Biological and Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Bioeconomy (Bioceb), Master of Science (Technology)
Language of instruction:
Field of study:
Climate change mitigation and the preservation of biodiversity are the most pressing challenges of our time. These complex phenomena cannot be solved in a vacuum but through transnational joint action. The Master’s Programme in Biological and Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Bioeconomy (Bioceb) was founded upon these reconnaissances. As the first European joint programme focusing on bioeconomy, the 2-year programme trains future research and innovation managers leaping to the forefront of the sustainable development movement. Graduates will have not one, but three master’s degrees from highly recognised universities in the bioeconomy field, giving them a competitive edge and head start for their international career.
Upon graduating from the Master’s Programme in Biological and Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Bioeconomy, the graduates who have selected a study path involving Aalto University will have:
A thorough understanding of the technologies and processes involved in creating products and harnessing energy from biomass. Graduates have a comprehensive foundation in how wood, crops, plants and organic waste can be converted and used to create marketable bioproducts and renewable energy.
The ability to incorporate systems thinking into problem solving. Graduates understand the interconnected and interdependent nature of the modern challenges and are able to suggest solutions from a holistic perspective.
An interdisciplinary approach to their profession. Graduates have a versatile toolbox combining knowledge and skills of chemistry, biology, economic and environmental sciences as well as cross-cutting skills including project management.
A vast international experience. Graduates will have studied and experienced life in at least two European countries, bridging them to an international network of like-minded individuals.
Language of instruction
In the Master’s Programme in Biological and Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Bioeconomy, the language of instruction is English.
Tuition fees and scholarships
4.500€/year for programme country students*, €9.000/year for partner country students**
*Programme Country = Students who have the nationality of one of the following states are considered as students from Programme countries : Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, North Macedonia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Serbia and Turkey.
**Partner Country = Students who don’t have the nationality of one of the member states of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Serbia, Turkey or North Macedonia, are considered as students from Partner countries.
Structure of studies
The Master’s Programme in Biological and Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Bioeconomy comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:
- The joint first semester (30 ECTS)
- The second semester (30 ECTS)
- The third semester (30 ECTS)
- The fourth semester / Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)
Students will choose from five study tracks and follow a curriculum which covers three different specialisation areas in three prestigious European universities. The 2-year programme starts with an induction week organised in Reims, France. The induction week includes detailed presentations of the curriculum and study tracks, a presentation of Green Line projects (see ‘methods’ part), inspirational lectures, site visits, “integration” trainings (French basics, intercultural training) as well as social events enabling students to get to know each other and start building a solid network.
Students then embark on a joint first semester at the University of Reims-Champagne-Ardenne (URCA), providing them with a multidisciplinary scientific knowledge base and a shared culture in the field of agro-resources and their conversion through biorefinery processes.
The second semester allows the students to enrich their technical and scientific experience. Students choose to either focus on economics at AgroParisTech or on green chemistry principles at Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech). Both study tracks deal with value-chain sustainability assessment.
A 7-day Summer School is organised at the end of the second semester in Tallinn, gathering all students together and comprising different activities such as guest lectures, soft skills training, and a one-day workshop on Green Line projects and social activities.
The third semester offers a specialisation in one of the key biotechnology approaches of bioeconomy: biomass engineering (AgroParisTech), bioprocesses (University of Liège) or bio-based products (Aalto University).
The fourth semester is dedicated to the Master’s thesis. The graduation ceremony takes place at the University of Reims-Champagne-Ardenne during the Bioceb week in August.
Students choose one of the five different study tracks offered by the programme. Depending on the student’s track, he/she will study different topics during the different semesters.
Aalto University is involved in tracks 3 and 5, offering the following courses:
- Polymer Synthesis (5 ECTS)
- Plant Biomass (5 ECTS)
- Fibres and Fibre Products (5 ECTS)
- Lignocellulose Chemistry (5 ECTS)
- Cellulose-Based Fibers (Green Line project-3rd stage) (5 ECTS)
- Polymer Blends and Composites (5 ECTS)
The programme has a highly innovative pedagogical focus. The most prominent example is the Green Line project which students work on throughout the programme. The project gives them the opportunity to dive into a real industrial challenge and come up with cross-cutting and innovative solutions. The project is carried out in a group of students from at least two different countries to embrace the diverse profiles and talents.
The aim of the programme is to equip students with strong horizontal skills, including project management, interculturality, adaptability, teamwork and leadership. Different kinds of activities take place to enhance students’ self-confidence and assertiveness. There are multiple opportunities to gain invaluable hands-on experience, including research as part of the master’s thesis, having access to experimental facilities, and taking part in biorefinery site visits, among others. Different joint events (induction week, summer school, graduation and dissemination event) are organised throughout the programme, strengthening the strong student community and team spirit.
In addition, the programme also focuses on the personal development of students through the strengthening of "soft skills" such as project management, interculturality and creativity.
The Master’s Programme in Biological and Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Bioeconomy is international by definition. Students will have study and life experience in at least two European countries and three European universities, an international network of like-minded individuals as well as 3 master’s degrees from prestigious universities. Studies are conducted in multicultural groups with people from very diverse backgrounds, each bringing in their unique individual skillset.
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 Nordic culture and welcome them at home in Finland.
Further study opportunities
The Master’s Programme in Biological and Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Bioeconomy at Aalto is considered a great foundation for doctoral studies.
The Master’s Programme in Biological and Chemical Engineering for a Sustainable Bioeconomy allows students to personalise their professional profile and gain access to a number of different professions focusing on, for example:
- utilisation of plant-based materials in cutting-edge products,
- the design and development of products or processes combining chemistry and bioconversions, or
- on the setting up of new sustainable value chains.
The opportunities for graduates are numerous both in the academic and industrial world, as graduates are equipped with skills that meet a real need in many sectors. The transition to the professional world is ensured by a close collaboration with 19 international associated partners from industry, research and academia.
Internships in conjunction with the Master’s thesis enable students to develop their functional skills in laboratory training. For example, working on the design of lab scale bioreactor and studying the different aspects of the biotechnology processes will give practical knowledge that can be used in a future job to scale up to the pilot plant in cooperation projects with industry.
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.
More information about the research: https://www.aalto.fi/en/department-of-bioproducts-and-biosystems
Co-operation with other parties
The programme’s international and multidisciplinary learning environment merges chemical engineering, sustainable product design, biotechnology and material science in a way that prepares students to respond to the defining challenges of today’s society. Learning takes place in multidisciplinary teams, increasing students’ understanding of different disciplines and enabling holistic approaches. This activates students to create new sustainable solutions for the human, urban, industrial and business environment.
Aalto University is well-known for bridging the disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus and the freedom of choosing courses across the University bring students from different fields together. This spontaneous multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.
Programme-specific admission requirements
Applications are submitted through the programme’s own application tool. For more details about the application and selection procedure, admission requirements and deadlines, please visit the Bioceb website.