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Energy and Resource Management


Admission requirements

Required course(s):



Humans depend on the environment for the different materials and services they need to survive and to flourish. In this process, we also produce substances such as pollutants that impact the health of the environment and contribute to biodiversity loss. As a concrete example, the cars we buy are made with thousands of components, which need to be produced using materials of different types. These materials are sourced from different places, sent to production facilities, and then assembled. Once a car is no longer in use and is bound for disposal, the components need to be taken care of by either reusing, recycling or discarding. The same basic process applies to all the products (e.g., coffee mug, hair dryer) and infrastructures (e.g., railways, roads) we use in our daily lives. The ways we develop these products and their associated infrastructures impact on human health, ecosystems, and natural resources. This course introduces students to these multiple and often interconnected impacts.

This ERM course takes a practical approach to exploring sustainable resource use by applying the theoretical knowledge gained in class to a real-life project requiring environmental management. Throughout the block, we will draw upon the planning and development process for selected projects to explore the three pillars of sustainable development (environmental, social, and economic sustainability) particularly as they relate to the development of environmental management systems of the future.

The course lays down foundational knowledge to support complex decision-making processes for environmental and human health protection. It introduces the students to the concepts of alternatives (e.g., energy transition projects, livelihoods strategies) as targets of each assessment and multiple criteria as tools to assess their technical and sustainability performance.

Within the framework of Environmental and Socio-economic Impact Assessment (ESIA), we will explore positive and negative impacts of an environmental management project on multiple endpoints such as landscapes, biodiversity, air quality, climate, livelihoods, social cohesion, education, and human health, among others. Moreover, we will examine debates and critical perspectives regarding sustainable resource management, including reasons behind local and national opposition to complex resource management infrastructure. Finally, we will integrate information on the selected projects, deliberate, and propose a decision or recommendation (i.e., YES/NO) for implementation.

Course Objectives

At the end of the course, students shall have acquired the knowledge and skills identified below.


  • Identify and understand the various stakeholders that are involved in planning (large-scale) environmental management infrastructure;

  • Understand (some of) the assessment strategies used to evaluate the sustainability of environmental management projects; and

  • Identify and analyse the environmental, social, and economic impacts of a real-life environmental management project.


  • Develop performance tables that enable comparing alternatives using conflicting objectives;

  • Effectively and efficiently study complex (scientific) reports; and

  • Work in a group setting to develop a co-constructive learning environment.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2023-2024 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

The course is project-based(1), meaning that the same real-life project will be used throughout the whole block. This course will consist of a mix of lectures, class discussions, workshops, and small group meetings.

Each student will be part of a specific stakeholder group (e.g., industry, policy makers, academics, local community) that is currently engaged in the impacts assessment of the project. Each group will work during the block to learn and represent the views of the stakeholder it represents. Interaction sessions will then be organised among the stakeholder groups in order to (hopefully) culminate in a shared decision recommendation (i.e., YES/NO for the project implementation).

(1)Examples of previous projects include waste and biomass management, and wind power. Only one project will be used during the block, and which one will depend on the instructor.

Assessment Method

The students’ performance will be evaluated based on the assessment areas and percentages indicated below. Details on these will be provided in the syllabus.

  • Discussion leader (17.5%, )

  • Group brief outline (10%, week 2/3)

  • Group complete brief (30%, week 5)

  • Project development hearing (7.5%, week 6/7)

  • Literature report (35%, week 8)

Reading list

A reading list will be made available before the course starts. The following book is recommended and is available via the Leiden University library:

  • Therivel, R., and G. Wood. 2017. Methods of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (4th ed.). Routledge, eISBN: 9781315626932.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Aisa O. Manlosa,


You will be required to read a number of assigned materials prior to the class sessions. Information about required readings will be indicated in the course syllabus which will be available a week before the start of the course. If you register for this course, you will be added into an MS Teams group when the block starts. Class materials and communication will be carried out through MS Teams. BrightSpace will be used mainly for uploading the syllabus and graded assessments.