Course syllabus

ENM035 Assessing sustainability: Assignments lp2 HT20 (7.5 hp)

The course is offered by the division of Environmental Systems Analysis at the department of Technology Management and Economics

Contact details

Prof Sverker Molander,, 070-308 85 22 examiner, lecturer, supervisor of individual assignments

Prof Magdalena Svanström, 031-772 30 01 supervisor of individual assignments

PhD Johnn Andersson, 070-336 37 47 supervisor of individual assignments

Course aims

The course deals with the concepts of sustainability and sustainable development and introduces various approaches to the assessment of them.

The aim of this course is to develop student’s abilities to assess the connections between human activities and environmental and sustainability problems. This is done by reading about, reflecting on and discussing

- different views on sustainability (e.g. the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs),

- various approaches to sustainability and strategic environmental assessment, specifically regarding their process and content,

The course pays specific attention to the role of indicators used, the usefulness and legitimacy of assessment processes and outcomes in relation to stakeholders, sustainability and the complexity of the system in focus.

A further aim is to develop the students’ academic writing and communication skills and support a reflection on their personal knowledge.

The overall aim is to support the development of skills increasing students’ abilities to contribute to a sustainability assessment.



See also below "Course summary:"

Course literature

See file "Syllabus" in module "All you need to know"

Course design

The course s structured in 

- a series of lectures, to introduce various concepts and procedures

- a series of seminars, where interesting literature is discussed, which requires the reading of the seminar texts (often scientific articles), submitting questions before the seminar and actively participating in the seminars that will be performed in smaller groups

- the writing and presentation of an individual assignment covering a specific type os sustainability assessment

Learning objectives and syllabus

After the course the students should 

  • 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, baseline setting, construction of alternatives, identification of indicators, reporting and follow-up-
  • have reflected on their potential future 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

Link to the syllabus on Studieportalen.

Study plan


Examination form

Examination is in the form of an active participation in the seminar series, a pass of the Academic writing quizzes, submitting and performing presentations of individual assignments to the mid-term seminar and to the final seminar. 

Course summary:

Date Details Due