Master in Sustainable Manufacturing - MSUMA

Short description

The master study is focusing on the needs for increased knowledge of sustainable manufacturing: economic, ecologic and social sustainability for manufacturing processes and products throughout their lifecycle. The manufacturing industry is on the brink of the fourth industrial revolution where new production methods, processes, products and sustainability are important topics. These topics are central in the study program. The master will have an international focus and the needs and co-operation with the regional industry form the foundation of the study program. Researchers, engineers and managers from the industry give guest-lectures that complementing the academic teachers. Project works and master thesis are preferably 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.

Master of Science in Sustainable Manufacturing will provide expertise within sustainability in several aspects of manufacturing: operations, industry 4.0, lean management, product development, project management, information technology, risk management and quality. You will gain in-depth knowledge about various theories and methods that exist and that will enable you to map the sustainability of production processes and products.

The Norwegian Centre of Expertise (NCE) Raufoss is an expert centre for advanced light materials and automated manufacturing where NTNU Gjøvik is a partner. SFI Manufacturing (SFI = Centre for research driven innovation) is an eight years project funded by the national research council and industrial partners with a budget of 200 MNOK. Multi-material products and manufacturing processes, robust and flexible automation, and sustainable and innovative organizations are the three main research fields. The NCE and SFI form the basic industrial platform for the master. Selected partners in the NCE and SFI 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 of Science in Sustainable Manufacturing. The program qualifies the students to proceed to PhD studies.

The master study is suitable for students with a Bachelor degree who wish to receive education on sustainability in manufacturing. Typical career possibilities can be as managers, consultants or engineers in manufacturing companies, building industry and similar. Suitable background can be from engineering as well as industrial economy.


The Master will credit 120 ECTS credits and run full time over a period of 2 years, and for part-time students have the possibility to extend the period to 4 years. The student will receive the degree Master of Science in Sustainable Manufacturing. The program qualifies the students to proceed to PhD studies. Institute of manufacturing and building engineering will be the host for the master program. Full-time workload of an academic year (60 ETCS) ranges from 1500 to 1800 hours, which means that one credit (ETCS) corresponds to the range from 26 to 29 hours of work. Depending on the courses and semester, 30 % the workload will be lectures, seminars, presentations and exercises (laboratory) and 70% will be in form of self-study, hand-ins, group work, project work, term paper and/or exam.

Expected learning outcomes


The students 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 industry 4.0, lean management, 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 several areas, like management, manufacturing technologies and methods, building engineering, energy sources, and wireless communication. This specialization in these areas depend 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

Through the master education the students develop knowledge, skills, ethics and behaviour promoting the move towards sustainable manufacturing of 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, the student will be able to have respect for divergent opinions and acknowledgement, since 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 exams are given in English. This will ensure the possibility for international students to apply and increase collaboration with international universities to exchange students and research personnel. There will be invited lecturers from international partners and exchange of students from international partners is welcome. NTNU will actively promote students to study one semester abroad, on the condition that similar courses can be found in the collaborating university. This must be approved by NTNU in each separate case after the students apply. 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 supervisor.

Further studies

The master qualifies for PhD studies. With a finished master the candidate will be able to work as a manager, engineer or consultant in different departments of advanced manufacturing and building companies.


In the courses Experts in Teams (can be replaced with Sustainable Manufacturing Technology), Project Work and Master Thesis the students will participate in ongoing research projects in close collaboration with advanced, innovative companies competing internationally. The closeness to these companies will show the students state-of-the-art in manufacturing as an inspiration and collaboration with Entrepreneurship incubators Ko-Aks and Komm-In will provide opportunity for students’ business start-ups. 


See target group.

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 degree study is required to hold a Bachelor 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, please check the admission criteria at the NTNU web site:


Course Structure

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

The Master program is interdisciplinary and consists of 13 courses, and TØL4081 Project work and TØL4901 Master Thesis. The courses each semester will run either in parallel or sequential throughout the semester before ending in a form of final examination.


The first semester is focused on basic learning of scientific methodology, sustainable development, Product development, management/organizations theory. The semester contains the following basic courses:

  • NEW Scientific Methodology (7,5 ECTS) (Replaces TØL4200 and TØL4003)

  • (TØL4161) Product Development (7,5 ECTS) (old name: Sustainable Products Innovations)
  • (TØL4041) Sustainable Development (7,5 ECTS).
  • NEW Manufacturing Management (7,5 ECTS) (replaces TØL4021)


New Scientific Methodology will give the students knowledge about theory of science, research methodologies, as well as how to plan, study literature, carry out searches in databases, handle research data and document work in a scientific way. The course will also give the students knowledge about philosophies of social science, which gives a basis for understanding of social science research and ability to choose research methods, as well as explanation of how to interpret other researchers’ philosophical standpoint. This course will be an important base for all following courses in the master in particular: (TØL4051) Industry 4.0, (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 through the triple bottom line framework, remanufacturing and cross flow analysis are important parts of this course. The course gives the first introduction of sustainability assessment. This course is a basis for (TØL4151) Sustainability Assessment in the 2nd semester as well as (TØL4061) Sustainable Manufacturing Systems and other elective courses in the 3rd semester.

New Manufacturing Management will give the students necessary basic knowledge on the Management, leadership and organizational development in advanced industrial companies. It will also provide the students to try out the knowledge in the learning factory. This course will be a basis for the course (TØL4051) Industry 4.0 in the 2nd semester.


The 2nd semester will focus on quality, risk, sustainable development and industry 4.0. The semester includes two last basic courses:

  • (TØL4032) Zero Defect Manufacturing (7,5 ECTS) (Old name: Quality Engineering)
  • (TØL4151) Sustainable Assessment (7,5 ECTS) (Old name: Life Cycle Assessment)
  • New Experts in teams (7,5 ECTS) or (TØL4091) Sustainable Manufacturing Technology (7,5 ECTS)[1].


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

  • (TØL4051) Industry 4.0  (7,5 ECTS) (old name: information System Strategy)


(TØL4031) Zero Defect Manufacturing builds on some of the topics from the course in product development. It will also 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.

(TØL4161) Product development and (TØL4151) Sustainability Assessment will give the students necessary knowledge about the product development phase where most of the factors that are decisive for sustainability are determined. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an important part of this course, and the students will get their first experience of use and application of software for LCA. The learning outcome of this course will be valuable for all the following courses, in particular (TØL4081) Project work and the TØL4901 Master Thesis in 3rd and 4th semester.


(NEW) Experts in teams course is on self-reflection and feedback whilst the students are working together to complete a project. The teams will have members from other study programs. The assignment is preferably from the industry.


(TØL4051) Industry 4.0 is the first in-depth course. It will give the students knowledge and skills on how to implement and manage information systems including the increasingly important and numerous Information Technology (IT) ones within organisations and companies.



The previous two semesters included mainly basic courses. In the 3rd semester, however, the students will continue with in-depth study of sustainable manufacturing.

  • (TØL4061) Sustainable Manufacturing Systems (7,5 ECTS)
  • (TØL4081) Project work (7.5 ECTS)


The students should select two of the following elective courses for the last 15 ECTS:

  • (TØL4091)       Sustainable Manufacturing Technology (7,5 ECTS)
  • (TØL4101)       Wireless Industrial Communication (7,5 ECTS)
  • (TØL4111)       Knowledge Management for Sustainability (7,5 ECTS)
  • (TØL4121)       Renewable Energy Technology (7,5 ECTS)
  • (TØL4131)       Sustainable Building Processes (7,5 ECTS)
  • New                Sustainable Corporate Governance (7,5 ECTS)
  • New                Quantitative decision-making tools (7,5 ECTS)
  • New                Sustainable Building Materials (7,5 ECTS)
  • New                Digital Building Processes (7,5 ECTS)
  • New                Energy System Analysis Project (7,5 ECTS)[2]

The chosen elective courses in combination with 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 Systemselaborates 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.

The Elective course (TØL4091)Sustainable Manufacturing Technologywill 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 Communicationfocuses 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 Sustainabilitywill 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 Technologywill 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 Processeswill 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 workflow and line of balance.

NewSustainable Corporate Governancewill guide students to the frameworks and mechanisms of power that govern organisations, including rights and responsibilities. This includes theories, principles, and models of governance, and corporate policies, codes, and practices. Today corporate governance (CG) is extended to include network, cluster and partnership governance. There is also a drive towards sustainable CG.

NewQuantitative decision-making toolsfocuses on advanced knowledge of analytical tools in the context of sustainable development. It is based on system thinking within decision-making. Students will be able to convert data into information that gives value in the process of decision-making in organization. Also, giving them critical and analytical approach to assess sustainable development solutions.

NewSustainable Building Materialswill focus on advanced knowledge on material and product selection (including construction and demolition waste management). The students will understand the role of embodied energy in building environment, be able to find solutions to minimize the life cycle energy of buildings, and select right materials and products for sustainable construction.

NewDigital Building Processeswill focus on giving the students knowledge about Building Information Modeling (BIM) and other digital tools and processes used in building engineering. Students will have knowledge of information flow in the value chain, knowledge of information flow in construction processes, knowledge of information modelling by use of buildingSmart, knowledge of geographical information systems and their interaction with building information flow, knowledge of databases and tools for development of Building Information Models, and Advanced knowledge on how to map, design and manage work in construction to ensure a sustainable construction process.

In case of less than 4 students, the elective course will be based on self-study.

The (TØL4081) Project work is based on all of the other courses (except the master thesis) since the project work should give the students a practical training on their total acquired knowledge within an industrial setting. The project work can be individual, but is typically done as a teamwork. The project work is normally a pre-project to the TØL4901 Master Thesis where the students will train how 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 thesis can be completed during both spring and fall semesters depending on the student’s progress. Flexible students on 50% might have the thesis running over 1 year.

[1] The decision about experts in teams course is due well before the study program start. If experts in teams course is postponed Sustainable Manufacturing Technology is the alternative.

[2] This course are for exchange students only

Technical Prerequisites

NTNU 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 provided with computers for studying purpose
  • Availability of computers and necessary software

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

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.

Teaching activities

For both full time, part time and flexible students[1] there will be an opening session at the start of the 1st semester. This will give the students guidelines and information about being a master student at NTNU, introduction to the relevant teaching methods, information about NTNU’s expectations for a master student, and, of course, a good opportunity to meet with NTNU’s 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 are based on blended learning with a combination of on-campus teaching as well as remote learning methods through the 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 delivery of all learning materials, 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 the available methods. 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 on student work is an important part of student-lecturer communication. Tutoring will be emphasized, either one to one (student - lecturer) or one to many (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 an 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 travelling.

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

[1] Full time student is present at the campus full time. Part time student follows an individual study program and can be present at campus. Flexible student is remote located and follows an individual study program.

Assessment methods

The master program will include different evaluation forms, such as written home exams, written reports, school exams and oral exams.

The TØL4901 Master Thesis and TØL4091 Project work will have one internal and one external censor. The courses and the project work will have internal censors, and external sensor each 4th year.

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