Informationen für:

 Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (Master)

 Fakultät Life Sciences

In which career fields will I work?

Biotechnology is a key technology. The hitherto education in biotechnology at HAW Hamburg has experienced a quite heterogeneous positioning of our graduates on the employment market. Graduates can work both in the areas of production or development in industry or in research institutes.

Typical fields of activity can be grouped as follows:

  • Development, testing, and characterization of biotechnological apparatus and equipment
  • Development, production and packaging of immunological and biomolecular reagents and test kits
  • Production of medicinal substances with bacteria, yeasts and mammalian cells in bioreactors
  • Biomolecular and immunological diagnostic in the medicinal and pharmaceutical sector
  • Typical activities in production: raw materials production and processing, analysis, formulation of the final product, product safety, marketing authorization of drugs, filling and labelling, logistic, quality control and safety, qualification of process plants
  • Project management of biotechnological plants or biological safety representative of bio- or gentechnological plants
  • Biotechnological energy production: ethanol, methane and hydrogen from biomasses or energy plants
  • Analytical and diagnostic services in the medicinal and pharmaceutical sector
  • Engagement at regulatory authorities (i.e. environmental or health authority) and freelance activities (patents, consulting, corporate foundations)

Also ambiguous activities in the international business are accessible and chances for executive functions are disclosed. Graduates are qualified to join a doctorate program subsequently of this master program.

What is the content of the degree programme?

The master program Pharmaceutical Biotechnology is a consecutive, discovery-led course based on a bachelor degree in the field of biotechnology or closely related fields. It is aimed at improving professional knowledge in the area of biotechnological processes in the pharmaceutical industry, taking into account a rapid developing industry. It also fosters the interdisciplinary competences of students in research and development.

Seven modules are offered in the first academic year, subdivided into lectures, seminars, practical courses and projects. Soft skills and key qualifications are acquired within the courses.
In the module "Biopharmaceutical Production" students will be enabled to understand about and how to conceive bioprocesses. Furthermore, they learn about the complexity of integrated bioprocesses and to develop new processes on their own initiative.
In the modules "Bioprocess Automation" and "Process Simulation" students will learn to monitor biotechnological processes by sophisticated on-line instrumentation. They will be introduced into the fundamentals of system theory, in order to analyze and to critically question existing biotechnological processes. Consequently, this will allow simulating biotechnological processes as well as process controlling strategies with the aid of computer programs.
In accordance to the common progression during developing new pharmaceutical ingredients, the modules "Pharmaceutical Technology", "Cell Culture Techniques" and "Bioanalytics" are enclosed. Students will learn about the common succession of target identification, production and administration of drugs. They will know about the relevance of pharmacological parameters and will get familiar with quality control and quality assurance of newly developed products. In praxis they can recommend suitable process conditions and can realise them in a team of students at their own responsibility. They can also identify developments and improvements in a self-contained manner.
Consolidation of various key competences is aimed at the module "Biotechnological Research" but also in all the different activities during the study program. Individual or a group of students will introduce lecture contributions based on new developments as well as research results from projects vis-à-vis a plenum where topics will be discussed. In the Research Seminar the character of an exploratory institution will be realised.

The study ends with the master thesis, where students prove their interdisciplinary competence in research and development. A period of 6 months is allowed for completion.

What is particular to the degree programme?
 Teaching and assessments are predominantly in English language, but German is spoken in all laboratories and is the predominant language at the University. Therefore, knowledge in German language is needed. Enrolees graduated at a Fachhochschule (polytechnic or equivalent) and having a diploma or equivalent degree in a related degree program may be appointed to follow a customized course program comprising specific degree subjects and core competences of the master program and specialisation of the enrolee. This customized program must be approved by the advisor and the examining board. Study programs in Biology or Pharmacology, for example, do not qualify to enrol in this master program due to missing engineering subjects.
If in the previous degree program an internship (i.e. industrial placement) was missing, a relevant professional experience for a period of 20 weeks must be integrated.
Applicants who acquired 180 ECTS credit points (e.g., 6 semesters bachelor) enclosing an internship in the previous degree program will be asked to successfully complete courses from the bachelor program Biotechnologie (course language is German!) or related degree programs accounting 30 ECTS credit points.
The master program was certified by ASIIN in 2009.
Are there special requirements for foreign students applicants?

Foreign applicants are advised to clarify questions regarding study possibilities, admission requirements, the degree program and acceptance of foreign reports and certificates in due time before travelling to Germany, preferably one year in advance of the designated begin of studies.
They need a polytechnic degree or a study being equivalent to a German engineer, i.e. a strongly technically orientated study. A study of Natural Sciences, like sole Biology or Chemistry, is not equivalent.
Information can be found online: and

How do I apply?

Applications for all Master programs are made online. The online process is only activated during the application period. It is not possible to apply outside of the application periods. You can find more information under

online-application.html  or send an email to

When can I apply?
  The degree program admits students  for the winter- and the summersemester. Application periods: 1st June - 15th July and 1st December  - 15th January.
What are the entry requirements?
  1. First degree as Bachelor (in related disciplines) qualifying for a professional career or a comparable course of studies of at least three years or a Diploma of a university (minimum grade 2,5).
  2. Knowledge of English language proven by Abitur - oder Fachhochschulzeugnis (s. Auswahlordnung) or accepted certificates: TOEFL-test (at least 87 points internet-based), IELTS (minimum Band 5.5) or CAE, CPE, FCE (minimum C) or certificates about good performance in foreign countries.
  3. Applicants holding a first academic degree (bachelor, diploma etc.) from non-EU-countries: Graduate Record Examination (GRE); further information at
  4. Curriculum vitae.
  5. Statement of motivation.
  6. Letter of recommendation from a university professor (optional)

In case the final grade is worse than 2.5 it might be compensated by a proof of exceptional professional work.

Important note for applicants with 180 CPs (ECTS) for courses which require 210 CPs (ECTS) from the first degree: Applicants who possess 180 credit points (ECTS) from their bachelor degree must acquire a further 30 credit points. Applicants can find out from the department concerned which examinations and tuition must be completed. They will then be temporarily admitted and enrolled for one term in order to complete the missing 30 credit points. After the end of the first semester, the department will inform the student administration centre and the examination office which of the students who had been provisionally admitted gained the missing 30 credit points and which did not.

Important for applicants who have not done 20 weeks of industrial internship during or after their first degree studies: These applicants can be temporarily admitted and enrolled under the requirement of catching-up missing weeks of practice within the master program. This will probably prolong the total time of study. Details will be defined by the department.

When do lectures start?

Lectures start as follows:  Summersemester 2016: March 7th 2016, Wintersemester 2016/17: September 12th 2016.
Further information is available on our homepage

How long is the degree programme?
 3 semesters
Do I need to complete a pre-study placement?
 No, there is no need for any practical experience in advance for the Master's degree. All important requirements for your application can be found at point 9 \"What are the entry requirements for this degree programme?\"
Do I have to pay fees?

All students have to pay a semester contribution of 317,90 EUR .
This includes 75,- EUR for the service of the Students' Organisation Hamburg (Studentenwerk Hamburg),  18,50 EUR for the work done by the self-governing Student Administration (AStA), 4,50 EUR for the Semsterticket-Härtefond and 169,90 EUR for the semester ticket allowing unlimited travel on Hamburg's public transport system. It also includes an administrative fee of 50,- EUR.

Besides of the semester contribution there are no further tuition fees.

Which degree qualification will I be awarded?
 Master of Science (M.Sc.)
Who can help me with questions regarding Application and Admission

HAW Master Admissions Office
20099 Hamburg (Campus Berliner Tor)
Stiftstraße 69, 20099 Hamburg

T +49.40.428 75-9155/-9156/-9157
Open office hours: Mo-Tu 11-1 am, Thur 2-5 am
Info Center: Mo-Thur 10-4 am, Fr 10-13 am
Telephone hours: Mo + Tu 9-10 am, Thurs 9-11 am

Hotline +49.40.42875-9898
Mo- Thur 8 - 5 am, Fr 8 - 5 am

... specific questions about the contents of degree programme
 Prof. Dr. Gesine Cornelissen
Ulmenliet 20, Room BT 2
21033 Hamburg, Germany
Tel.: + 49.40.428 75 6295 (consulting hours only)
... general questions about degree programmes

General Student Advisory Team
Stiftstraße 69
D-20099 Hamburg (Campus Berliner Tor)
Tel.: + 49.40.428 75-9110 
Office hours: Mon + Tue 11am - 1pm, Thur 2pm - 5pm
Telephone advisory service: Mon + Tue 10am - 11am, Thur 1pm - 2p

... questions about studying being handicapped/suffering from a chronic desease

Disabilities Representative
Meike Butenob
Alexanderstraße 1, 20099 Hamburg, Room 4.10
Tel. +49.40.428 75-7220
Counselling hours

Additional information can find on our website 

Fakultät Life Sciences

Department Biotechnologie

Ulmenliet 20, 21033 Hamburg

Letzte Änderung: 17.10.14

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