Sustainable biotechnology, Bachelor

Academic content

Academic content


This Bachelor’s programme is not open for enrolment from 2019, but you might be interested in other AAU programmes within the same field of study, such as:

Currently enrolled students continue the programme as planned. Likewise, currently enrolled students have access to the Master's programme in Sustainable Biotechnology as planned.


Academic content

During the Bachelor's programme in Sustainable Biotechnology, you will gain a deeper understanding of molecular biology, microbiology, bio refineries, sustainability, and other scientific and technical research areas. You will focus on sustainability and the production methods for producing food, energy, biochemical and raw materials.

During the programme you will work with topics such as:

  • General and organic chemistry
  • Biomolecules
  • Biochemistry
  • Energy and Resources
  • Biodiversity
  • Microbiological processes
  • Cell biology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular biology
  • Ethics

Through the choice of projects, you will have the opportunity to focus on either molecular biological biotechnology or process oriented sustainable biotechnology.

A large part of your study time will be spent in the laboratory, where you will learn how to plan experiments as well as how to collect and analyse data.

The study programmes at AAU are based on problem based learning and project work, which gives you a unique opportunity to acquire new knowledge and competences at a high academic level in an independent manner. You get to apply theory to practice in your semester projects, which will prepare you better for your future career.

Each semester you will spend half of your study time on courses and course work while the other half of your time will be spent doing a semester project in a small group – possibly in collaboration with the research environment or an external organisation or institution. You and your group will apply theory and method to a relevant problem within the field of your study, with the possibility to include laboratory work.



During the first semester, you will obtain an overview of contemporary biological production (food, pharmaceuticals, enzymes, ingredients and chemicals) and how it can be separated from the use of fossil resources.


  • Linear Algebra (5 ECTS)
  • Problem-based Learning in Science, Technology and Society (5 ECTS)
  • General and Organic Chemistry (5 ECTS)


  • Biological Production (10 ECTS)
  • Biological Production - a Case Study (5 ECTS)

Examples of project topics

  • Algae Fuel
  • A review on the sustainable properties of PLA (PolyLactic-Acid)
  • Bacteria as a Sustainable Energy source
  • Biofuel Production from microalgae and cyanobacteria
  • Microbial Fuel Cell
  • Biodiesel Or Petrodiesel: Is biodiesel a solution to a green future
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii: Production of biopharmaceuticals: Can the pharmaceutical needs of economically challenged countries, be met using biomanufacturing from green microalgae?
  • Production of Bioplastic
  • Biological Production of Nanoparticles for Cancer Treatment: How can we biologically produce and utilize nanoparticles suitable for cancer treatment?
  • Production of n-Butanol, using Sugarcane as Feedstock
  • Penicillin: The Greatest Medical Breakthrough in the 20th Century


During the second semester, you focus on biochemistry and cell biology in an applied perspective.
The first two semesters establish the biological knowledge foundation for the rest of the Bachelor’s programme.


  • Calculus (5 ECTS)
  • Biomelecules and Biochemistry I (5 ECTS)
  • Sustainability (5 ECTS)


  • Biomass Conversion (15 ECTS)

Examples of project topics

  • Biomass conversion of hazelnut and sunflower seed shells
  • Biomass Conversion of Wheat Straw
  • Waste or Resource: A compositional analysis of food waste and cardboard
  • Knockout of putative protein carriers in Aspergillus carbonarius
  • Preliminary comparative study of Aspergillus saccharolyticus wild type and fumarate reductase mutant cultivation on different substrates for organic acids production
  • The production of fumaric and malic acid by genetically modified Aspergillus carbonarius strains


The organisms and their products are the focus on the third semester. The project deals with biofuels, combining the knowledge of the organisms, their diversity and their processes.


  • Energy and Resources (5 ECTS)
  • Applied Biodiversity (5 ECTS)
  • Kinetics and Process Modelling (5 ECTS)


Choose one topic

  • Sustainable Production of Bioenergy (15 ECTS)
  • Sustainable Production of Biochemicals (15 ECTS)

Examples of project topics

  • An examination of Ammonium pre-treatment on Lignocellulosic and cellulosic biomass, and the fermentation there of.: Sustainable production of Biochemicals
  • Biogas production from the macro algae Ulva species: Codigestion with organic fraction of municipal solid waste or manure and application in biogas plants
  • Investigation of the bio methane potential of digested manure fibres and Festulolium, and the effects of autoclaving as pre-treatment


During the fourth semester, you will work with the processes involved in sustainable biotechnology. You will expand your knowledge of genetics and molecular biology, and you will work with the modification of organisms for biological production.


  • Microbiological Processes (5 ECTS)
  • Biochemistry II (5 ECTS)
  • Process Technology (5 ECTS)


  • The Cell as a Factory (15 ECTS)

Examples of project topics

  • Effects of phosphor, nitrogen and phosphor nitrogen deficiency on lipid accumulation in Chlorella vulgaris with different light conditions
  • The Cell as a Factory: A study into the effect of changing carbon source on mannosylerythritol lipid production in Moesziomyces antarcticus: a biosynthetic pathway analysis


In the project on your fifth semester, you work with the design of a sustainable biotechnological process.


  • Applied Statistics (5 ECTS)
  • Molecular Biology (5 ECTS)
  • Cell Biology and Genetics (5 ECTS)


  • Development of Recombinant Biocatalysts (15 ECTS)

Examples of project topics

  • Biological recycling for base and transition metal recovery
  • Testing CRISPR/Cas9 system in filamentous fungi and finding promotors for screening


The major part of the last semester is the Bachelor’s project, which you can carry out in collaboration with a company or as a research project in a project group. In the courses you will be introduced to ethical problems and to the history of biotechnology.


  • Biotechnology, Ethics and Society (5 ECTS)
  • Cases in Bioprocess Technology (5 ECTS)


  • Topic of your own choice ( ECTS)

Examples of project topics

  • Benchmarking of the Parr Instruments reactor by testing influence of hydrothermal pre-treatment severity on wheat straw with respect to glucose recovery and inhibitor production followed by ethanol fermentation with inhibitors on different dilution levels
  • Biodegradable cigarette filters with seeds
  • The use of dominant antibiotic selection markers in protrophic Yarrowia lipolytica strains
  • Enzymatic discovery - isolation of novel protease producing microorganisms and their application in industry
  • Ethanol production by Simultaneous Saccharification and Fermentation on pre-treated wheat straw using yeast
  • Optimisation of enzyme activity by random mutagenesis with UV-light on two wild strain collected with classical screening

Commencement of studies exam

There is a commencement of studies exam in this programme. Therefore, during the first weeks of the 1st semester, all new students must take part in a written commencement of studies exam. The purpose of the commencement of studies exam is to ascertain whether students have actually commenced their studies. The students must participate in and pass the commencement of studies exam in order to continue on the programme. If the students do not participate or do not pass the commencement the students must participate and pass the re-exam which is also a written exam. If the commencement of studies exam or the re-exam is not passed, the student will be discharged from their studies by October 1st. The commencement of studies exam is based on the introduction as well as the students’ expectations and motivation for the studies.

The students receive the assessment “Approved” or “Not approved” based on their answers on the written exam. The assessment “Approved” is received when the written exam is answered and handed in.


combination and master options

More about the programme

Facts About the Programme


  • English


  • Copenhagen


  • Not open for enrollment in 2019

See the Curriculum