Chemical Biotechnology

Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Learn from biology! Think like a chemist! Act as an engineer! The interdisciplinary Master's program in Chemical Biotechnology at the Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability.

TUM - Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability

Key Data

Type of Study
  • Full Time
Standard Duration of Studies
  • 4 (fulltime)
Credits Main Locations
Admission Category Start of Degree Program
  • Possible for both winter and summer semester
Costs Required Language Proficiency

Information on Degree Program

What does a biotechnologist do?
A biotechnologist analyses naturally occurring (micro)biological processes, adapts them to the requirements of his desired product and brings the adapted process to industrial production.
What kind of knowledge is needed?
On the one hand, knowledge in the field of microbiology and molecular biology is needed because it is important to know how to efficiently make available the enormous genetic resources from bacteria, fungi or plants that are available for biotechnological applications and how to optimise the metabolism of the corresponding production systems.
However, also knowledge of chemistry is needed in order to develop biocatalytic processes. Biocatalysis is the basis for innovative and sustainable synthesis pathways in chemistry and it can be used to make reactions with enzymatic partial steps more sustainable.
Finally, knowledge of process engineering is needed, as a biotechnologist has to scale the biotechnological processes developed in the laboratory to the technical scale and equip them with a tailor-made processing.
This means that biotechnologists must be absolute experts in the combination of these three disciplines.
That is why this course of studies is about the fact that its graduates are at home in the worlds of biology, chemistry and process engineering and therefore have a unique new view of existing and future processes and required procedures. This is the only way they can use biotechnological approaches to advance sustainability in various research fields in the chemical industry.

Degree program documentation (PDF)

The programme consists of compulsory and elective modules from the fields of chemistry (C), micro/molecular biology (B) and process engineering (T). In addition, elective modules from the specialisation areas of electrobiotechnology and materials science (E/M) are added. The final step is the preparation of the Master's Thesis.

Compulsory modules:
C: Enzymatic Biotransformations
B: Applied Microbiology and Metabolic Engineering
T: Conceptual Design of Bioprocesses
Artificial Intelligence for Biotechnology,
Advanced scientific planning based on current research topics at TUM,
Research Internship

Elective modules:
C: Chemistry of Enzymes, Glycomics, Phytopharmaceuticals and natural products, Surface Chemistry, Sustainable Chemistry
B: Enzyme Engineering, Genetic Engineering and Synthetic Biology, Methods of Synthetic Biology, Regulation of Microbial Metabolism, Plant Biotechnology
T: Advanced Downstream Processing, Biorefinery, Electrolyte thermodynamics, Gas-based bioprocesses, Mechanical process engineering
E/M: Electrobiotechnology, Biological materials in nature and technology, Materials science of renewable resources
Advanced Analytics for Biotechnology, Advanced Concepts of Bioinformatics

Required language skills for admission:

You need sufficient English language skills if you wish to apply for this program. Evidence of your language proficiency has to be submitted before the end of the application deadline. Learn more about recognized certificates and other ways to prove your English language skills.

This evidence of your language proficiency confirms that you comply with the minimum language requirements for admission to the program. Depending on the program and your individual background, it may be necessary for you to keep working on your language skills during your studies. Be sure to take a look at the services of our Language Center.  

Language of instruction:

The language of instruction for this program is usually English. This means that most of the modules are offered in English. Some courses may, however, be taught in German.To learn more about the language of instruction for each module, contact the departmental student academic advisor of this program. 

After completion of the studies one possesses a basic technical and methodical knowledge and understanding of the field of chemical biotechnology. For example, you will be able to apply biotechnological methods, test or modify isolated enzymes and entire microorganisms, participate in the development of biocatalysts and plan biotechnological equipment and plants. In addition, one can get to know the field of electrobiotechnology and acquire knowledge in the field of materials science.
One is also able to directly methodically apply the current approaches dealt with in the modules with the aid of the corresponding specialist literature, i.e. to further optimise an existing fermentation process on the basis of literature data, for example. Furthermore, one is able to identify problems independently and to develop suitable ways for the processing of the corresponding research ideas via the appropriate selection of research methods.
In addition, as a graduate you can combine your engineering and natural science basics with professional applications. Thus, thanks to your interdisciplinary knowledge in the field of chemical biotechnology, you are able to initiate research projects, plan independently and, depending on the field of activity, develop new biobased products/active substances or new processes for the production of these biobased products or new processes for the recycling of waste products.
One is also prepared to transfer processes developed in the laboratory to large-scale production.
You can work successfully in a research group, critically question and communicate your research results and deal early with the different perspectives and interests on the topic of sustainability and how these are to be taken into account in the biotechnological development of products.
After all, by taking interdisciplinary elective modules, one acquires non-technical qualifications and is thus sensitised to the non-technical requirements of a professional activity.

After graduating, you are qualified for a doctorate in a field of biotechnological research. The path to biotechnological industry is also open to you. The biotechnology sector is constantly growing in terms of total turnover, the number of companies as well as the number of employees. The declared political consensus to support a progressive structural change towards a bio-based economy is expected to lead to further growth in this sector. The chances of finding a job are therefore very good.

Application and Admission

Minimum requirements to apply for a Master's program at TUM are a recognized undergraduate degree (e.g. a bachelor’s) and the successful completion of the aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment allows the TUM school or department to which you are applying the opportunity to evaluate your individual talents and motivation for study.

During the application period, you must apply through the TUMonline application portal and upload your application documents.

If you receive an offer of admission, you will additionally have to submit individual documents as notarized hardcopies by post to be enrolled.

Generally, applicants with a qualification for postgraduate studies (e.g. a bachelor’s) obtained outside of the EU / EEA must have their documents reviewed in advance through uni-assist.

In detail:

We may require additional documents depending on the type of educational background you earned and your country of origin. After accepting an offer of admission in TUMonline, you will receive a list of documents you must submit to TUM in hardcopy for enrollment.

Application period for winter semester: 01.01. - 31.05.
Application period for summer semester: 01.10. - 15.01.

During the application period, you must apply through the TUMonline application portal and upload your application documents. Please be aware that we can only process your application if you upload all required documents within the application period.

We will review your application as soon as it is complete. Please check your TUMonline account regularly, to see if we have any queries to your documents or if you have to amend one or more documents.

After receiving admission, you will see in TUMonline which documents you have to submit for enrollment, and in which form. Please note that you always have to send the signed application for enrollment and all notarized hardcopies by post.

We recommend that you submit the documents for enrollment as soon as possible after receiving admission. If individual documents are not available by then, you can submit them up to 5 weeks after the start of the lecture period. You will, however, only be enrolled once we have received all documents.

You can check the status of your application at any time in your TUMonline account.

Selection takes place through an aptitude assessment procedure. Aptitude assessment is a two-part procedure after the submission of an official application to a program. In this procedure, the TUM school or department determines whether you meet the specific requirements for its master’s degree program.

In the initial stages, the grades you obtained during your bachelor's program, as well as your written documents, will be evaluated using a point system. Depending on the amount of points accumulated, applicants are either immediately admitted, rejected or invited to an admissions interview.

The online application process takes place through our application portal TUMonline.

An internship is not a prerequisite for admission to this degree programme, but basic practical laboratory and scientific-experimental skills should be available from the Bachelor's programme.
A large research internship of 15 CP is part of the compulsory modules and can be carried out either during the semester or as a block.

What are my options after earning this degree?

You have earned your master’s degree and are ready to start your career? TUM Alumni & Career can assist you with questions regarding professional orientation, job search and job application.

If you are interested in continuing your studies, you will find information of doctoral studies at TUM, here.