The existing economic system is based on the “take, make and dispose” approach powered mostly by fossil fuels.
The assumption is that increasing economic growth produces enough surplus to deal with arising adverse environmental impacts. The system, however, keeps alive only if sufficient resources are available in circuit and the economy has a sustainable foundation.
The circular economy aims to keep products, materials and other resources at their highest utility and value. The aim is to decouple economic growth from the consumption of finite natural resources by closing the loops of product life cycles. Ideally, the system in which resources are endlessly circulated into goods and services is waste-free and powered by renewable energy systems.
In the Circular Economy program, you will learn how to save resources in different situations by, for example, replacing goods with services by increasing the utilization of information technology. You will also learn to create sharing economy based solutions which are built on the abilities of individuals and communities.
In addition, you will learn how different bio-based solutions may help us to construct systems without waste. In a circular economy, the role of business is central, and you will also learn about the dynamics of sustainable business models.
The program is well suited for people already in the working world because its face-to-face contact instruction mainly consists of intensive periods on Thursdays and Fridays.
A circular economy is a regenerative system which aims to minimize waste, emissions and energy use by slowing down, closing and narrowing material and energy loops. Its purpose is to decouple economic growth from the consumption of finite resources.
In this Master’s program, you will learn how to improve resource efficiency through, for example, improved design for material recovery and remanufacturing.
You will learn how a circular economy can provide added value to companies, how material cycles can be created to be more effective, how a sharing economy can be applied and how individuals and communities can give added value to solutions.
You will acquire:
- professional skills in the circular economy: you will understand the requirements of a systematic change and technical possibilities of industrial, service, community, and primary production processes and systems to minimize environmental impacts;
- competence in applying theories to enable the shift from a linear model to a circular economy;
- knowledge to introduce new operational models into a society and to innovate new technical and organizational solutions to sustainability challenges; you will also be able to explain the complex interdependencies of both local and global environmental problems;
- skills to work in multidisciplinary environments – after completing the studies, you will have good competencies to work in international and multidisciplinary environments.
The program in Circular Economy includes core, advanced specialization, minor and elective studies.
Core studies, 34 ECTS credits, introduce the concept of circular economy in different contexts and provide a good understanding of global sustainability challenges.
Advanced specialization studies, 29 ECTS credits, deepen students’ advanced-level capacity to manage technical and biological materials and other resources in individual sectors and industries according to the principles of circular economy. Students will also carry out a project aiming to solve a real-life sustainability challenge.
Minor studies, min. 20 ECTS credits, can be selected from any minor subjects offered by LUT Master’s programs. Minor studies in Energy Technology or Industrial Engineering and Management are recommended.
Elective studies recommended for the program are e.g. Lifecycle Assessment in Circular Economy (7 ECTS credits), Air Pollution Control (6 ECTS credits), Introduction to Business and Sustainability (3 ECTS credits), or Business and Sustainability (6 ECTS credits).
The Master’s thesis, 30 ECTS credits, is an advanced research project completed during the fourth semester. The Master’s thesis requires approximately six months of full-time work.
As a graduate, you may find employment in industry, consultancy, regulatory agencies, and governmental and non-governmental organizations, where growing interest in sustainability has created new employment opportunities.
Typical jobs for graduates from this program:
- environmental specialist in a consulting company
- sustainability specialist in product development
- sustainability specialist in urban planning
- environmental manager in an industrial enterprise
- environmental officer for a government authority
- sustainability specialist in the construction industry
- environmental and safety specialist in industry
- researcher in a research institute
- municipal environmental manager.
You will also have a firm basis to continue your studies in doctoral programs.