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About Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering (MSc)

Programme structure

The Master’s degree in chemistry and biotechnology counts as 120 ECTS credits and mainly consists of subjects within the chemical and technical fields of study. You specialise by participating in course activities and projects and by writing a thesis. During your very first week, you structure your own individual study programme with the help of a research from Aarhus University School of Engineering by choosing courses from the course catalogue. Your programme is based on your academic qualifications and interests and the subjects you studied for your Bachelor’s degree. The plan must be approved by the Board of Studies before you can enrol for examinations.

COMPULSORY COURSES CHEMICAL ENGINEERING - AUTUMN

  • Sensors and Process Control 10 ECTS - Autumn
    Description: The course will consist of: 1) Sensor technology – how do sensors work (temperature, flow, mass, optical etc.). 2) Data acquisition – how to collect data (digtially), analog data processing before A/D, actuation through D/A. 3) Control – Same as in existing sensors & process control course.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, including process control (such as Praktisk Regulering og Instrumentering)
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, External.
  • Transport Phenomena 5 ECTS - Autumn
    Description: The classical analysis of transport phenomena finds its origin in the mass, energy, and momentum balance equations. Supplementing these balance equations with the Gibbs equation – a formulation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics – provides a multi-scale approach to engineering concepts such as controllability, stability, and efficiency and leads to a quantitative route to address sustainability.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, including calculus, linear algebra, physical chemistry and physics
    Exam: Written, 7-scale, Internal

COMPULSORY COURSES CHEMICAL ENGINEERING - SPRING

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship 5 ECTS - Spring
    Description: The aim of the course will be to teach students, with an engineering and scientific background, key elements in the innovation process of existing companies and key elements in the creation of new start-up companies.
    Prerequisites: BSc in Engineering, Diploma in Engineering or equivalent
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal.
  • Modelling of Biological and Chemical Processes 10 ECTS - spring
    ​Description: The purpose of the course is to develop a broad basis in the topics of system analysis and numerical modelling of biological and chemical systems. Central are methods to formulate different conceptual and mathematical models, the related parameter estimation, stability, validation, and analysis of model performance. The students should become conscious model users.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent including mathematics and statistics worth at least 20 ECTS
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, External


COMPULSORY COURSES BIOTECHNOLOGY - AUTUMN

  • Lipid Biotechnology 5 ECTS - Autumn
    Description: The course is intended to give participants an extended chemical and biotechnological knowledge of the lipid production and application chain from source production to applications.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent including organic chemistry, basic biochemistry and basic unit operations
    Exam: Written, 7-scale, Internal.
  • Protein and Carbohydrate Biotechnology 10 ECTS - Autumn
    Description: The course is intended to give participants an extended chemical and biotechnological knowledge of the protein and carbohydrate production, purification, and application.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent. For students with a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry, 15 ects within molecular biology/biochemistry/biotechnology is required.
    Exam: Written, 7-scale, External

COMPULSORY COURSES BIOTECHNOLOGY -  SPRING

  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship 5 ECTS - Spring
    Description: The aim of the course will be to teach students, with an engineering and scientific background, key elements in the innovation process of existing companies and key elements in the creation of new start-up companies.
    Prerequisites: BSc in Engineering, Diploma in Engineering or equivalent
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal.
  • Modelling of Biological and Chemical Processes 10 ECTS - spring
    ​Description: The purpose of the course is to develop a broad basis in the topics of system analysis and numerical modelling of biological and chemical systems. Central are methods to formulate different conceptual and mathematical models, the related parameter estimation, stability, validation, and analysis of model performance. The students should become conscious model users.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent including mathematics and statistics worth at least 20 ECTS
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, External

     



SPECIALISED STUDY PACKAGES - AUTUMN

Applied Lipid and Protein Biotechnology

Based on the theoretical foundation obtained previously, this course will provide the students with practical skills in lipid analysis and quality control, processing, refining, and modification. Furthermore, the students will obtain practical skills in protein optimization and expression, including characterization of enzymatic activities. In addition, the students will apply methods for analysis of glycosylation.
​Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, and the courses ‘Lipid Biotechnology‘ and ‘Protein and Carbohydrate Biotechnology

  • Applied Lipid Biotechnology 5 ECTS
    Description: The students will obtain skills allowing them to determine: the lipid class and fatty acid profile, chemical and physical refining of vegetable oil, modification and characterisation for functional lipids, and enzymatic synthesis of lipid materials.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, and the course Lipid Biotechnology
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal
  • Applied Protein Biotechnology 10 ECTS
    Description: Optimization of proteins could include modulation of enzymatic activities or the substrate specificity. Regarding protein production, the students will work on different expression systems to optimise solubility, functionality, and yield.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, and the course Protein and Carbohydrate Biotechnology
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal.

Biomacromolecules Lipid

Based on the basic knowledge of the structure and properties of the main bio-macro molecules these courses will extend the students’ knowledge especially focusing on the sources and production of lipids, carbohydrates, and proteins for use in medical (red), environmental (green), and industrial (white) biotechnology.

​Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent including organic chemistry, basic unit operations and 15 ects within molecular biology/biochemistry/biotechnology

  • Lipid Biotechnology 5 ECTS
    Description: This course is intended to give participants an extended chemical and biotechnological knowledge of the lipid production and application chain from source production to applications.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent including organic chemistry, basic biochemistry and basic unit operations
    Exam: Written, 7-scale, Internal.
  • Protein and Carbohydrate Biotechnology 10 ECTS
    Description: This course is intended to give participants an extended chemical and biotechnological knowledge of the protein and carbohydrate production, purification, and application.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent. For students with a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry, 15 ects within molecular   biology/biochemistry/biotechnology is required
    Exam: Written, 7-scale, External

Biomaterial Engineering

Based on basic knowledge on physiology, cell biology and applied materials science, this package introduces principles and methods to engineer bioactive materials for biomedical applications.
​Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or Health Technology or equivalent including cell biology and biochemistry.

  • Biofabrication 10 ECTS
    Description: This course provides theoretical and laboratory exercises on rational designs and emerging fabrication tools (3D bioprinting, electrospinning, microstereolithography, microfluidics, hydrogel technology) to combine cells, proteins, biological materials, and biomaterials into building blocks to engineer biological systems such as 3D in vitro biologic models for tissue engineering and/or therapeutic products.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, including cell biology and biochemistry
    Exam: Written, 7-scale, Internal
  • Tissue Engineering 5 ECTS
    Description: This course integrates the principles and methods of engineering and life sciences, and it presents a fundamental understanding of structure-function relationships in normal and pathological tissues for the purpose of restoration of loss tissue function.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or Health Technology or equivalent.
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal

Energy and Storage

Worldwide goals of reducing and phasing out the use of fossil fuels in the coming decades are to a large extent based on expectations of replacement of these fuels with renewable sources. Due to the intermittent pack nature of many of the renewable electricity sources, this transition is faced with large challenges concerning the adaption of these. This package is aimed at giving an introduction into future and emerging technologies for energy conversion and storage in this field.
​Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent. A BSc course in microbiology is recommended.

  • Membrane Technology and Batteries 10 ECTS
    Description: This course gives the students an introduction to electrochemical electricity storage and conversion principles. This includes fundamental theoretical models, descriptions of practical devices and materials such as electrodes and membranes, and experimental exercises such as batteries, and field-visits.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent.
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal.
  • Power to Gas 5 ECTS
    Description: This course aims to give the students fundamental understanding behind power-to-gas electrolysis, methanisation, and other power-to-gas energy conversion and storage technologies.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent. A BSc course in microbiology is recommended.
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal

Environmental Technology

Global resources can be conserved by extracting or destroying environmentally troublesome compounds from waste products. This package therefore focuses on designing such chemical, physical and biological processes. The theories behind the unit operations will be expanded into the non-standardized chemical, physical and biological conditions present in such media. This will be used to understand how to design, control and - in particular - optimize processing plants. Examples include domestic and industrial air and wastewater treatment.
​Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent. A BSc course in microbiology is recommended.

  • Biological Environmental Technologies 5 ECTS
    Description: This course describes the role and application of microbiology in environmental technologies and their associated energy technologies such as waste water treatment, air cleaning, and anaerobic digestion. Student groups are, furthermore, requested to choose to focus on a selected topic within applied microbiology and present to the other course attendants. Excursions are mandatory course activities.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent. A BSc course in microbiology is recommended.
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal
  • Chemical Environmental Technologies 10 ECTS
    Description: The course describes the role and application of chemistry in environmental technologies. Topics include chemical and physical wastewater treatment, advanced drinking water treatment, and treatment of polluted air. Focus is on chemical and physical processes including chemical reactivity and mass transfer involved in the technologies. The course will include lectures, lab experiments, excursions, and theoretical exercises.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal

Process Technology

The package is combining theoretical knowledge on heat and mass transfer, sensors, data acquisition, and process regulation, together with laboratory exercises based on typical physical, chemical, and biotechnological systems. In the exercises, students are developing physical/chemical sensor applications e.g. with feedback regulation, and, in cases where transport processes are involved, these are simulated mathematically.
​Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, including calculus, linear algebra, physical chemistry, physics and process control (such as Praktisk Regulering og Instrumentering)

  • Sensors and Process Control 10 ECTS
    Description: The course will consist of: 1) Sensor technology – how do sensors work (temperature, flow, mass, optical etc.). 2) Data acquisition – how to collect data (digtially), analog data processing before A/D, actuation through D/A. 3) Control – Same as in existing sensors & process control course.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, including process control (such as Praktisk Regulering og Instrumentering)
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, External
  • Transport Phenomena 5 ECTS
    Description: The classical analysis of transport phenomena finds its origin in the mass, energy, and momentum balance equations. Supplementing these balance equations with the Gibbs equation – a formulation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics – provides a multi-scale approach to engineering concepts such as controllability, stability, and efficiency and leads to a quantitative route to address sustainability.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, including calculus, linear algebra, physical chemistry and physics
    Exam: Written, 7-scale, Internal

 


 

SPECIALISED STUDY PACKAGES - SPRING

Biorefining Technology

The package in Borefining Technologies will give a thorough overview of the biorefining concept and in depth knowledge on essential technologies used in modern biorefineries.
​Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent

  • Experimental Biorefining 5 ECTS
    Description: The course will be comprised of several experiments in individual biorefining processes, including biomass characterisation, pre-treatment technologies, anaerobic digestion, enzymatic conversion, fermentation, and hydrothermal conversion. The experimental processing will be analysed using relevant analytical methods (Gravimetric, GC, HPLC, CHNS, NIR).
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent.
    Exam: Several reports, 7-scale, External

  • Integrated Biorefining Technologies 10 ECTS
    Description: Biorefinery systems and overview of bio-refinery concepts, biomass resources, biomass composition and molecular structure, pre-treatment and biomass processing technologies, enzymatic conversion, fermentation/sugar platform biorefining, anaerobic digestion, process integration in modern biorefining, systems analysis, and both environmental- and economic- sustainability
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent.
    Exam: Written, 7-scale, Internal

Chemical Processing

This package focuses on the application of advanced chemical unit operations towards the synthesis of both bulk chemicals, fine chemicals, and commodities. Different reactor strategies will be discussed both theoretically and  will be tested in the laboratory.
​Prerequisites:Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, including organic chemistry.

  • Modern Chemical Process Technologies 10 ECTS
    Description; In this course the students will acquire knowledge about process intensification, continuous processes, up ccaling, continuous processes, modern separation technologies, hazards and operability analysis, rules and regulations. Lectures will include Invited industrial lecturers, a visit to AU pilot facilities, and selected laboratory exercises demonstrating flow reaction and separation methods.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalen.
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal

  • Platform Chemicals and Synthesis in Continous Flow 5 ECTS
    Description: In this course, the students will acquire knowledge about 1. Platform Chemicals, such as raw materials and their occurrence, formation of platform chemicals from oil, natural gas and coal, and  conversion of platform chemicals into commodities .2. Continuous Flow, such as modern flow-techniques (equipment),application of continuous flow as strategy for target synthesis. 3. Visit at large Danish chemical manufacturer.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, including organic chemistry
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal.

Medical Biotechnology

Medical Biotechnology is an expanding field, which brings basic discoveries to the bedside. Using knowledge from our immune system new intervention strategies can be developed. In this package we include aspects, from development of biologicals to production for  clinical use and regulatory aspects.
​Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent. The courses Lipid Biotechnology and Protein and Carbohydrate Biotechnology are recommended.

  • Immunological Biotechnology 10 ECTS
    Description: During this course, we will discuss mechanisms of the immune system and the molecules involved. We will especially focus on how knowledge of the immune system and its molecules can be used to understand and cure diseases, the general application in biotechnology and in the clinic. Furthermore, the regulatory aspects of biologicals in medicine will be discussed. The course will contain company visits to gain insight into production of biologicals.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent. The courses Lipid Biotechnology and Protein and Carbohydrate Biotechnology are recommended.
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal.

  • Biomolecular Interactions 5 ECTS
    Description: The aim of this course is to teach students different techniques used for the characterization of molecular interactions from and in biological systems. The course will cover the advanced approaches to the study of the dynamic interactions of proteins in solution and inside living cells.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent. The course Protein and Carbohydrate Biotechnology is recommended.
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal.

Plastic Materials

This package aims to elucidate the properties of polymeric materials, advanced materials, and nanomaterials with a special emphasis on the advanced polymer synthesis and processing.
​Prerequisites: Bachelor´s degree in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, or equivalent, including the courses polymer chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry and polymer chemistry

  • Advanced Polymer and Nanomaterials 10 ECTS
    Description: The purpose of this course is to elucidate the properties and functions of modern materials and the rationale behind the engineering of advanced materials.  Specifically, the focus will be on structure – property relationships of complex materials applied in various industrial contexts. The course will cover some of the salient features of Materials Chemistry ¬ related to responsive polymer, bio inspired nanomaterials, polymer nano-composites, and surface chemistry - Synthesis, physico-chemical characterization and technical applications.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor´s degree in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, or equivalent, including the courses polymer chemistry, physical chemistry, and organic chemistry
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal.

  • Plastic Engineering 5 ECTS
    Description: The purpose with this course is to give a thorough introduction into basic and applied plastics engineering. The main focus of this course will be on relating polymer material properties to the engineering process.
    Prerequisites: Bachelor degree in Chemical Engineering or Biotechnology or equivalent, including polymer chemistry
    Exam: Oral, 7-scale, Internal.

 


ELECTIVE COURSES

Choose courses from the specialised study packages or other courses at the Department of Engineering, and the broader Faculty of Science approved by the study program manager. AU Course Catalouge: kursuskatalog.au.dk/en/

 


 

For further information on the structure of the programme please see the academic regulations for master's degree programmes. 

Developing and optimising chemical and biotechnological processes plays a key role in modern society. It is predicted that the industry of the future will be characterised by production that is environmentally correct and energy-efficient. As a graduate engineer in Chemistry and Biotechnology, you will be developing the processes of the future – processes that will ensure that chemical, biotechnological and environmental knowledge finds sustainable applications to benefit society as a whole.

Personal and technological development

The theme of the degree programme is the development and optimisation of processes in the chemical and biotechnological industries and in the environmental sector. If you have an engineering background in chemistry and choose to pursue this specialisation at MSc level, you will be able to work with areas as diverse as food, polymer chemistry, membrane and separation technology. If on the other hand your background is in biotechnology, you can pursue this specialisation to gain opportunities to work in areas such as developing enzymes and proteins for use in ‘green’ production, lipid technology, and medical biotechnology. If your background is in chemistry or biotechnology, you can specialise in environmental technology, where you will have the possibility to work with areas such as odour monitoring in farming and biogas production.

In addition to a high academic and engineering level in chemistry or biotechnology, the MSc Eng provides insight and competencies in the following subjects: advanced unit operations, modelling of chemical and biological processes, environmental issues, sensor technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

During the first year of the degree programme, learning is mainly based on lectures and theoretical exercises. The second year mainly involves project work, whereby students work closely with companies. A student hungry for more has the possibility of continuing as a PhD student. Here the student adds three extra years to their studies, working more independently on solving concrete problems. This can also take the form of an industrial PhD.

Putting research into practice

Teaching at Aarhus University is greatly influenced by the research conducted here, as the lecturers are active researchers. As an engineering student, you have excellent opportunities for working with researchers in the laboratory, or you can complete a project in collaboration with a private company.

 

Future Cropping scholarships for highly talented students

Each year, Aarhus University offers a limited number of Future Cropping scholarships in order to give highly talented students the opportunity to conduct their Master’s studies at AU.

Students from the Republic of Korea, India, United States, Brazil, Japan and China are eligible for application. The selected students will receive a full tuition waiver including a monthly scholarship of DKK 8,300 towards living expenses.

The scholarships will give candidates the opportunity to complete a two-year Master’s degree programme at the faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

The two successful students will be linked to specific Future Cropping activities and will be expected to do an internship or a research project with a company within the Future Cropping programme. The students will each be assigned a mentor at their department.

Read more about Future Cropping scholarship

The teaching calendar

A year divided into four terms

The teaching is divided into terms with four terms per year. Each term consists of a block of seven weeks followed by an examination period of 2-4 weeks.

When applying for the program you specify which subject of study you wish to follow. For each of the three subjects of study a diagram of the first six terms is established. During each term you are supposed to attend to 3 courses. On the 5th term it is possible for you to attend to a preparation course prior to your Master project which starts on the 6th term and ends on the 8th term.

Master thesis

Future Cropping scholarships for highly talented students

Each year, Aarhus University offers a limited number of Future Cropping scholarships in order to give highly talented students the opportunity to conduct their Master’s studies at AU.

Students from the Republic of Korea, India, United States, Brazil, Japan and China are eligible for application. The selected students will receive a full tuition waiver including a monthly scholarship of DKK 8,300 towards living expenses.

The scholarships will give candidates the opportunity to complete a two-year Master’s degree programme at the faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

The two successful students will be linked to specific Future Cropping activities and will be expected to do an internship or a research project with a company within the Future Cropping programme. The students will each be assigned a mentor at their department.

Read more about Future Cropping scholarship

Career and job profile

Career profile

The MSc Eng in Chemistry and Biotechnology is closely linked to the active research and development environment that exists in the Aarhus region. Through close interaction with companies during the MSc Eng programme, the students become better prepared to meet future challenges in large companies such as Merck, Dupont and Bayer, to mention only a few. Students are strongly encouraged to spend time abroad, either as exchange students at a university abroad or during the master project.

 

Competence profile

With a Master’s degree in chemistry and biotechnology, you have the following competences:  

  • You master the tasks of a graduate engineer and have a degree with a strong chemistry content.
  • You can independently plan, manage and implement projects and apply the results in scientifically relevant decision processes.
  • You can assess the applicability and appropriateness of theoretical, experimental and practical methodologies for the analysis and solution of scientific questions and issues.
  • You can structure your own competence development independently and critically.
  • You are able to systematically and critically familiarise yourself with new subject areas.
  • You can communicate academic questions and issues to both a scientific and a general audience.
  • You can collaborate constructively on a scientific basis to solve subject-related issues.

Job opportunities

The University of Aarhus educates graduate engineers in process technology for the regional, national and international job markets. Graduates from the Aarhus University School of Engineering, find work in a wide range of fields and institutions. The degree programme is monitored by a group consisting of members from chemical companies such as Aarhus Karlshamn, Cheminova, Dupont and Arla, all of which are interested in employing newly qualified graduate engineers in chemistry and biotechnology.

 

Link to Aarhus University Job and Projekt bank

Registration for elective courses (outside your degree programme)

Course registration regarding compulsory courses and courses that are a part of specialised study packages must take place via the self-service facility at mit.au.dk during the registration periods.

Registration for elective courses at Aarhus Universitet that are taught outside your degree programme:

Courses from e.g. Computer Science, Bioscience, Chemistry, Geoscience, Sport Science, BSS, Summerschool and ASE diploma courses requires prior approval and credit module enrollment. Please apply for prior approval in enrollment periods prior to the semester where you want to take courses.

  1. The course in question must be evident from your Study Contract. The contract must be approved by the Degree Programme Coordinator. Find yours here.
  2. When your study contract has been approved by your Degree Programme Coordinator, you must send an application via The Self-service Facility at mit.au.dk (Please choose the form “Prior approval for courses within AU.") 

You find the course registration deadlines here.

Please notice that course registration is binding after the registration period. And please notice that the courses may chance with respect to content, course name etc. Check the courses at the AU Course Catalogue. 

Unusual circumstances - when you need to change your course registration:

A. Cancellation of a course or when courses are coinciding: please contact Helene Bøgelund Christiansen (hbch@au.dk) as soon as possible/before the beginning of the semester.

B. Other instances: send a reasoned  application for exemption to the Study Board via mit.au.dk as soon as possible/before the beginning of the semester.

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