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Industrial Ecology

Industrial Ecology is an interdisciplinary scientific field aiming at analysing sustainability problems and designing and implementing solutions for such problems. Industrial Ecology field studies the technosphere, also known as the physical economy. In almost all cases, flows of energy and materials are the connection between economic activities and environmental problems. These energy and material flows are the core object of Industrial Ecology, as well as the technologies generating those flows and the socio-economic context driving technology development. The educational programme focuses on the analysis, design, and implementation of industrial systems on the analogy of ecological systems and with the least possible adverse sustainability impacts.

The master’s programme Industrial Ecology consists of three parts, providing basic concepts and theories:
1. Natural Sciences of Industrial Ecology – Environmental science, Industrial Ecology analysis of technosphere systems and their relation with biosphere systems, in view of ecological sustainability, using tools such as Life Cycle Assessment, Material Flow Analysis, and ecological models.
2. Technical Sciences of Industrial Ecology – Design of technological systems, with a view on sustainable development, using tools from the realm of Design for Sustainability, Ecodesign, and Complex Adaptive Systems.
3. Social Sciences of Industrial Ecology – Implementation of sociotechnological systems, among others eco-industrial parks, and implementation of sustainably sound industrial practice.

Overview of the curriculum (120 EC, two years of 60 EC):
First year: Core Modules (54 EC) + Specialisation Modules (6 EC)
Second year: Specialisation Modules (12 EC) + Interdisciplinary Project Groups (12 EC) +Thesis Preparation Module (6EC) + Thesis Research Project (30 EC)

1st year

The first year is composed of 9 Core Modules of 6 EC. The Core Modules form the central part of the programme and are compulsory for every student. In addition, students are free to choose Specialisation Modules with a total of 6 EC. For more information see “Specialisation Modules”.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Closed loop supply chains 6
General Introduction to Industrial Ecology 6
Renewable Energy Systems 6
Fundamentals of Modelling and Data Analysis 6
Analytical Methodologies and Tools 6
Urban Environments and Infrastructures 6
Sustainable Innovation and Social Change 6
System Earth 6
Design of Sustainable Technological Systems 6

2nd year

The second year is composed of 3 compulsory courses with a total of 48 EC.
Students have to fill in 12 EC with Specialisation Modules.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Interdisciplinary Project Groups 12
Thesis Preparation Module 6
Thesis Research Project 30

Specialisation Modules

During the study Industrial Ecology, students have to choose at least 18 EC of Specialisation Modules. 6 EC can be done during the first year, and 12 EC during the second year. For more information and the rules and regulations concerning the Specialisation Modules, see the Implementation Regulations for Industrial Ecology Brightspace TU Delft.

Course EC Semester 1 Semester 2
Environmental Input-Output Analysis 6
LCA Practice & Reporting 9
Industrial Ecology Capita Selecta Module 2/6

More info

The Master’s Programme Industrial Ecology is a co-operation between Leiden University (Faculty of Science) and Delft University of Technology (Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management).
Leiden University is resposible for the administration of this programme. Students have to apply via Leiden University

Admission Requirements
1. A bachelor’s degree in any of the Natural Sciences, Engineering Sciences, or Social Sciences from an accredited university programme and comparable with three years of Dutch Academic Education.
2. For Dutch HBO students: a bachelor degree in any of the Natural Sciences, Engineering Sciences, or Social Sciences from an accredited programme and a grade point average of the entire curriculum of 7.5 or higher.
3. An additional requirement for all students is that students have a demonstrable affinity with multi- or interdisciplinary education and research. This should be shown in a motivation letter to the admission committee by elaborating on relevant course modules, summer courses, internships, or other relevant experiences that are within the endterms of the bachelor’s degree, or at least at sufficient academic level.
4. An additional requirement for all students is that students have a demonstrable interest in the field of Industrial Ecology. This should be shown in the motivation letter by giving at least one relevant example of the relation between his/her bachelor’s education or previous experience and the field of Industrial Ecology.
5. Proof of sufficient proficiency in English: IELTS test level of at least 6.5 or TOEFL score of at least 570/230, evidenced by an appropriate test. This requirement does not apply if the student has:
a. completed your education in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, New Zealand or Australia,
b. or an International Baccalaureate,
c. or, for Dutch students that completed VWO level English.