Biotechnology for the Bioeconomy

Pianta di lattughino
Master programme
A.Y. 2021/2022
LM-7 - Agricultural biotechnologies
Master programme
120
ECTS
Access
Open with entry requirements examination
2
Years
Course location
Milano
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 i) an efficient and sustainable production of plant and microbial biomasses; ii) production of bioenergy from (waste) biomasses; environmental protection and safety in terms of bioremediation; iii) green chemistry processes and applications; iv) sustainable agri-food production and processes, v) 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 bioeconomy. 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. In addition, the BforB Master degree will provide theoretical and practical instruments for the set-up, analyses and improvement of biotechnological processes for the transformation of renewable raw materials in biotechnological processes exploiting microorganisms, plants and enzymes.
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:
- industrial fermentation for production of metabolites and renewable energy;
- 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;
- bioremediation of contaminated land and waters, using plants and/or microorganisms;
- 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)
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 (at least 60 University credits, CFU) in biotechnology-related subjects, i.e., subjects identified as "core disciplines" for the L-2 class of Laurea Triennale (SSD AGR/01-02-03-04-07-11-12-13-15-16-17-18-19-20; BIO/01-02-03-04-05-06-07-09-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19; CHIM/01-02-03-04-05-06-08-09-10-11-12; ING-IND/25-26; IUS/01-02-04-14; MED/02-03-04-05-07-09-13-15-42; M-FIL/02-03; SECS-P/06-07; VET/01-02-03-04-05-06-07-08-10). Students with a degree from a non-Italian institution: must possess a Bachelor degree from an accredited college or University comprising exams in the following areas: molecular biology, genetics, microbiology, plant cell biology, biochemistry, chemistry.
Proficiency in English at a B2 level or higher, under to 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:
- By a language certification at or above B2, obtained no more than 3 years earlier. For the list of language certifications recognized by the University please review: https://www.unimi.it/en/study/language-proficiency/placement-tests-and-…. The certification must be uploaded when submitting the online application;
- By the English level achieved during a Bachelor's degree programme through SLAM courses and tests. The certificates must be less than four years old, and will be assessed administratively, without the applicant having to attach any certificates;
- By the entrance test, which will be delivered by the SLAM on 17 May 2021, and on 17 September 2021, only for students who have applied for admission at a later date. 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 entrance test will have until 31 December 2021 to obtain and submit one of the recognized certifications to the SLAM.
Students who do not meet the requirement by 31 December will not be admitted to the Master's degree programme and cannot 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 enrol in the Master degree program.

Practical instructions

Applicants considered eligible by the Admission Committee can enrol 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) and/or did not present a valid certificate for the knowledge of the English language (B2 level) or did not pass the Placement Test, if possessing the other admission requirements, will be granted the possibility to attend the first term classes. In this case students must present to Segreteria Studenti the bachelor degree and/or the English certification up to December 31st 2021 to receive formal admission to the course. Only after admission students are allowed to enrol and only after enrolment they are allowed to give exams.
In the framework of the ERASMUS+ program, the BforB Master course has in place agreements with Universities in, Finland, Germany, Spain, France, Austria, all offering courses in English.
Calls for participation can be found at the following link: https://www.unimi.it/en/international/study-abroad/studying-abroad-eras….
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 student admitted to the mobility program 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 seven months long, the student should complete the thesis work at the laboratory of the internal supervisor, or other laboratory indicated by the supervisor himself, in order to complete the training process.

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 56 English CHIM/11
Methods in biotechnology 10 120 English AGR/07 AGR/11 AGR/12
Structure and functions of biomolecules 7 64 English CHIM/06 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
Plant as biofactories 6 56 English AGR/07
Protein engineering and proteomics 6 60 English BIO/10
First semester
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language SSD
Compulsory
Bioeconomy: management, assessment and intellectual property 6 56 English AGR/01
Conclusive activities
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 50 English AGR/15
Experimental planning and biostatistics in biotechnology 6 64 English AGR/17 BIO/10
Microbiology and Biotechnology of Extremophiles: case studies to develop soft skills in science 4 40 English AGR/16
Molecular analysis and traceability of biotechnological products 6 68 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 BIO/09
Ree Crispres - A workshop on genome editing technologies 3 42 English AGR/03 AGR/07 AGR/12 BIO/01
Undefined
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language SSD
Compulsory
Other activities (laboratories, seminars) 3 0 English
Study plan rules
- Table 2 - Optional courses specifically planned by the BforB Master Degree (8 CFU)
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language Lesson period SSD
Microbiology and Biotechnology of Extremophiles: case studies to develop soft skills in science 4 40 English First semester AGR/16
Molecular biobased approaches for plant protection 4 48 English First semester AGR/12
Biomolecular experiment planning 2 16 English Second semester BIO/10
Ree Crispres - A workshop on genome editing technologies 3 42 English Second semester AGR/03 AGR/07 AGR/12 BIO/01
- Table 3 - Elective courses: the student will chose 2 course among the list of elective courses. The list does not include "Natural resource economics and policy", not activated in 2021-22 academic year. Chose 2 among the following:
Courses or activities ECTS Total hours Language Lesson period SSD
Bio-based innovation in food science 6 50 English First semester AGR/15
Experimental planning and biostatistics in biotechnology 6 64 English First semester AGR/17 BIO/10
Molecular analysis and traceability of biotechnological products 6 68 English First semester BIO/10
Applied biocatalysis 6 56 English Second semester CHIM/11
Functional foods and nutraceuticals 6 56 English Second semester BIO/09
Location
Milano
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-an…).
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).

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