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Analytical Methodologies and Tools


Admission requirements

This course is obligatory for students of the MSc Industrial Ecology (joint degree Leiden University and TU Delft).


This course provides knowledge of the most important analytical tools used in the area of Industrial Ecology, their philosophy and their position in the field. Students are trained in the applicability of these tools by working on case studies with the aid of specific software-tools.

Learning goals

Course objectives •Knowledge of most important tools in the area of Industrial Ecology, their philosophy and their position in the field. •Specific knowledge on three (groups of) tools: material flow analysis (MFA)/substance flow analysis (SFA), life cycle assessment (LCA) and input-output analysis (IOA). •Knowledge of applicability of these tools, including possibilities and limitations. •Analytical thinking and critical thinking. •Defining and refining research questions. •Modeling systems including systems definition and setting of system boundaries. •Working with MFA/SFA software (STAN, TU Vienna). •Working with LCA software (CMLCA, Leiden University). •Working with IO databases (EXIOBASE, Leiden University). •Working with IOA software (Exiovisuals, Leiden University). •Working with analytical tools in a societal/policy/business context. •Learning to transparently report on the findings in an article (what you did, why you did it and what you have learned from it etc).

Teaching methods/mode of instruction

Lectures and discussion with key articles as background.
Practical group work with software tools for MFA/SFA, LCA and IOA.
Presentation of group work results.

Type of assessment

•Written exam (7 out of 10 points; closed book, open questions). •Group assignments (3 out of 10 point; MFA/SFA 1, LCA 1 and IOA 1). •Mini tests (1 bonus point). The total grade of the course can be increased by a maximum of 1 out of 10 points through small tests based on the proposed reading materials. The total grade will not in any case exceed 10 points.
Final grades of the course are expressed by means of a figure between 1 and 10, rounded to the nearest half.
The rounding process will be done only at the end for the final grades calculation. The interim grades (e.g. written exam, group assignments and mini tests) will keep two digits after the decimal point.
A minimum success rate of 60% in the written exam and a minimum grade of 6 for the entire course are necessary to pass the course. The grade 5,5 cannot be granted. Grades between 5,01 and 5,49 are rounded to 5,0 and grades between 5,50 and 5,99 are rounded to 6,0.

Course materials

The lecturer communicates via Brightspace TU Delft. Further information on the course, reading materials, communications, grades, etc. will be available at Brightspace TU Delft.


Because this course is part of a joint degree between Leiden University and TU Delft, students (also guest and exchange) have to be enrolled in both universities.

All students have to enrol for the course via Brightspace, TU Delft (before the start of the course) and for the exam via uSis, Leiden University. (see:

Students who are not enrolled for the MSc Industrial Ecology, have to ask for permission from the studyadvisor of Industrial Ecology to join this course, at least one month before the start of the course.

Exchange students can only enroll for this course if their home university has an Exchange agreement with both Leiden University and TU Delft. Exchange students have to ask permission from the studyadvisor of Industrial Ecology as soon as possible, preferably six months before the start of the course.


More information and the description of the course is published in the e-studyguide of TU Delft.