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MJ2659 Technology and Ecosystems, Larger Course 7.5 credits

The course will provide knowledge about natural resources and environmental consequences from technical systems, technical processes and human behavior in society.

The course differs from MJ2655 since it contains an extra project task.

Choose semester and course offering

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus MJ2659 (Autumn 2023–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

o Concepts such as ecosystems, ecosystem services, ecological carrying capacity and planetary boundaries as well as their relation to technical development, population growth, welfare and sustainable development.

o The most important global and regional environmental problems of today such as global warming, acidification, eutrophication, ozone layer depletion, environmental pollutants, biodiversity, freshwater scarcity and deforestation.

o Trends and changes around the use of natural resources such as forest, soil and drinking water.

o Analysis of a socio-technical system- e g production and use of energy, transports, foods, electronics and textiles and its dependence as well as influence on ecosystems.

o Which role societal actors at different levels e g individuals, companies, organisations and public authorities, play in relation to regional and global environmental problems and possible solutions.

Intended learning outcomes

The overall aim of the course is to study the connection between ecosystems and socio-technical systems; how the socio-technical systems are dependant on functioning ecosystems at the same time as human use of natural resources influences structures and processes in the ecosystems.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Account for central concepts in ecosystem ecology.
  • Describe and explain the most important global and regional environmental problems of today, different actors' contributions to the problems as well as the development of the problems over time.
  • Given a global or regional environmental problem, identify and assess possible measures for improvement.
  • Discuss consequences for the interpretation of sustainable development based on the concept ecological carrying capacity.
  • Define a socio-technical system with relevant system boundaries as well as identify and analyse the environmental impact associated with the system and potential improvement measures.
  • In writing and orally present literature and project assignment according to established scientific methodology as well as compare scientific and popular science written communication in the environmental context.

Course disposition

The course consists of lectures, literature assignment, project assignment and written examination. Literature assignment and project assignment require submission of analysis/reports as well as active participation in seminars. The literature assignment is individual and consists of a written book analysis and formulation of questions for discussion. The project work, that is divided into an individual part and a groupwork part, is based on the concept of planetary boundaries that are studied in relation to a specific socio-technical system.

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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Will be announced at the beginning of the course

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


  • LIT1 - Literature Assignment, 1.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO1 - Project 1, 2.0 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • PRO2 - Project 2, 1.5 credits, grading scale: P, F
  • TEN1 - Examination, 3.0 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.

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 web

Further information about the course can be found on the Course web at the link below. Information on the Course web will later be moved to this site.

Course web MJ2659

Offered by

Main field of study

Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

No information inserted


Jiechen Wu (