Our courses

Last changed: 26 September 2022
Two students dressed with safety vests and helmets observe a furnace in Klemetsrud heating plant, Oslo. Photo.
Visit to Klemetsrud heating plant, as part of a study trip to Oslo, Norway, August 2019. Foto: Torun Hammar.

Within our PhD-courses we offer participating students broad knowledge and insight in the field of sustainable systems of food, energy and biomaterials systems.

The courses typically include lecturers from university researchers, public authorities, trade organizations and industries.

Read below the description for our planned courses.

Planned courses 2022-2025:

Production of non-food- biomass for a bio-based economy, 2022

Production of non-food- biomass for a bio-based economy (5 HEC)

Course start date: 21 November 2022

Course Leader: Ioannis Dimitriou

Course information:

The major focus of the course is on the available and potential sources of non-food biomass from forestry, agriculture, residues and other sources that can be used in a biobased economy, for biofuels, biomaterials etc., in a Swedish and global perspective. Additional issues addressed are the further use of these resources and their potential implications on sustainability.

Assignments: will include pre-course readings (2-3 reports/academic papers to provide background for the lectures) and post-course assignments (to be delivered ca. 2 weeks after the completion of the lectures)

Formal requirements: the assignments and physical presence are obligatory to pass the course. Active participation in preparations before course start (see above), the events during the course week, the final course day, and the project work are required to pass the course.

For registration and further information contact the Course Leader Ioannis Dimitriou (jannis.dimitriou@slu.se)

Advanced life cycle assessment, 2023

Advanced life cycle assessment (5 HEC)

Course start date: April 17th - May 26th 2023

Application open until 28th of Feb 2023, Advances in life cycle assessment, 5 HP/ECTS | Externwebben (slu.se)

Course Leader: Niclas Ericsson

Course information:

This course is a collaboration between the research school of SSFEB at SLU, Swedish Life Cycle Center, Chelmers and KTH universities. The course objectives are to give PhD students a deeper understanding of life cycle assessment (LCA) and related tools in e.g. modelling of carbon flows at different temporal and spatial scales, albedo, land use issues, how to handle uncertainty and trade-offs between different environmental goals., including knowledge on state-of-the-art research in selected areas, to disseminate the expertise of Swedish senior LCA researchers to a new generation of PhD students, and to help the PhD students create an informal network of young LCA researchers.

For further information contact the Course Leader Niclas Ericsson (Niclas.Ericsson@slu.se)

Safe nutrient recycling, 2023

Safe nutrient recycling (10 HEC)

Course start date: Feb 2023 till Jun 2023

Deadline for application : 21st of December 2022

Course information:

The aim of the course is to give the student knowledge in current waste and wastewater management techniques, with focus on technologies for plant nutrient recovery and reuse. Today, 75% of all biodegradable solid waste is landfilled or dumped and 90% of all wastewater generated is either not treated or only partially treated. In cases when the waste is treated, treatments are not focused on recycling, but rather removal, of plant nutrients, as they can otherwise risk to pollute the environment. If the plant nutrients in the waste and wastewater were collected they could replace 25-50% of the virgin resources used for production of chemical fertilizers used in agriculture. Looking at waste and wastewater as resources is a paradigm shift, and for this shift to happen new technologies and management systems are required. When closing the loop of nutrients there is a risk of recycling unwanted substances as well, e.g. heavy metals and pathogens. Upon completion of the course the student should know the flow of waste and wastewater in society, possible treatment methods for closing the loop of nutrients and the risks associated with closed loop systems, as well as methods for mitigating circulation of unwanted substances.

For registration and further information contact the course leader Cecilia Lalander (Cecilia.Lalander@slu.se)

Plant growth analysis, nutrient use efficiency and phenotyping, 2023

Plant growth analysis, nutrient use efficiency and phenotyping (6 HEC)

Course period: Approx. 12 course days during the period 2023-08-28 to 2023-10-27 

Course Leader: Martin Weih

Course information:

The course aims to give each participating student the competence to independently evaluate and apply current concepts and methodologies for the assessment of plant nutrient use efficiency in different agricultural and forestry contexts. The course is conducted in collaboration with the research school of Ecology.

For registration and further information contact the Course Leader Martin Weih (Martin.Weih@slu.se)

Systems perspective on sustainability transitions, 2023

Systems perspective on sustainability transitions (3 HEC)

Course dates : 20-21 Mar 2023 (lunch-lunch), 27-28 April 2023 (morning both days), 5 May 2023 (whole day)

Deadline for application : 3rd Feb 2023, registration form: https://forms.gle/P2jMVZZ3wzCKvsiC7

Course Leader: Jennifer McConville

Course information:

Scope and learning objectives

Grand societal challenges such as climate change, loss of biodiversity and resource depletion are brought about by unsustainable production and consumption practices that are deeply rooted in sociotechnical systems. These problems cannot be addressed by incremental improvements and technical fixes alone, but require substantial shifts to more sustainable socio-technical systems; such shifts are called sustainability transitions. This course introduces the course participants to systems perspective on sustainability transitions. It applies tools and frameworks from systems thinking that enable students to relate their research to ongoing sustainability transition studies. Having completed this course, participants will be able to:

·        Conceptualise and apply systems perspective on sustainability transitions

·         Formulate and critically discuss the relevance of their PhD research to sustainability transition

This interdisciplinary course is delivered in collaboration between the Research School on sustainable Biomass and Social Science Perspective on Sustainable Development.

For further information contact the Course Leader Jennifer McConville (jennifer.mcconville@slu.se)

Processing Biomass for Biofuels and Chemicals, 2024

Processing Biomass for Biofuels and Chemicals (3 HEC)

Course start  8-19 April 2024

Course Leader: Jerry Ståhlberg

Course information:

Overview of how biomass is processed and refined into biofuels, research frontiers of today and potentials of tomorrow for biorefinery valorization of biomass to fuels and green chemicals.

For registration and further information contact the Course Leader Jerry Ståhlberg  (jerry.stahlberg@slu.se)

Monitoring of food systems sustainability, 2024

Monitoring of food systems sustainability (3 HEC)

Course start  Nov 2024

Course Leader: Pernilla Tidåker

Course information:

The course addresses food systems in different scales and aims to provide students with tools, indicators and approaches for assessment and monitoring of food system sustainability.

For registration and further information contact the Course Leader Pernilla Tidåker (Pernilla.Tidaker@slu.se)

Methods in Environmental Systems Analysis, 2025

Methods in Environmental Systems Analysis (2 HEC)

Course start  On-going, Spring 2025

Course Leader: Cecilia Sundberg

Course information:

The aim is to convey knowledge about the research front in environmental systems analysis, with emphasis on methodology relevant to agriculture, food, bioenergy and biomaterials. A seminar series also provides practice in discussing and arguing about these issues.


For further information contact the Course Leader Cecilia Sundberg (Cecilia.Sundberg@slu.se)