Master in Sustainable Manufacturing - MSUMA

Short description

The master study is focusing on the needs for increased knowledge on sustainable manufacturing: economic, ecologic and social sustainability for manufacturing processes and products throughout their lifecycle. The master will have an international focus but is based in the needs and co-operation with the regional industry. Guest –lectures are given by researchers, engineers and managers from the industry in the region complementing the academic teachers. Project works and master thesis are performed in industry. This close connection to the industry will enhance the understanding of the present challenges manufacturers are facing at the future expectations of needed competence. Each student will be offered an industrial or an academic mentor that will be an overall guide for the student.

The Norwegian Centre of Expertise (NCE) Raufoss is an expert centre for advanced light materials and automated manufacturing where NTNU in Gjøvik is a partner. This NCE form the basic industrial platform for the master. Selected partners in the NCE will be invited to form an industrial advisory board for the master. This board will give advices to the content and direction of the master education.

The student will receive the degree Master in Sustainable Manufacturing. The program qualifies the students to proceed to PhD studies.

The master study is suitable for candidates with a Bachelor's degree, who wish an education on sustainability in Manufacturing. Typical career possibilities can be as manager or engineers in manufacturing companies, building industry and similar. Suited background can be from engineering as well as industrial economy degree.


The Master will credit 120 ECTS credits and run full time over a period of 2 years, with an opening for extending this to 4 years for part-time students.

Expected learning outcomes


The student finishing the master degree will possess advanced knowledge within sustainable manufacturing with the ability to contemplate impact from decisions on industrial economics, ecology and societal aspects on a holistic level. They will possess thorough academic knowledge within the field of manufacturing including lean leadership, total productive maintenance, product development, operations management etc. all in the overall context of sustainable manufacturing. They will be able to apply and utilize the knowledge within new areas and analyse previous unknown problems and challenges and plan and organize implementations of actions. Moreover the students will be able to evaluate and discuss results from the actions. The students can  elaborate their knowledge in the direction of Knowledge management, Sustainable building production, Wireless industrial communication, Manufacturing Technology or Renewable Energy Technology dependent on the selected elective course and the content in the TØL4081 Project Work and TØL4901 Master Thesis.


The students will be able to defend decisions with a foundation on mathematical and scientific terms and are able to distinguish between populist “green washing” and genuine steps towards sustainable manufacturing. The students are able to work independently with a systematic and scientific approach, as well as working in a team of colleagues and suppliers/customers.  They can document and communicate impact on sustainability from their decisions and actions to colleagues, other experts as well as to the general public. They are able to use scientific databases and collaborate with universities and cutting edge experts within the field of sustainable manufacturing. They will have the skills for both an abstract birds-eye view and a detailed systematic approach to a problem or challenge. The students can utilize existing methods and tools for sustainability assessments, and adapt these to their own organization and local needs. The students are able to evaluate sources of information in a scientific way and structure and formulate professional and logical reasoning. The students will contribute to innovations and fresh thinking within the manufacturing industry contributing to the overall sustainability. The students will be able to re-think and change the applied methods according to changing demands and markets.

General Competence:

The students will through the master education develop knowledge, skills, ethics and behaviour promoting the move towards sustainable manufacturing of sustainable products.  The students will be trained in individual work on an extensive level as well as work in a team.  The students will be able to communicate and influence on colleagues, suppliers and customers and contribute to shape the basic values for future manufacturing. On the other hand will the student be able to have respect for divergent opinions and acknowledge. There is often a need for a multidisciplinary approach to reach a holistic improved solution.


The courses will be conducted in English. The course teaching language is English. Teaching, tutoring, assignments and exam are given in English. This will ensure the possibility for international students to apply and collaboration with international universities to exchange students and research personnel. There will be invited lectures from international partners and exchange of students with international partners is welcomed. NTNU in Gjøvik will active promote students to study one semester abroad, on the condition that similar courses can be found on the collaboration university. This must be approved by NTNU in each separate case after an application from the students. An exchange in the last semester when the students are working on her/his thesis is a possibility, preferably in collaboration with the student's industrial mentor (for example where there is a collaboration university as well as a company manufacturing site close by).

Target Group

The primary target group of this education is national and international students with a technology, economics and/or management Bachelor's Degree, who are planning for a career in the manufacturing or building production industry. These students want to have an advanced understanding of how the dimensions on sustainability impact future management of manufacturing and building production and how economic, ecologic and societal aspects can be combined in a triple bottom line. The master education will also target students who seek an academic career with research within the field of sustainable manufacturing or related research fields.

The master programme should be suited both for candidates with working experience and young students directly from their bachelor degree. GUC wants to facilitate for good learning environment for the campus master students by offering a separate room for dialogue, discussions and study work. This will help our national and international students to develop close and inspiring relations, which we know is a positive factor to perform well. With flexible learning through Internet, both remote students and students taking the masters degree part time while they are continuing working are welcome. People with bachelor degree working in regional manufacturing industry will be an especially important target group, and the flexible teaching will be adapted to the need of the industry where problems and challenges form their own organization can be cases for the education.

Students entering the master programme should preferably have basic knowledge on statistical distributions and analysis, lean manufacturing, project management, organization and leadership, either from practical work life or from their pervious bachelor degree studies. For students with a 2-year engineer education or similar; NTNU in Gjøvik will offer a 1 year pre-study to fulfill the requirements.

Admission Criteria

A student for the Master programme requires a Bachelor's degree according to the Norwegian framework for bachelor in engineering, bachelor in economics or equivalent. Applicants must have knowledge of English. For international students without a Bachelor degree from an English speaking university, a TOEFL test result of at least 600 points (computerized 250 points, on Internet 100 points) or IELTS test result of at least 6.0, including at least 6.5 is preferably.

Course Structure

The master programme will provide the students with a broad foundation for sustainable manufacturing. The programme will be based upon contemporary research in the field of Sustainable Manufacturing, as well as cases and examples from industry.

The master programme is interdisciplinary and consists of 8 courses, and TØL4081 Project work and TØL4901 Master Thesis. The courses at each semester will run either in parallel or sequential throughout the semester before ending in a final examination.


The first semester main focus is basic learning of Scientific methods and philosophy, Sustainable development, management and organizations theory. The semester contains the following basic courses:

  • TØL4200 Scientific Methodology (5 ECTS)
  • TØL4003 Philosophies of Social Science (5 ECTS)
  • TØL4041 Sustainable Development (10 ECTS).
  • TØL4021 Management and Leadership for Sustainability (10 ECTS)

TØL4200 Scientific Methodology will give the students knowledge about theory of science, research methodologies and how to plan, study literature, carry out searches in databases, handle research data and document work in a scientific way. The course TØL4003 Philosophies of Social Science will give the students knowledge about philosophies of social science which gives the students a basis for understanding social science research, choose research methods and how to interpret other researches philosophical standpoint. These two courses will be an important base for all following courses in the master in particular: TØL4051 Information Systems Strategy, TØL4081 Project work and the TØL4901 Master Thesis in 3rd and 4th semester.

TØL4041 Sustainable Development will give the basic introduction to sustainability. The understanding of the concept of sustainability with triple bottom line, remanufacturing and cross flow analysis are important parts of this course. The course gives the first introduction Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). This course is a basis for TØL4141 Sustainable Product development and Life Cycle Assessment in 2nd semester, as well as for TØL4061 Sustainable Manufacturing Systems and the elective courses in the 3rd semester.

TØL4021 Management and Leadership for Sustainability will give the students necessary basic knowledge on the Management, leadership and organizational development.


The 2nd semester focuses on quality, risk, sustainable development and Information Systems. The semester contains the two last basic courses:

  • TØL4031 Quality and Risk Management (10 ECTS)
  • TØL4151 Life Cycle Assessment (5 ECTS)
  • TØL4161 Sustainable Products Innovations(5 ECTS)

This semester will also contain the first in-depth course:

  • TØL4051 Information Systems Strategy (10 ECTS)

TØL4031 Quality and Risk Management builds on some of the topics from the course in early assessment of project, but will elaborate the learning outcome of statistical methods for quality and risk management. The Six-sigma paradigms, process variations, measuring systems assessment are new aspects in this course.

TØL4151 Life Cycle Assessment builds upon sustainable development and give the students more in-depth knowledge on LCA and practical experiences on using LCA tools. The understanding of how to use these tools and the limitations and possible misuse is important. The learning outcome of this course will be valuable for all following courses, in particular TØL4081 Project work and the TØL4901 Master Thesis in 3rd and 4th semester.

TØL4161 Sustainable Products Innovations will give the students necessary learning about products innovations and the process from idea stage, product development and implementation of the innovation.

TØL4051 Information Systems Strategy is the first in-depth course, and will give the student’s knowledge and skills on how to implement and manage information systems including the increasingly important and numerous Information Technology (IT) within organisations and companies.


The previous two semesters have been mainly basic courses. In the 3rd semester, however, the students will continue on in-depth study of sustainable manufacturing. TØL4061 Sustainable Manufacturing Systems and TØL4081 Project work  (both 10 ECTS) are required course for all students. The students should select one of the following elective courses for the last 10 ECTS:

  • TØL4091 Sustainable Manufacturing Technolgy (10 ECTS)
  • TØL4101 Wireless Industrial Communication (10 ECTS)
  • TØL4111 Knowledge Management for Sustainability (10 ECTS)
  • TØL4121 Renewable Energy Technology (10 ECTS)
  • TØL4131 Sustainable Building Production (10 ECTS)

The selected elective course in combination with the selected content of TØL4081 Project work and TØL4901 Master Thesis in the 4th semester give a possibility to specialize within

The course TØL4061 Sustainable manufacturing system elaborates sustainable manufacturing on a systems level. Operations management, logistics material flow, value stream mapping and total productive maintenance (TPM) are important aspects of this course.

TØL4091 Sustainable Manufacturing Technology will make the students able to make choices on manufacturing technology, processes, operations and correct automation level in a manufacturing plant. The course will include automation, control engineering and robotics. Additive manufacturing, machining and automated assembly will be used as example processes.

TØL4101 Wireless Industrial Communication focus on wireless industrial automation capabilities, wireless signal transmission and receiving, and system design of different wireless industrial communication systems. The course covers the following topics: Wireless industrial automation, Baseband communication, Digital modulation/demodulation, Coding theory and Multiple Accesses. The students will be introduced to different wireless industrial communication systems: Wireless LAN, IEEE 802.15.4 and WirelessHART.

TØL4111 Knowledge Management for Sustainability will give an introduction to knowledge management. The course will cover topics as; the nature of knowing; intellectual capital and strategic management perspectives, creating knowledge, organizational learning and the learning organization, knowledge artefacts and give examples of tools for culture and management systems.

The elective course TØL4121 Renewable Energy Technology will introduce students to renewable energy resources availability, potential and deplorability as a substitute for conventional energy resources in future energy demand. The course will give introduction to conventional and renewable energy sources environmental impacts, challenges and future trends, fundamentals, potential, estimation and, applications. The following renewable energy sources are covered: Hydropower, Solar-, Wind-, Biomass-, Geothermal-, Tidal-, Osmotic- and Wave Energy

TØL4131 Sustainable Building Production will focus on energy-saving in buildings, Life Cycle Assessment of buildings, indoor air quality and health, monitoring tools for sustainable buildings and sustainable building processes. The students will learn about construction project planning (planning in practice, critical chain method, Gantt scheduling. They will be introduced to work flow and variation (theory of constraints and parade of trades), construction work flow and line of balance.

The basis for the TØL4081 Project work is more or less all of the other courses (except the thesis) since the project work should give the student a practical training on their total acquired knowledge within an industrial setting. The project work can be individual but is typically done as teamwork. The project work is normally a pre-project to the TØL4901 Master Thesis where the students will get training to work with a systematic scientific approach.


The 4th semester is entirely dedicated to the TØL4901 Master Thesis. The thesis should preferably be conducted in collaboration with one or more companies, usually including the company where the student’s mentor is located. There is a requirement that all 90 ECTS of the master program courses prior to the Master Thesis are passed before the TØL4901 Master Thesis can be approved. The Master Theses can be completed both in spring and in fall semester, dependent on the student progress. Flexible students on 50% might have the thesis running over 1 year.

Teaching methodes for the flexible master programme:

For both full time, part time and flexible students there will be an opening session at the start of the 1. semester. This will give the students guidelines and information about being a master student at NTNU in Gjøvik, introduction to the relevant teaching methods, information about our expectations to a master student, and of course a good opportunity to meet with the teachers and fellow master students.

The on-campus students will follow normal lectures as well as group work, colloquiums/tutorials, and practical training. Real-life industrial cases will be utilized in the study. The teaching methods is based on blended learning with a combination of on-campus teaching as well as remote learning methods trough internet. As far as possible: the flex students and the campus students should be one group. Digital tools are used both for on- and off- campus students.

Thus, students and lecturers may be separated in space and time by using flexible learning methods, and communication and courses will partly or entirely be available for the student independent of place, space and time. Course material will be structured by means of a Learning Management System (LMS). Each course will have designated virtual classrooms in the LMS, and the LMS will be used for communicating all learning material, exercises, hand-ins and course administrative matters.

There will, however, be some mandatory seminars where all students must meet in person on campus.

Lectures will be made available by using different types of technology. Streaming, recording and publishing of campus lectures, pre-recording of shorter learning objects or use of web conferences technology are methods available. Some lectures will be offered in synchronous mode, while others may be asynchronous depending on the course’s form and content. Collaboration is a well-acknowledged method for learning, and tools that will help distance students manage working together will be offered, for instance web conference tools.

Students and lecturers will be able to communicate through the Learning Management System or through live web conferences on line. Feedback to student work is an important part of student-lecturer communication. Tutoring will be emphasized; either one to one (student - lecturer) or one to many (group of students – lecturer), and this can also be executed in a synchronous or asynchronous manner. Tutoring will mainly be given on specific student work.

Some of the practical training, colloquiums and group work will, however, be performed with all students on campus (or in such a case within a industrial company). These face-to-face meeting periods will be coordinated among the courses at the same semester, in order to minimize the need for travel.

For the elective courses in 3rd semester, the pedagogical methods are adjusted to the number of students. If less than 4 students select the course, there education will be based on self-study to a large extent.

Examinations will as far as possible be home examination, to some extent combined with an oral exam. In some courses there might be written exam.

Technical Prerequisites

NTNU in Gjøvik will ensure that the students have access to the following technical requirements:

  • Discrete event simulations software
  • Life Cycle Assessment Software
  • Manufacturing process laboratories
  • The university library facilitates with computers for this purpose
  • Availability of computers and necessary software

  • Systems for internet bases education
  • Workplaces and internet connection at the campus

There students need access to private computers.

The students will be given training in HES issues for laboratories and industrial environments, and access to necessary safety equipment such as protective glasses and shoes.

Table of subjects

Master in Sustainable Manufacturing 2016-2018 Full time

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S) S3(A) S4(S)
TØL4200 Scientific Methodology C 5      
TØL4003 Philosophies of social science C 5      
TØL4041 Sustainable development C 10      
TØL4021 Management and Leadership for Sustainability C 10      
TØL4032 Quality Engineering C   10    
TØL4161 Sustainable Products Innovations C   5    
TØL4151 Life Cycle Assessment C   5    
TØL4051 Information Systems Strategy C   10    
TØL4061 Sustainable manufacturing systems C     10  
TØL4081 Project Work C     10  
Elective course, 10 ECTS E     10  
TØL4902 Master Thesis C       30
Sum: 30 30 30 30
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course

Master in Sustainable Manufacturing 2016-2020 - Recommended distribution of courses for a four year part time track

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S) S3(A) S4(S) S5(A) S6(S) S7(A) S8(S)
TØL4200 Scientific Methodology C 5              
TØL4021 Management and Leadership for Sustainability C 10              
TØL4151 Life Cycle Assessment C   5            
TØL4161 Sustainable Products Innovations C   5            
TØL4003 Philosophies of social science C     5          
TØL4041 Sustainable development C     10          
TØL4032 Quality Engineering C       10        
TØL4061 Sustainable manufacturing systems C         10      
TØL4051 Information Systems Strategy C           10    
TØL4081 Project Work C             10  
Elective course, 10 ECTS C             10  
TØL4902 Master Thesis C               30
Sum: 15 10 15 10 10 10 20 30
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course

Electives (for full time and part time)

Coursecode Course name C/E *) ECTS each. semester
  S1(A) S2(S)
TØL4101 Wireless Industrial Communication E 10  
TØL4111 Knowledge Management for Sustainability E 10  
TØL4121 Renewable Energy Technology E 10  
TØL4131 Sustainable Building Process E 10  
TØL4091 Sustainable Manufacturing Technolgy E 10  
Sum: 10 0
*) C - Compulsory course, E - Elective course