Biotechnology

Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Engineering
Biotechnology

Technology based on biology

The Biotechnology MSc in Engineering programme is a five-year applied sciences degree programme which begins with the three-year Bachelor of Science in Engineering programme in Biotechnology. The degree programme combines elements of biology, molecular biology and chemistry with engineering, and qualifies graduates for careers in research, development, innovation and management in the biotech industry.

Introduction

The BSc programme in biotechnology is a three-year applied sciences undergraduate programme which comprises the first element in the five-year MSc in Engineering in chemistry and biotechnology programme. The programme provides you with a high degree of theoretical specialisation in maths, biochemistry, microbiology and chemistry. This knowledge provides you with the necessary foundation for participating in the degree programme’s technical courses on biotechnology and process technology.

The courses you follow teach you how to use nature’s biological systems and organisms to solve real-world problems.

You work with biotechnology in a wide variety of contexts. For example, how can you apply your understanding of cell structure and cellular enzymatic reactions to develop a new medicine? How can you use your knowledge about microorganisms to develop new environmental and energy technologies?

The programme teaches you to draw on the strong academic foundation you build in the course of your Bachelor’s studies in an engineering context.  You will learn about the design, manufacture, analysis and control of chemical and biological processes, and as a graduate of the MSc programme in engineering, you will be qualified to work at the cellular level in classified laboratories as well as in large-scale industrial production facilities.

Fusing technology and science

Biotechnology is about applying the sciences of biochemistry, molecular biology and microbiology to the design and production of biological molecules and the management of complex biological processes.

The BSc programme provides you with deep theoretical insight into chemical, molecular, enzymatic and microbial states and processes, which qualify you to progress to the two-year MSc in chemical and biotechnology engineering where you work with the development of new technologies.

Studying at the university

The engineering BSc in biotechnology consists of a mixture of lectures, classroom teaching, calculation assignments and lab work which give you hands-on experience in applying your knowledge of biotechnology.

Can we feed bacteria electricity? Can we develop antibodies for cancer treatment or produce molecules to combat obesity? These are some of the kinds of questions that engineers at AU work with on a daily basis. The programme’s research-based courses qualify you for a career in research, development, innovation, management and specialist consultancy.

The engineering community

As a biotech engineering student, you become part of a large community with a total of around 3000 engineering students at Aarhus University, and you will spend most of your time at the Katrinebjerg Campus around Hangøvej and Gustavs Wieds Vej in Aarhus,

where you have access to project study spaces, group rooms and labs around the clock. Technical personnel are available to help guide you in carrying out your experiments in connection with project and group work.

In fact, you also have the option of moving some of your experiments out of the limited environment of the lab and working with them on a large scale at our internationally recognised research centre in Foulum.

Innovation and entrepreneurship

As an engineering student at Aarhus University, you learn how to translate your knowledge into solutions and to constantly think in innovative and creative new ways. Day after day, you work with new technologies and innovation as a fully integrated part of the programme.

Perhaps this is why so many engineers from AU are successful entrepreneurs, and you may even decide that you want to start a business, either before you graduate or afterwards.

Career opportunities

 Biotechnology engineering is about applying chemistry and biology to solve concrete problems in society.

In recent years, biotechnology has accelerated the development of new materials, fuels, foods and medicines. And in coming years, engineers with biotechnology expertise will continue to create new possibilities using technologies which have not even been invented yet. Read more about career opportunities under ‘Career’ about the bottom of the page.

Admission requirements

Admission area number:

22131

 

To be eligible for admission to this degree programme, you must fulfil the following requirements:

qualifying examination as well as the following specific admission requirements (A, B and C refers to the subject level in the Danish upper secondary school with A being the highest level possible):

  • Danish (level A)
  • English (level B)
  • Mathematics (level A)
  • And one of these combinations:
    • Physics (level B) and Chemistry (level B)
      or
    • Physics (level B) and Biotechnology (level A)
      or
    • Chemistry (level B) and Geoscience (level A)

If there are any subjects you have not completed at the required level, you can take them as supplementary courses or as a summer supplementary course (conditional Admission).

The admission requirements must be met and documented by 5 July in the year of application unless you apply for conditional admission.

 

Quota 2

Like quota 1 applicants, quota 2 applicants must have passed a qualifying examination, and they must also fulfil the specific admission requirements above.

Quota 2 applicants are individually evaluated on the basis of:

  1. a grade average calculated on the basis of the particularly relevant subjects (Quota 2 subjects), listed below
  2. other particularly relevant documented qualifications.

Read more about Aarhus University's quota 2 criteria.

Quota 2 subjects:

Mathematics (level A)

Physics (level B) or Geoscience (level A)

Chemistry (level B) or Biotechnology (level A)

Admission 2019

In 2019 a new entry requirement is introduced. To apply for admission in 2019 you must have a grade point average of 7.0 in your qualifying examination and at least 7.0 grade in average in Mathematics A.

Entrance examination

Applicants who do not meet or do not expect to meet the grade requirement of minimum 7.0 in Mathematics and an average of 7.0 in the qualifying examination, may apply for admission via an entrance examination. A passed entrance examination is equated with both grade requirements.

For applicants who wish to participate in an entrance examination, the application deadline is 15 March 12.00 (midday)

Quota 2 criteria

If there are more qualified applicants, that is more applicants who pass the entrance examination, than there are study places, the following criteria will be included in the assessment of applications:

  • Score from admission test
  • Average in Mathematics
  • Average in the qualifying examination.

Degree Programe Structure

You  take advanced courses in the fundamental natural sciences subjects such as maths, physics and chemistry.  The degree programme also includes engineering subjects, lab work and practical exercises in a full-scale test facility, where you learn how to use the equipment and master the processes which will enable you to apply your knowledge of science to create value.

You work on solving problems and creating new possibilities in fields such as medical biotechnology, biomechanics, environmental technology, medical diagnosis, nutrition, industrial biotechnology, bioenergy, process control, and much more.

The programme develops your scientific expertise in addition to deep analytical and theoretical understanding of the field at the highest level of abstraction. For this reason, your core subjects include a good deal of maths, including calculations and process modelling, as well as chemistry, through which you learn to understand molecules and reactions in biological systems.

You learn about the manipulation of cells, enzymes and microorganisms on a theoretical level, while courses with an engineering focus teach you to apply your knowledge to designing cultivation processes in a wide variety of contexts.

The courses are research-based, and you have access to the latest advances in your field even as a Bachelor’s student. And as an integrated aspect of the programme, you also participate in applied sciences projects with the university’s researchers in the field, and in many cases with companies as well.


 

Studentlife

As a student on the BSc degree programme in biotechnology, you join a class of about 30 students. You also have close contact to other BSc and MSc biotechnology and chemical engineering students.

What’s special about AU engineers?

At Aarhus University, you graduate from the MSc engineering programme with a very high level of expertise. But through your studies at a classical university like AU, you also gain competencies outside your field which have great value for your personal development and your future career opportunities. Employees hire well-rounded human beings – people who are good at working in teams and who can express themselves, both orally and in writing. The programme boosts your abilities in all of these areas. AU engineers are highly sought-after and well-paid on the global labour market.

Academic excellence in focus

In 2016, Aarhus University was rated number 98 on the Times Higher Education University Ranking, which is the highest ranking among Danish universities and among the 100 best universities in the world.

Intensive study programme

During the BSc component of the MSc engineering programme, you should expect about 24 scheduled lessons per week. In addition, you are expected to spend quite a lot of time on independent study and lab work together with your fellow students, in order to achieve a high theoretical level and technological specialisation. You can read about the structure of the programme on the Bachelor of Engineering programme under ‘Programme structure’ on this page. You can find descriptions of the content and objectives of the individual courses in the university’s online course catalogue.

Social life

AU Engineering has about 3000 students and a variety of strong, active student organisations. This means you have every opportunity to get involved both academically and socially with your fellow students. You might pluck up the courage to join the university’s student section of the organisation Engineers Without Borders, which is responsible for a range of humanitarian projects in the world’s disaster areas.

You may also choose to become an active member of the Danish Youth Association of Science (UNF), which organises lectures, summer camps and much more. AU Engineering also has a very popular student revue, which is performed once a year in connection with a party.

Engineering students also have two student bars. As a student on the Bachelor of Engineering in chemical engineering programme, you will probably most often visit the popular basement bar Katrines Kælder, which is located at Katrinebjerg. Most of the large parties at AU Engineering are held at the student bar at Navitas. About 34 per cent of engineering students at Aarhus University are women, and 65 per cent are men. However, the ratio varies from programme to programme, and there is normally a slight majority of women on the biotechnology programme.

International opportunities

As an engineering student at Aarhus University, you will have good opportunities for acquiring international experience in the course of your studies. For example, you might study abroad for a semester, do a project at a company or take a summer school course in your field. AU Engineering has more than 100 partnership agreements with universities and engineering colleges abroad.

Check out student life at AU

– seen through the eyes and cameras of the students themselves.

With thousands of photos, #yourniversity gives you insight into the daily life of a student at AU: the parties, the distractions, the exams and all other aspects of the life of a student.

 

The photos belong to the users, shared with #Yourniversity, #AarhusUni and course-specific AU-hashtags.

Career

As a graduate of the MSc in Engineering programme, you have excellent opportunities to design a career that reflects your interest. You will almost certainly contribute your engineering expertise to solving some of the major challenges facing the global society within biotechnology’s many applications.

As a student at both BSc and MSc level, you can personalise your academic profile by selecting courses from a variety of the many subjects offered at the university.

You may discover that you are interested in nanoscience, economics, communication, physics, business administration or another subject entirely, in addition to biotechnology. One of the clear advantages to taking an engineering degree at a classical multi-faculty university is that you have plenty of opportunities to combine courses to reflect your interests.

In the course of the next decade, there will be a shortage of biotechnology engineers in Denmark, in particular because technological development will result in an increasing demand for innovation in many industries. 

Today, biochemical engineers play a key role in connection with research and development in the pharmaceutical industry, the energy sector, environmental technology, the healthcare sector and the food industry. Many graduates also teach.

In many jobs, MSc in Engineering biotechnology graduates work with development and production based on microbial and enzymatic processes, or with biotechnological analyses.

Most graduates of the programme have highly specialised, knowledge-intensive jobs. However, some work in management, project management, consultancy and innovation management, using their general technological insight and understanding of society to create value for their companies.

High employment levels and high wages

The unemployment rate for engineering MSc graduates from Aarhus University is generally very low. As a group, the lifetime take-home pay of these graduates is among the highest in Denmark.

Denmark has a competitive biotech industry where many of the program's graduates find jobs. Examples of large local employers include Novo Nordisk, Dupont, Dako, Arla Foods and Chr. Hansen.

Some MSc in Engineering graduates choose a career in research, and their are good opportunities for biotechnology postgraduate study at Aarhus University.