GRA 6718 Distribution in the Circular Economy

GRA 6718 Distribution in the Circular Economy

Course code: 
GRA 6718
Accounting and Operations Management
Course coordinator: 
Bente Merete Flygansvær
Course name in Norwegian: 
Distribution in the Circular Economy
Product category: 
MSc in Business - Logistics and Supply Chain Management
2023 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

Sustainability has become an overreaching concept, setting the agenda for future generations. Within this agenda, it is essential to put words into action. In ‘Distribution in the Circular Economy’ the focus is looking at how distribution as an area has impact to contribute to sustainable development, by incorporating principles of the circular economy. Any company is linked to other organizations, whether it is suppliers, customers, logistics service providers, or other intermediaries. The performance of the individual firm is dependent on the strength and weaknesses of its partners in the supply chains and networks. Such distribution arrangements are developing in a global context, which needs to take sustainable and circular considerations. This course will address operational and strategic issues and challenges linked to the distribution part of the supply chains and networks. In particular by addressing various kinds of business models within the field of distribution.  

Learning outcomes - Knowledge
  • To understand the complexity that distribution in its new context represent and the implications for distribution strategies and business models.
  • To understand and appreciate the vast tactical and strategic decisions managers have to consider when trying to navigate in distribution and supply chain network consisting of a myriad of actors all trying to win the customer and all trying to deliver leading edge services that are sustainable in the long run.
  • To gain knowledge about analytical methods and tools, and their practical usage when analysing and solving comprehensive real life problems facing managers.
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • To be able to explain how complex issues can be broken down into concrete tactical and strategic decision options.
  • To be confident enough to approach distribution issues in a creative and solution oriented way.
  • To be able to communicate verbally and in writing how current theoretical perspectives in the field is applicable to supply chain professionals.
General Competence
  • To understand the implications distribution in its new context has on future distribution choices.
  • To be experience first hand how real life distribution problems can be tackled using an array of perspectives, tools and creative solutions.
Course content

Major topics to be covered include:

  • Introduction to the area of distribution and the circular economy
  • The concept of business models for distribution channels and systems
  • Transport modes and the role of transport in the economy and global trade
  • Third party logistics from shipper and carrier perspectives
  • Measurement, costing and pricing issues in transport and distribution
  • Network and governance theories for the distribution arrangements
  • Waste management and reverse logistics issues
  • Sustainable considerations in distribution and transport
Teaching and learning activities

Learning through a mix of theoretical readings and other material, group assignments and presentations, and class interaction and contribution. Students are required to actively participate in class discussions. 

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades when the course starts.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Class participation
1 Semester(s)
Exam code: 
GRA 67181
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group (3 - 5)
1 Semester(s)
Exam code: 
GRA 67181
Grading scale: 
Point scale leading to ECTS letter grade
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
60 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
10 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
14 Hour(s)
40 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.