The Master's programme in Circular Economy is offered by Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) on the Lahti Campus.

The existing economic system is based on the take-make-and-dispose approach powered mostly by fossil fuels. The assumption is that increasing economic growth produces so much surplus that arising adverse environmental impacts could be dealt with.

However, the system keeps growing only if there are enough resources for transformation, sinks for waste, credit for investments and economic growth.

The circular economy offers an alternative. It aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value. It aims to decouple economic growth from the consumption of finite resources by closing the loop of product life cycles. The system in which materials are transformed into useful goods and services endlessly is powered by renewable energy systems.

In this Master's programme, you will learn how to replace goods with services if it is more efficient and better for the environment. For example, information technology can offer us access to products and assets which can be utilised to create these solutions.

Another essential circular economy aspect is the inclusion of social capital. You will learn to create sharing economy solutions which are based on the abilities of individuals and communities.

In addition, you will learn how a bio-based materials economy may help us produce systems without waste. In a circular economy, the role of business is central, and therefore, you will also learn how business can create new business models based on the circular economy approach.

The programme's face-to-face contact instruction mainly consists of intensive periods in Lahti on Thursdays and Fridays. This Master's programme is also well suited for people already in the working world in Finland or abroad.

Intended learning outcomes

Improving resource efficiency is an important step towards a circular economy.

A circular economy is a regenerative system which aims to keep products, components, and materials at their highest utility and value while minimising waste, emissions, and energy use by slowing down, closing and narrowing material and energy loops. Its purpose is to decouple economic growth from the consumption of finite resources.

In this Master's programme, you will learn how to improve resource efficiency to promote the circular economy, including issues such as design to recover materials, design for disassembly, design for cleaner material flows and design for remanufacturing. This all can decrease waste and reduce energy use.

The Master's programme prepares you to work as a professional in the circular economy in a wide range of jobs focusing primarily on sustainable business and production.

You will learn how a circular economy can provide added value to companies, how material cycles can be created to be more effective, how a sharing economy can be applied and how individuals and communities can give added value to solutions.

You will be able to:

  • identify the most important environmental impacts of products and processes and their significance for business
  • analyse how competitive in terms of environmental impacts and costs a given technology, product or service is in different operating environments
  • recognise the environmental impacts of industrial, service, community and primary sector processes and systems and evaluate the technical possibilities to minimise them
  • explain the complex interdependencies of local and global environmental problems
  • apply theories and the most recent scientific knowledge to solve problems with environmental aspects
  • act as an environmental expert in different decision-making situations of a business and to produce and convey information to support different stakeholders in environmental-related decision-making
  • assimilate and innovate new technological solutions to develop the environmental sector.

Degree structure and studies

The Master's Programme in Circular Economy is a two-year programme. It leads to the degree of Master of Science in Technology, M.Sc. (Tech.), which is 120 ECTS credits.

This programme is offered by LUT University on the Lahti Campus. All lectures and tutorials of this Master's programme will be conducted on the Lahti campus, which is approximately 140 km from Lappeenranta.

The programme includes core studies, specialisation studies, minor studies, and elective studies.

Core studies (21 ECTS credits) deal with an introduction to the circular economy, challenges of sustainability, and food-energy-water nexus.

Specialisation studies (66-75 ECTS credits) deal with sustainability science and single sectors of the circular economy, like a biological and technical cycle in circular economy, transportation, and solid waste management technology.

Minor studies (min. 20 ECTS credits) can be selected from three minor subjects offered by this Master's programme. A minor subject can also be selected from those offered by other LUT Master's programmes.

Elective studies (4-12 ECTS credits). Recommended elective studies are e.g. Advanced Course in LCA (7 ECTS credits), Air Pollution Control (6 ECTS credits), Introduction to Business and Sustainability (3 ECTS credits), or Business and Sustainability (6 ECTS credits).

The Master's thesis and seminar, 30 ECTS credits, is a part of specialisation studies. The thesis is an advanced research project which requires approximately six months of full-time work. It is completed during the fourth semester of the degree programme.

Career prospects

After completing the studies, you will have good competencies to work in international and multidisciplinary environments.

As a graduate, you may find employment in industry, consultancy, regulatory agencies, and governmental and non-governmental organisations, where growing interest in sustainability has created new employment opportunities.

Typical jobs for graduates from this programme:

  • environmental specialist in consulting companies
  • sustainability specialist in product development
  • sustainability specialist in urban planning
  • environmental manager in industrial enterprises
  • environmental officer for government authorities
  • sustainability specialist in the construction industry
  • environmental and safety specialist in the industry
  • researcher in a research institute
  • municipal environmental manager.

You will also have a firm basis to continue your studies in doctoral programmes.

How to Apply

You can apply to this Master's programme through either the rolling or the regular admission process:

  • Rolling Admission (1 October 2018−31 May 2019)
  • Regular Admission (3 December 2018−23 January 2019)
Program taught in:
  • English
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Last updated December 4, 2018
This course is Campus based
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2 years
10,000 EUR
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