Course Syllabus for

Sustainable Development - Basics
Hållbar utveckling - grunder

IDE050F, 3 credits

Valid from: Spring 2018
Decided by: Mats Ohlin
Date of establishment: 2018-11-05

General Information

Division: Department of Design Sciences
Course type: Third-cycle course
Teaching language: English


Overall aims with this course are that the participants shall understand and be able to reflect on the set of problems with complex socio-ecological systems and to understand the importance of multi-disciplinary efforts and how to deal with current and future uncertainties. Sustainable development in the course refers to the development at the global, regional and local levels as defined in the Brundtland Commission report ‘Our common future’, with the three pillars of environmental, social and economic sustainability. The aim of the course is to give PhD students good knowledge of sustainable development. This knowledge will increase the student’s ability to identify possibilities and risks associated with sustainability when developing products, processes and systems. This course is a shorter version of the courses "Sustainable development with a systems perspective, 5 hp" and "The designer/engineer and sustainable development, 7,5 hp". The “5 hp” course includes more literature and video material, which in some cases are replaced with summaries in this course. The “7,5 hp” course includes a project as well.


Knowledge and Understanding

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Competences and Skills

For a passing grade the doctoral student must be able to discuss and reflect on how to influence for a sustainable development

Judgement and Approach

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Course Contents

The course gives essential knowledge in sustainable development. The subdivisions below are grouped into modules. Some modules have online video-introductions, some have introductory seminars and others have introductory reading materials. Subdivisions: Definition of sustainable development. History. Climate change and its effects. Planetary boundaries. Circular economy. Life-cycle thinking. Food security. Social aspects. Occupational Health. Sustainable city. Poverty. Complex systems. Sustainable development and ethics.

Course Literature

The course includes a variety of literature, e.g. scientific journals and online videos

Instruction Details

Types of instruction: Lectures, seminars, self-study literature review. Introductions by teachers in the classroom and in online video's.

Examination Details

Examination format: Written assignments
Grading scale: Failed, pass

Admission Details

Admission requirements: Accepted for PhD-studies
Selection criteria: The course will be given if at least 10 PhD-students take part. At most 30 applicants will be accepted. If we get more than 30 applicants criteria for selection will be used in the following order 1. PhD student from the department of design sciences 2. PhD-student from the faculty of engineering 3. a PhD student who has reached longer in his/her postgraduate studies is favored 4. by lottery

Further Information

The course is planned to start January 2019.

Course Occasion Information

Contact and Other Information

Course coordinators:
Web page:

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