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Multidisciplinary study module on the circular economy

Five Finnish universities are in the process of developing a multidisciplinary study module that offers students of different universities new perspectives on the circular economy and opportunities for deepening their competence within their own field.


We need open-minded experts who know how to operate on all different levels of the circular economy and are capable of collaborating with representatives of industry, decision-makers, research institutes and other organisations. The development of their competence will be supported by a new, versatile minor subject module, which five universities are currently developing and testing collectively.

What do we do?

The courses in the study module are designed to include several different circular economy perspectives and to use the latest pedagogical teaching methods and, as far as possible, remote teaching. The courses encourage students to engage in dialogue with students from different fields attending the same course.

In the project, nine courses are being developed and tested.

  • Circular economy design forum, 5 credits (at Aalto University)
  • Metal recycling technologies, 5 credits (at Aalto University)
  • Materials for renewable energy, 5 credits (at Aalto University)
  • Sustainable development in teaching, 5 credits (at the University of Helsinki)
  • Biorefineries, 5 credits (at Lappeenranta University of Technology)
  • Current issues in enabling technologies for the circular economy, 5 credits (at Lappeenranta University of Technology and the University of Oulu)
  • Environmental chemistry and ecology, 5 credits (at the University of Oulu)
  • Environmental load of industry, 5 credits (at the University of Oulu)
  • The politics, justice and communities of the circular economy, 5 credits (at the University of Eastern Finland)

Who is participating?

The study module is being implemented through co-operation between the Aalto University School of Chemical Technology and the Aalto University School of Business, the Department of Chemistry at the University of Helsinki, the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies at the University of Eastern Finland, the School of Engineering Science at Lappeenranta University of Technology and the Unit of Environmental and Chemical Engineering at the University of Oulu.

Where are we now?

The co-operation project was launched in March 2018. Next, each university will proceed to planning and developing its own courses to make them suited for the study module, in collaboration with each other. In the development work, particular account will be taken of the needs of online learning and blended learning. The possibility to take the courses either as contact teaching courses or as online courses, or as a combination of the two, will make the mobility between universities easier for the students.



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