- Student Records
Programme & Unit Catalogues

CE50215: Whole systems analysis: environmental aspects

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2019/0
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Chemical Engineering
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assignment 1: Report format (2000 words) (CW 30%)
  • Assignment 2: LCA report in accordance with ISO 14040 (CW 70%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
CE50215 Coursework (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
To provide an advanced understanding of process industry value chains and the benefits and characteristics of using a whole-life approach to systems analysis.
To gain an understanding of the different tools and elements required in whole-life analysis for identification of environmental impacts. To be able to evaluate and assess environmental sustainability through Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) techniques and make decisions based on these criteria.

Learning Outcomes:
On successful completion of this unit the student will be able to:
* explain what is meant by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and compare and contrast LCA with single issue variants e.g. carbon foot-printing (CFP), and water foot-printing (their methodology and use);
* critically evaluate LCA reports against the requirements of the relevant standards and explain some of the limitations, challenges and uncertainties that can be present in LCA studies;
* complete a basic LCA of a simple product system, using both manual calculation and software modelling in accordance with the requirements of ISO 14040;
* identify the role of LCA within the wider environmental management context and appropriately chose when to use LCA techniques over other forms of environmental assessment.


* Manual construction of simple product and process life-cycles (T,F,A)
* The ability to use a software package for the construction on an LCA (T,F,A)
* Interpretation of LCA data for decision making techniques (T,F,A)
* Recognition of the importance of whole-life analysis to avoid burden shifting and unintended consequences (T,F,A)
* The ability to identify the correct LCA tool for assessment of the product or process (T,F,A)
* The ability to communicate the complex results of LCA studies to a multi-stakeholder audience (T, F,A)


* Background to the development and use of LCA techniques for analysis of product system life-cycles with specific reference to environmental systems
* Various forms of traditional LCA, including Screening LCAs, streamlined LCAs, single variant methodologies e.g. CFP, WFP
* Standards relevant to LCA techniques
* Methodology of LCA and variants
* Data sources and gathering
* Applications - communication, marketing, sustainability reporting, product and process development
* Unresolved methodological choices e.g. allocation & how to deal with multi-product processes
* Impact assessment methodologies
* Working with uncertain and incomplete data - causes and potential remedies
* Software packages
* Environmental risk assessment
* Alternative environmental assessment techniques
* Standard reporting requirements and critique.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

CE50215 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Chemical Engineering