This course is obligatory for students of the MSc Industrial Ecology (joint degree TU Delft and Leiden University).
Society’s metabolism can be defined as society-nature interactions characterized by material and energy flows – i.e. input of raw materials, processing to manufactured products, services, and release of waste and emissions, including energy conversion and use. Society's metabolism is determined by the modes of production (economy), technology, and lifestyle (culture) of society.
This course introduces students to the evaluation of the impacts that society’s metabolism has on the functioning of the earth’s physical and biological systems. The main themes addressed in this course are the Anthropocene, Economics of the Anthropocene, The environmental and social impacts of society’s metabolism, Resources and Energy scenarios, Water, and the Food System.
Each lecture session of the course consists of an analysis of readings facilitated by the course lecturers, a content lecture given either by the course coordinators or by an invited speaker and/or class exercises and student presentations.
Compulsory workshops complement the lectures. The workshops are based on the principles of Blue Engineering and facilitate creative and interdisciplinary learning. Students will discuss different aspects of society-nature relations in an open learning environment and add to their knowledge from the lectures by scrutinizing their own social and ecological responsibilities.
After completing this course, students are able to…
Describe society’s metabolism and the pressures it exerts on the environment;
Understand the connections between the drivers and impacts of major global sustainability challenges;
Design effective ways to assess and analyse the interactions between society’s metabolism and the environment;
Analyze major sustainability challenges related to society’s metabolism and critically evaluate approaches to measure and evaluate them;
Collaborate in multidisciplinary and international teams to formulate relevant research questions to the field of Industrial Ecology;
Reflect on the ethical aspects of social and ecological responsibilities;
Gather, use and integrate knowledge and data related to society’s metabolism, and distil them convincingly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.
MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).
For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.
Mode of instruction
The course will be given one day a week, with lectures given in the mornings and workshops/tutorials in the afternoons. Education methods include lectures (including flipped classroom format), presentations, discussions, elaboration of group projects, writing of reports. Compulsory workshops complement the lectures. The workshops are based on the principles of Blue Engineering and facilitate creative and interdisciplinary learning. Students will discuss different aspects of society-nature relations in an open learning environment and add to their knowledge from the lectures by scrutinizing their own social and ecological responsibilities. A group project is developed together with facilitators during the workshops. At the end of the course, students will present the results of their groupwork in conference-style event with compulsory attendance.
50% individual final exam on the materials covered in the lectures series
50% group project on the activities related to the compulsory workshops
The final mark for the course is established by the average of the mark of the individual exam (50%) and that of the group project (50%). The final mark of the course is expressed by means of a figure between 1 and 10, rounded to the nearest half. The rounding process is done, only at the end, for the final calculation. The mark 5,5 cannot be granted. Marks between 5,01 and 5,49 are rounded to 5,0 and marks between 5,50 and 5,99 are rounded to 6,0. To succeed the course, the minimum unrounded mark of the written exam and that of the group project should both be 5,50.
A resit is offerred for the individual final exam.
The reading list will be described on Brightspace and in the syllabus of the course
From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.
Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.
Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.
- For substantive questions, contact the course coordinator listed in the right information bar.
MSc Industrial Ecology students can register for the course and exam via MystudyMap. Other students need to contact the study advisors of the programme via firstname.lastname@example.org