Energy, Water and Food

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1GE059

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Sustainable Development A1F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 18 October 2021
Responsible department
Department of Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

A Bachelor's degree of at least 180 credits. Participation in Introduction to sustainable development 5 credits, Our Natural Resources 10 credits, Society and environment 10 credits as well as Future studies - exploring sustainable futures 5 credits. Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • define and critically analyse sustainability and how it can be applied to complex sociotechnical systems in food, water, and energy sectors
  • describe and evaluate environmental and socioeconomic impacts from food, energy, and water production on global and local scales
  • apply and evaluate analytical tools and indicators relevant for sustainability within food, water and energy systems on local and global scales
  • evaluate how energy policies affect food and water availability and vice versa
  • critically analyse and discuss the concepts of strong and weak sustainability with relevant applications to agri/aquaculture, primary energy supply, and water supply
  • evaluate urbanisation and its impact on resource demand and related impacts on land-use, emissions and society
  • critically analyse the importance and influence of political, cultural, and technological drivers on food, water and energy systems in a historical perspective
  • apply previously acquired training in research methodology to plan further studies in the food, energy and water sectors


Interconnections between food, energy, and water with respect to sustainable development. Socio-hydrology and anthropogenic impact on natural hydrological systems. Sustainable energy systems and energy security as a holistic tool. Food security and sustainability assessments of food production systems and food consumption patterns. Societal development goals (industrialisation, economic development, increased welfare, etc.) and policies (emission reductions, energy security, etc.) are discussed in terms of their consequences for food, energy and water demand. Natural resource use and related impacts on food, energy, and water over the entire supply chain until final consumption. Quantitative and qualitative indicators for sustainability. Physical availability of food, water and energy resources and how they can be localised, how the geographical distribution originates, and how they can be developed to fulfil societal needs. Infrastructure requirements and risks associated with various systems. Political conflicts and the influence of policies on food, water and energy systems.


Lectures, guest lectures, seminars, project work


Indivudial written exercises (3*2 credits), active participation in seminars (3*2 credits), written and oral presentation of project work including opposition (3 credits).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.