, MSC PROGR, Year 1 (compulsory elective)


Mathias Janssen

  Go to Course Homepage


General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Basic education comprising at least 7,5 ECT in environmental science and sustainability is a prerequisite. In addition, the course in Environmental Systems Analysis (VMI101) gives a suitable background, but is not a necessary requirement.
For applicants to the course from outside Chalmers the following previous education is required:
- 180 ECT at natural science faculty or university of technology, including at least 7,5 ECT environmental science/sustainability
- Documented computing skills, for example 15 ECT mathematics.


The course aims at providing an understanding of methods to assess the environmental impact of products in a life cycle perspective. The course gives the theoretical background for Life Cycle Assessment as a method, skills to use the method and knowledge about its application areas and limitations.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

After completion of this course, you should be able to:
- Describe the concept of life cycle assessment and the building blocks goal definition, inventory analysis, impact assessment and interpretation.
- Describe the limitations of the approach and requirements for carrying out an LCA study.
- Explain different fields of application and argue for methodological choices relevant for different fields of application.
- Critically review an LCA study conducted by others: check assumptions and methodological choices and discuss their appropriateness.
- Conduct a life cycle assessment study and report it in a transparent way. This will be trained in a project group, and you will learn to establish a system model, collect data, calculate the results and interpret and evaluate them.


Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a method for the analysis and assessment of the environmental impact of products and services. The LCA methodology draws upon several sciences: engineering, natural science and social sciences. The life cycle perspective comprises raw material acquisition, production processes, use and waste treatment, as well as transports between them (processes from cradle to grave). An LCA study is based on calculations of the environmental load associated with a product or service, and includes extended interpretation in a number of steps. This includes inventory analysis (data collection and quantification of all resources used and emissions released), life cycle impact assessment (translation of the results into metrics for environmental impact), the drawing of conclusions from the results but also assessment of the reliability and limitations of the study. The course also includes application of LCA in different industrial sectors (chemical, manufacturing, food, building, etc), and the use of LCA by for different application both in industry (e.g. product development, production process and marketing) and society (e.g. policy applications) is presented.


The course consists of lectures with smaller exercises integrated and a group project assignment. The lectures present the LCA methodology and describe different fields of application. The exercises and the project assignment give a deeper understanding, train skills and give experience in using LCA as a tool. In addition, an introduction to LCA software is part of the course.


Baumann, Henrikke & Tillman, Anne-Marie (2004). The hitch hiker's guide to LCA. An orientation in life cycle assessment methodology and application. Studentlitteratur, Lund

Select chapters from Curran, MA (ed.) (2012): Life cycle assessment handbook p. 78-94. Beverly 2012

Additional material made available via the course homepage

Examination including compulsory elements

Group project assignment, including hand in of preliminary results, final report and oral presentation

Compulsory attendance to certain exercises and oral presentation of projects, as specified in course syllabus

Written exam

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.