CEM219-Life Cycle Assessment

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded: CEM100 Dissertation and research skills or CEM107 Sustainable Design and Management Principles and Practice
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Eugene Mohareb

Email: e.mohareb@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
«p»This module introduces the concept of life cycle assessment (LCA), methodological approaches for completing an LCA study, reviews prominent studies and provides students with the opportunity to critically review an LCA study of their choosing.«/p»


To provide an understanding of the concept of LCA and its value in assessing the environmental impacts of products or services. Students will explore key LCA concepts, structures, methodological approaches, and the implications of these approaches. At the end of the course, students will have the ability to understand and critically review an LCA study.

To develop LCA knowledge and skill from a suitable level of analytical enquiry-based challenges.

Assessable learning outcomes:

• Describe the LCA framework and the different stages of a product or project lifecycle;

• Explore the different methodologies used, such as process-based, input-output, and hybrid approaches;

• Understand the difference between consequential and attributional LCA;

• Assess the importance of system boundaries and allocation in LCA studies;

• Explain the trade-offs when applying different methodologies;

• Examine case studies using different methodologies;

• Apply a variety LCA tools; 

• Critically assess an LCA study and provide recommendations on how to address shortcomings.


Additional outcomes:

-Critique LCA studies and recognize inherent biases in their assumptions/approaches.

-Develop new software skills

-Build on critical thinking skills

Outline content:

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures and tutorials

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Tutorials 6
Guided independent study 76
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 80
Set exercise 20

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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