Master in Biobased Materials


Program Description

Ever wondered where plastics will come from after oil runs out? Is it possible to produce functional materials and plastics from biological resources? Can novel sustainable materials be produced based on the molecular structures available in nature?

In the master biobased materials, we will provide you with the knowledge and competencies to deal with these challenges.

Biobased: sustainable materials with possibly completely new properties

Planet Earth is running out of fossil fuels. Alternative resources for materials and plastics need to be found and developed. A new generation of scientists is required to discover novel materials and sustainable production methods making use of biological resources. This provides an opportunity for the development of novel materials with completely new material properties. This program prepares you for a career in research, development, production, and application of bio-based materials to aid in the transition towards a more sustainable and biobased economy.

Quick facts

  • Degree/title: MSc Bio-based Materials
  • Duration: 2 years full-time
  • Language of instruction: English
  • Starts in September
  • Location: Brightlands Chemelot Campus, Sittard-Geleen

Why study Biobased Materials at Maastricht University?

  • A multi-disciplinary program in biobased materials science;
  • An open curriculum in which the students can choose their own track in the field of biobased materials;
  • A novel way of teaching materials science at master level using problem-based learning and research-based learning;
  • A clear connection to local industry involved in research and development of materials and polymers, also the biobased variants of these and new biobased polymers;
  • A clear connection to highly relevant developments within science, industry, and society;
  • This program is situated at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus; next to one of the largest chemical sites in Europe with state-of-the-art infrastructure and laboratory facilities;
  • A highly motivated staff who has the expertise within the field of biobased materials, combined with industrial experience enriching their view on this topic;
  • A curriculum that not only aims for knowledge transfer but also strongly involves competence and skills development into the program;
  • Possibility to meet your future employer on-site or in the region.

Teaching methods

Problem-Based-Learning (PBL)

In the master Biobased Materials, we employ Problem-Based Learning (PBL) as a method of instruction. In a PBL environment, you work in small tutorial groups of about 12 students on scientific cases. You conduct discussions, exchange knowledge and formulate your learning goals as a group. By actively addressing the cases, you better grasp the theory and you learn to apply your insights to various questions. Additionally, you gain essential skills, such as presenting viewpoints, debating, writing texts and working together.

Research-Based-Learning (RBL)

In the master Biobased Materials, we take PBL one step further by incorporating research into the equation: Research-Based Learning (RBL). In RBL you work on contemporary research topics as part of your education. In this program, the practical skills training is incorporated in the courses. In this way, full integration of academic and practical skills can be obtained. Additionally, in the projects, you will integrate your knowledge and competences and explore creative ways to find solutions to genuine research problems from academic and industrial practices.

In RBL you will study both fundamental and more applied research problems of which the answer is not yet known. In this way it is also possible to get local industry and research institutes, present on the Brightlands Chemelot campus interested and involved in the academic community.

Tutorial groups and tutors

PBL and RBL are student-centered approaches to learning. You will be guided during learning by a 'tutor' who can monitor the group process, ask critical, substantive questions, share knowledge and support students where needed. You have intensive contact with students and staff and our approachable tutors will assist you in fully employing your talents and knowledge.

Student performance

PBL and especially RBL are experienced as very inspiring by students. You are in charge of your learning process, which increases your motivation. Working actively with the study material, you will delve deeper into issues and your ability to collect, structure and retain information will increase considerably.

Courses & curriculum

In the Biobased Materials programme, you'll play a central role in shaping your own education. With compulsory courses and electives, you have plenty of room to choose your own set of courses that fit your specific interests and career ambitions.

The master Biobased Materials comprises mandatory courses in semester 1. In semesters 2 and 3, students can elect courses that fit their interest and are beneficiary for their academic development. At the end you will do your master thesis research project that will comprises 8 months of research.

You can find the list of courses that you will follow during the first and second year on our programme website.

Your future

A major challenge in the transition towards a biobased society is the development of biobased alternatives for materials that are currently used as well as the development of new sustainable materials. Consequently, biobased materials are an important focal point in materials science research.

Universities, research institutes and businesses are joining forces to develop and implement biobased materials in society. There is a growing demand for experts in this field, so the career prospects for our graduates are promising. The multidisciplinary master's in Biobased Materials prepares you for career opportunities at: universities, businesses: R&D, research institutes, governmental institutions, environmental organisations, consultancy firms, start-up companies and NGOs.

On our website, you can find more information on the master’s programmes offered at Maastricht University as well as career prospects for your future.


Admission requirements

A bachelor diploma in one of the fields listed below or equivalent (includes bachelor diplomas from relevant Dutch-HBO/higher vocational education programs; these will need additional approval from the Board of Admissions):

  • Biological studies relevant to the field of biobased materials;
  • Chemistry;
  • Polymer science and engineering;
  • Biomedical engineering;
  • Biotechnology;
  • and other bachelor programs related to chemistry and/ or materials.
  • 15 ECTS (or equivalent) in mathematics at bachelor level.

The admission requirements and the application procedure are explained in detail on our website.

Last updated Jun 2019

About the School

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is the incubator and home of several outstanding departments and prestigious institutions in education and research.

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is the incubator and home of several outstanding departments and prestigious institutions in education and research. Read less