LIFE CYCLE THINKING AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY - 2018/9

Module code: ENGM058

Module Overview

When considering how to reduce the environmental impacts of a product, a service, an organisation, a household or even a nation, it is vital to take a life cycle approach. In this module we introduce participants to life cycle thinking, the concept of the circular economy, life cycle management and related environmental systems analysis approaches. We consider how such approaches can guard against trade-offs in sustainability, thus leading to better-informed decisions. 

Module provider

Centre for Environment & Sustainability

Module Leader

DRUCKMAN A Prof (CES)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: F750

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:


Introduction to life cycle thinking, the circular economy, and life cycle management
Concepts, policy and organisational drivers, and application in practice;
Introduction to Life Cycle Assessment methodology, simplified life cycle studies; and case studies (from academia and industry);
Overview of Input-Output Analysis: principles and application;
Principles and practice of Design for Sustainability.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework IN-CLASS GROUP WORK REPORT 20
Coursework INDIVIDUAL POST MODULE REPORT 80

Alternative Assessment

For In-class Group Work Report: an individual report using different case study example(s). For Post Module Report: repeat assignment using different case study example(s).

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they understand the concepts of life cycle thinking (LCT) and the circular economy, and are able to discuss the benefits and challenges of its application in practice in industry and for policy making. In the individual assignment students are asked to demonstrate their understanding by applying what they have learnt to case studies. In the group assignment they are asked to apply the principles of Design for Sustainability to a specific consumer good or service.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


An Individual Post Module Report in which students are instructed to utilise case studies to critically explore how life cycle thinking can be applied to improve sustainability  outcomes.  


Assignment length: 3,200 words maximum (excluding reference list).

Deadline: ~ 3 weeks after the end of the module.


An In-class Group Work Report in which students apply the principles and tools of Design for Sustainability to a selected consumer product.


Deadline: close of play on the day of the exercise.

In cases where the In-class Group Work Report is failed, the alternative assignment will be an individual report, 800 words maximum.

 

Formative assessment and feedback

Students receive formative feedback during in-class group exercises and discussions. Groups are generally around 6-7 students.

Module aims

  • To introduce participants to life cycle thinking, the concept of the circular economy, life cycle management and related environmental systems analysis approaches.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Explain the concept of life cycle thinking (LCT) and describe the benefits and challenges of its application in practice in industry and for policy making. KPT
002 To appreciate and be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the circular economy concept KPT
003 Describe the goal, key methodologies, challenges and role of systems analysis approaches such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Input-Output Analysis. K
004 Appreciate different types of footprints, appropriate methodologies, and to be aware of current protocols and standards used for carbon footprinting of products, services and organisations. KP
005 Apply the principles and tools of Design for Sustainability to consumer products. CP
006
007

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to take an active learning approach, in which the students are engaged in class exercises and discussions. The schedule includes guest expert speakers from industry with whom students are encouraged to engage.

The learning and teaching methods include:


Preparatory reading (~10 hours);
Lectures (~18 hours)
In-class exercises and group discussions (~12 hours)
Post course study and assignment (~110 hours)


 

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for LIFE CYCLE THINKING AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/engm058

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Corporate Environmental Management MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Sustainable Development MSc 1 Optional Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
Environmental Strategy MSc 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Process and Environmental Systems Engineering MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.