KEKO1 Implementing the principles of sustainable development, 10 cr

Learning goals

On the study unit current issues are analyzed by collecting relevant scientific information and interpreting this information through different dimensions of sustainable development. At the study unit the student learns: 

  • to build collective expertise, in the context of sustainable development, in collaboration with students from different disciplines. 
  • to develop new ways of thinking, visions or utopias needed for transformation.
  • to familiarize  sustainable development as a political and normative concept as well as a scientific research object 
  • to view at different phenomena critically and to reflect them from the perspectives of the environment, society, livelihood and ecosocial civilization. 
  • to identify dependencies between different aspects of sustainable development 
  • to lead the content production and schedules of a small-scale research project 
  • to know one of the most current phenomenon of interest to sustainable development in depth 
  • to identify their own and others' strengths as an expert and team actor 


The study unit is a compulsory part of the multi- and transdisciplinary Sustainable Development Studies (KEKO) (25 ECTS credits). 

KEKO9001 is an interdisciplinary teamwork course. It provides students with a profound experience of different perspectives of sustainable development, as well as discussions and information seeking, combining and applying with the students of various disciplines during the academic year. 

The study unit is based on doing research and learning in small teams. 

At the beginning of the study module, each team will be assigned a topic that all the project works will approach from different sustainability dimension. Lectures and the course readings help create an understanding of the different dimensions and discussions on sustainable development. The team defines research questions for each project work, decides on how tasks are shared, searches and generates information and reflects upon ideas and findings. During the academic year each team produces four essays and a poster or summary of the team's main insights. 

Organization of the course

At the beginning of the study unit, students are divided into teams based on their major subjects so that teams become as interdisciplinary as possible (Finnish-speaking teams work in Finnish, an English-speaking team in English). In each team up to 10 students are studying supported by two expert teachers. These teams work throughout the year. 

The study unit includes five English-language lectures and opening, mid term and final seminars. During the academic year, the teams are guided 9 times, two hours at a time. There are two types of guided meetings: At the beginning of each project phase, a guided meeting will discuss sustainable development perspectives and team project work ideas. Each project work phase ends with a guided meeting where the competed essay and the working process are discussed. 

Working on the content of project work takes place as self-directed team work between 4 to 6 weeks, about once a week. Team members can meet face-to-face or virtually. Each student is in turn responsible for managing his or her team's work and discussing the team's work plan with the teacher. Management responsibility can be exercised in pairs. 

All course materials are found on the Moodle platform. Peer reviews are implemented as Webropol surveys. 

Completion and evaluation

The study unit is conducted by participating in facilitated team meetings, self-directed team meetings, joint seminars, lectures and team working (4 written essays and 1 peer-reviewed poster or presentation). 

The student's final grade from the study unit is determined by 

  • grades given by teachers for essays (40% of the final grade), 
  • peer reviews carried out by each student within their own team at the end of five study modules (50%), and 
  • the grades given by the teams to other teams for the final project work of the course (10%).

Evaluation on scale 1–5 / fail.

UN SDGoals