Communication, Ethics and Sustainable Development, 6 credits

Kommunikation, etik och hållbar utveckling, 6 hp


Main field of study

Other subjects

Course level

First cycle

Course type

Programme course


Pamela Vang

Director of studies or equivalent

Johan Holtström

Education components

Preliminary scheduled hours: 40 h
Recommended self-study hours: 120 h
ECV = Elective / Compulsory / Voluntary
Course offered for Semester Period Timetable module Language Campus ECV
6MBME Biomedical Engineering, Master's Programme 2 (Spring 2018) 1, 2 -, - English Linköping C
6MCSY Communication Systems, Master's Programme 2 (Spring 2018) 1, 2 -, - English Linköping C
6MELE Electronics Engineering, Master's Programme (Analogue/Digital and RF IC Design) 2 (Spring 2018) 1, 2 -, - English Linköping C
6MELE Electronics Engineering, Master's Programme (System-on-Chip) 2 (Spring 2018) 1, 2 -, - English Linköping C
6MMSN Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Master's Programme 2 (Spring 2018) 1, 2 -, - English Linköping C

Main field of study

Other subjects

Course level

First cycle

Advancement level


Course offered for

  • Biomedical Engineering, Master's Programme
  • Communication Systems, Master's Programme
  • Electronics Engineering, Master's Programme
  • Materials Science and Nanotechnology, Master's Programme

Specific information

The course is not available for exchange students


Students admitted to international master´s programmess.

Intended learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to help students become more effective speakers and writers in an academic context using English as the language of communication. Taking a holistic approach to communication which includes linguistic accuracy and appropriacy as well as incorporating the concepts of Ethics and Sustainable Development, it provides an opportunity to develop skills required for successfully completing a master’s programme and pursuing a career in science and engineering. After completing the course, students are expected to 

  • be familiar with academic expectations and conventions
  • be able to read, understand and summarise a general text or an academic article accurately
  • be able to systematically analyse and critically appraise research articles
  • critically and constructively examine other students’ work
  • formulate, organise, and present ideas and opinions in English with accuracy, clarity, and coherence
  • understand and use an appropriate referencing system
  • identify and analyse their own linguistic strengths and weaknesses, and develop and apply strategies to improve their competence to communicate successfully in English
  • be aware of differences in communication processes among cultures, identify challenges that arise from these differences, and find ways to address them in intercultural interactions
  • be able to present and discuss ethical challenges connected to the engineering profession, technological development and its applications
  • be able to explain central theories, principles, and concepts within normative ethics, and apply these to particular cases and situations
  • be able to present and discuss the economic, social, and environmental pillars of sustainability
  • reflect upon and think critically about sustainability and sustainable practice in their own field of study. 


Course content

The course will include grammar exercises, vocabulary building work and texts and articles to read and study. Some of these texts will be of a general, scientific and technical nature, while later in the course more programme specific articles related to sustainable development and ethics can be used. 

Teaching and working methods

The course will be organised in two general parts. Both parts will require students to prepare work at home and to read and study a number of texts and academic articles.
The first part will consist of lessons during which English is approached on a more micro-level. The focus will be on accuracy at sentence level and grammar revision and practice will be central. The structures that are most commonly found in technical and scientific texts will be studied and emphasized and standard academic terminology will be introduced and practised.
The second part of the course will take a more macro-level approach and students will be expected to produce original texts themselves. These texts will then be discussed and subject to peer review and classes will take the form of seminars. Sustainable development and Ethics will be addressed mainly through readings, seminars and presentations.
The course runs the entire spring semester. 


UPG2Assignments ethics1 creditsU, G
UPG1Active participation in seminars. Assignments2 creditsU, G
TEN1Written examination3 creditsU, 3, 4, 5


Four-grade scale, LiU, U, 3, 4, 5


Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling

Director of Studies or equivalent

Johan Holtström


Pamela Vang

Education components

Preliminary scheduled hours: 40 h
Recommended self-study hours: 120 h

Course literature

Falk A. Thinking and Writing in Academic Contexts - A University Companion. Studentlitteratur, 2011. Kompendium och artiklar
Code Name Scope Grading scale
UPG2 Assignments ethics 1 credits U, G
UPG1 Active participation in seminars. Assignments 2 credits U, G
TEN1 Written examination 3 credits U, 3, 4, 5

Course syllabus

A syllabus has been established for each course. The syllabus specifies the aim and contents of the course, and the prior knowledge that a student must have in order to be able to benefit from the course.


Courses are timetabled after a decision has been made for this course concerning its assignment to a timetable module. A central timetable is not drawn up for courses with fewer than five participants. Most project courses do not have a central timetable.

Interrupting a course

The vice-chancellor’s decision concerning regulations for registration, deregistration and reporting results (Dnr LiU-2015-01241) states that interruptions in study are to be recorded in Ladok. Thus, all students who do not participate in a course for which they have registered must record the interruption, such that the registration on the course can be removed. Deregistration from a course is carried out using a web-based form: 

Cancelled courses

Courses with few participants (fewer than 10) may be cancelled or organised in a manner that differs from that stated in the course syllabus. The board of studies is to deliberate and decide whether a course is to be cancelled or changed from the course syllabus. 

Regulations relating to examinations and examiners 

Details are given in a decision in the university’s rule book:

Forms of examination


Written and oral examinations are held at least three times a year: once immediately after the end of the course, once in August, and once (usually) in one of the re-examination periods. Examinations held at other times are to follow a decision of the board of studies.

Principles for examination scheduling for courses that follow the study periods:

  • courses given in VT1 are examined for the first time in March, with re-examination in June and August
  • courses given in VT2 are examined for the first time in May, with re-examination in August and October
  • courses given in HT1 are examined for the first time in October, with re-examination in January and August
  • courses given in HT2 are examined for the first time in January, with re-examination at Easter and in August.

The examination schedule is based on the structure of timetable modules, but there may be deviations from this, mainly in the case of courses that are studied and examined for several programmes and in lower grades (i.e. 1 and 2). 

  • Examinations for courses that the board of studies has decided are to be held in alternate years are held only three times during the year in which the course is given.
  • Examinations for courses that are cancelled or rescheduled such that they are not given in one or several years are held three times during the year that immediately follows the course, with examination scheduling that corresponds to the scheduling that was in force before the course was cancelled or rescheduled.
  • If teaching is no longer given for a course, three examination occurrences are held during the immediately subsequent year, while examinations are at the same time held for any replacement course that is given, or alternatively in association with other re-examination opportunities. Furthermore, an examination is held on one further occasion during the next subsequent year, unless the board of studies determines otherwise.
  • If a course is given during several periods of the year (for programmes, or on different occasions for different programmes) the board or boards of studies determine together the scheduling and frequency of re-examination occasions.

Registration for examination

In order to take an examination, a student must register in advance at the Student Portal during the registration period, which opens 30 days before the date of the examination and closes 10 days before it. Candidates are informed of the location of the examination by email, four days in advance. Students who have not registered for an examination run the risk of being refused admittance to the examination, if space is not available.

Symbols used in the examination registration system:

  ** denotes that the examination is being given for the penultimate time.

  * denotes that the examination is being given for the last time.

Code of conduct for students during examinations

Details are given in a decision in the university’s rule book:

Retakes for higher grade

Students at the Institute of Technology at LiU have the right to retake written examinations and computer-based examinations in an attempt to achieve a higher grade. This is valid for all examination components with code “TEN” and "DAT". The same right may not be exercised for other examination components, unless otherwise specified in the course syllabus.

Retakes of other forms of examination

Regulations concerning retakes of other forms of examination than written examinations and computer-based examinations are given in the LiU regulations for examinations and examiners,


For examinations that involve the writing of reports, in cases in which it can be assumed that the student has had access to other sources (such as during project work, writing essays, etc.), the material submitted must be prepared in accordance with principles for acceptable practice when referring to sources (references or quotations for which the source is specified) when the text, images, ideas, data, etc. of other people are used. It is also to be made clear whether the author has reused his or her own text, images, ideas, data, etc. from previous examinations.

A failure to specify such sources may be regarded as attempted deception during examination.

Attempts to cheat

In the event of a suspected attempt by a student to cheat during an examination, or when study performance is to be assessed as specified in Chapter 10 of the Higher Education Ordinance, the examiner is to report this to the disciplinary board of the university. Possible consequences for the student are suspension from study and a formal warning. More information is available at


The grades that are preferably to be used are Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass not without distinction (4) and Pass with distinction (5). Courses under the auspices of the faculty board of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (Institute of Technology) are to be given special attention in this regard.

  1. Grades U, 3, 4, 5 are to be awarded for courses that have written examinations.
  2. Grades Fail (U) and Pass (G) may be awarded for courses with a large degree of practical components such as laboratory work, project work and group work.

Examination components

  1. Grades U, 3, 4, 5 are to be awarded for written examinations (TEN).
  2. Grades Fail (U) and Pass (G) are to be used for undergraduate projects and other independent work.
  3. Examination components for which the grades Fail (U) and Pass (G) may be awarded are laboratory work (LAB), project work (PRA), preparatory written examination (KTR), oral examination (MUN), computer-based examination (DAT), home assignment (HEM), and assignment (UPG).
  4. Students receive grades either Fail (U) or Pass (G) for other examination components in which the examination criteria are satisfied principally through active attendance such as other examination (ANN), tutorial group (BAS) or examination item (MOM).

The examination results for a student are reported at the relevant department.

Regulations (apply to LiU in its entirety)

The university is a government agency whose operations are regulated by legislation and ordinances, which include the Higher Education Act and the Higher Education Ordinance. In addition to legislation and ordinances, operations are subject to several policy documents. The Linköping University rule book collects currently valid decisions of a regulatory nature taken by the university board, the vice-chancellor and faculty/department boards.

LiU’s rule book for education at first-cycle and second-cycle levels is available at 

Falk A. Thinking and Writing in Academic Contexts - A University Companion. Studentlitteratur, 2011. Kompendium och artiklar

Note: The course matrix might contain more information in Swedish.

I = Introduce, U = Teach, A = Utilize
I U A Modules Comment
1.1 Knowledge of underlying mathematics and science (G1X level)

1.2 Fundamental engineering knowledge (G1X level)

1.3 Further knowledge, methods, and tools in one or several subjects in engineering or natural science (G2X level)

1.4 Advanced knowledge, methods, and tools in one or several subjects in engineering or natural sciences (A1X level)

1.5 Insight into current research and development work

2.1 Analytical reasoning and problem solving

2.2 Experimentation, investigation, and knowledge discovery

2.3 System thinking

2.4 Attitudes, thought, and learning

2.5 Ethics, equity, and other responsibilities

3.1 Teamwork

3.2 Communications

3.3 Communication in foreign languages

4.1 External, societal, and environmental context

4.2 Enterprise and business context

4.3 Conceiving, system engineering and management

4.4 Designing

4.5 Implementing

4.6 Operating

5.1 Societal conditions, including economic, social, and ecological aspects of sustainable development for knowledge development

5.2 Economic conditions for knowledge development

5.3 Identification of needs, structuring and planning of research or development projects

5.4 Execution of research or development projects

5.5 Presentation and evaluation of research or development projects


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