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System Earth


Admission requirements

This course is obligatory for students of the MSc Industrial Ecology (joint degree Leiden University and TU Delft).


The course covers several topics of sustainability and resource use via lectures, interventions of invited speakers, class discussions, and assigned readings. The course is divided in thematic blocks on Climate, Resources, Governance, Food, Water, and Ecosystem Services. The objective of the course is to link individual topics to the global sustainability agenda detailed in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The course has also a special focus on the art of communicating science to a non-specialist audience. Deepening on a topic is possible in the final group projects or research papers that complement the final exam.

Each session consists of an introductory lecture with analysis of readings facilitated by the course lecturers, one content lecture given either by the course teacher or by an engaging invited speaker, and finally a debate and/or class exercises and presentation. There are two review sessions which bring together the content of lectures and readings, and place topics into perspective.


Because this course is part of a joint degree between Leiden University and TU Delft, students (also guest and exchange) have to be enrolled in both universities.

All students have to enrol for the course via Brightspace, TU Delft (before the start of the course) and for the exam via uSis, Leiden University. (see:

Students who are not enrolled for the MSc Industrial Ecology, have to ask for permission from the studyadvisor of Industrial Ecology to join this course, at least one month before the start of the course.

Exchange students can only enroll for this course if their home university has an Exchange agreement with both Leiden University and TU Delft. Exchange students have to ask permission from the studyadvisor of Industrial Ecology as soon as possible, preferably six months before the start of the course.


More information and the description of the course is published in the e-studyguide of TU Delft.