Industrial ecology, MSc

120 credits
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Climate change and environmental impacts resulting from land use, materials, chemicals, and energy are immensely complex issues, placing enormous pressures on the planet and our ways of living. When coupled with rapid social changes and developments in technology, economics, and environmental policy, the demand for expert knowledge and skills in these areas is vast.

By studying industrial ecology at Chalmers University of Technology, you will contribute to how humanity can face these issues, through analysing and developing sustainable technical solutions to be implemented by industry, governmental agencies, and researchers.

Industrial ecology master's programme​ at Chalmers

The master's programme in Industrial ecology gives you the knowledge and tools needed to analyse environmental impacts and resource constraints, to suggest and develop measures and to plan, lead, evaluate and follow up the effects of measures related to for example product development, land and resource use, energy systems, and large-scale urban planning processes. Industrial ecology provides a solution-oriented engineering approach to environmental and sustainability problems. Hence, while it is important for graduates of the programme to have gained a broad understanding of environmental problems in nature, they should become experts in analytical tools that facilitate the suggestion of relevant measures or policies.

This master's programme in Industrial ecology is aimed towards students that want a professional career in a field where they can make a difference in sustainable development, including environmental strategy, research, and assessment at more than one level in society. From more traditional engineering problems to changing industrial practices or international negotiations and policymaking.

I have a new perspective on the interactions between human systems and the environment. By approaching every outcome and stakeholder involved with a technical lens, rather than solely relying on emotional responses

Juan Carlos, EcuadorStudent
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Topics covered

The subjects of sustainable development and industrial ecology are fundamental areas in the Industrial ecology master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as the environment, life cycle assessment and circular economy.


Engineers from the Industrial ecology programme have interesting and broad career opportunities. Previous students from the programme have continued to work in the industry, environmental consultancy firms, governmental agencies and research.

Graduates from the programme find work as environmental strategy analysts, and project leaders in environmental divisions and in technology development. Examples of industrial sectors include energy, automobile, furniture, green buildings and the process industry.

Some of them find their jobs at environmental consultancy firms, working with for example life cycle analysis, and systems analyses of energy resources and waste. Others find work at governmental agencies, for example, the Swedish energy agency and the Swedish environmental technology council.

Several of our graduates have also continued within academia both at Chalmers (physical resource theory, environmental systems analysis, energy technology, logistics and transportation, shipping and marine technology) and other internationally known institutions.


The programme is developed by leading professionals at the Department of energy and environment at Chalmers who have close contact with industry and authorities to ensure an educational profile that meets the needs of the target groups.

The core courses in the programme are closely connected to ongoing research at the Divisions of environmental systems analysis and physical resource theory. Both of these divisions have expanded over several years with research groups that cover a wide range of topics and have connections to international research networks, several different industrial sectors and policy processes.

Find out more about research in Space, earth and environment


How to apply - From application to admission

This is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Master's programme at Chalmers University of Technology.