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Syllabus for

Academic year
ENM035 - Assessing sustainability: Assignments
Bedömning av hållbarhet
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-11 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: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 28112
Open for exchange students: Yes
Block schedule: D
Maximum participants: 35
Status, available places (updated regularly): Yes

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0107 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c   Contact examiner,  Contact examiner,  Contact examiner

In programs

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


Sverker Molander

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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

Basic courses in mathematics and/or statistics equivalent to 15 hec, applied environmental sciences and/or sustainable development 7,5 hec.


The course introduces basic concepts of sustainability and approaches for its assessment in connection to environmental measurements. The course also introduces important connections between sustainable development and environmental problems and their mitigation.

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

  • have the ability to significantly contribute to the performance of a sustainability assessment

  • have the ability to identify the various parts of the sustainability assessment (strategic environmental assessment, SEA) process in a particular setting, including, but not limited to, assessment scoping, setting baseline, construction of alternatives, identification of indicators, reporting and follow-up 

  • have reflected on the role as environmental scientists/engineers in the societal context of sustainability assessment, environmental problem perception and environmental management

  • be aware of the many perspectives and scales related to sustainability such as e.g. scientific, social, economic, juridical and political
  • have the general and independent ability to individually outline, and write a scientific report
  • have the ability to search and critically assess written sources of relevance for a given writing task
  • have the ability of scientific handling of literature references
  • independently manage time in a writing project


Sustainability assessments are performed in many different ways, and in different scales from local to global, with widely varying boundaries - municipal, company, sectorial. national and so on.

The course therefore introduces a set of concepts and systems methods important for the professional working with environment and sustainability assessments and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) at different societal levels, from local to global, including municipal, sectorial, national and business perspectives.  

In the individual writing assignment students investigate different assessment themes of relevance for sustainability. 

The literature part of the course comprise of a number of scientific articles of the field that give background to group discussions i a seminar form on the detection, quantification, mitigation and prevention of environmental and resource problems including their relation to the broader concept of sustainability. Therefore the course is focused on, but not limited to, environmental aspects of SD. 

 The multicultural background of the participants is an important assesst dealing with these issues.

In conjunction to the writing exercise students learn how to search for and evaluate the credibility of various kinds of written sources.


The students work with projects indvidually and are supervised by teachers. The projects are also supported by lectures where overviews and basic concepts are presented. A series of literature seminars accompany lectures and writing.


The course literature consists of books and articles from university libraries and the Internet, and some material provided in the course page at Canvas.

Examination including compulsory elements

The examination includes, to a lesser extent, the  written and oral contributions to the compulsory seminars, and to a larger extent, the written individual report and the oral presentation of it.

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.