The cell is the building block of life - the smallest unit with the characteristics of living systems. Life Science & Technology draws on fundamental and applied knowledge from the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Technology, Informatics, Pharmacology and Mathematics to unlock the secrets of the cell and understand its mechanisms.
This offers great promise not only on the theoretical level, but also for very practical applications: in developing cleaner industrial processes, better medicines, and more effective methods for combating diseases, in facilitating the isolation of enzymes for the development of improved foodstuffs, and in countless other applications.
Theory and practice
This programme aims to equip you with knowledge and expertise on the fundamental level and to familiarise you with the technologies inherent to practical applications of that knowledge. As a graduate of the programme, you will be prepared for a career in either an industrial or an academic environment. Career opportunities for graduates of the programme abound in biotechnological, food, and biopharmaceutical industries, the healthcare profession.
The MSc programme in Life Science & Technology comes in three "flavours", each of which finds its expression in track-specific courses and in the subject of the Master's research project. Each track has a somewhat different emphasis, as described below.
* Biochemical Engineering:
* Cell Factory
Combining different tracks
Choosing any particular track will not in any way limit your job opportunities. In any case, the timetable for the programme has been set up to make it possible to follow two (or even three) tracks at the same time. This gives you the possibility to first sample the different flavours, and only later in the first year to definitively choose a particular track.
Without biocatalysis - the use of natural catalysts to effect chemical processes and transformations - beer and cheese would not exist. But biocatalysis is also vitally important for the production of chemicals and pharmaceutical products, and biocatalysts are integral to many biotechnological applications.
An ancient science with a firm place in the future
TU Delft maintains a world class programme in biocatalysis. The multidisciplinary programme draws on knowledge across a range of emerging life science technologies to gain deeper understanding of biocatalytic processes, to use that knowledge to improve the efficiency of existing biocatalytic processes, and to explore new applications based on biocatalysis.
What you will learn
The Biocatalysis track integrates enzymological, bio-organic, bio-inorganic and protein-analytical knowledge, with the aim of imparting an understanding of the principles of biocatalysis. The track covers theoretical aspects of biocatalysis and practical knowledge - both of which are essential to the process of determining the structure and function of single or multiple enzymes.
In particular, the students will learn about modern kinetic, analytical and computer graphical methods used in present day protein/peptide/enzyme research. As catalysts, enzymes are essential proteins in all living organisms. They are also used in numerous industrial conversions. The track gives students insight and understanding into:
* dealing with enzymes in practice,
* studying enzyme properties, structures, functions and possible links to disease, and
* selecting the most suitable enzymes for specific industrial applications.
Track Biochemical Engineering
In a world where we are challenged to develop sustainable industrial processes, biochemical engineering offers great promise. Biochemical engineering is essential, for example, to develop and manage the processes by which micro-organisms such as yeasts and bacteria are used to make products that could only be fabricated until recently with classical industrial chemistry.
Biochemical engineers are deeply involved in research and the development of green alternatives to many processes that simply cannot otherwise be continued over the longer term. In fact, biochemical engineers are playing a crucial role in many fields, including the development, design and production of vitamins, hormones, drugs, vaccines, diagnostics, bioplastics, and biofuels; the processing of food and drink; the cleaning of wastewater and the recycling of waste streams.
Engineering breakthroughs in human health, agriculture, industry and environmental science
The Biochemical Engineering track is concerned with new processes that involve cells or constituent parts of cells such as enzymes, and which are based on sustainable feedstocks. Bioprocess engineers are essential for a wide range of applications including the production of vitamins, drugs, vaccines, diagnostics , bioplastics, and biofuels; the manufacture of foods and drinks; the cleaning of wastewater; and the recycling of waste streams.
What you will learn
Students learn how to design bioprocesses and gain an awareness of the importance of a solid understanding of the underlying cellular, molecular and physical principles for the engineering aspects of bioprocesses. The teaching of the basics of biochemical engineering is integrated into (and often supplemented by) individual research projects in engineering and biotechnology. A quantitative approach is used, involving mathematical modelling and computer tools.
Graduates of the programme will have knowledge of applications involving microbial organisms, systems and processes and the skills to move into a wide range of positions in this exciting and increasingly important field.
Track Cell Factory
Although humans have long exploited living cells to produce useful products - alcohol, cheese, and bread are examples from the dawn of civilisation - it has only been in the last half century or so that the technologies have existed to control those processes in such a way as to really be able to speak of a 'cell factory'. It is now possible to control and manipulate living cells to harvest a wide variety of substances produced in these 'factories'.
Those substance range from proteins and amino acids to solvents and plastics, with applications of great value not only in commercial and industrial sectors, but also in health care and food production. Cell factories may also present opportunities for sustainable production systems and for the development of new, biodegradable chemical products.
Using cells as production systems
The Cell Factory track focuses on the design, understanding and optimisation of living cells as environmentally and economically sustainable production systems. The track offers courses which provide students with the fundamental knowledge needed to use (microbial) cells and communities for the production of valuable substances ranging from food ingredients to fuels. The embedding of this track in TU Delft's MSc Programme in Life Science and Technology ensures that students joining the Cell Factory track will learn how to integrate and communicate knowledge drawn from fast-changing fields such as systems biology, synthetic biology and community engineering of industrial micro-organisms with the specialist knowledge inherent to bioprocess engineering and biocatalysis.
What you will learn
The programme provides its graduates with both the theoretical underpinnings of cell factories and an understanding of the engineering and industrial requirements for exploiting the enormous potential of the cell as a production system. Graduates will, accordingly, find excellent career opportunities in academia and in industry.
Numerous scholarships are awarded to admitted students with exceptional promise and outstanding academic achievement by the university, its faculties, departments and industry partners. Consideration for these scholarships requires students to have been admitted to their MSc Programme. Make sure you submit your application as early as possible to be in time for all the scholarship deadlines. More information: