Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Fibre and Polymer Engineering
Polymers are to be found in a great variety of everyday and high performance applications ranging from medical to aerospace. Fibres and fibre-based materials, including wood, paper and composites are also extremely widely used, in areas as diverse as fashion textiles and construction products. Both fibres and polymers as well as the materials manufactured from them can be derived from renewable as well as non-renewable resources. Current research is, for example, leading to new developments in plastics and resins derived from plants, whilst stiff and strong fibres are being ‘regenerated’ from cellulose derived from wood. These bio-based polymers and fibers will become increasingly important in a sustainable future. In addition to the advances in bio-based materials, the use of fossil-based polymeric materials and fibres continues to evolve quickly in the face of the challenges of resource efficiency and sustainable development.
This rapidly evolving area of science and technology requires professionals who can work at the interface between different disciplines to meet future global challenges. The Fibre and Polymer Engineering major is built on a solid fundamental understanding of polymers, their synthesis, structure, processing and properties, as well as the structure and properties of fibres and the materials and products manufactured from them. In line with the strategic focus areas of the School of Chemical Engineering, considerable emphasis is placed on fibres and polymers derived from bio-based feedstock. Students taking this major will concentrate, through course work, tailored projects and their final thesis, on one of three areas of specialization. These are i) wood-based materials and their applications, ii) web-structures and converted fibre products and iii) polymer science and technology.
Our graduates enjoy diverse careers in industry or go on to further study at doctoral level and beyond. And if you have an entrepreneurial flair, you can develop your skills in the unique student ecosystem at Aalto. As a student of Fibre and Polymer Engineering you can also apply to become a Climate-KIC labelled student, which enables you to use you skills to directly help tackle Climate Change through innovation.
Education in Fibre and Polymer Engineering draws on the most up-to-date research carried out at the School of Chemical Engineering. The school has strong links to key national and international industrial partners that can provide realistic learning challenges in project work and can provide work opportunities in an industrial setting. Frequently, our students complete their theses for industrial partners.
Language of instruction
English. Possibility to complete some courses in Finnish/Swedish.
As a graduate of the programme you will have the skills and knowledge to work as pacesetter of your field in various managerial, planning and research duties serving industry or related stakeholders, the scientific community or public sector.
Post-graduate study options
Eligibility for doctoral studies.
Tuition fee and scholarship
Non-EU/EEA students selected to the study option will be charged a tuition fee of €15000 per academic year. They are eligible to apply for scholarships awarded from the Aalto University Scholarship programme. Further information is available on Scholarships and Tuition Fees page (aalto.fi).
Content of studies
Fibres and polymers for a sustainable future
After graduating from the major Fibre and Polymer Engineering, you:
- have a deep understanding of the fibre and polymer value chain, from raw material to customer-specific end products
- have a solid fundamental knowledge of polymers, their structure, processing and properties
- know how polymers are synthesized from bio-based as well as fossil-based precursors
- know how molecular structure controls the material properties of polymers derived therefrom
- knows the main fibre types, their production, properties and applications
- know the principle routes to isolate fiber from biomass feedstock and possess expertise in natural fibers, their composition, structure and behavior
- have specialized knowledge in the manufacture, properties and application of materials and products manufactured from fossil- as well as bio-based fibers and polymers
- can apply knowledge of surface chemistry in composite technology
Structure of studies
Two year full-time Master’s programme of 120 ECTS credits.
- 65 cr major dependent studies
- 30 cr Master’s thesis
- 25 cr electives
You can find more information about major dependent studies and the degree on Into pages.
Major or specialization fields
The application target defines the major, please choose the major/application target carefully.
Students are required to complete a Master's thesis, which is a research assignment with a workload corresponding to 30 ECTS credits. Master's theses are typically performed in cooperation with the industry or in the research project(s) of the department(s).
The study environment in the programme is strongly international and studies are conducted in multicultural groups. The international atmosphere shows in the everyday life on the school, where 37 percentage of academic personnel is from abroad. Our teaching methods support networking with people from diverse backgrounds. Aalto University offers many possibilities for you to develop your global competence by:
- completing part of the degree abroad, for example a minor, in an international partner university as an exchange student
- choosing courses with 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
- several funding options available for internationalization
Corporate and other collaboration
One of the strengths of this Master’s programme is close cooperation with the industry: from industry assignments, projects in courses and special courses with teachers from the industry to conducting your Master’s thesis in a company. Furthermore, field trips and excursions to companies and research institutes of the field give new perspectives to studying. We recommend you to take part in these activities to enhance your position in the international job market. Many of the Finnish companies in the field operate internationally. In addition, departments have academic co-operation with high quality international universities and organisations.
You can include multidisciplinary studies to your degree by choosing courses from fields of arts and business within Aalto University. You can even take courses from other Finnish universities via The Flexible Study Right Agreement (JOO).
School of Chemical Engineering
Major Biomass Refining 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.
Programme-specific admission requirements
Applicants to the programme must first meet the general eligibility and language requirements that are common to all Master's programmes in Science and Technology.
The following principles apply during the academic evaluation of eligible applications. These principles are revised annually.
The student selection process is competitive. The applicant’s suitability for the programme is evaluated. The best applicants are granted admission to the programme. The selection of students is primarily based on the application documents. Not all eligible applicants will necessarily be admitted, CHEM Master’s programme does not have a minimum quota to be fulfilled.
The programmes reserve the right to interview the applicants if it is necessary to clarify the applicant’s motivation or other information in the application.
Fibre and Polymer Engineering specific criteria for academic evaluation
1. Content of the previous degree
B.Sc or equivalent degree of a relevant field in the natural sciences or engineering. Relevant degrees are e.g. in the fields of chemical engineering, chemistry, polymer science/engineering, fibre science/engineering, pulp and paper technology or materials science.
This major requires a strong background in chemistry. It is therefore expected that candidates are able to demonstrate adequate competency in this area.
This Master’s programme should provide genuinely new knowledge and enhance the career prospects of the applicant. Thus, applicants who already have a Master’s degree in the closely related field will only be accepted onto the programme for very specific reasons. These reasons must be stated in the application.
2. Study success
The applicant's success in previous studies (those that give basis for applying into the programme) will be evaluated based on the grade point average (GPA) and results in key courses. Preference is given to students with a GPA average equivalent to minimum of 3.0 (on a scale 5.0 max).
The time taken to complete previous studies will also be taken into account. Applicants, who have previously studied at Aalto University, e.g. as exchange students, will also be evaluated according to the grades in those studies and the number of credits obtained in comparison to the time taken for completion.
3. Recognition and quality of the home university
The applicant's previous degree will be evaluated based on the recognition and quality of the university.
4. Motivation and commitment
The applicant must demonstrate genuine motivation (motivation letter, max. 1 page) to study the chosen field and be committed to full-time studies with a plan to complete the Master's degree in two years’ time. The applicant is asked to inform if applicant has a study right to another master or doctoral programme.
5. Language proficiency
The studies are conducted fully in English. The applicant must meet the mandatory language requirements of Aalto University. Student must be able to demonstrate that he/she is able to effectively use English as a working language.
6. Recommendation letter
Max. two recommendation letters can be attached to the application. Recommendation letter should be in English written by professor. It can be original letter or certified copy of it.
7. Other relevant achievements
The applicant's other relevant achievements may be considered if documented in the application.
These can be, for example:
- experience of work in the field of the programme
- participation in scientific research which has led to publications, posters
- for applicants whose Bachelor's degree is from a Finnish university of applied sciences, prior completion of required complementary studies with good grades (transcript required)
- other previous studies (transcript required)
Students admitted to the Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering may be required to take complementary studies, max 20 credits. Complementary studies may not be included in the degree of Master of Science (Tech).
The content and number of the complementary courses depend on your previous studies. The complementary studies will be set latest in September.
For enquiries regarding the application process, application documents and language tests, please contact [email protected]
For enquiries regarding the content of programme and studies at the School of Chemical Engineering, please contact Learning Services of Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering, [email protected]
This programme has been awarded the EIT Label
The EIT Label is a quality seal awarded by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) to a KIC educational programme that has been assessed positively by the EIT on the implementation of the EIT Quality Assurance and Learning Enhancement (EIT QALE) system, and the application of specific quality criteria with focus on the EIT Overarching Learning Outcomes (EIT OLOs), robust entrepreneurship education, highly integrated, innovative ‘learning-by-doing’ curricula, international mobility and outreach.