Biotechnology for the Bioeconomy

Pianta di lattughino
Biotechnology for the Bioeconomy
Course sheet
A.Y. 2022/2023
Master programme
LM-7 - Agricultural biotechnologies
Master programme
120
ECTS
Access
Open with entry requirements examination
2
Years
Course location
Milan
Language
English
Bioeconomy responds to the environmental challenges the world is facing, oriented to reduce the dependence on natural resources, transform manufacturing, promote sustainable production of renewable plant, microbial and animal resources and their conversion into food, feed, materials, bio-based products and bio-energy, while growing new jobs and industries.
Biotechnology is one of the key enabling technologies to sustain a new green and sustainable economy (i.e. bioeconomy), offering solutions for an efficient and sustainable production of plant and microbial biomasses; the production of bioenergy from (waste) biomasses; environmental protection and safety in terms of bioremediation; green chemistry processes and applications; sustainable agri-food production and processes, circular economy.
In this context, the BforB Master degree aims at providing students with advanced molecular and cellular background of microbial and plant systems, which are the basis for the several sectors of the biotechnologies applied to the bio-economy. The BforB Master degree will equip students with a solid and broad expertise about the structure and function of biological macromolecules of interest for the bioeconomy sector, and complete knowledge about the analyses of informational molecules and the expression of characters with a special focus on multidisciplinary and integrated approaches. The BforB Master degree will provide theoretical and practical instruments for the set-up, analyses and improvement of biotechnological processes for i) the transformation of renewable raw materials in biotechnological processes exploiting microorganisms, plants and enzymes, ii) plant and microbial ?based bioremediation strategies, iii) bio-based approaches in food and agriculture sustainable development
The BforB Master degree will be taught entirely in English, providing the students with knowledge and competences that can be spent at European and extra European level, to which the bioeconomy sector is faced. Moreover, the English language will allow the participation of students from out of Italy, making the Master degree a stimulant international learning environment.
The BforB graduate is an expert in coordination, management and set up of research and development laboratories in public entities and in private companies in the chemical, agro-environmental and biotechnological sectors. The function will primarily be the development, implementation and coordination of laboratory activity within basic and applied research projects, the set-up of bioprocesses, the quality control. More in detail, the BforB graduate is an expert in planning, development, analyses and control of processes for: i) industrial fermentation for production of metabolites and renewable energy; ii) plant and microbial cell as biofactories for molecules of interest in the fine chemical and polymer industry, agro-food and pharmaceutical industry with particular application to the green chemistry and bio-based industry; iii) bioremediation of contaminated land and waters, using plants and/or microorganisms; iv) innovative diagnosis tools, applied in particular to the traceability in agro-food chain.
The employment opportunities for the BforB graduate are in research bodies (both public and private) and bio-based chemical, pharmaceutical, agro-food, and biotechnological enterprises.

Employment statistics (Almalaurea)
The complete and updated bouquet of opportunities for participation in international programs can be found at https://www.unimi.it/en/international/study-abroad. It is possible to participate to each of them following selections on a competitive basis. The offer includes:
1) Thesis abroad (Tesi all'estero) program: the University of Milan calls twice every year for applications for a study- abroad scholarship to be used to prepare all or a portion of the student's Master's Degree thesis while in residence at an international academic or research institution. Students can choose any destination and institution in the world, without any geographical restrictions. Specific information and deadlines: https://www.unimi.it/en/international/study-abroad/thesis-abroad.
2) ERASMUS Student Traineeship program: students can undertake a traineeship with a company, research or training center, university or other organization, in the member states of the European Union, and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia. Specific information and deadlines: https://www.unimi.it/en/node/2109/.
3) ERASMUS+ Study program: the time spent abroad can be used to attend courses and pass the relative exams, thus collecting credits towards the Master degree, as well as to carry out the experimental project for the dissertation. The BforB Master course has in place agreements with Universities in Finland, Germany, Spain, France, Austria, Belgium, all offering courses in English. Calls for participation will be open usually in February and details can be found at the following link: https://www.unimi.it/en/international/study-abroad/studying-abroad-erasmus.
The student admitted to any of the mobility programs must submit a study plan detailing the training activities that he/she plans to carry out, with the corresponding credits. The number of credits should correspond as much as possible to the number of credits that the student should acquire in a similar span of time at the home University. The proposed activities must be consistent with the goals and the contents of the Master degree. The study plan must be approved by the BforB Student Mobility Committee, which can request changes or integrations. At the end of the mobility program, according to the guidelines provided by the University of Milan, the courses (with a passed exam) and laboratory trainings attended by the student are registered in his/her career, with its original name and with an indication of the ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) and their conversion in CFU (usually 1 ECTS= 1 CFU). The students willing to carry out their dissertation work as part of a mobility program abroad must have an internal supervisor (chosen among the BforB lecturers) and the study plan must be approved by the BforB board.
For carrying out any experimental activity abroad, a letter of acceptance from the hosting supervisor is required. If the experimental activities are intended to be part or all the dissertation work (thesis), a similar letter should be drawn up by the internal supervisor. These letters must be sent to the ERASMUS Coordinator before the departure to the foreign destination. As a general rule, if the period of stay at the foreign laboratory is less than six months long, the student should complete the thesis work at the laboratory of the internal supervisor, or other laboratory indicated by the supervisor, in order to complete the training program.
Enrolment
Requirements for admission

Students with an Italian University degree: The BforB Master degree can be accessed by graduates of Laurea Triennale belonging to the L-2 class (Biotecnologia) and previous class 1 (Biotecnologia). It can also be accessed by any student with a Laurea Triennale providing a strong background in biotechnology-related subjects, specifically at least 35 university credits (CFU) in basic disciplines (mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology) among the following SSD: MAT/01-02-03-04-05-06-07-08-09, FIS/01-02-03-04-05-06-07-08, SECS-S/01-02, AGR/07-16, BIO/04-10-11-12-13-18-19, CHIM/01-02-03-06 and at least 25 CFU in "core disciplines" for the L-2 class of Laurea Triennale, among the following SSD: AGR/01-02-03-04-11-12-13-15-17-18, BIO/01-02-03-07-09-15, CHIM/04-05-08-10-11-12, MED/03-07-42, VET/03-04.
Students with a degree from a non-Italian institution: They must possess a Bachelor degree from an accredited college or University comprising exams in all the following areas: molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, plant cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry.

Proficiency in English at a B2 level or higher, under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), is required for admission.
The B2-level requirement will be ascertained by the University Language Centre (SLAM) upon admission as follows:
- Language certificate at or above B2, obtained no more than three years earlier. For the list of language certificates recognized by the University please review: https://www.unimi.it/en/node/39267/). The certificate must be uploaded when submitting the online application;
- English level achieved during a Bachelor's degree programme through SLAM courses and tests. The test must have been passed within the last four years. It will be assessed administratively, without the applicant having to attach any certificates;
- Placement Test delivered by the University Language Centre (SLAM), which will take place according to the schedule posted to the website: https://www.unimi.it/en/node/39267/
All those who fail to submit a valid certificate or do not meet the required proficiency level will be invited to take the test through the admission procedure.
Candidates who do not sit or pass the placement test will have until 31 December 2022 to obtain and submit a recognized certificate to SLAM.
Students who do not meet the requirement by 31 December will not be admitted to the Master's degree programme and may not sit further tests.

Eligibility assessment

The personal curriculum of the applicants and the certifications will be evaluated by an Admission Committee composed of the coordinator and at least two lecturers of the Master degree. No interview is foreseen. The applicants will receive communication of their eligibility and will be allowed to enroll in the Master degree program. An online self-evaluation test will be provided, allowing the admitted students to identify specific weakness in their knowledge that need to be fulfilled by autonomous study. The teachers are available to give personal advices and bibliographic material.

Practical instructions

Applicants considered eligible by the Admission Committee can enroll in the BforB Master degree under the terms and conditions indicated at https://www.unimi.it/en/education/biotechnology-bioeconomy.
Students who have applied for admission to BforB prior to the conclusion of their bachelor degree (Laurea Triennale), if possessing the other admission requirements and a valid English proficiency certificate, will be granted the possibility to attend the first term classes (pre-enrollment). In this case students must present to Segreteria Studenti the bachelor degree up to December 31st 2022 to receive formal admission to the course. Only after admission students are allowed to enroll and only after enrolment they are allowed to give exams.

Admission

Application for admission: from 15/03/2022 to 26/08/2022

Application for matriculation: from 01/04/2022 to 16/01/2023


Attachments and documents

Admission notice


Please note

For open admission Master programmes, students who are admitted to a Master and who already graduated must enrol by 30 September 2022, while students earning their Bachelor's degree by 31 December 2022 who are admitted must enrol by 16 January 2023.

Programme description and courses list
First semester
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language SSD
Compulsory
Biomass and Waste Recycling Promoting the Circular Economy 7 56 English AGR/13
Fermentation Biotechnology 7 60 English CHIM/11
Methods in Biotechnology 9 96 English AGR/07 AGR/12
Structure and Functions of Biomolecules 8 72 English CHIM/10
Second semester
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language SSD
Compulsory
Environmental Microbial Biotechnology 6 52 English AGR/16
Environmental Plant Biotechnology 6 56 English AGR/13
Plants as Biofactories 6 56 English AGR/07
Protein Engineering and Proteomics 6 60 English BIO/10
be activated by the A.Y. 2023/2024
First semester
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language SSD
Compulsory
Bioeconomy: Management, Assessment and Intellectual Property 6 56 English AGR/01
Conclusive activities
There are no specific sessions for these activities (e.g. open online courses).
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language SSD
Compulsory
Internship and Final Exam 36 0 English
First semester
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language SSD
Optional
Bio-Based Innovation in Food Science 6 54 English AGR/15
Biostatistics and Design of Experiments in Biotechnology 6 64 English AGR/17
Developing Soft Skills in Science: Case-Studies from Microbial Biotechnology 6 56 English AGR/16
Molecular Analysis and Traceability of Biotechnological Products 6 56 English BIO/10
Molecular Biobased Approaches for Plant Protection 4 48 English AGR/12
Second semester
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language SSD
Optional
Applied Biocatalysis 6 56 English CHIM/11
Biomolecular Experiment Planning 2 16 English BIO/10
Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals 6 56 English MED/49
Plant Microbiome-Based Strategies for Agri-Environmental Biotechnologies 4 36 English AGR/16
Ree Crispres - A Workshop On Genome Editing Technologies 3 42 English AGR/03 AGR/07 AGR/12 BIO/01
Open sessions
There are no specific sessions for these activities (e.g. open online courses).
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language SSD
Optional
Additional Language Skills: Italian (3 ECTS) 3 0 Italian
Other Activities (laboratories, seminars) 3 0 English
Optional activities and study plan rules
- Table 1 - Elective courses: the student will chose 2 course among the list of elective courses. Chose 2 among the following:
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language Lesson period SSD
Applied Biocatalysis 6 56 English Second semester CHIM/11
Bio-Based Innovation in Food Science 6 54 English First semester AGR/15
Biostatistics and Design of Experiments in Biotechnology 6 64 English First semester AGR/17
Developing Soft Skills in Science: Case-Studies from Microbial Biotechnology 6 56 English First semester AGR/16
Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals 6 56 English Second semester MED/49
Molecular Analysis and Traceability of Biotechnological Products 6 56 English First semester BIO/10
- Table 2 - Optional courses

To complete the study program the student must acquire 8 CFU in 1 or more courses freely chosen among:
i) the optional courses specifically activated by the BforB Master Degree (see table 2)
ii) additional elective courses (see table 1)
iii) all courses activated by the University of Milan for Master Degrees as long as consistent with the aims of the BforB degree and not a repetition of a course already inserted in the study plan.

Optional courses specifically activated by the BforB Master Degree:
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language Lesson period SSD
Biomolecular Experiment Planning 2 16 English Second semester BIO/10
Molecular Biobased Approaches for Plant Protection 4 48 English First semester AGR/12
Plant Microbiome-Based Strategies for Agri-Environmental Biotechnologies 4 36 English Second semester AGR/16
Ree Crispres - A Workshop On Genome Editing Technologies 3 42 English Second semester AGR/03 AGR/07 AGR/12 BIO/01
- Table 3 - Other activities:

STUDENTS HAVE TO ACQUIRE AN ADDITIONAL 3 CREDITS.

Additional Language Skills: Italian (foreign students).

To obtain the degree, students without an Italian degree or diploma are required to attain an Italian language proficiency at level A2 within the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). This level can be assessed by the end of the degree course in the following ways:
- by submitting the language certificate achieved no more than three years prior to the submission, at level A2 or higher, recognised by the University (the list of recognised language certificates can be found at: https://www.unimi.it/en/node/349/). The language certificate must be uploaded through the service https://informastudenti.unimi.it/saw/ess?AUTH=SAML by choosing the category SLAM;
- by an entry-level test, organised by SLAM, which can be taken at the beginning of every semester.

Students who fail to reach level A2 will have to attend a 60-hour Italian course organised by SLAM and to pass the final test during the I semester of the second year of study in order to earn 3 ECTS credits of Additional Language Skills: Italian.
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language Lesson period SSD
Additional Language Skills: Italian (3 ECTS) 3 0 Italian Open sessions
Other Activities (laboratories, seminars) 3 0 English Open sessions
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Location
Milan
Course locations
Lecture rooms and laboratories are located in the "Città Studi" campus, mostly in the Food and Agriculture Faculty, Via Celoria 2 (https://www.unimi.it/en/education/faculties-and-schools/agricultural-and-food-sciences).
Head of study programme
Academic guidance tutor
Erasmus and international mobility tutor 
Study plan tutor
Seminar and workshop tutor
University and programme transfer tutor
Master's degree admission tutor
Credit recognition tutor
Quality Assurance Delegate
Contacts

The tuition fees for students enrolled in Bachelor's, Master's and single-cycle degree programmes are divided into two instalments with different calculation methods and payment schedules:

  • The amount of the first instalment is the same for all students
  • The amount of the second instalment varies according to the ISEE University value, the degree programme and the student status (on track / off track for one year or off track for more than a year) 
  • An additional fee is due for online programmes

The University also offers:

  • Concessions for students meeting high merit requirements
  • Diversified tuition fees according to the student's home country for international students with assets/income abroad
  • Concessions for international students with refugee status

Scholarships and benefits

The University provides a range of financial benefits to students meeting special requirements (merit, financial or personal conditions, international students).

Learn more