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:
- An Introduction to Wood Properties and Wood Products (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.