Study options

Biotechnology - Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering, Master of Science (Technology)

The Biotechnology major empowers students to become active contributors and leaders in various fields, ranging from biochemicals and biofuels to pharmaceuticals and food. The programme provides a strong knowledge base in biotechnology and the skills to solve complex problems, be it in research or in a business environment.
Biotechnology laboratory
Picture of a laboratory in School of Chemical Technology


Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

1 Dec 2022 – 2 Jan 2023

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Chemical Engineering

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

Applying to master’s programmes


The Master’s Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Biotechnology offers a first-hand look at one of the most crucial disciplines in supporting the sustainable development goals and leading society's transition toward a carbon-neutral bioeconomy. The programme stands out for its emphasis on real-life applications and problem-solving which makes the studies tangible and concrete for the students. Upon graduating from the Biotechnology major, graduates will have:

Multidisciplinary knowledge in biotechnology.

Graduates understand the fundamentals as well as the engineering and technological aspects of biotechnology. Graduates will have an in-depth knowledge of molecular and cellular level biological phenomena. They’ll be able to, for example, modify and reprogram selected molecules or biological processes for enabling improved product properties or production processes. Graduates will be proficient in designing and executing biotechnological production processes.

Strong hands-on experience. Graduates are able to use essential laboratory methods and techniques along the whole development chain – from strain design and genetic engineering to the development of the production processes.

Analysis and simulation skills. Graduates can carry out quantifications, modelling and analysis on micro and macromolecular levels. Graduates are proficient in interpreting data and are able to apply analytical thinking to identify and eliminate potential sources of errors.

Co-working abilities.Graduates are goal-oriented and systematic, yet responsible professionals who collaborate fluently with experts from different backgrounds.

Communication skills. Graduates communicate clearly and unambiguously using scientifically justified arguments, both orally and in writing, and can tailor their message to address the target audience.

Language of instruction

In the Master’s Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Biotechnology the language of instruction is English. It is also possible to complete some courses in Finnish or Swedish.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Aalto University’s tuition fee for master’s programmes taught in English is 15 000 euros per academic year. Tuition fees apply to citizens of countries other than those of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

Aalto University has a scholarship programme to support non-EU/EEA citizens who study in a fee-charging degree programme. The scholarship may cover 100% or 50% of the tuition fee.

More information on tuition fees and scholarships at Aalto University is available at the Scholarships and Tuition Fees webpage.

Structure of studies

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

  • Major dependent studies (63-65 ECTS)
  • Elective studies (25-27 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)

The major is intended to be completed in the first year of the studies, whereas the second year is dedicated to elective studies and the master’s thesis.

From the very beginning, students get to apply theoretical knowledge to address real-life problems. At least one fourth (25%) of the courses will take place in a laboratory – enabling students to have multiple opportunities to apply the acquired skills in a practical setting. In addition, many courses utilise a problem-based learning approach wherein students are encouraged to find a solution through trials.

More information on the programme content and curriculum can be found in the Student guide.

Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering


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. Below are a select few examples from the wide course selection:

● Synthetic Biology (5 ECTS)

● Metabolism (5 ECTS)

● Biophysical Chemistry (5 ECTS)

● Bioprocess Technology (5 ECTS)

● Cell Factory (5 ECTS)

Biotechnology students get to enjoy the excellent facilities at Aalto University. For example, they have access to research-level laboratories – some courses even have their own facilities reserved for experimentation.

Biotechnology laboratory


Aalto University is known for its international study environment, with studies conducted in multicultural groups. The teaching methods support networking with people from diverse backgrounds – many of the Biotechnology professors and researchers have international backgrounds and experience, bringing their global networks close to students.

Developing one’s global competencies can include:

● Completing part of the degree, e.g. a minor, abroad in one of the international partner universities as an exchange student

● Choosing courses with an intercultural approach, learning foreign languages and/or becoming a student tutor for international students

● Conducting practical training or Master’s thesis outside Finland

● Taking summer courses abroad

● Benefiting from several funding options available for internationalisation

Further study opportunities

The Master’s Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering – Biotechnology at Aalto is considered a great foundation for doctoral studies.

Career opportunities

Most graduates choose one of the three typical career paths:

● Industry expert

● Academically-oriented researcher

● Entrepreneur

The programme 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. Most of our students get the opportunity to write their master’s thesis at a company or in research institutes. These activities keep the alumni-student relations strong, forming a tight network that is welcoming of students, resulting in a high employment rate of fresh graduates. 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.


The research at the School of Chemical Engineering combines natural sciences and engineering in a unique way. Particular focus areas are as follows:

● Forest products technologies

● Chemical engineering

● Industrial biotechnology

● Materials science

● Nanotechnology, metals and minerals processing

● Energy technology

The school has two special research infrastructures: bioeconomy infrastructure that enables research from molecular level to biobased technology concepts, and raw materials research infrastructure, that supports the research of circular economy targeting closed metallurgical and hydrometallurgical processes and inorganic energy materials.

Research focus

More information about the research:

Co-operation with other parties

Master’s Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Biotechnology cooperates closely with the industry. Students are given industry assignments, have special courses with teachers from the industry, and have the opportunity to conduct their Master’s thesis in a company.

Students may choose their minors or elective study modules so that their degree is a combination of technology, business, and art, typical of Aalto University. They can also take courses from other Finnish 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 the disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus and freedom of choosing elective 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.

Applying to master’s programmes

Get to know our alumni

    Niklas in his office

    The biotechnology major of Aalto University is versatile and lays thus a good foundation for a further career in organizations utilizing biotechnology. In general Aalto University gives a graduate excellent tools for a career in industry, business or public service. This includes, among other, skills in problem solving, working as a team and social interacting.

    Niklas Von Weymarn, D.Sc.(Tech) CEO of Metsä Spring Ltd

    Antti smiling

    I firmly believe that graduating from Aalto biotechnology major provides a very good background for a variety of different career paths with wealth of opportunities. In addition, material recycling and replacing the fossil fuels with renewable energy sources will likely require many biotech engineers!

    Antti Vuolanto, D.Sc.(Tech) COO at Herantis Pharma Plc

    Niklas von Weymarn

    Niklas Von Weymarn

    In our December interview we have Niklas Von Weymarn, the CEO of Metsä Spring Ltd. He has also been selected as the first Alumnus of the Year of the School of Chemical Engineering in 2017.

    For alumni

    School of Chemical Engineering

    Major Biotechnology is a part of the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering at the School of Chemical Engineering. The School of Chemical Engineering combines natural sciences and engineering in a unique way. This allows the results of our research to be refined a long way and put into practice as ready products and processes. Each innovation secures both our renewable and non-renewable natural resources for the future.

    Chat with Aalto students

    Are you wondering what it is like to study at Aalto University? Or what student life is like at Aalto’s vibrant Otaniemi Campus or at the Mikkeli Unit? Come chat with our students about all things Aalto!

    Chat with our students!
    Aalto students walking at campus during summer



    Programme-specific admission requirements

    Applicants are first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements (found on Applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies are then evaluated according to the evaluation criteria below. 

    Applications are first evaluated based on the following (critical) criteria. 

    • Academic performance 
    • Relevance of previous studies 

    Only the applications who fulfill the requirements for these criteria will be evaluated against the full set of evaluation criteria. After the evaluation of the remaining criteria below, the best applicants will be selected based on the joint evaluation of all criteria.

    • Recognition and quality of institution
    • Suitability
    • Other areas of competence

    The programme does not have a minimum quota to be filled, and not all eligible applicants will necessarily be admitted.

    Evaluation criteria for Biotechnology

    Study option-specific documents

    The documents required from all applicants are listed on In addition, applicants to this programme are requested to provide the following study option-specific documents (if applicable):

    Complementary studies

    Students admitted to the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering may be required to take complementary studies, max 20 credits.

    The content and number of the complementary courses depend on your previous studies. The complementary studies will be set latest in September.

    Contact information

    School of Chemical Engineering

    For enquiries regarding the application process, application documents and language tests, please contact [email protected] For enquiries regarding the content of the programme and studies at the School of Chemical Engineering, please contact Learning Services of Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering, [email protected]

    [email protected]

    +358 50 362 3017

    • Published:
    • Updated:
    URL copied!