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 completing the course student can:

  • recognize the role of metals in the modern society
  • identify the role and impact of metals in the climate- and eco-systems
  • recognize the local and global state of the metals resources
  • describe the main metals production technologies

Credits: 5

Schedule: 01.09.2024 - 31.12.2024

Teacher in charge (valid for whole curriculum period):

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Anna Klemettinen

Contact information for the course (applies in this implementation):

CEFR level (valid for whole curriculum period):

Language of instruction and studies (applies in this implementation):

Teaching language: English. Languages of study attainment: English


  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Course description

    The course is organized entirely online, and it is based on independent study. The course content is divided into six themes.

    Theme 1: Where and how are metals used?

    • Role of metals in the history of humankind
    • Evolution of metals applications
    • Metals in modern society and green transition
    • Different types of metals and their selected applications

    Theme 2: Why are metals used in so many applications?

    • Common properties of metals
    • Properties of ferrous metals and steel
    • Properties of nonferrous and precious metals
    • Metals as Critical Raw Materials

    Theme 3: How are metals produced?

    • The value chain of metals from mining to refining
    • Different types of raw materials
    • The role of minerals processing and its principles
    • Introduction to pyrometallurgy and hydrometallurgy

    Theme 4: Why are metals so critical now?

    • Concepts of circular economy and sustainability
    • Connection between metals​ and sustainability
    • Metals for energy production and storage​

    Theme 5: Can we reuse metals?

    • Circular economy of metals
    • Possible routes of metal recycling
    • Challenges related to metal recycling and resource efficiency
    • Newest trends in metal recycling technologies

    Theme 6: How to assess environmental impact of metals?

    • Importance of environmental impacts assessment
    • Different categories of environmental impacts
    • Life Cycle Assessment as a tool for evaluating environmental impacts
    • Example of Life Cycle Assessment analysis of metals production

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Assessment is based on commpletion of different activities (i.e. watching videos, completeing quizzes), learning diaries and online quizzes.

  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Online lectures, online quizzes, learning diaries, forum discussion, collaborative whiteboard


Study Material
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    All study material is provided on MyCourses (videos recordings, video slides, links to scientific articles and books)

Substitutes for Courses
SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    7 Affordable and Clean Energy

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption

    13 Climate Action


Further Information
  • valid for whole curriculum period:

    Teaching Language: English

    Teaching Period: 2024-2025 Autumn I - II
    2024-2025 Spring III - V
    2025-2026 Autumn I - II
    2025-2026 Spring III - V