Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering - Biotechnology

The Master’s Programme in Biotechnology provides a strong multidisciplinary knowledge-base in biotechnology and bioengineering, and the tools for applying it in research and business environment. Biotechnology is gaining importance in our everyday lives and its impact on solving societal problems related to the environment, global warming and health are undeniable. Biotechnology is an enabling technology that ranges from the design of new biopharmaceuticals and production of novel biosynthetic materials and biochemicals to the use of cutting-edge synthetic biology concepts. Bioprocess development and modelling is an integral part of modern biotechnology.
Biotechnology laboratory
Picture of a laboratory in School of Chemical Technology




1.12.2021 – 3.1.2022




2 år, heltidsstudier


Lämplig lägre högskoleexamen


Det tekniska utbildningsområdet


120 studiepoäng


Högskolan för kemiteknik


€15000/år (magister studier) för studeranden från länder utanför EU/EES

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Study objectives

In addition to the fundamentals of biotechnology, the Programme emphasizes its engineering and technological aspects. This allows multiple opportunities to apply the acquired skills during practical courses and in real-life problems in industry. Biotechnology graduates have:

Multidisciplinary knowledge in biotechnology. Graduates understand both the fundamentals as well as the engineering and technological aspects of biotechnology and easily collaborate with many allied sections of science. Graduates will have an in-depth knowledge of molecular-level biological phenomena, their behaviour and application, as well as the key methodologies of bioprocess, genetic engineering and synthetic biology.

Strong hands-on experience. Graduates are able to use key laboratory methods and techniques to apply these tools for the development of biotechnological processes.

Analysis and simulation skills. Graduates can carry out quantifications, modelling and analysis on micro- and macromolecular-levels in research and commercial  environment.

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

Communications skills. Graduates express themselves clearly and unambiguously both orally and in writing, tailoring their communications to the target audience.

Biotechnology laboratory 2

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.

Study contents

Studies in the Biotechnology major promote real-life problems from fundamental research or industries to students. Some courses also utilise a problem-based learning approach wherein students are encouraged to find a solution through trials. The teaching and learning methods emphasise the importance of presentation and communications skills through interactive teamwork, seminars, project work and laboratory courses. To ensure a hands-on experience with biotechnology tools, every student must take at least three laboratory courses that are seamlessly integrated with our research facilities.

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

  • Metabolism (5 ECTS)
  • Biophysical Chemistry (5 ECTS)
  • Bioprocess Technology (5 ECTS)
  • Cell Factory (5 ECTS)
  • Synthetic Biology (5 ECTS)
  • Various laboratory courses

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 space reserved for experimentation.

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.

Tuition fees

The tuition fee is €15 000 for non-EU/EEA students. Further information on the tuition fees and the scholarship system: Tuition fees and scholarships

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)

Final project

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).

Career opportunities

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. Furthermore, field trips and excursions to companies and research institutes in the field provide new perspectives to learning. This keeps the alumni-student relations strong, forming a tight network that is welcoming of students, resulting in a high employment rate of fresh graduates. Most graduates begin to follow three typical career paths, ending up as either academically-oriented researchers, industry experts or entrepreneurs. Most of our students get the opportunity to write their master’s thesis at a company or in research institutes both within and outside Finland.

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. Finally, if an academic career is of interest, the Master’s programme in Biotechnology major is a great foundation for doctoral studies and post-doc positions.

Biotechnology laboratory

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


The study environment in the programme is strongly international and studies are conducted in multicultural groups. The international atmosphere can be seen in everyday life at the School of Chemical Engineering, where approximately 35 percent of academic personnel and 20 percent of master’s students are from abroad. Our teaching methods support networking with people from diverse backgrounds. Many professors and researchers working in biotechnology have international backgrounds and experience, bringing the global network close to students. In addition, departments are engaged in academic cooperation with high quality international universities and organisations. As a result, many students choose to complete part of their degree abroad, for example, at one of the many top-tier partner universities as an exchange student. Some students carry out their internships or even master’s thesis research abroad.

Aalto University offers many possibilities for students to develop their global competencies. Students can, for example:

  • complete part of the degree, e.g. a minor, abroad in one of the international partner universities as an exchange student
  • choose courses with an intercultural approach, learn foreign languages and/or become a student tutor for international students
  • conduct practical training or Master’s thesis outside Finland
  • take summer courses abroad
  • benefit from several funding options available for internationalisation

Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad every year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through their studies, but also through multiple free time events, celebrations and extracurricular activities around the campus. Active tutoring programs and support services work hard to help international students integrate to the Nordic culture and feel at home in Finland.

Co-operation with other parties

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.

Students can include multidisciplinary studies to their degree by choosing courses from the fields of arts and business within Aalto University. They can also take courses from other Finnish universities via The Flexible Study Right Agreement (JOO). 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.

Postgraduate study opportunities

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

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!
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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
  • 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 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):

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. 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.

Contact information

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]

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

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