Master of Science in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Biotechnology


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Program Description

The Master’s Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering – Biotechnology provides a strong multidisciplinary knowledge-base in biotechnology and bioengineering, and the tools for applying it in research and business environment. Biotechnology is gaining importance in our everyday lives and its impact on solving societal problems related to the environment, global warming and health are undeniable. Biotechnology is an enabling technology that ranges from the design of new biopharmaceuticals and production of novel biosynthetic materials and biochemicals to the use of cutting-edge synthetic biology concepts. Bioprocess development and modelling is an integral part of modern biotechnology.

Objectives of studies

In addition to the fundamentals of biotechnology, the study option emphasizes its engineering and technological aspects. This allows multiple opportunities to apply the acquired skills during practical courses and in real-life problems in the industry. Biotechnology graduates have:

  • Multidisciplinary knowledge in biotechnology. Graduates understand both the fundamentals as well as the engineering and technological aspects of biotechnology and easily collaborate with many allied sections of science.
  • Strong hands-on experience. Graduates are able to use key laboratory methods and techniques to apply these tools for the development of biotechnological processes.
  • Analysis and simulation skills. Graduates can carry out quantifications, modelling and analysis on micro- and macromolecular-levels in research and commercial environment.
  • Co-working abilities. Graduates are goal-oriented and systematic, yet responsible professionals who collaborate fluently with experts of different fields and cultures.
  • Communications skills. Graduates express themselves clearly and unambiguously both orally and in writing, tailoring their communications to the target audience.

Upon graduation from the Biotechnology study option, graduates have an in-depth knowledge of molecular-level biological phenomena, their behaviour and application, as well as the key methodologies of bioprocess, genetic engineering and synthetic biology.

Structure of studies

Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering – Biotechnology is organised by the School of Chemical Engineering and comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:

  • Major studies (65 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)
  • Elective studies (25 ECTS)

Biotechnology is one of the study options listed under the larger theme of Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering. The study option is chosen at the application stage. Students should have completed 40-45 ECTS out of their major studies before they are recommended to start their master’s thesis.

Master's thesis is a research assignment with a workload corresponding to 30 ECTS credits. Master's theses are typically performed in cooperation with the industry or in the research project(s) of the department(s).

You can find more information about major dependent studies and the degree on Into pages.

At the beginning of their studies, students define their Personal Study Plans (PSP) together with an academic advisor. The primary meaning of the PSP is to ensure that the studies support the student’s interests and are completed in a logical order.

Personal Study Plan (PSP)

Personal Study Plan (PSP) is a practical tool to define a student’s own study path, i.e. compiling an optimal selection of courses, aligned with the student's interests and programme’s requirements. PSP is also a useful tool for keeping up with studies. At best, it shows at which stage students are with their studies are and it sets concrete milestones for them to follow.

Content of studies

Studies in the Biotechnology study option promote real-life problems from fundamental research or industries to students. Some courses also utilise a problem-based learning approach wherein students are encouraged to find a solution through trials. The teaching and learning methods emphasise the importance of presentation and communications skills through interactive teamwork, seminars, project work and laboratory courses. To ensure a hands-on experience with biotechnology tools, every student must take at least three laboratory courses that are seamlessly integrated with our research facilities.

At the core of teaching are biotechnologically important microorganisms and enzymes, other biomaterials and their properties, as well as their applications in products and processes. Here are a select few examples from the wide course selection:

  • Metabolism (5 ECTS)
  • Biophysical Chemistry (5 ECTS)
  • Bioprocess Technology (5 ECTS)
  • Cell Factory (5 ECTS)
  • Synthetic Biology (5 ECTS)
  • Various laboratory courses

Language of instruction

English. Possibility to complete some courses in Finnish/Swedish.

Post-graduate study options

Eligibility for doctoral studies.

Tuition fee and scholarship

Non-EU/EEA students selected to the study option will be charged a tuition fee of €15000 per academic year. They are eligible to apply for scholarships awarded from the Aalto University Scholarship programme.

International opportunities

The study environment in the study option is strongly international and studies are conducted in multicultural groups. Many professors and researchers working in biotechnology have international backgrounds and experience, bringing the global network close to students. In addition, departments are engaged in academic cooperation with high-quality international universities and organisations. As a result, many students choose to complete part of their degree abroad, for example, at one of the many top-tier partner universities as an exchange student. Some students carry out their internships or even a master’s thesis research abroad.

Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad each year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through studies, but also multiple free time events, activities and celebrations around the campus. Programme administrators, active student tutors and student support services work rigorously to help international students integrate into the Nordic culture and welcome them at home in Finland.

Multidisciplinary opportunities

Students can freely select their elective courses from other majors of Aalto University or even other universities. To help plan their studies, students are assigned an academic advisor who guides in choosing courses and minors in the fields that the student finds interesting. For example, some students blend chemistry and arts in the multidisciplinary Chemarts minor.

Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus and freedom to choose elective courses across the university bring students from different fields under one roof. This spontaneous multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.

You can include multidisciplinary studies to your degree by choosing courses from fields of arts and business within Aalto University. You can even take courses from other Finnish universities via The Flexible Study Right Agreement (JOO).

Career opportunities

The study option stands out with its close collaboration with industry, specifically in the form of real-life assignments and projects. Many industry collaborators also give lectures in various courses. Furthermore, field trips and excursions to companies and research institutes in the field provide new perspectives to learning. This keeps the alumni-student relations strong, forming a tight network that is welcoming of students, resulting in a high employment rate of fresh graduates. Most graduates begin to follow three typical career paths, ending up as either academically-oriented researchers, industry experts or entrepreneurs. Most of our students get the opportunity to write their master’s thesis at a company or in research institutes both within and outside Finland.

Aalto University has well-established career services through which you can get employed in Finland and abroad. Aalto students tend to find good positions with ease upon their graduation. An active entrepreneurship community is also present at Aalto, which can help as a springboard for founding your company. Finally, if an academic career is of interest, the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering – Biotechnology is a great foundation for doctoral studies and post-doc positions.

Last updated Nov 2019

About the School

At Aalto University, we believe in curiosity and we encourage our students to explore the unknown and do things in a totally new way. We offer the highest level of education in business, art and desig ... Read More

At Aalto University, we believe in curiosity and we encourage our students to explore the unknown and do things in a totally new way. We offer the highest level of education in business, art and design, architecture, and technology in Finland. Read less
Espoo , Helsinki , Pori , Mikkeli + 3 More Less