Master of Science (M.Sc.) Chemical Biotechnology


Program Description

Learn from biology! Think like a chemist! Act as an engineer! The interdisciplinary Master's program in Chemical Biotechnology at the Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability.

What does a biotechnologist do?

A biotechnologist analyses naturally occurring (micro)biological processes, adapts them to the requirements of his desired product, and brings the adapted process to industrial production.

What kind of knowledge is needed?

On the one hand, knowledge in the field of microbiology and molecular biology is needed because it is important to know how to efficiently make available the enormous genetic resources from bacteria, fungi, or plants that are available for biotechnological applications and how to optimize the metabolism of the corresponding production systems.

However, also knowledge of chemistry is needed in order to develop biocatalytic processes. Biocatalysis is the basis for innovative and sustainable synthesis pathways in chemistry and it can be used to make reactions with enzymatic partial steps more sustainable.

Finally, knowledge of process engineering is needed, as a biotechnologist has to scale the biotechnological processes developed in the laboratory to the technical scale and equip them with tailor-made processing.

This means that biotechnologists must be absolute experts in the combination of these three disciplines.

That is why this course of studies is about the fact that its graduates are at home in the worlds of biology, chemistry, and process engineering and therefore have a unique new view of existing and future processes and required procedures. This is the only way they can use biotechnological approaches to advance sustainability in various research fields in the chemical industry.

Test tubes in metal rack. Concept for science, medical, research.

Learning outcomes

After completion of the studies, one possesses a basic technical and methodical knowledge and understanding of the field of chemical biotechnology. For example, you will be able to apply biotechnological methods, test or modify isolated enzymes and entire microorganisms, participate in the development of biocatalysts, and plan biotechnological equipment and plants. In addition, one can get to know the field of electrotechnology and acquire knowledge in the field of materials science.

One is also able to directly methodically apply the current approaches dealt with in the modules with the aid of the corresponding specialist literature, i.e. to further optimize an existing fermentation process on the basis of literature data, for example. Furthermore, one is able to identify problems independently and to develop suitable ways for the processing of the corresponding research ideas via the appropriate selection of research methods.

In addition, as a graduate, you can combine your engineering and natural science basics with professional applications. Thus, thanks to your interdisciplinary knowledge in the field of chemical biotechnology, you are able to initiate research projects, plan independently and, depending on the field of activity, develop new biobased products/active substances or new processes for the production of these biobased products or new processes for the recycling of waste products.

One is also prepared to transfer processes developed in the laboratory to large-scale production.

You can work successfully in a research group, critically question and communicate your research results and deal early with the different perspectives and interests on the topic of sustainability and how these are to be taken into account in the biotechnological development of products.

After all, by taking interdisciplinary elective modules, one acquires non-technical qualifications and is thus sensitized to the non-technical requirements of professional activity.


The program consists of compulsory and elective modules from the fields of chemistry (C), micro/molecular biology (B), and process engineering (T). In addition, elective modules from the specialization areas of electrotechnology and materials science (E/M) are added. The final step is the preparation of the Master's Thesis.

Compulsory modules:

  • C: Enzymatic Biotransformations
  • B: Applied Microbiology and Metabolic Engineering
  • T: Conceptual Design of Bioprocesses
  • C/B/T:
    • Artificial Intelligence for Biotechnology,
    • Advanced scientific planning based on current research topics at TUM,
    • Research Internship

Elective modules:

  • C: Chemistry of Enzymes, Glycomics, Phytopharmaceuticals, and natural products, Surface Chemistry, Sustainable Chemistry
  • B: Enzyme Engineering, Genetic Engineering, and Synthetic Biology, Methods of Synthetic Biology, Regulation of Microbial Metabolism, Plant Biotechnology
  • T: Advanced Downstream Processing, Biorefinery, Electrolyte thermodynamics, Gas-based bioprocesses, Mechanical process engineering
  • E/M: Electrobiotechnology, Biological materials in nature and technology, Materials science of renewable resources
  • C/B/T: Advanced Analytics for Biotechnology, Advanced Concepts of Bioinformatics

Career opportunities

After graduating, you are qualified for a doctorate in a field of biotechnological research. The path to the biotechnological industry is also open to you. The biotechnology sector is constantly growing in terms of total turnover, the number of companies as well as the number of employees. The declared political consensus to support a progressive structural change towards a bio-based economy is expected to lead to further growth in this sector. The chances of finding a job are therefore very good.

Application and Admission

Minimum requirements to apply for a Master's program at TUM are a recognized undergraduate degree (e.g. a bachelor) and the successful completion of the aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment allows the TUM school or department to which you are applying the opportunity to evaluate your individual talents and motivation for study.

During the application period, you must apply through the TUMonline application portal and upload your application documents.

If you receive an offer of admission, you will additionally have to submit individual documents as notarized hard copies by post to be enrolled.

Generally, applicants with a qualification for postgraduate studies (e.g. a bachelor’s) obtained outside of the EU / EEA must have their documents reviewed in advance through uni-assist.

Application documents

  • Application for Admission (upload - signed)
  • Transcript of Records
  • Degree Certificate and Diploma or Subject and Grade Transcript of Studies to Date
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency
  • Letter of Motivation
  • Complete and Current Résumé
  • Passport
  • Current Passport-Style Photo
  • Preliminary Documentation (VPD) if the qualification for graduate studies (e.g. a bachelor) is obtained outside the EU/EEA

We may require additional documents depending on your educational background and your country of origin. Complete the online application to receive a comprehensive list of the required documents.

Required language skills for admission

You need sufficient English language skills if you wish to apply for this program. Evidence of your language proficiency has to be submitted before the end of the application deadline. Learn more about recognized certificates and other ways to prove your English language skills.

This evidence of your language proficiency confirms that you comply with the minimum language requirements for admission to the program. Depending on the program and your individual background, it may be necessary for you to keep working on your language skills during your studies. Be sure to take a look at the services of our Language Center.  

Language of instruction

The language of instruction for this program is usually English. This means that most of the modules are offered in English. Some courses may, however, be taught in German. To learn more about the language of instruction for each module, contact the departmental student academic advisor of this program. 

Last updated Jul 2020

About the School

The Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability is a new Integrative Research Center at the Technical University of Munich. Its focus in research and teaching makes the new center unique: It ... Read More

The Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability is a new Integrative Research Center at the Technical University of Munich. Its focus in research and teaching makes the new center unique: It will concentrate on renewable resources, biotechnology, and bioeconomy. For this, new interdisciplinary degree programs will be established, that nationwide are only offered by TUM in Straubing. Read less