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

Ranked among the top universities for materials science by QS World University Ranking, Aalto University educates materials experts who want to learn both hard-core science subjects and practical engineering thinking. The Master's Programme in Chemical, Biochemical and Materials Engineering – Functional Materials is a one-of-a-kind programme fueled by cutting edge research and strong industry links.
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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

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. Graduates see planetary health, society and people as the starting point for successful engineering.

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

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. For example, one growing field is smart materials, where the material interacts with its environment to provide the desired function.

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)
  • Polymers in Medical Technology (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.

Welcome to study in Functional Materials!

Functional Materials major student Maria Ameziane

Experiences from a FunMat major student, Maria Ameziane

FunMat community is a study environment that encourages learning and innovation.

Högskolan för kemiteknik
Functional Materials major student Zhenzi Chen

Experiences from a FunMat major student, Zhenzi Chen

I have been interested in nanotechnology for a long time, and I am glad that I chose Functional Materials as my academic family here in Aalto.

Högskolan för kemiteknik
Functional Materials major student Hammad Naseer

Experiences from a FunMat major student, Hammad Naseer

Choosing the FunMat major is one of the best decisions of my life.

Högskolan för kemiteknik
Functional Materials major student Samuel Rantataro

Experiences from a FunMat major student, Samuel Rantataro

Best part of Functional Materials is learning about the key technologies used in modern day semiconductor industry.

Högskolan för kemiteknik

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 – 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)

Career opportunities

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.


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.

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

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 via The Flexible Study Right Agreement (JOO).

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.

Postgraduate 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.

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.

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!

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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 Functional Materials

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]

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