BMO-26806 Circular Economy


Studiepunten 6.00

Group work36
Excursion (one day)7
Course coordinator(s)dr. EFM Wubben
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. PM Slegers
dr. EFM Wubben
dr. ir. J Weijma
prof.dr. ir. GJ Hofstede
Examiner(s)dr. EFM Wubben

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06200 Fieldwork Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

Completed Bachelor in field linked to one of the specializations of the MSc Biobased Sciences.

Continuation courses:

Other courses of the MSc Biobased Sciences.


The transition towards a circular economy is one of the biggest challenges to realize a more sustainable (biobased) society. This transition requires an interdisciplinary approach, combining technical, commercial, socio-political, and environmental considerations. In this course, we therefore take a systems approach to the circular economy, considering different stakeholder perspectives, their incentive structures, and their impacts on circular alternatives. Since identifying and evaluating potential circular alternatives based on quantitative techniques is key in achieving sustainable solutions, we also learn how to use and integrate commercial considerations, life cycle assessment and agent-based modeling to assess the managerial and technical challenges and benefits of alternative interventions in often complex but bounded systems. By integrating all perspectives in a case study in an urban setting, we learn how to comprehensively and critically assess strategies to transition towards a circular economy.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the concept of a circular economy, based on its technical, managerial, socio-political, and environmental characteristics;
- understand from both a societal and a commercial perspective, how a (biobased and) circular economy deviates from the current, predominantly linear, system;
- apply systems thinking with technology assessments to analyze and develop complex circular systems;
- identify, and assess the use of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) or Agent Based Modelling (ABM) in the context of the circular economy, and apply these tools in a case study;
- integrate the results of a integrative case study to formulate recommendations advancing more closed cycles.


The aims learning outcomes of the course are realized by means of the following activities:
- lectures: You will be taught concepts, approaches and methods, concerning the application field of circular economy, business management considerations, stakeholder perspectives, systems thinking, sustainability analysis and the dynamics of human and organisational interactive behaviour;
- practicals: Learn to work with either LCA or ABM, to experience their added value and restrictions;
- group work: Apply LCA or ABM on a given case study in the context of the biobased & circular economy;
-field trip to domain of the case study, with student payment for the extra costs;
-individual reflection paper on the interdisciplinary learnings from the case study.


- written exam (40% of final mark);
- team level case study report (50% of final mark);
- individual level reflection report (10% of final mark).


Will be made known at the start of the course, made available via Brightspace or hardcopy.

Keuze voor: MBSBiobased SciencesMSc1AF
Keuze voor: WUBBSBSc Minor Biobased Sciences1AF