The sustainable production of energy, food, chemicals and materials is a major challenge for us today and for future generations.
Production has until now been based on fossil raw materials, which has, in turn, caused serious environmental challenges. The use of renewable raw materials where it is technically possible and economically feasible is one of the corner technologies for mitigating climate change and saving scarce natural resources.
Biorefineries implement a wide range of technologies and materials, and this programme examines them with an open mind and a wide scope, including the opportunities they offer in terms of new competencies, solutions and critical assessments. In this Master's programme, you will specialise in biorefining and related industries or e.g. in the circular economy.
The Master's Programme in Biorefineries is delivered as flexible distance learning independent of place or time. It is well suited for people already in the working world in Finland or abroad, aiming for professional development and the upgrading of qualifications. This programme is a practical solution to practical lifelong learning.
Intended learning outcomes
Teaching in this Master's programme has been planned in close cooperation with the industry, and it takes into account the development directions and new opportunities in the educational environment.
Diverse distance teaching methods and students with versatile professional experience ensure that you will study in a multicultural and multidisciplinary group. There are both Finnish and international students in this programme.
As a graduate of this Master's programme, you will:
- have comprehensive knowledge of the modern biorefining technology, products and raw materials, including the current technology in e.g. pulping processes;
- have good knowledge of technologies integrated into biorefineries, e.g. wastewater treatment;
- be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of sustainable solutions and technologies, problem-solving skills and the ability to design and develop practical biorefining applications;
- have the courage to create innovations and new technical solutions;
- possess project work and communication skills needed in the modern networked environment.
During your studies, you will learn to design and develop processes and the production of materials based on modern biorefining technologies. You will have a unique opportunity to update your knowledge and studies concerning biorefining.
As a graduate, you will possess a unique set of skills for designing, planning, assessing and operating sustainable, environmentally friendly biorefining processes and products.
Degree structure and studies
The Master's Programme in Biorefineries is a two-year, distance learning programme. In addition to virtual instruction, the programme includes a few of contact teaching days (seminars, laboratory work, etc.) each academic year on the Lappeenranta campus.
The programme leads to the degree of Master of Science in Technology, M.Sc. (Tech.), which is 120 ECTS credits.
The programme includes core, specialisation, minor and elective studies.
Core studies include introduction courses to M.Sc. studies and research activities in the field of biorefineries and chemical engineering in general. They also include studies on the connection between technology and society.
Specialisation studies in Biobased Process Engineering deal with, for example, alternative biorefineries and enabling technologies, e.g. solid-liquid separation, biological wastewater treatment and bioeconomy.
The Master's thesis, 30 ECTS credits, is a part of specialisation studies. The thesis is an advanced research project, which requires approximately six months of full-time work. Students complete it during their fourth semester.
Minor studies (if any, depending on the scope of the specialisation studies) and elective studies can be freely chosen by the student. The following minor subjects, all of which are suitable for distance learning, are recommended for the Biorefineries programme:
- Energy Technology (distance learning)
- Minor studies from the Department of Chemical Engineering: Advanced Chemistry and Advanced Water Treatment
- VAKASO Liiketoimintaosaaminen (basic business studies)
- Circular Economy (multidisciplinary study module)
- Minor studies offered by the FiTech Finnish Institute of Technology
You will acquire the knowledge and skills to work in different fields of the biorefining industry, most typically in research, development, or various operations of biorefining sites and related equipment manufacturers globally.
You will also be able to work in project management and consulting companies, education, or assessing related laws, regulations and actions taken by authorities. You will be able to discuss future choices critically within the biorefining industry, to renew the strategy of your company, or to work as a decision-maker.
The circular economy is also a very closely related field: this Master's programme is not restricted only to the biorefining industry but applies more generally to industry related to the use of renewable resources.
In addition, you will obtain a firm basis for continuing your studies in doctoral programmes.
How to Apply
Interested in applying to the Master's Programme in Biorefineries?
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You can apply to this Master's programme through either the rolling or the regular admission process:
- Regular admission: 2 December 2019-22 January 2020
- Rolling admission: 1 October 2019-31 May 2020