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Environmental System Analysis 7.5 credits

First cycle, F0058T
Course syllabus valid: Autumn 2021 Sp 1 - Present
The version indicates the term and period for which this course syllabus is valid. The most recent version of the course syllabus is shown first.

Education level
First cycle
Grade scale
G U 3 4 5
Energy Engineering
Subject group (SCB)
Energy Technology
Main field of study
Energy Engineering

Entry requirements

In order to meet the general entry requirements for first cycle studies you must have successfully completed upper secondary education and documented skills in English language and At least 90 academic credits (ECTS) in a program of engineering, or natural science, or equivalent, which includes basic university mathematics (eg C0004M,) and basic knowledge about environmental problems (eg F0040T ). It is recommended to have done S0001M and C0004M and knowledge in how to use computational tools (eg Excel) and. Good knowledge in English, equivalent to English 6.

More information about English language requirements


The selection is based on 1-165 credits.

Course Aim
Knowledge and understanding

The student should after passing the course be able to

EXPLAIN how environmental impact can be included in energy related decision-making situations, which means being able to describe environmental impacts from different parts of the energy system on a basic level, as well as being able to IDENTIFY the most important environmental effects and make a simplified comparison between different alternatives

DISTINGUISH between different kinds of basic decision-making situations on micro, meso and macro level, with a focus on individual, company, and governmental levels, for identifying the decision-makers’ actual objective. A Decision-making situation is about comparing two or more options, in which not doing anything could be one option.

DESCRIBE how to think from a holistic perspective when solving energy engineering problems and improving energy systems.

GIVE EXAMPLE on different tools used to address environmental impacts in energy-related decision-making situations concerning both strengths and weaknesses of different tools and their suitability in different decision-making situations.

Skill and ability

The student should after passing the course be able to

DESCRIBE basic environmental impacts and their potential consequences (positive/negative) on the ecology and human wellbeing, and be able to DIFFERENTIATE between big and small environmental impacts from a given  energy-related technology, product, or system, and SELECT which environmental impacts to focus on. (Environmental Systems)

DESCRIBE different ways of viewing the environment, to be able to include these differences when valuing the environmental impacts in a decision-making situation. (Environmental Ethics)

DESCRIBE the different steps commonly used to make an environmental impacts assessment of a potential project, policy, plan, or program. Including describing how the views from different actors in society can be included in the final decision. (Environmental Impact Assessment)

DESCRIBE different ways on how the environment can be included in the decision situation in a profit-oriented world. (Environmental Economics).

EXPLAIN on a general level how an optimization framework may help solve holistic energy system problems by first DESCRIBING the five kinds of information needed to be identified and by thereafter APPLYING the framework when assessing a basic energy system problem (System Analysis)

  • DISTINGUISH the system objective of a given energy related problem concerning the stakeholder/decision-maker.
  • IDENTIFY basic system components and system boundary of a given energy-related problem concerning the stakeholder/decision-maker.
  • IDENTIFY what are the system variables and constraints in a given energy-related problem concerning the stakeholder/decision-maker.

DISCUSS different ways of incorporating environmental impacts in models to support decision-making, and DESCRIBE the difficulties of finding desired information, the necessity of making assumptions, and how to approach this uncertainty.

Judgement and approach

The student should after passing the course be able to

DISCUSS the limitation in looking at a system or problem from one perspective. (System Analysis and Environmental Ethics)

BREAK DOWN a given system into different parts to identify key environmental impacts from different parts of the system. This also includes exemplifying different kinds of environmental impacts and how they can be compared, while this does not include knowing all environmental impacts.


Environmental Systems Analysis aims at supporting decision-making towards sustainable development by assessing the interaction and impacts of socio-technical systems on the environment.

After passing the course, students should be able to describe how environmental impacts – from energy related technologies, products, and/or systems – can be addressed in different decision-making situations, both decisions made by individuals, companies, and governments. Thus, be able to compare different technologies, products, potential projects, policies, plans, or programs in terms of environmental impacts and other decision variables. Taking into account the circumstances and needs of individuals and the targets for economically, socially, and ecologically sustainable development set by the community.

Each course occasion´s language and form is stated and appear on the course page on Luleå University of Technology's website.

In this course, you will work with five ‘theme areas’ and three case studies. The different themes represent different topics, areas of knowledge, which are important for understanding how the environment (natural and built) may be incorporated in decision-making. In the case studies, you will be introduced to different ‘methods’ for comparing environmental impacts from different activities. The case studies go across the theme areas.

This course is to a large extent based on ‘flipped classroom’, which means that you first read and reflect by yourself, thereafter together with fellow students and finally with us teachers. The reason why we do this is that we believe that you can get the initial knowledge by yourself, and thereafter get the more advanced knowledge from us/lectures. You also learn more by first trying by yourself.

Flipped classroom applied on different theme areas: Before each lecture, you try to identify and understand the key concepts within the area – first by yourself and then together with fellow students. During the lecture, you will be given a further introduction to the area with the aim to provide a deeper understanding of the topic (make sure to ask questions before and during the lecture, in case there is something that need to be clarified). After each lecture, you will be given the task to apply the concepts to a given industry/firm.

Flipped classroom applied on the case studies: For each case study, we will first introduce the method (case study lecture) and thereafter introduce the case study. Each case study is carried out during supervision and is divided into different steps (sets of questions). For each step, each group first try to solve the defined step and thereafter discuss ways to solve the step with the teacher (make sure to understand a step, before proceeding to the next step). At the end of the session, the group writes a memo, evaluating their process and identifies critical aspects of the method introduced in the specific case study.

If there is a decision on special educational support, in accordance with the Guideline Student's rights and obligations at Luleå University of Technology, an adapted or alternative form of examination can be provided.

The examination consists of participation in lectures, group discussions, assignments, and case studies. The final grade is based on the quality of the written graded assignments. Consideration may also be taken to the activity during lectures, group discussions, case studies, and submitted ungraded assignments. Attendance at compulsory lectures is required. Oral or written additional task(s) are offered for the students to be able to pass the course, as well as to verify the individual contributions.

Information about schedule and literature is introduced in the CANVAS course room. This is also where we will announce changes to the schedule and will be the primary place to answer questions that you have with the course.

Anna Krook-Riekkola

Literature. Valid from Autumn 2021 Sp 1 (May change until 10 weeks before course start)
Scientific articles and reports as well as other material provided at the learning Management system during the course to be printed at the students’ own expense

Course offered by
Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics

CodeDescriptionGrade scaleCrStatusFrom periodTitle
0006Case studies and AssignmentsG U 3 4 57.50MandatoryA21

Study guidance
Study guidance for the course is to be found in our learning platform Canvas before the course starts. Students applying for single subject courses get more information in the Welcome letter. You will find the learning platform via My LTU.

Syllabus established
by HUL Mats Näsström 14 Feb 2017

Last revised
by Head Faculty Programme Director Niklas Lehto 17 Feb 2021