Master in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology


Programme Description

The master’s program in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology aims to provide deep understanding of how to design and operate state-of-the-art life science-based processes, with respect to product quality, sustainability, and finance. The goal is to acquire competencies and skills to use cells and cell components such as enzymes to produce commodities such as food, biofuel, and biomaterials, for the development of a sustainable society.

Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology at KTH

The two-year program comprises advanced courses regarding biotechnological tools used for the development of industrial processes, sustainable production of commodities and the impact of such processes on the environment and the society. The education provided is comprehensive and prepares students for future carriers in Sweden or internationally in a private and public sector.

Three tracks are offered within the program syllabus: cell-based process biotechnology, enzyme biotechnology, and environmental biotechnology. The tracks are designed to provide a holistic perspective on the particular biotechnology field. Students have the opportunity to tailor their education by choosing one track and complement with courses from other tracks, or the master’s program in Medical Biotechnology. It is also possible to cherry-pick courses from any track to create one’s own unique professional profile.

Courses comprise both theoretical knowledge and practical application from experimental design, to production, analysis of the output, and performing life cycle analyses of the produced entity. The curriculum provides a cross-platform approach to enable students to acquire unique and individualized expertise that appeal to a wide span of employers. Students train problem-solving skills, project management as well as professional communication. During the last term of the program, students work with a master's degree project in a research setting at KTH, in industry or in a university or research institute anywhere in the world to acquire specialization within a relevant topic.

The program curriculum is designed, taught and continuously updated by a team of internationally recognized researchers within the different subject areas, in collaboration with representatives from the private sector. The program is given by the School of Engineering Sciences in Chemistry, Biotechnology and Health in Stockholm with access to facilities, infrastructure and instrument parks available at KTH Campus in Stockholm (AlbaNova University Center) and at Solna Campus. (Science for Life Laboratory).


Graduates of the program will acquire the skills necessary for a professional career in the biotechnology industry, as well as those for further academic studies. These areas are expanding worldwide, offering anyone with a master’s degree in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology vast career opportunities within the manufacturing of bioproducts or biotechnological equipment, research and development, biotechnological services, including those found in patent and consultant agencies, research policy, journalism, and finances.


Find out what students from the program think about their time at KTH.

Alma Kvammen, Norway: "KTH is a great choice and you won’t regret it! It’s so easy to be an international student at KTH because there are so many of us! Swedish people are all very good in English as well, so it won’t be a problem to get into the Swedish way of life."

Sustainable development

Graduates from KTH have the knowledge and tools for moving society in a more sustainable direction, as sustainable development is an integral part of all programs. The Biotechnology sector is considered to be one of the main players in the development of a sustainable society and able to tackle current and future societal challenges. The master’s program in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology prepares students for carriers focusing on the development of more effective and environmentally friendly production of commodities. The three key sustainable development goals that are best aligned with the master's program in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology are:

  • Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Affordable and Clean Energy
  • Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

The program provides knowledge and understanding about how biological processes and cellular components are used to create new technologies, industrial processes and biotechnological products. Knowledge is acquired on how microorganisms are orchestrated to remove contaminants from water and soil or to produce biomolecules that can serve as raw materials. Microorganisms are used to design and create effective and sustainable production of products from food ingredients to detergents, paper, and textiles. Sustainability is a key aspect that features in all areas of biotechnology and that continuously combines science and technology to improve, simplify or streamline industrial manufacturing of products or services.


The two-year master's program in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology consists of three terms of courses and one final term dedicated to the master's degree project. Each term consists of approximately 30 ECTS credits. The courses presented on this page apply to studies starting in autumn 2020.

Year 1

The student should complete all courses within the chosen specialization. In order to graduate at least 90 credits within the field of Biotechnology is required. To complete two specialisations is recommended.

Mandatory courses

  • Theory and Methodology of Science (Natural and Technological Science) (AK2030) 4.5 credits
  • Eucaryotic Cell Biology (BB1160) 7.5 credits
  • Biomolecular Structure and Function (BB2165) 7.5 credits
  • Sustainable development and project management (CB1000) 3.0 credits
  • Industrial Management, Basic Course (ME1003) 6.0 credits

Recommended courses

  • Programming in Python (BB1000) 7.5 credits
  • Microbiology (BB1030) 9.0 credits
  • Cultivation Technology (BB1300) 7.5 credits

Cell-Based Process Biotechnology track

Mandatory courses

  • Molecular Enzymology (BB2020) 7.5 credits
  • The Cell Factory (BB2450) 7.5 credits
  • Metabolic Engineering (BB2485) 7.5 credits

Environmental Biotechnology track

Mandatory courses

  • Environmental Toxicology (BB2015) 7.5 credits
  • Advanced Microbiology and Metagenomics (BB2560) 7.5 credits
  • System Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment (BB2570) 7.5 credits

Enzyme Biotechnology track

Mandatory courses

  • Molecular Enzymology (BB2020) 7.5 credits
  • Glycobiotechnology (BB2425) 7.5 credits
  • Biocatalysis (BB2460) 7.5 credits

Year 2

Mandatory courses

  • Degree Project in Biotechnology, Second Cycle (BB200X) 30.0 credits
  • Bioprocess Design (BB2520) 15.0 credits

Admission requirements

To be eligible for the program, you must have been awarded a bachelor's degree, be proficient in English and meet the program-specific requirements.

Bachelor's degree

A bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish bachelor's degree, or equivalent academic qualifications from an internationally recognized university, is required. Students who are following longer technical programs, and have completed courses equivalent to a bachelor's degree, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

English proficiency

English language proficiency equivalent to (the Swedish upper secondary school) English course B/6 is required. The requirement can be satisfied through a result equal to, or higher than, those stated in the following internationally recognized English tests:

  • TOEFL Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1-6) in written test, a total score of 575.
    TOEFL ITP is not accepted.
  • TOEFL iBT internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0-30) in written test, a total score of 90
  • IELTS Academic: A minimum overall mark of 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5
  • Cambridge ESOL: Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Certificate in Advanced English or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) (Certificate of Proficiency in English)
  • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB): Minimum score of 90
  • The University of Michigan, ECPE (Examination for the Certificate of Proficiency in English)
  • Pearson PTE Academic: Score of 62 (writing 61)

Specific requirements for the master's program in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology

A bachelor's degree corresponding to 180 ECTS credits including courses in:

  • Cell biology, biochemistry, microbiology and genetic engineering/molecular biology corresponding to a total of at least 20 ECTS credits,
  • Chemistry corresponding to at least 30 ECTS credits
  • Mathematics, numerical analysis, and computer science corresponding to a total of at least 20 ECTS credits.

Application documents

  1. Certificates and diplomas from previous university studies
  2. Transcript of completed courses and grades included in your degree
  3. Proof of English proficiency
  4. A copy of your passport including personal data and photograph, or other identification documents

Specific documents for the master's program in Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology

  • Curriculum Vitae (maximum two pages)
  • Letters of recommendation (at most three, one is sufficient)
  • Documentation of relevant work experience e.g. certificate for an internship, if any.
  • Completed summary sheet (including a list of qualifications for specific requirements, motivation letter and description of relevant work experience)
Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

KTH Royal Institute of Technology has served as one of Europe’s key centres of innovation and intellectual talent for almost two hundred years. Recognized as Sweden’s most prestigious technical univer ... Read More

KTH Royal Institute of Technology has served as one of Europe’s key centres of innovation and intellectual talent for almost two hundred years. Recognized as Sweden’s most prestigious technical university, KTH is also the country’s oldest and largest. With over 12,000 students and an international reputation for excellence, the university continues to nurture the world’s brightest minds, helping to shape the future. Read Less