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Competence profiles

The programme has no tracks and there is in general a large degree of freedom for the students to select courses within the programme. Competence profiles are meant to be an advice on choice of courses and course sequences for competitive specializations. In each competence profile there is an inherent progression. Below is a list of the available competence profiles and a more detailed description. Figure 1 gives an overview.

Water Technology

This competence profile is intended to provide specialization in hydrology and hydraulic engineering. With these courses as a foundation, students will have advanced knowledge of hydrological and hydrogeological processes, conceptualization of hydrological environments, and engineering applications relating to surface and groundwater systems.

The courses in the profile give a thorough knowledge on water and solute transport ( AE2201 Environmental Dynamics/Physical Processes ), in applied hydrology such as urban hydrology ( AE2610 Applied Hydrology ) and in hydraulic structures ( AE2612 Hydraulic Engineering ). Thecourse AE2107 Modeling of Water Systems  introduces students to modelling water-related processes, conceptualizing hydrological systems and allows students to apply some commonly used modeling tools/software.

Environmental Geology and Hydrogeology

The competence profile in Environmental Geology and Hydrogeology aims to satisfy a need in the professional sector, i.e. to educate engineers regarding geology, hydrology and environmental chemistry. These engineers can for example work with investigations of contaminated sites, impacts of projects to groundwater and interactions between projects and local geological settings.

The course AE2801 Environmental Chemistry and Risk Assessment  provides knowledge concerning contaminant behavior in the environment and risk assessment of contaminated sites. In AE2104 Environmental Measuring and Monitoring  different techniques for environmental measurements (including geophysical techniques) are presented. AE2401 Engineering Geology  introduces students to interpretation and analysis of typical geological and geotechnical issues. AL2301 Applied Hydrogeology  covers fundamental hydrogeological subjects such as groundwater flow, contaminant transport and groundwater chemistry.

An additional course for students interested in this field is AG2800 Life Cycle Assessment , which introduces a life cycle perspective on natural resources (including geological resources).

Water and Wastewater Technology

This competence profile provides advanced knowledge in sanitary engineering including water supply.

After the course AE2801 Environmental Chemistry and Risk Assessment , students take an introductory course in sanitary engineering ( AE2304 Water and Wastewater Handling ). The following courses provide knowledge of the physical, chemical and geological aspects of groundwater storage and transport ( AL2301 Applied Hydrogeology ), and purification techniques for wastewater and drinking water ( AE2302 Water Treatment Processes and Technology ).

Appropriate additional courses may, for example, be AE2612 Hydraulic Engineering  and AE2610 Applied Hydrology , which provide knowledge of hydraulic aspects of, e.g., sanitary sewers.

Environmental Information Analysis and Management

This competence profile, together with courses in competence profile Environmental Systems Analysis, provide skills that are of interest in connection with environmental impact assessments for infrastructure projects, urban and regional planning, policy assessment, as well as establishing remediation and monitoring programs. The competence profile focuses on the collection of data and processing of environmental information, and tools for integration in policy, planning and management for sustainable development.

The course AE2503 Environmental Data introduces geographic information systems (GIS). Emphasis is on getting familiar with GIS tools for creating, visualizing, analyzing, and interpolating data as well as building models in GIS. AE2104 Environmental Measuring and Monitoring  introduces surveys, field studies and monitoring. The course focus is on field measuring methods with emphasis on geophysical methods, but also some chemical and hydrological measuring methods. Students get experience of fieldwork, followed by evaluation of the obtained data using statistical methods, and modelling. The AL2300 Natural Resources Management Tools course contains methods and tools for spatial modelling and information management for decision support. The emphasis is on GIS and advanced data treatment, in combination with other tools such as scenarios, indicators, stakeholder engagement, for supporting knowledge-sharing and bridging the science-policy interface. Suitable additional courses is AE2107 Modelling of Water Systems  that includes spatial hydrological modelling.

Sustainable Infrastructure

AG2143 Sustainable Rural and Urban Development  aimsat deepening students’ knowledge regarding urban and rural development issues in relation to the 2030 Agenda and goals for Sustainable Development. The course applies a conceptual framework that emphasizes development as a never-ending process of making progress and focuses on the role of context, actors and power structure, processes and dynamics towards societal transformation for sustainable societies. AG2141 Urban Infrastructure builds upon these issues with a specific focus on the role of infrastructure networks in achieving a wide range of sustainable urban development objectives. The course employs a sociotechnical perspective to examine how technological development is inherently social, political and cultural. The course AE2707 Governance of Land and Water Resources  is focused on how use of natural resources can be managed in the long term.

Environmental Systems Analysis

This competence profile covers three environmental systems analysis tools. Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has a project perspective and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) focuses on plans and programs, both with a primarily local or regional perspective. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) complements this with a life cycle perspective of products and services, which can be integrated in the assessment of projects and plans in EIA and SEA. The courses in this competence profile complement each other with different perspectives and tools for environmental systems analysis. It is recommended, but not required, that they are studied in the order outlined in the description of the EESI competence profiles (EIA – SEA- LCA). As a student you will gain theoretical knowledge and practical skills for working with strategic environmental planning and decision making in consultancy, governmental authorities, municipalities, or international agencies.

AE2501 Environmental Impact Assessment  (EIA) is a legislative tool and decision-making process, used worldwide, which analyses the environmental, social and economic consequences of proposed development actions (industrial sites and infrastructure projects). The course covers the underlying principles of EIA, EIA in international perspective, the role of EIA as a tool for sustainable development, methods employed in EIA and interdisciplinarity in relation to the performance of EIA. In the course you will get hands on experience by making a review of an EIA document and preparing an EIA on a development proposal. The course requires no prior knowledge in EIA. AE2507 Strategic Environmental Assessment  (SEA) is process-oriented and a planning tool for integrating sustainability considerations into proposed plans, programs and policies. The course covers the basic principles of SEA and its applications in different sectors, for example on sectoral climate action strategy, approaches to SEA and its role in relation to planning and decision-making process, and SEA practices in an international perspective. In this course, you will be involved in the SEA process, for example, on sectoral climate action strategy. AL2608 Life Cycle Assessment  (LCA) is an analytical tool for assessment of environmental impacts of products and services over their entire life cycle, from raw material extraction, through use phase, to waste management and recycling. Among other things, LCA is used to support decision making in industry and public planning and policy. The course covers LCA methodology and examples from industry. You will practice LCA skills in a project of your own choice, and learn how to use LCA software. The course requires no prior knowledge in LCA.

Sustainable Societies

The competence profile Sustainable Societies address sustainability from a social-ecological perspective with focus on policy and planning. Thereby it puts the more technologically oriented courses in a wider sustainability context. From these courses you will strengthen your capability to relate different perspectives on sustainability to your own specific field of knowledge. An important component of these courses are the work in multi-disciplinary teams, where you will gain skills necessary for understanding, discussing and incorporating the complexity of sustainable development. Skills that are essential in any work aiming at progressive transformation to sustainability. 

In AG2142 Political Economy for Environmental Planners we study theglobal political and economic systems and their relation to ecology and the environment. Furthermore the focus is on discussing alternative perspectives and approaches in relation to moving society in a more sustainable direction. The starting point for AL2511 Resilience Thinking in Sustainability planning  is that understanding change at different levels and paces using a systems perspective is essential for sustainable development. The course provides the theoretical foundations of resilience thinking as an approach to address change and identify actions for adaptation and transformation to handle the complexity of today’s sustainability challenges. These theoretical foundations are then applied by using a resilience assessment methodology in a case study project. The course AL2503 Planning for Environmental Justice in Social-Ecological Systems focuses on environmental justice regarding access to and use of ecological resources. The course illustrates and discusses the ecological resource base needed to support urban structures and a consumption-intensive lifestyle, as well as how natural resources and negative environmental impacts are distributed among different groups in society. Strategies for socio-ecological just and inclusive use of natural resources, as well as potentials for promoting environmental justice in planning and environmental technology are also discussed. 

The courses in the programme

The courses in the programme have many more links to each other than described here. Further, they can be grouped according to their scientific content. The blue and purple fields embrace the courses that build on natural science and technology, the yellow field embraces the courses that build on social science, while the green field in the middle represents courses that are based on systems analysis, impact assessment and sustainability science, and/or has the ambition to bridge the science-policy interface in different ways.