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MSc Biotechnology


Course Description

MSc Biotechnology

Biotechnology is defined as the industrial exploitation of living organisms or the exploitation of components derived from these organisms.

Programme summary

During the master Biotechnology you learn more about the practical applications of biotechnology, including age-old techniques such as brewing and fermentation, which are still important today. In recent decades, gene modification has revolutionized the biotechnology industry, spawning countless new products and improving established processes. Modern biotechnology has become an applied area of science with a multidisciplinary approach embracing recombinant DNA technology, cellular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, as well as process design and engineering.

Specialisations

Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the practical application of cellular and molecular knowledge with the aim of enhancing or improving production in micro-organisms or cell cultures. Possible majors: molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, virology, enzymology and cell biology. The knowledge and skills gained can be applied in food biotechnology, medicine and vaccine development, environmental and bio-based technology.

Process Technology
This specialisation focuses on engineering strategies for developing, enhancing or improving production in fermentation, bioconversion and enzymatic synthesis. Possible majors: bioprocess engineering, food or environmental engineering, applied biotechnology and system and control techniques. The knowledge and skills gained can be applied in food biotechnology, medicine and vaccine development, environmental and bio-based technology.

Marine Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the use of newly- discovered organisms from the sea in industrial processes. Applications include production of new medicines, fine chemicals, bio-based products and renewable energy.

Medical Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the use of modern biotechnology in the development and production of new vaccines and medicines. Advanced molecular and cellular techniques are used to study diagnostic and production methods for vaccines and medicines. Possible majors: molecular biology, microbiology, virology and cell biology.

Food Biotechnology
This specialisation focuses on the application from biotechnology to food processing. The approach includes microbial and biochemical aspects integrated with process engineering and chemistry. Possible majors: food microbiology, food chemistry and process engineering.

Environmental and Biobased Technology
This specialisation focuses on the design and development of biotechnological processes for solving environmental problems by removing waste products or by producing renewable energy. Possible majors: environmental technology, bioprocess engineering, microbiology and biobased chemical technology.

Your future career

Graduates in biotechnology have excellent career prospects. More than 60 percent begin their careers in research and development. Many of these Master graduates go on to earn their PhD degrees and often achieve management positions within a few years. Approximately 30 percent of our graduates start working for biotechnology companies immediately. Relatively few begin their careers outside the private sector or in a field not directly related to biotechnology. In the Netherlands, some graduates work for multinational companies such as Merck Schering Plough, DSM, Heineken, Unilever and Shell, while others find positions at smaller companies and various universities or research centres such as NKI and TNO.

Alumnus Sina Salim.
In America and Brazil, production of maize and sugar cane for bio ethanol takes up enormous swathes of arable land that could otherwise be used for food production. This leads to the well-known food versus fuel dilemma. An alternative method for producing biodiesel is the use of algae. Currently, too much energy is consumed during the growth and harvesting of algae, but huge efforts are being made to reduce these energy requirements. Sina Salim is trying to develop a cheap and energy efficient harvesting method to ultimately produce biodiesel from algae, a competitor of fossil fuel. Now he is operational scientist at Bioprocess Pilot Facility B.V.

Related programmes:
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Food Technology
MSc Bioinformatics
MSc Plant Biotechnology
MSc Environmental Sciences.

Visit the MSc Biotechnology page on the Wageningen University & Research website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Students who want to enrol the MSc programme of biotechnology at Wageningen University must have:• at least a BSc degree of equivalent in biotechnology, (molecular) biology, biochemistry, life sciences, chemical engineering, environmental technology or a related study• good skills in mathematics• basic computer skillsAn admission committee will judge every application on an individual basis.

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