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

Degree programme: Bachelor Environment and Engineering
Type of degree: FH Bachelor´s Degree Programme
Winter Semester 2023

Course unit title Life Cycle Analysis
Course unit code 086011050301
Language of instruction English
Type of course unit (compulsory, optional) Compulsory
Semester when the course unit is delivered Winter Semester 2023
Teaching hours per week 3
Year of study 2023
Number of ECTS credits allocated First Cycle (Bachelor)
Number of ECTS credits allocated 4
Name of lecturer(s)

Prerequisites and co-requisites


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)
  •     Presentation of the LCA as e.g. poster
  •     Oral examination for the course with reference to the life cycle assessment



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)

Present event