Information on individual educational components (ECTS-Course descriptions) per semester

Life Cycle Analysis

Degree programme Environment and Engineering
Subject area Engineering Technology
Type of degree Bachelor
Winter Semester 2024
Course unit title Life Cycle Analysis
Course unit code 086011050301
Language of instruction English
Type of course unit (compulsory, optional) Compulsory
Teaching hours per week 3
Year of study 2024
Level of the course / module according to the curriculum
Number of ECTS credits allocated 4
Name of lecturer(s) Stephan KECKEIS, Anna KNORR
Requirements and Prerequisites


Course content

In this course, the individual phases in the preparation of a life cycle assessment are explained using various practical examples.

  •     phases: Determination of objective & scope of investigation, preparation of the life cycle inventory, impact assessment, evaluation
  •     Presentation of the relevant standards (ISO 14040 and ISO 14044)
  •     Examples of life cycle assessments for products, processes, companies, services, economies
  •     Procedure for defining the functional unit and defining the system (Cradle to Grave, Cradle to Product, ...)
  •     Dealing with by-products, recycling and waste (allocation, system expansion etc)
  •     Methodological aspects: Land use changes, attributional vs. consequential life cycle assessments
  •     Scientific background knowledge on environmental impacts and their representation as impact categories including characterisation factors (e.g. climate warming - kg CO2 equivalents)
  •     Methodological aspects of impact assessment: damage modelling, difference to tolerance level, ecological scarcity, environmental impact points
Learning outcomes

Students will learn about the life cycle assessment method as a quantitative method for estimating environmental impact: The students

  •     can identify potential environmental impacts
  •     are able to explain the methodological approaches to impact assessment
  •     have an overview of the possibilities and limits of the life cycle assessment method
  •     have the ability to carry out simple life cycle assessments of products and services
  •     can critically analyse life cycle assessments
  •     get to know a software tool for carrying out life cycle assessments
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
  •     Lecture
  •     Exercise
  •     Discussions
  •     Coaching
Assessment methods and criteria
  • Preparation of a life cycle assessment (individually or in small groups) and Presentation of the LCA as e.g. poster (60%)
  • Oral examination for the course with reference to the life cycle assessment (40%)

For a positive overall grade, a minimum of 50% of the points must be achieved in each part of the examination.



Recommended or required reading
  •     Baumann, Henrikke; Tillman, Anne-Marie (2004): The hitch hikers's guide to LCA: an orientation in life cycle assessment methodology and application. Lund: Student literature.
  •     Frischknecht, Rolf (2020): Textbook on Life Cycle Assessment. Springer spectrum. Online on the Internet: DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-54763-2 (accessed on: 03.07.2020).
  •     Klöpffer, Walter; Grahl, Birgit (2009): Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): a guide for education and career. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH.
  •     ISO/TC 207/SC 5 (2006a): Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Principles and framework. ISO 14040:2006.
  •     ISO/TC 207/SC 5 (2006b): Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Requirements and guidelines. ISO 14044:2006.
  •     Articles from professional journals
Mode of delivery (face-to-face, distance learning)

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