Environmental Science BA (B), Ecosystem Services, 15 Credits


Environmental Science BA (B), Ecosystem Services, 15 Credits

General data

  • Code: MX019G
  • Subject/Main field: Environmental Science
  • Cycle: First cycle
  • Progression: (B)
  • Credits: 15
  • Progressive specialization: G1F - First cycle, has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
  • Answerable department: Natural science, Design, and Sustainable Development
  • Approved: 6/29/2011
  • Date of change: 1/13/2023
  • Version valid from: 7/1/2023


Ecosystem Services is an increasingly used concept to appreciate and interpret the value of the natural environment. The purpose of the course is to understand the concept of Ecosystem Services and its relation to sustainable development, especially in the contrast of ecosystems and economics. Special focus is placed on applying the concept of Ecosystem Services on Swedish alpine ecosystems and on boreal forest ecosystems.

Additional goals are to give the student a general understanding of concepts in environmental science, to master basic scientific methodology and to practice environmental systems thinking.

The teaching style is problem oriented.

Course objectives

After the course the student should be able to:
- describe and discuss basic ecology, ecosystem diversity and main driving forces for ecosystem change
- illustrate how human actions might interfere with ecosystem resilience and biodiversity.
- explain ecosystem services and discuss their significance for the human society.
- demonstrate and discuss the relation of ecosystem services and sustainable development.
-analyze the impacts on ecosystem services by human development and resource use with focus on the Swedish alpine mountain areas and the boreal forest region.


This course deals with Ecosystem Services. It introduces the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity report and other international efforts to describe, understand, implement and utilize the concept of Ecosystem Services.
In student projects, regional applications of ecosystem services are made for Swedish Alpine Ecosystems, Water Sheds / Water Basins and Boreal Forest Ecosystems.

Entry requirements

Previous studies in an environmental science related subject of at least 15 credits at undergraduate level.

Selection rules and procedures

The selection process is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance and the local order of admission.

Teaching form

Lectures, seminars, excursions and assignments. Computer application may occur. The students are supposed to work thematically and problem oriented in project groups with assignments of increasing difficulty.

Examination form

4000: Examination, 8.0 Credits
Grade scale: Seven-grade scale, A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F. Fx and F represent fail levels.

5000: Project, 5.0 Credits
Grade scale: Fail (U) or Pass (G)

6000: Seminars, 2.0 Credits
Grade scale: Fail (U) or Pass (G)

Grading criteria for the subject can be found at www.miun.se/en/Student/Services/Grading-Criteria.
The examiner has the right to offer alternative examination arrangements to students who have been granted the right to special support by Mid Sweden University’s disabilities adviser.

Grading system

Seven-grade scale, A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F. Fx and F represent fail levels.

Other information

Examination according to this syllabus is limited to a year after the final exam on the course. Students who have not passed within this time frame are recommended to contact the examinator.

Course reading

Required literature

  • Author: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
  • Title: Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Synthesis
  • Edition: 2005
  • Publisher: Island press
  • URL: www.maweb.org
  • Author: DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
  • Title: An introductory guide to valuing ecosystem services
  • Edition: 2007
  • Publisher: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
  • URL: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/biodiversity/economics/pdf/valuing_ecosystems.pdf
  • Author: Costanza et al.
  • Title: The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital
  • Edition: 1997
  • Publisher: Nature 387:253-260
  • Author: Burkhard, B, Maes, J (Eds)
  • Title: Mapping Ecosystem Services
  • Edition: 2017
  • Publisher: Pensoft Publishers
  • URL: https://ab.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=12837

Reference literature

  • Author: Naturvårdsverket
  • Title: Guide to valuing ecosystem services
  • Edition: 2018
  • Publisher: Naturvårdsverket
  • URL: https://www.naturvardsverket.se/Documents/publikationer6400/978-91-620-6854-7.pdf?pid=23788
  • Comment: ISBN: 978-91-620-6854-7

The page was updated 1/13/2023