Implementation of the education

Degree Programme in Biotechnology (CBIOT), Programme syllabus for studies starting in autumn 2009

Last edit: 20/01/2011
Approved: 20/01/2011

Structure of the education

The school year is normally divided into 4 study periods and two or three courses are taken simultaneously at each period. Teaching and examination methods vary between courses. Normally, a proportion of the course is lectures, which gives an introduction with the concepts and theories. Exercises, seminars and laboratory work enhance the understanding of the theoretical relationship. In order to create a continuity of the program, collaboration between courses is emphasized. The programme is completed by doing a Master’s thesis equivalent to 30 credits. The programme’s first two years are devoted mainly to courses in mathematics and chemistry. Applied Biotechnology courses are the dominating subjects in the third year. The courses in year three are completed by doing a project course that can be used as bachelor's thesis and consequently the completing course for the Bachelor's degree. Courses at advanced level in the focus areas are studied in year four and five.To receive a Degree of Master of Science in Engineering, the students should have passing grades in all the mandatory and optional courses, which including the thesis will comprise 300 ECTS. The student must have fulfilled the selected specialization profile. The courses included in the
Biotechnology programme are listed in the course list for year 1-3 and for the specialization profiles.


The programme is course-based. Lists of courses are included in Appendix 1: Course list

The course list can be found in appendix 1.

Grading system

Courses in the first and the second cycle are graded on a scale from A to F. A-E are passing grades, A is the highest grade. The grades pass (P) and fail (F) are used for courses under certain circumstances.

A seven scaled grading system from A-F is used for courses at basic and advanced level at KTH. A-E are passing grades, where A is the highest grade. The grades pass (P) and fail (F) are used for courses under certain circumstances. The grade Fx implies an opportunity to complement a failed grade to the passing grade E.

Conditions for participation in the programme

Enrolment notification and term registration
Before every term (1-15th May and 1-15th November), a term enrolment must be submitted via to the study advisor at the programme office for Biotechnology, BIO students office.

Your enrolment notification constitutes the foundation for the office’s planning and that you are registered for the programme. 
Term registration is required in order for you study results to be registered and for CSN to distribute student aid.

Temporary Postponement
Temporary postponement means that the student does not participate in the programme during at least one study period. If temporary postponement is approved, the student has the right to return to the studies at a pre-determined point in time. During the temporary postponement, the student is able to complete and participate in examinations in incomplete courses.

Notification of temporary postponement is done on a form which is submitted to the students office which processes it. When the student intends to resume the studies, it is necessary for the student to submit a separate notification.

Course Selection
Application to courses
The student is responsible from study year 1 and on to apply to compulsory, conditionally elective and optional courses which are included in the programme which he/she is studying. Application for admission to courses will be made at the web at, at the latest:

  • 15th of May for the fall term
  • 15th of November for the spring term.

Applications which are submitted after the deadline are only taken into consideration with regards to space considerations.  Before course selection of language courses, a test must be taken to determine the appropriate level study.

Course registration
Registration of a course requires that the course has been selected in Ladok.  The course selection is done whether via the course selection routine on the web, or via the BIO students office.  Registration of a course is done by the course’s department.

The student must, at the first scheduled lecture, register him/herself in the course. Course registration in both compulsory and optional courses must be done individually (at the department). If the student registers a course and then decides to not continue with the course, then the student must notify the corresponding department as soon as possible.

Conditions for being promoted to the next level
The following promotion requirements apply in order to participate in the next level of the education.

Requirements for promotion from grade 1 to grade 2:
A total of at least 45 higher education credits from study year 1  to be completed.

Requirements for promotion from grade 2 to grade 3:
A total of at least 90 higher education credits from study years 1 and 2 must be completed at least 50 higher education credits from study year 1.

Requirements for promotion from grade 3 to grade 4:
A total of at least 150 higher education credits from study years  1-3 must be completed, and at least 110 higher education credits from study year 1-2, and a degree project, first level.

Requirements for promotion from grade 4 to grade 5:
In addition to what applies for promotion to grade 4, at least 45 higher education credits from study year 4 must be completed.

Students who have not fulfilled the above requirements must consult with their study advisor to construct an individual study plan for the continuation of studies. 

Choice of Masters Program
Study year 3, during the fall term (1-15 november), the students applies for a Masters programme he/she intends to follow study year 4 and 5

For more information about the Masters programme given within the degree programme, in Biotechnology, see descriptions in appendix 2, and programme plans for the masters programme.

Admission for Masters programme
Before the fall term starts, the student must have achived following to start a Masters programme.

  • Requirements for promotion from grade 3 to grade 4, Masters programme:
    A total of at least 150 higher education credits from study years  1-3 must be completed, and at least 110 higher education credits from study year 1-2, and a degree project, first level, for a degree of bachelor of science.

Students who have not fulfilled the above requirements must consult with their study advisor to construct an individual study plan for the continuation of studies. 

Recognition of previous academic studies

The student has the right to transfer course credits from the college / university within or
outside the country. The precondition is that the course / courses are of such a nature and have such an extent that they basically correspond to the qualification criteria for the programme.
In the case of whole courses, it must be checked by the programme director. Part of a course is checked by the examiner.


Courses that in contents overlap with another or other courses in the programme cannot be counted within the framework of the 300 credits, which is the basis for the degree. 

Studies abroad

Students in the program have the opportunity to study one academic year or one semester abroad at a foreign institution, which KTH is cooperating with. The students don’t need to pay the fees which would otherwise be charged by foreign students. Exchange studies can be done in the third, fourth and fifth year of the programme. It is also possible to do the Master’s thesis abroad.Information about studying abroad is given by the international coordinators at the student office of BIO, which also provide information on current application period. The students can find the application forms at the student Office.After evaluation, the exchange studies can count as part of the programme. The outgoing student must set up a "Learning Agreement" with the programme director, which implies the prior approval of the exchange studies. The studies are normally given in the language spoken in the selected country / region. There are opportunities, for those who are accepted to the exchange programme in German-, French-, Spanish-and Italian-speaking countries, to follow a preparatory language course before the regular semester begins.

Degree project

The program includes a Master’s thesis of 30 credits. That means about 20 weeks of full-time studies. The thesis must be done in the chosen focus area of the programme. The thesis project should provide the students an insight into a research and development projects. It may also be of investigative nature. The thesis is graded according to the scale A-F, based on the KTH-common assessment and criteria. In the thesis project, students demonstrate the ability to independently apply the knowledge they have acquired during the studies. The student may start with the thesis when 230 credits are achieved. Exemption can be granted after a checkup by the programme director. It is the responsibility of the examiner to ensure that students have the in-depth studies in the focus area, as regarded above. The project may be carried out either in an academic environment or in an industrial setting. It can also be carried out abroad. Examiner for the thesis is appointed by the programme director and should always be a teacher, who is employed at the Biotechnology Institute. The programme director may grant dispensation for doing the thesis supervised by other teachers at KTH as an examiner, in an area related to Biotechnology, after agreement with the institution and the examiner. Supervisors are appointed by the examiner. Several supervisors can be appointed. If the thesis is performed in a company, a supervisor should also be appointed at the company.
Before the thesis is started, it must be approved by the examiner and recorded by the School of Biotechnology, when an application, “Degree projects and Project courses”, is handed in to the Student Office of Biotechnology in AlbaNova.The thesis project will consist of literature search, experimental and / or theoretical work. It will be presented both in a written statement in English, and orally at a seminar. It is the responsibility of the examiner to ensure that the thesis is performed and presented as above.


To receive a Degree of Master of Science in Engineering passing grades in all courses included in the student's study plan, are required. The study plan consists of the mandatory courses, the recommended and / or conditionally elective courses that the students have followed and the thesis. The study plan should include at least 300 credits. For receiving a degree certificate, the student need to apply for it on an application form and provide a copy of a student union card, copy of receipts or a certificate from the student union for paid union fee.