Sustainable Biotechnology, M.Sc.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English
During the coming decades we need to exploit alternative sustainable resources to compensate for the forthcoming depletion of mineral oil, but also to deal with greenhouse gases and the associated climate effects. By studying the Aalborg University's Master's programme in Sustainable Biotechnology, you can help find the path from fossil fuels to sustainability.


Mineral oil still constitutes the most important source of liquid fuels, but is also an important raw material for the production of plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, etc.

Find alternative Sustainable Resources

Together with a number of other renewable resources, biomass will potentially constitute an important part of the future energy supply. Biomass will be the major substitute (and probably the only one) for oil as a feedstock for industrial processes. The conversion of biomass will take place in bio refineries corresponding to traditional oil-based refineries.

These processes will be based on microorganisms (fungi and bacteria) and microbial produced enzymes. Mineral oil will be replaced by agricultural residues, algae, industrial wastes from food production, and other biomasses, which are converted into high value products such as biofuels, biochemicals for the pharmaceutical and chemical industry, and biological active compounds.

During the Aalborg University's Master's programme in Sustainable Biotechnology, you get insight into international research in sustainability, biofuels, and the use of biomass as raw material in bio refineries. You get to work with the newest technologies and scientific results within these rapidly expanding fields.

Job and Career

The Master's programme in Sustainable Biotechnology qualifies you for employment within a number of fields, where the transition to sustainable technologies and resources has been initiated or will be initiated. You will also be prepared to work within general biotechnological disciplines.

Graduates find employment in biotechnological and bioenergy companies, research institutions, consulting engineering companies and public institutions.

Furthermore, it is anticipated that the biomass-based and biological sectors will expand significantly in the coming years, leading to new job opportunities.

Programme Structure

1st semester

During the first semester, a broad biological foundation with respect to sustainable biotechnology is established.

  • Advanced Microbiological Production
  • Biorefinery Principles
  • Sustainability
  • Biological Production Processes
2nd semester

During the second semester, the complexity is increased developing molecular biology, microbiology and biochemical skills, which increasingly are integrated with process technological disciplines.

  • Design of Biomass Conversion Processes
  • Microbiological Discovery
  • Advanced Kinetics and Modelling of Bioprocesses
  • Anaerobic and Fungal Biotechnology
3rd semester

During the third semester, this scientific and technical integration concludes in the projection of a complete bio refinery. To put this progression into perspective, sustainability and life cycle analyses are involved during the courses, and to maintain the application perspective, a business plan is prepared in connection with the design of the bio refinery.

  • Sustainable Biorefinery Concepts

  • Production of Biomaterials and Biochemicals, and Bioactive Compounds

  • Optional courses

Alternatively, you can choose to start your Master's thesis during the third semester, or you can seek out external studies.

4th semester

The fourth semester is dedicated to the Master's thesis, which constitutes an independent project associated to a research group or/and a company. A more comprehensive two semester project can be performed by replacing the third semester project with the first part of the Master's thesis.

If you wish to focus on the molecular biology oriented sustainable biotechnology, you can substantiate a progression from basic biology towards an experimental development of biological production of e.g. biomaterials or bioactive compounds. You must follow a common frame, which ensures a cross disciplinary competence leaving the possibility for progressive specialisation.

  • Master's thesis

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    120 ECTS
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus
  • More information Go to the programme website

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Book IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test OF English as a Foreign Language – offers a paper-based test (PBT). The final, overall PBT score ranges between 310 and 677, and is based on an average taken from the three test components (listening, structure, and reading). The writing part of this test is scored separately on a scale of 0-6. Read more about TOEFL (PBT).

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL – or Test Of English as a Foreign Language – offers an internet-based test (iBT). The final, overall iBT score ranges between 0 and 120, and includes a scaled average from the four components (reading, listening, speaking, and writing). Read more about TOEFL (iBT).

Academic Requirements

A Bachelor's degree in Sustainable Biotechnology, Biotechnology, Biology, Chemical Engineering or the like.

Please make sure you send your application form and further documentation via post to the International Office by the required deadline.

Furthermore please note the official language requirements for international students applying to Aalborg University are:

  • IELTS (academic test): 6.5
  • TOEFL (paper-based): 560
  • TOEFL (internet-based): 88
  • Cambridge First Certificate with the grade B

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    12402 EUR/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 12402 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 0 EUR per year and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

92,200 DKK

Living costs for Copenhagen

  • 7500 - 12900 DKK/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, StudyPortals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.