Esslingen University of Applied Sciences has teamed up with Springerscientific publishing to offer a part-time Master’s programme in biotechnology. This distance-learning programme covers methods used in the field of biotechnology and the whole process chain of resource manufacture from the genetically engineered development of the cell and the cell cultivation (upstream processing) through to the processing of the biotechnology products (downstream processing). Students develop sound knowledge of bioreaction techniques, sterile techniques, processing techniques, fermentation techniques, cell culture techniques, microbial expression systems, of quality management systems and GMP, strain development, metabolic engineering and “omics” technologies.
The main elements of the curriculum are eight compulsory modules which cover the complete biotechnology spectrum and are a mandatory part of the workload. Four out of six compulsory elective modules allow students to choose between a bioprocess engineering and a molecular biotechnology specialisation. The bioprocess engineering skills which are taught in the mandatory courses and in the electives allow students to systematically analyse, develop and optimise bioprocesses. The aim here is to sustainably improve production processes and thus not only increase efficiency but also significantly reduce costs. The molecular biotechnology specialisation covers the topics of “pharmaceutical biotechnology”, “biomedicine” and “immunotherapy and gene therapy”.
The course content is taught by means of study folders, which the students compile themselves, teaching videos produced by the instructors, and two-weekly tutorials. The tutorials take place online to give students maximum flexibility and serve to clarify outstanding questions and consolidate the study material. Students’ progress is monitored by means of independent study checks, written examinations, oral exams, presentations and assignments.
Important fundamentals of biotechnology are taught primarily by way of lab. practicals in three phases of face-to-face teaching lasting four weeks in total at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences. The concentrated phases of face-to-face teaching and the high proportion of online study mean this study programme is ideal for combining with a full-time job.