Circular Economy


About this course

The transition towards a circular economy is one of the biggest challenges to realize a more sustainable (biobased) society. This transition requires an interdisciplinary approach, combining technical, commercial, environmental and social considerations. We therefore take a systems approach to the circular economy, considering the perspectives of different (commercial) stakeholders, while using different tools to analyse and assess impacts for circular alternatives. By identifying and evaluating potential circular alternatives based on the techniques life cycle assessment (LCA) versus agent-based modelling (ABM), we learn how to discuss and integrate the perspectives of commercial firms and the systems approach. You should become familiar with both social and technical challenges and benefits of options in complex settings. By relating and integrating the radically different perspectives in a case study, we learn how to comprehensively develop strategies to transition towards a circular economy.

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of this course, students are expected to be able to:

  • understand the concept of a circular economy, based on its socio-technical, managerial, and environmental characteristics;
  • understand, when taking a commercial and a societal angle, how (biobased/) circular economy deviates from the current, mostly linear, system;
  • apply systems thinking with technology assessments to analyse and develop complex circular systems;
  • identify, apply and assess the use of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and/or Agent Based Modelling (ABM) in the context of the circular economy, and apply these tools in a case study;
  • integrate the results in a case study report, taking into account socio-technical, commercial, and environmental aspects, and formulate improvements for a transition towards a more circular design;
  • be able to convincingly present an innovative solution and discuss solutions of others building on arguments that integrate different disciplinary perspectives;
  • better understand ethical issues related to biobased and circular practices.

Required prior knowledge

Assumed Knowledge:
The entry level is BSc-level knowledge in specific areas of a MBSc-specialisation. When you are in doubt on this assumption please contact your study advisor.

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of Wageningen University.


  • Start date

    2 September 2024

    • Ends
      25 October 2024
    • Term *
      Period 1
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      1 Jun, 00:00 - 4 Aug 2024
These offerings are valid for students of TU Eindhoven