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AL2181 Environmental System Analysis and Decision making 7.5 credits

Environmental systems analysis adopts a systems approach to analysing and assessing the impacts of techno-economic systems on the environment. It aims at supporting decision-making towards identifying preferable alternatives in different domains and levels of social action. This course deals with different decision-making situations that engineers face in their work, and with the estimation of the direct and indirect consequences to the environment and people that decisions carry. The course takes on an applied focus that covers a range of tools for assessing the consequences of decisions, thereby providing the skills for improving environmental decision making in companies and other organizations.

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For course offering

Autumn 2024 Start 28 Oct 2024 programme students

Application code


Headings with content from the Course syllabus AL2181 (Autumn 2023–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

In lectures and seminars, central principles of environmental decision making will be explained and discussed, including:

·         decision-making theory and environmental decision-making; Systems theory, systems thinking and systems analysis.

·         environmental systems analysis, environmental assessment, evaluation.

·         tools for environmental systems analysis, strategic environmental assessment (environmental impact assessment, life-cycle assessment, material flow analysis, cost-benefit analysis, integrated assessment.

Intended learning outcomes

After the course, the student should be able to:

  • characterise a specific environmental decision situation;
  • describe the key characteristics of the main environmental systems analysis tools;
  • understand the decision-context dependency in the choice of appropriate tools;
  • explain and analyze how a specific environmental systems analysis tool may contribute to an improved decision-making in a specific decision situation;
  • describe and explain what types of development trends may be expected in the area of environmental systems analysis; and
  • demonstrate an ability to cooperate in a group task work and, together with other students, produce a joint report of high quality with respect to formal issues, facts content and analysis.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

At least 150 higher education credits in science or technology.

Courses from upper secondary school corresponding to the courses Eng B/6 according to the Swedish upper secondary school system or equivalent.

Recommended prerequisites

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Selected scientific publications offered at Canvas

Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • PRO4 - Project, 3.0 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F
  • SEM1 - Seminar, 0.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • SEM2 - Seminar, 0.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN3 - Exam, 3.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Students who have not completed the course with previous examination are asked to contact the examiner.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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