Master of Science

Sustainable Bioprocess Technology

to the study programmes

Biotechnology for sustainability & economy

Sustainability is THE topic of the future, and the drastic climate changes around the world show us every day how urgently we need new solutions. In this degree programme, we give you the tools you need to create a sustainable future – we train you to become experts who bring modern, environmentally friendly methods from the lab into industrial practice.

  • ECTS: 90 ECTS
  • Programme duration: 3 semesters
  • Campus: Schwenningen
  • Faculty: Medical and Life Sciences
  • Programme begins: winter semester (October), summer semester (March)
  • Application deadline: 15 January (summer semester), 15 July (winter semester)
  • Entry requirements: Practical experience or practical phase in previous studies required, German proficiency: min. DSH 2, DaF TDN4, CEFR B 2.2, English proficiency: min. CEFR B2 or IELTS > 6.0
  • Teaching language: German and English
  • Accreditation: yes (accredited through the university system accreditation)
  • Everything is at stake Our focus is on sustainable biotechnology. These manufacturing processes are based on biological resources and use biological systems for processes, products and services in a sustainable way - everywhere.
  • Solutions for the environment Biotechnology plays an important role not only in industry, but also in environmental protection - bioprocesses are used, for example, to purify wastewater in sewage treatment plants, clean up contaminated soil or dispose of waste.
  • We're getting serious Greenwashing? No thanks! For us, it's all about using renewable raw materials, renewable energy, the use of residual and waste materials and, ideally, zero waste.
  • Widespread application Products that can be produced sustainably using bioprocess technology range from food and pharmaceuticals to basic chemicals and biofuels. Enzymes or microorganisms are the key here.

Details of the programme

Programme content and structure

Better still!

We teach you how to plan, build and operate processes and plants as efficiently and eco-friendly as possible and how to improve them through continuous evaluation and optimisation. We focus on the use of biocatalytic systems – using enzymes and microorganisms for product manufacture or in the degradation and utilisation of residual and waste materials.

Think holistically

With the help of the "Life Cycle Assessment" (LCA), you analyse the environmental impact throughout the entire life cycle of a product. For example, you will determine the CO2 footprint of a manufacturing process. And in the "Sustainable Business Administration" module, you'll learn how to think in both an ecologically sensible and economically profitable way. Make our economy fit for the bioeconomy of the future with sustainable processes!

Really practical

We teach scientific work, the implementation of challenging development tasks and teamwork in our courses, many of which take the form of seminars. During the project semester, you'll be working independently to put the theoretical principles into practice in your research project. You decide for yourself whether you want to go in a technical or biological direction or work with industry.

High-end equipment

At HFU, laboratory and pilot-scale investigations are possible. In our "Technikum" laboratory, you can carry out entire processes from production (upstream) to product purification (downstream). We can also work there with modern process analytics, for example in the form of HPLC (high-pressure liquid chromatography), GC (gas chromatography) and online measurements.

Entry requirements

Qualified students with a bachelor's degree in natural sciences or engineering (including industrial engineering) from colleges or universities may be admitted to the degree programme. The module composition in the first semester depends on the focus of the bachelor's degree programme.

Graduates of university degree programmes and/or foreign graduates with 180 ECTS points are offered a supplementary/transitional programme by HFU, which compensates in particular for the practical experience and language skills which may be lacking.

NBT specifics

To give you a better idea of our areas of application, here are some questions that our students are working on in their projects:

  • Can fungi break down plastic waste?
  • How can process simulation be used to shorten and optimize the development of new processes in the bioreactor?
  • Can microorganisms from sewage sludge help to extract valuable substances (e.g. organic acids) from waste materials?
  • Can raw materials for other foods be obtained from residual products from food production such as sunflower press cake (residual material from sunflower oil production)?
  • Can microplastics be used to remove pollutants from water?

What's included

Special features

Graduate with a bilingual degree!

In NBT you can obtain your master's degree bilingually. In the first two semesters, half of the modules are taught in German and the other half in English. The master's thesis can be written in either German or English.

If you achieve CEF level C1 in English or German, depending on your native language, or present a recognised certificate, you can obtain the bilingual degree. Of course, you can also graduate with a lower language level, but without the addition of "bilingual".

Your career prospects

The career opportunities that await you after completing this master's degree are as varied as our projects. Our graduates find jobs wherever the planning, operation and optimisation of biotechnological processes are involved - from the pharmaceutical and chemical industries to environmental technology. Whether you plan and build plants yourself, monitor compliance with environmental protection regulations or work in research institutions on the development of new technologies - with your specialist knowledge, you will contribute to a sustainable world! Your expertise is particularly in demand in industrial companies, supply and disposal companies, colleges, universities, research institutes, engineering offices, consulting firms and licensing and monitoring authorities.

At HFU, you can also pursue a further academic career and a doctorate!

Faculty of Medical and Life Sciences

At the Faculty of Medical and Life Sciences, everything revolves around the life sciences. Those who study with us contribute to improving people's health and quality of life. Our society is aging – which is why specialist knowledge in areas such as process engineering and (molecular) medicine, medical technology and biosciences is becoming increasingly important. Our degree programmes train you to become sought-after experts in biotechnology, the environment, diagnostics or therapy and prevention.

Find out more about the Faculty of Medical and Life Sciences (MLS)


The MLS faculty is one of the strongest in research at HFU. You will gain many insights into current research issues during your studies and will be able to participate in specific tasks.

Click here for current HFU research projects including the research focus of Medical Technologies.

Faculty news


We're passionate about sustainability!

Your key contacts

  •  Prof. Dr.-Ing. Volker C. Hass
    Prof. Dr.-Ing. Volker C. Hass Studiendekan Nachhaltige Bioprozesstechnik (M.Sc.) (NBT)
  •  Ursula Eschenhagen
    Ursula Eschenhagen Programme Coordinator Sustainable Bioprocess Technology (MSc)