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Interdisciplinary Practice

Sustainable Development affects all conceivable aspects of our civilisation. But working with sustainability requires communication and co-operation between many scientific disciplines, between society’s practices and between companies’ production skills. Interdisciplinary methods are at the core of the toolbox needed for the next centuries for natural scientists, social scientists, practitioners and students. In this course we explore interdisciplinarity in two major fields of study. One is the biogeochemical cycles of the planet where different methods in natural science are used: biologists, chemists, oceanographers, meteorologists, physicists and geologists are all involved. The other field relates to the planning of sustainable city-hinterland systems, which combines a large numbers of natural and social scientific disciplines working with engineers, geographers, biologists, sociologists, historians, economists, planners, architects and landscape architects.

Course evaluation

The course evaluation is now closed

MX0141-40108 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Additional course evaluations for MX0141

Academic year 2020/2021

Interdisciplinary Practice (MX0141-M4108)

2021-03-24 - 2021-06-06

Academic year 2019/2020

Interdisciplinary Practice (MX0141-40044)

2020-03-25 - 2020-06-07


MX0141 Interdisciplinary Practice, 15.0 Credits

Praktisk tvärvetenskap


Environmental Science

Education cycle

Master’s level


Title Credits Code
Home exam 5.0 0102
Project work 10.0 0103

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, in-depth level of the course cannot be classified(AXX)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Equivalent to Bachelor’s degree of 180 credits, including 90 credits in any subject within

- natural science,

- engineering,

- social sciences,

- law or

- the humanities (with the exception of language studies).

Knowledge equivalent to English 6.


Main Objectives

After the completed course the students should independently be able to comprehend interdisciplinary methodology and utilize them through working in interdisciplinary teams in order to analyse and improve complex situations within sustainable development which require to be addressed by interdisciplinary approaches.

Part Objectives

After the completed course, the students are expected to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding so that they can:

- define and describe relevant methods suitable for interdisciplinary analysis – including its scientific and philosophical context – which can be related to sustainable development within natural-, social- and planning sciences.

- with an interdisciplinary approach, relate the current state of the world, to a sustainable management of natural and culturally affected ecosystems, as well as to the planning of sustainable international and national urban, rural and complex urban-rural systems.

- describe how methods suitable for an interdisciplinary approach are used for outlining the control and management means, applied on different spatial scales and within strategic physical planning on regional, municipal and local community levels.

- be able to describe how an interdisciplinary method approach can be utilised for communication between different actors in collaborative learning processes on sustainable development.

The students should also be able to display their acquired skills to:

- find and select the appropriate interdisciplinary method approach and data concerning sustainable development in general and concerning the management of natural resources and sustainable community development in particular.

- practically utilise interdisciplinary methodology and data for explaining sustainable development of global biogeochemical processes, natural- and culturally affected ecosystems as well as of international and national urban, rural and complex urban-rural systems.

- describe and apply method triangulation within e.g. case studies, futures studies or risk assessment, that combine physical measurements with i.a. interviews, enquiries, observation studies (displayed in the framework course), statistics and other desktop studies.

The students should be able to evaluate and elaborate on problems related to:

- existing theories and methods for interdisciplinary analysis, method development and generally be able to utilise methods and data in a critical way.

- the actual management of natural- and culturally affected ecosystems as well as to international and national urban, rural and urban-rural complex systems, with interdisciplinary methods.


The course focuses on advanced knowledge on and interdisciplinary methodology for studying the state of the world, the world natural regions, the world’s culturally affected ecosystems as well as economic and organisational control and management of their international, national, urban, rural and urban-rural systems.

Methodological topics include: Scientific philosophical foundations and interdisciplinary definitions of problems. The historic development of interdisciplinarity within natural-, humanistic- and social sciences. Quality criteria for interdisciplinary research. Analytical methods for interdisciplinary and experimental design, interview and enquiry methods, collaborative learning, systems thinking and practice, futures study- and case study methodology. Differences in intra-scientific methodology between different scientific areas. Differences between analytical knowledge and practical knowledge.

The course allows interdisciplinary student teams to carry out a project work with an interdisciplinary approach with supervision.

Formats and requirements for examination

Passed examination, approved project work and of seminar presentations. Active participation in seminars.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Additional information

It is strongly recommended that all preceding SD Master program courses have been passed prior to starting the Interdisciplinary Practice course.

Responsible department

Department of Urban and Rural Development

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
Replaces: MX0102, MX0139

Grading criteria

There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Litterature list

  1. Literature List - MX0141Interdisciplinary Practice (Note: the list and the schedule are in the same document) [Literature List - MX0141Interdisciplinary Practice (Note: the list and the schedule are in the same document)] (

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 38054 SEK Cycle: Master’s level
Subject: Environmental Science
Course code: MX0141 Application code: SLU-40108 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Urban and Rural Development Pace: 100%