Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After the completion of the course the student is able to

  • understand the diverse linkages and relations from technology, innovations, design and entrepreneurship to socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development
  • know different approaches and methods to analyze and implement projects involving such linkages, with in-depth knowledge of at least one such method in the specific setting of their project work
  • review and use key readings related to sustainability and technology linkages
  • write project proposals, plans and reports, and put into practice different phases of international project work through an array of organizational and business models (governmental, non-governmental, business and academic)
  • work in an interactive manner as part of a team, and is familiar with the challenges and possibilities included in working in multidisciplinary and international teams
  • recognize and analyze his/her own as well as others' roles and responsibilities in a team
  • communicate and present the main outcomes of the project work in clear oral and written manner
  • recognize main methods (project work, research, implementation) used in international development and innovation projects
  • recognize different actors and stakeholders in the field of their own project, and communicate with them

Credits: 10

Schedule: 08.01.2020 - 20.05.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Matleena Muhonen, Matleena Muhonen

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Matleena Muhonen, Matleena Muhonen, Olli Varis

Contact information for the course (valid 04.12.2019-21.12.2112):

Course coordinator and first contact: Matleena Muhonen (

Academic director: Prof. Olli Varis, Water and Environmental Engineering


Development project planning: Veera Pensala

Team mentors:

  • Matias Heino, Bhutan 
  • Johanna Laaksonen, Uganda
  • Venla Niva, Kenya
  • Julia Renko, Mexico

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    SGT Studio is a co-learning studio for Master's and PhD students working with various stakeholders. The course looks at the diverse, multi- and cross-disciplinary connections between sustainability and technology in developing contexts. The course includes expert lectures, interactive workshops and extensive project work done in teams. As part of the team work, students may travel abroad to carry out field research on their selected theme. The lecturers and workshops introduce students to the general context of the course as well as to the process of international project work and team work.

    In this course students will take part in real projects within research groups, civil society organizations or companies. The project work will be mentored by Aalto's research staff and practicing professionals.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    • Assignment 1: Background Study
    • Assignment 2: Project Document & revised document
    • Class-room sessions:
    • Project Design workshops (Jan)
    • Project Clinics (Jan, Apr, May)
    • Field trips (in Feb/Mar)
    • Assignment 3: Mid-Review Presentation after the field trips in March/April
    • Assignment 4: Media release in April
    • Assignment 5: Final report draft in April
    • Assignment 6: Final presentation in May
    • Assignment 7: Final report in May
    • Assignment 8: Self & Peer Evaluation in May
    • Personal reflections/learning diary [throughout the course, DL end of each month]
    • Expert meetings [min. 3, throughout the course]
    • Mentor meetings [min. 5, throughout the course]
    • Public Blog / Communication channel [throughout the course]

    The joint class-room teaching sessions are mainly in period III in January.  Two week field trips are in February - March. In period IV teams are mainly working on their own following their own project plan, meeting with experts and organizing mentoring meetings in their own schedule. In period V public presentations, project communication and reflections.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Project work, lectures, co-learning workshops and assignments, including possible 1-2 week field work and co-design trip to project site.

    To pass the course student must take part actively in the team project work, submit individual assignments in time and participate in peer- and self-evaluation.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Students are evaluated individually based on the produced material with the team, individual and team performance and activity throughout the course. Evaluation is reflected through learning outcomes of the course. The overall grading is based on the master's thesis evaluation criteria at the School of Engineering.

    Each submitted assignment (final versions) is graded by the mentors and responsible teachers in scale 1-5. Peer & self evaluation will effect the final individual grade 20 %.

    Grade 5, you did exceptionally well with all parts of the course. You were able to demonstrate very good skills in applying the team work skills, project management, methods, your personal knowledge, communication and academic appearance. You meet the learning outcomes excellently. You also submitted the personal tasks on time and showed that you understood the given assignment.

    Grade 4, you did excellently with most parts of the course. Your work meets all the requirements very very well, you were able to demonstrate good skills in applying the team work skills, project management, methods, your personal knowledge, communication and academic appearance. Your work is coherent and balanced. You might have some improvements to do for instance in the areas of scheduling, communication or team work. You meet the learning outcomes very well.

    Grade 3, you did very well with most parts of the course. Your work meets the basic requirements well and you were able to demonstrate skills in applying the team work skills, project management, methods, your personal knowledge, communication and academic appearance. Your work is well-organized and serves its purpose. You might have improvements to do for instance in the areas of scheduling, communication, team work, participation, attitude, producing results. You meet the learning outcomes. Your personal tasks may have been late continuously and you needed reminders.

    Grade 2, an acceptable work with significant shortcomings in areas (for instance scheduling, overall appearance, producing results).

    Grade 1, meets only the minimum requirements.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    • Contact teaching 60h
    • Independent study 60h
    • Team assignment 150h

  • Applies in this implementation:

    10 cr = 270 h

    • ~27 h joint class-room sessions (incl. workshops and presentations) 
    • ~60 h field trip (incl. lectures, workshops and other team activities in the field)
    • ~69 h team activities, assignments, meetings
    • ~114 h individual work (personal reflection, observation, reading)


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Material given during the lecture and exercises. Students must also actively search for additional material for their team work.

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    WAT-E3020 State of the World and Development (2cr) or WAT-E1100 Water and Environmental Engineering as well as WAT-E2060 Sustainable Built Environment (5cr)

Registration for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    A limited number of students will be accepted to the course, with preference given to our own Master's Programme students. Other students may be selected based on Motivation Letter and/or other criteria.

    The application period to this course is usually organized during period I and II.

    The course may not be organized if fewer than 5 students register to the course.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The call for applications was in October 2019.

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    1 No Poverty

    6 Clean Water and Sanitation

    7 Affordable and Clean Energy

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption

    13 Climate Action

    15 Life on Land

    16 Peace and Justice Strong Institutions

    17 Partnerships for the Goals


Further Information
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    The course is intended for both Master's and Doctoral students of all disciplines. Note that course field trips are at students' own cost unless otherwise stated in course project descriptions/call for applications.

    Course has close linkages with WAT-E3020, WAT-E2060, and WAT-E2080.

    The course is part of the Sustainable Global Technologies Programme (

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The call for applications was in October 2019.

Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    Course starts JAN 8, 2020

    Compulsory joint class-room sessions:

    • JAN 8 (Course Kick-off)
    • JAN 13 & 15 (Project design workshops)
    • JAN 29 (Project Clinic I)
    • MAR 30 OR APR 1 (Mid-Review, date to be confirmed with students)
    • MAY 11 OR 13 (Final public presentation, date to be confirmed with students)
    • MAY (Project Clinic III, date to be confirmed with students)

    In addition teams will have team-related meetings, mentoring meetings, expert meetings and reflection sessions throughout the course.