A combination of hands-on laboratory work and theoretical research, Julius Grahn graduated in 2019 from the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Functional Materials.
Functional Materials - Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering, Master of Science (Technology)
Language of instruction:
Field of study:
We are living in a material world: everything from cars, computing, energy, robots, medical devices, sports, construction and luxury goods boils down to materials. This wide range of opportunities is what makes materials science the most exciting science there is for many. The Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering – Functional Materials educates materials experts who want to learn both hard-core science subjects and practical engineering thinking. Ranked among the top universities for materials science by QS World University Ranking, Aalto University brings together a highly international and competent group of students and academic staff, resulting in a one-of-a-kind programme fueled by cutting edge research and strong industry links.
Upon graduating from the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering – Functional Materials, graduates will have:
A profound understanding of the structures, composition, properties, processing, and performance of different materials. Students get a fascinating insight into different materials from large, small, hard and soft to novel smart materials.
Ability to evaluate material properties, design new materials and predict their behaviour. Graduates understand the engineering possibilities and limitations of new materials. These include composites, hybrid, biomimetic and nanomaterials and active, functional, responsive and smart materials for sensing, actuation and self-repair.
An inquisitive mind to explore new frontiers in research. Graduates have curiosity to explore and discover new grounds in research as well as courage to defend their findings.
Passion in their field to make a change in the world. The world needs new materials that are lighter, greener and smarter.
Language of instruction
In all majors in the Master’s Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering 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 – Functional Materials 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)
Modern materials science – smart materials and devices
All the basic core courses are intended to be studied during the first year of master’s studies. Students learn about nanomaterials, surfaces and films, functional soft materials and materials characterisation. Although the programme proposes three study tracks, students have the freedom to create their own individual study track based on their interests and aspirations. One-on-one tutoring sessions help students in compiling their personal study plan.
Students may choose to specialize in one of the three subfields listed below, or they can opt for a cross-disciplinary path that gives them a broad palette of skills. The three recommended subfields are:
· MEMS and microsensors
· Solid state and nanoscience
· Polymers, soft matter and biomaterials
More information on the studies and the degree can be found on Into pages.
The topics provide a blending of chemistry, physics, engineering and nanotechnology. At the core of the programme are novel smart materials – from atomic bonds and nanoscale phenomena to microstructure of matter and finally, their engineering applications.
Half of the courses are the same for everybody, and the other half can be tailored individually.
Common core courses include:
· Functional Soft Materials (5 ECTS)
· Nanomaterials (5 ECTS)
· Surfaces and Films (5 ECTS)
· Materials Characterization Lab (5 ECTS)
· Nanochemistry and Nanoengineering (5 ECTS)
· Solid State Chemistry (5 ECTS)
· Personal Research Assignment in Functional Materials (5-10 ECTS)
Students build a degree entity according to their specific interests. Examples of courses picked from the wide course selection include:
· Thin Film Technology (5 ECTS)
· Microfabrication (5 ECTS)
· Design and Analysis of MEMS (5 ECTS)
· Crystallography and Structural Characterization (5 ECTS)
· Functional Inorganic Materials (5 ECTS)
· Engineering Metals and Alloys (5 ECTS)
· Polymer Properties (5 ECTS)
· Molecular Thermodynamics (5 ECTS)
The Functional Materials major provides students with a comprehensive, research-supported, and dynamic curriculum. The aim is to enable students to find their strengths as materials experts – whether it is through innovation, critical thinking, working alone or in multidisciplinary groups. A wide range of project courses enhance students’ practical and research skills as they address real scientific problems. Students don’t simply learn about materials per se but also about their impact and values in a societal, economic and environmental context.
Those studying Functional Materials become members of the FunMat community consisting of the students, lecturers and professors of Functional Materials. Together they organise FunMat events, meet with companies in the field, and improve the curriculum together. Together they learn – about functional materials and themselves.
Personal Study Plan (PSP)
The Personal Study Plan (PSP) is a practical tool to define a student’s own study path, compiling an optimal selection of courses that are aligned with the student's interests and programme requirements. PSP is also a useful tool for students to keep track of their studies. At best, it shows where students are with their studies and sets concrete milestones for them to follow.
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 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 – Functional Materials at Aalto is considered a great foundation for doctoral studies. The major provides eligibility for doctoral studies.
One of the strengths of the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering – Functional Materials is close cooperation with the industry: from industry assignments, projects in courses, and special courses with teachers in the industry to conducting one’s Master’s thesis in a company. Furthermore, field trips and excursions to companies and research institutes of the field give new perspectives to studying. The faculty strongly encourages students to take part in these activities to enhance their position in the international job market. The Finnish companies in the field operate internationally. In addition, departments have academic co-operation with high quality international universities and organisations.
Most of the practical problems of the world come down to material problems. The world needs material scientists, and graduates of the programme will have the skills and knowledge to work as pioneers in new technologies, ideas, and practices to emerge. As the field is ever-evolving, new job titles will be created in the future.
The major career paths can be divided into the following categories:
· Becoming a researcher either in academia or industry
· Operational, procurement, laboratory, quality, environment and IPR positions in industry
· Project management and leadership roles in the electronics, nanotechnology, medical equipment, machinery, polymer and coatings industries
· Consulting and administrative positions in private and public sector serving formerly mentioned industries
Aalto University has well-established career services to support students’ employment in Finland and abroad. Thanks to the flexible curriculum, many Aalto students work already during their studies and guarantee themselves entry positions before graduation. There is also a very active entrepreneurship community at Aalto, working as a springboard for founding a company.
More information about the research: https://www.aalto.fi/en/department-of-chemistry-and-materials-science
Co-operation with other parties
Students can include multidisciplinary studies to their degree by choosing courses from fields of arts and business within Aalto University. They also have the option to take courses from other Finnish universities.
Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus and freedom of choosing 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.
Get to know our students and alumni
Alumnus Adel Assad: 'My goal is to be in the front line of creating a greener planet with sustainable solutions'
Honorary academic achievements, contributions towards the student community and a passion towards building a better future, Adel Assad graduated 2019 from the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Functional Materials. He studied a minor in Fibre and Polymers Engineering.
School of Chemical Engineering
Major Functional Materials 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.
The School provides education for a wide range of responsible future professionals. M.Sc. and Ph.D. graduates in technology work in diverse positions in Finland's largest industrial sectors, in the metal and electronics industry, wood processing industries as well as chemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food industries. The research and teaching are supported by an extensive international academic and industrial cooperation network.
The focus areas of the education are the sustainable use and processing of natural resources and new materials, including their technical applications. In the studies towards the major, students acquire advanced knowledge in a specific area of biotechnology, chemical technology or material science and technology. The education leading to a master’s degree is based on the professional practices of fields requiring expertise in science and technology and on scientific research generating new knowledge. 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.
Students will adopt a responsible, goal-oriented and systematic way of working, and develop skills to work as experts in their area of specialisation both independently and in cooperation with experts of different fields, also in an international working environment. They will be able to express themselves clearly and unambiguously both orally and in writing and to tailor their communication to the target audience.
The School of Chemical Engineering trains Masters of Science (Technology) who have the skills and knowledge to work as pacesetters of the fields of biotechnology, chemical technology and material science and technology in various managerial, planning and research duties serving industry or related stakeholders, the scientific community or public sector. The studies of the programme provide students with the knowledge and skills needed for applying scientific knowledge and scientific methods independently and for continuing to doctoral education.
Graduates of the programme will have achieved the key scientific and professional working methods of their area of specialisation and will be able to continuously deepen their knowledge by acquiring, evaluating and processing scientific, technical and professional information. They will gain the knowledge and skills to understand the challenges of the field from the point of view of users and technical and social systems, as well as from that of the environment and be able to use this knowledge in developing new solutions, also as members of multidisciplinary teams.
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Programme-specific admission requirements
Applicants are first evaluated based on Aalto’s general eligibility requirements (found on https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes). 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
- 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 Functional Materials
What is evaluated?
|GPA of the bachelor’s degree|
What we look for in an applicant?
|The applicant's success in his/her previous studies (those that give basis for applying to the programme) will be evaluated based on the grade point average (GPA). Applicants are required to have a GPA equivalent to a minimum of 3.0 (on a scale 1.0 - 5.0, 1.0 being the minimum passing grade).|
Method of demonstrating competence
|Transcript of records, degree certificate|
|What is evaluated?||Content and quantity of previous studies in relation to the applied study option-specific requirements|
|What we look for in an applicant?||
BSc or equivalent degree in a relevant field in the natural sciences or engineering.
Relevant degrees (fields): Materials science and engineering, chemistry, physics, nanotechnology, metallurgy. Degrees in electronics, polymer science, chemical engineering, nuclear engineering, and mechanical engineering may also be relevant.
Examples of key subjects: Chemistry, inorganic chemistry, metals, polymers, ceramics, atomic physics, thermodynamics
Knowledge and skills: Applicants are expected to have a strong background in university mathematics, physics and chemistry.
In addition to the studies giving basis to apply to the programme, other possible studies are also evaluated. However, the study option should provide genuinely new knowledge and enhance the career prospects of the applicant. Thus, applicants who already have a master’s degree in a closely related field will only be admitted with well-justified reasons which should be explained in the motivation letter.
|Method of demonstrating competence||Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)|
|What is evaluated?||Recognition and quality of the applicant's previous institution|
|What we look for in an applicant?||The applicant's previous institution (where the degree giving basis to apply was completed) will be evaluated based on the recognition and quality of the institution.|
|Method of demonstrating competence||International and national rankings of higher education institutions|
|What is evaluated?||Applicant’s further applicability to the study option, motivation and commitment for the studies|
|What we look for in an applicant?||
The applicant must clearly demonstrate genuine motivation to study the chosen field. The applicant must also explain how his/her previous studies support studying in the chosen study option and why he/she would be a good candidate for the study option. Please see further instructions for the motivation letter below.
The studies should provide genuinely new knowledge. If the applicant already has a master's degree, he/she should clearly indicate why he/she is applying to complete another master's degree.
|Method of demonstrating competence||Motivation letter|
|What is evaluated?||Work experience and other acquired knowledge/achievements e.g. publications|
|What we look for in an applicant?||
The applicant's other relevant achievements or experiences are evaluated if documented in the application:
|Method of demonstrating competence||Curriculum vitae, recommendation letters, proof of employment, publications|
Study option-specific documents
The documents required from all applicants are listed on https://www.aalto.fi/en/study-at-aalto/applying-to-masters-programmes. In addition, applicants to this programme are requested to provide the following study option-specific documents (if applicable):
- The lack of this application document will adversely affect the evaluation of the application. In particular, we pay attention to your ability of critical reflection.
- Max. 1 page, should be written in English.
- Examples of questions to consider when writing the motivation letter:
- Why are you applying to this master’s programme and major?
- What do you expect to gain from your studies in the master’s programme?
- Why do you think you are a good candidate for this master’s programme? How will your previous education, work experience, knowledge and skills support your studies?
- What are the areas in terms of knowledge and competences you need to develop
most to successfully complete the selected studies?
- What are your professional goals? In which sector would you like to work in the future? How do you think this master’s programme would support the development of your professional profile?
- Why do you want to study at Aalto University and in Finland?
- In case the applicant already has completed another master’s degree in a closely related field or if he/she has a study right to another master’s or doctoral programme, he/she is asked to explain why he/she is applying to complete another master's degree.
- Max. 3 pages, must be in English.
- Any experiences/achievements cannot be evaluated solely based on the curriculum vitae. Applicants always need to submit supporting documents (e.g. proof of employment).
- Max. 2 recommendation letters.
- The letters should be in English and written by a senior member of academic staff.
- Work experience in a field related to the study option.
- Scientific publications in a field related to the study option.
- Please, provide DOI or other clear reference of your publication
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.
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]
+358 50 362 3017