Towards Sustainable Development Goals: Nexus 2.0 of Water, Food and Energy

The course gives an overview of the field of environmental studies; particularly how to reach sustainable development goals and global challenges, covering the central themes of Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Food (SDG 2) and Energy (SDG7). These areas (SDG goals) are highly intertwined with each other or with the other 14 SDGs, both North but particularly in the South. During the course, the alternative pathways and the challenges are going to be introduced by giving an opportunity to familiarize the student with practical examples and innovative solutions of the circular economy. Accordingly, a knowledge of outrage factors affects the success of sustainability strategies, especially among an uninformed public.

5 ECTS Credits — Studies start 1 October 2023 — University of Jyväskylä

Course dates

1 October 2023 – 15 December 2023

Registration period

9 August 2023 – 14 September 2023

Coordinating university

University of Jyväskylä


Tuula Tuhkanen



Course dates: 1.10 - 15.12.2023
Registration dates: 09.08. - 14.09.2023
Coordinating university: University of Jyväskylä
Responsible teacher: Tuula Tuhkanen ()
Credits: 5 ECTS

Course summary

The course gives an overview of how to strive for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) using nexus thinking. This course covers the central themes of Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Food (SDG 2) and Energy (SDG 7). These goals are interlinked with each other and with the 14 other SDGs, both in North but particularly in the South. During the course, challenges and alternative pathways are going to be demonstrated with practical examples of nexus cases from different geographic sites. Additionally, knowledge of outrage factors affects the success of sustainability strategies, especially among an uninformed public. For this reason, this course combines nexus approach and communication of risks in synergies and trade-offs.

The following areas will be covered during the course:

  • Towards sustainability in the area of safe and sustainable water supply and sanitation, supplying of the water and nutrients to the agriculture and energy production without compromising health and environmental carrying capacity.
  • Water, sanitation, food, and energy all have associated risks (especially health risks).
  • Outrage and attitudes affect the choices we make, especially when risks are involved.

Learning outcomes

  • Students will become familiar with safe water supply and sanitation, food and energy supply by some conventional and innovative methods and with the concept of nexus approach to these sectors.
  • Students will become familiar with evaluation, selection and implementation of techniques and risk control actions related to water, food and energy sectors in the changing climate.
  • The course offers basic skills of interactive exchange of information among individuals, groups, and institutions (stakeholders) regarding risks assessment and risk management techniques related to guarantee safe and sustainable water, food and energy supply.
  • The course contributes to providing channels for experts and future professionals in different disciplines and countries to exchange ideas and information, case studies and best practices.

After the course, students will be able to:

  • Apply the nexus approach learned in the analysis and communication of social and environmental aspects of water, food and energy nexus.
  • Apply the skills learned to be the agents of change at the personal level and in the society to achieve long-term sustainability in the water, food and energy nexus.

Learning methods

Learning assignments include individually written assignments, quizzes, and participation in peer-evaluations and asynchronous informal discussions on the course topics.

Study materials

  • Moodle learning environment is used to provide learning materials (lectures and reading materials), assignments and quizzes and platform for informal collaboration. All the feedback for the exercises are given via Moodle.
  • The most relevant lectures of the Jyväskylä Summer School are recorded and used on the web course together with assignments and other learning materials used at the seminar/workshop.


The course is divided into six modules/chapters. Five of these contain assignments and/or quizzes. The evaluated assignments and quizzes in each chapter cover 10-25% of the total amount of points. Assignments and quizzes add up to 200 points. The final grade is determined following the rule "Grade = (Points – 90) / 20" rounded to a full number. 100 points adds up to a total grade of 1/5 (satisfactory) and 180 points to a grade of 5/5 (excellent).

Additional information

The maximum number of participants is 100.

Prerequisites: At least a B.Sc student in Environmental or Natural Sciences, Environmental or Civil Engineering, Educational, Health or Social Sciences.

Virtual Studies Course Catalogue