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Syllabus for

Academic year
VMI010 - Environmental systems analysis
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
Major subject: Energy and Environmental Systems and Technology, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 28122
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: D+
Maximum participants: 90
Status, available places (updated regularly): The course round is full

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0100 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c   12 Jan 2022 pm J,  12 Apr 2022 am J,  24 Aug 2022 pm J

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Mathias Janssen

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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

VMI041 - Environmental and resource analysis for sustainable development or corresponding course


The aim of the course is to give knowledge regarding number of environmental systems analysis tools such as Environmental Risk Assessment, Life Cycle Assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment, and Materials Flow Analysis. The course also aims at understanding of the relationship between different environmental systems analysis tools.

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

After having completed the course you should be able to: 
- Define terms used in environmental systems analysis and the different tools
- Explain concepts and working procedure used in the different tools
- Employ the tools in different types of engineering problems
- Apply the knowledge by selecting a relevant tool for a specific problem and user of the result. This includes to define goal and scope, select relevant data as well as to discuss relevance and limitations of the selected tool.
- Analyse engineering decision problems from an environmental perspective using different environmental systems analysis tools
- Compare the different tools in order to select one (or more) for addressing a certain environmental problem


Environmental Systems Analysis (ESA) comprises the collection, analysis, integration, valuation and interpretation of information on how technical systems cause or contribute to environmental problems. There are a number of different tools to perform such studies. It is used to support decision making in many different areas like the industry, public sector and government. The focus can be on technical solutions as well as on policy, plans and legislation related to the design and use of all kinds of technical systems. Examples of some common ESA tools are environmental risk analysis, life cycle assessment, environmental impact assessment, and material flow analysis. The course aims at introducing the theoretical framework of the tools and methods, and to build up the knowledge required to choose a relevant tool or method and formulate the goal and scope for a specific application. The course also introduces and defines a set of concepts needed for a good understanding of environmental systems analysis. One important part of the course is the critical appraisal of results by discussing why different investigators may get different results with the same tool, pointing out the importance of the choices made. To be able to analyze this, it is important to understand the applications of the ESA tools and methods, what actors can benefit from the results produced by different tools, and in what context they yield meaningful information.


The course consists of four parts: theory, reports from practice, short exercises and a larger project work. The theoretical part comprises lectures on the ESA tools and methods, and the course literature. A number of external lecturers will report on how environmental systems analysis is applied in practice, e.g. in industry and by consultants. A number of small exercises and a project will provide basic experience and training in how to perform an ESA study.


The course literature consists of a compendium with excerpts from books and reports, and a number of scientific papers.

Examination including compulsory elements

The course is assessed by a written exam and a compulsory project work.

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.