TEP4930 - Industrial Ecology, Master's Thesis


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Master thesis
Grade: Letter grades

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Master thesis 100/100

Course content

This course is the Master thesis in the field of Industrial Ecology at the Department Energy and Process Engineering. Students choose and design the structure and contents of their work in collaboration with the teacher, and if relevant also in agreement with an external supervisor from industry or authorities.

Industrial ecology concerns the interaction of anthropogenic and natural systems and how they are influenced by technology, society and human factors. Industrial ecology considers the flows of material and energy in industrial and consumer activity, and the effects they have on environment, human health and future resource availability. Systems analysis methods in industrial ecology includes life-cycle assessment, material flow analysis, input-output analysis, systems engineering, cost-benefit analysis, risk analysis or related techniques.

The thesis applies industrial ecology methods to one or several of the following topics:

  • Ecosystems and bioresources
  • Circular economy and resource efficiency
  • Energy, transport and built environment
  • Sustainable production and consumption systems

Learning outcome

After completing this thesis, the student have in-depth knowledge within the analysis of environmental pressures caused by selected anthropogenic systems and knowledge of the theory, application, assumptions, strengths and limits of environmental systems analysis. Application depends on thesis topic and may involve ecosystems and bioresources, circular economy and resource efficiency, energy, transport and built environment, or sustainable production and consumption.

After completing this thesis, the students have the skills to:

  • apply environmental systems analysis in a research context, depending on thesis topic life cycle assessment, life cycle impact assessment, material flow analysis or input-output analysis.
  • define and appraise sustainability strategies based on life cycle and systems thinking.
  • structure and plan scientific work;
  • acquire an understanding of the state of the art knowledge regarding a specific scientific question through literature study and be able to evaluate own contribution to knowledge production;
  • conduct detailed and comprehensive analysis of a specified topic using scientific methods, such as empirical research, analysis and interpretation of empirical data, or development and utilization of models for prospective assessment;
  • execute an independent project including the development of a project plan with mile stones, the reporting of intermediate and final results, and writing a report or paper according to commonly applied scientific standards.

After completing this thesis, the student have general competence at master-level in environmental systems analysis. This involves to:

  • describe product-service systems and production-consumption systems on systems level in a practical context.
  • discuss and negotiate stakeholder interests, norms, practices and opinions in sustainability assessment and reflect critically on scientific, social, ethical and environmental responsibilities in their own work.

Learning methods and activities

Independent study with supervision, oral presentations. The course deliverable is a written thesis.

Compulsory assignments

  • AI Declaration submission

Further on evaluation

Information about writing and submitting your master's thesis Oppgaveskriving; see Routines on startup and submission of thesis within engineering/technology studies.

The master's thesis has to be submitted in NTNU's examination system Inspera Assessment. The deadline for submitting the master's thesis is 20 weeks from the starting date (the students have additional 6 weeks if they are writing a master thesis abroad.) + 7 days for Easter/Christmas holidays. Applications for an extended deadline must be submitted to the faculty. Students who fail the master's thesis, can submit a new or revised thesis once. It is not possible to improve an awarded grade by submitting a new thesis.

The assessment of the master's thesis shall be made available to the candidate within 3 months.

The Faculty of Engineering's standard AI-declaration must be submitted upon thesis completion.

Required previous knowledge

TEP5100 or similar.

More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  30.0 SP
Study level: Second degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  SPRING 2024

Language of instruction: English, Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Industrial Ecology
  • Technological subjects


Examination arrangement: Master thesis

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Spring ORD Master thesis 100/100 INSPERA
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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