Surrey University Stag


Module code: ENGM253

Module Overview

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a robust and systematic methodology to evaluate and analyse environmental impacts of a product or service system across its whole life cycle. This module aims to develop skills in the LCA methodology by providing in-depth training on LCA methodology, and practical experience of doing an LCA on SimaPro software.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader

SADHUKHAN Jhuma (Sust & CEE)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: F751

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 7

Independent Learning Hours: 110

Seminar Hours: 13

Tutorial Hours: 4

Practical/Performance Hours: 3

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The module will cover a detailed overview of LCA methodology including impact assessment and management of uncertainty; practical experience of executing an LCA using commercial software; exposure to a range of resources available to do LCA (life cycle inventory databases, life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods, etc.). The module gives an overview of LCSA and how LCA research is shaping now and in future. External speakers will additionally assist with developing an understanding of LCA.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment

Students who fail the LCA group exercise will be required to write an individual report  

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to solve LCA problems and thus build upon skills developed in the module.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Pre-course individual foundation concepts quiz (20%)

  • LCA group exercises during module week (20%) is to develop LCA problem solving skills using SimaPro software, evaluated through a presentation.

  • 2,500-word individual post-module report (60%) is to discuss in-depth and critically analyse an LCA.

Formative assessment and feedback:

  • Feedback is provided on a continuing basis during the group exercise to provide help in developing content for the group exercise.

  • Following the intensive teaching week, for the post-module assignment students can make an appointment with the lecturer to discuss their choice of a case study LCA for analysis.

Module aims

  • Discuss all four stages of the LCA methodology
  • Analyse the resources required to do an LCA study in practice
  • Acquire skills required to operate an LCA software
  • Be able to provide a critical perspective on the quality of an LCA study done by others
  • Evaluate the key benefits and challenges of the application of LCA for a range of purposes
  • Discuss life cycle sustainability assessment (LCSA) comprising environmental life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle costing (LCC) and social life cycle assessment (SLCA)

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Be able to explain the LCA methodology and its variations such as LCSA CP
002 Be able to deploy resources required to do an LCA study in practice, including the use of LCA software KP
003 Be able to critically evaluate the quality of an LCA study done by others peer review skill CP
004 Identify the key benefits and challenges of the application of LCA for a range of purposes T
005 Develop advanced skills in LCA problem solving PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching resources include the preparatory reading and exercises, lectures from CES staff and external experts, hands-on LCA study with SimaPro, group discussions and exercises to do an LCA, formative assessment.


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
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM253

Other information

The Centre for Environment and Sustainability is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas.

Digital Capabilities – This module provides students with first-hand experience with a leading LCA software – SimaPro. The experience gained on this software is transferrable to all other LCA software. Moreover, LCA can be conducted on spreadsheets. This develops skills in formula application and this experience is valuable for other aspects of work and life, not just within LCA. Moreover, the module requires students to produce a presentation (LCA group exercises during module week (20%) formative assessment) and report which helps develop digital capabilities.

SustainabilityThis learning will take place through gaining first-hand experience of using LCA software to comprehensively evaluate the impact that a product and process can have over its life cycle. Students primarily learn about the environmental impacts that a certain product or process may have from cradle-to-grave and then how LCA can be applied to reduce these impacts. Students will also learn about the impact a product or process may have on society or the economy.

Resourcefulness and Resilience – The module requires students to develop independence and proactivity skills throughout. The pre-module reading and assessment require students to conduct their research and develop their perseverance skills. During the module, students will need to apply agility, self-awareness and teamwork skills to attend seminars and complete the in-class assessment. Finally, the post-module assignment requires students to develop their proactivity and independence skills.

Global and Cultural Capabilities – This module helps build global and cultural capabilities through LCA group exercises during module week that require a team working and cooperation between team members with diverse global and cultural capabilities.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Corporate Environmental Management MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Environmental Strategy MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Sustainable Development MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Automotive Engineering MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Aerospace Engineering MEng 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Mechanical Engineering MEng 2 Optional 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 2024/5 academic year.