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Bachelor & Master Bioeconomy

Technology | Ecology | Society | Economy

Bioeconomics aims at the conversion of the raw material base from fossil to biogenic raw materials and builds a bridge between technology, ecology, society and economy as well as their interactions. This structural change involves the production and use of biological resources to provide products, processes and services in all economic sectors within the framework of a sustainable economic system. The courses of study in Bioeconomics train experts who can understand, accompany and shape this change. Overall, there are several areas of work for the bioeconomy:

In order to be able to accompany economic and social transformation processes, it is first necessary to understand the processes involved and the actors involved. This understanding of the bio-based economic system does not end at national borders, but includes regional considerations as well as the global effects of local action.

Secondly, the use of biogenic resources is not per se sustainable. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of sustainability and sustainable development as well as other concepts and strategies existing alongside the bioeconomy are required to achieve this. This includes in particular the approaches of closed-loop management and industrial ecology.

Thirdly, bioeconomics requires the participation of various scientific disciplines and their successful cooperation. These disciplines come from the social and economic sciences, the engineering sciences and the natural sciences.

Biobased and bioinspired innovations form the basis for advancing structural change. The potential of innovative products and markets as well as technologies for their implementation on the basis of biological resources are to be harnessed for industry and society.

The aim of the course is to train innovative graduates who have an understanding of the complexity of a necessary structural change. By combining topics from micro- and macroeconomics, chemistry, engineering and life sciences with comprehensive knowledge in the field of the efficient and sustainable use of biogenic resources, graduates will have an interdisciplinary understanding and will be able to develop solutions. They are able to adopt regional, national and global perspectives.

Bachelor Bioeconomy

Key data

Standard Duration of Studies
(Number of Semesters) / Credits


  • Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.)

Start of Degree Program

  • Winter semester

Application period

  • 15 May to 15 July

Required Language Proficiency

Language of instruction

  • German/English

Admission requirements

In addition to general or subject-specific university entrance qualifications, a good knowledge of German is a prerequisite for the Bachelor’s programme in Bioeconomics, as some modules are taught in German. After successful application, a basic and orientation examination (GOP) is held. This consists of the compulsory module examinations Microeconomics (VWL), Environmental Management, Organic Chemistry and Mathematics. It must be completed by the end of the 3rd semester at the latest and is a prerequisite for continuing your studies.

Admission Category

Costs per semester/financing

Study structure
In the first two semesters mathematical, scientific and economic basics are taught. Starting in the third semester, students will deepen their knowledge in engineering and natural science subjects (technical basics, chemical-chemical use, biological basics) as well as in economic topics (economics and economic policy, circular economy, management). In the fifth semester, a focus can be set on the basis of optional modules. The interdisciplinary elective module in the sixth semester combines two departments in order to work on concrete problems in a structured and interdisciplinary way. The course concludes with a Bachelor’s thesis.

Documents for students who started before winter semester 2021/22
Documents for students who started winter semester 2021/22 or later

Compulsory modules

1st semester

Mathematics | Microeconomics | General Chemistry | Physics | Cell and Microbiology | Environmental Management

2nd semester

Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry | Statistics | Introduction to Computer Science | Macroeconomics | Advanced Microeconomics | BWL 1 – Controlling and Supply Chain

3rd semester

Green Chemistry | Fundamentals of Thermodynamics | Forestry and Wood | Production of Biogenic Resources | BWL 2 – Accounting and Entrepreneurship | Material Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment

4th semester

Methods of the Empirical Bioeconomy | Introduction to Environmental and Resource Economics | Policy and Innovation | Circular Economy | Resource and Energy Management

5th semester

Bioprocess Engineering | Management Science for Bioeconomy | Elective Modules (total 20 ECTS)

6th semester

Evidence-based Management and Policy | Governance of the Bioeconomy | General Elective Module (total 5 ECTS) | Bachelor’s Thesis


Internship General Process Engineering | Behavioral Economics | Biochemistry | Basics of Material Biomass Utilization | Biopolymers | Chemical Reaction Engineering | Introduction to Development Economics | Finance | Markets NaWaRo | Energy and Economy | Energy Technology | Sustainable Management | Seminar in Innovation and Technology Management

Competences and skills

In concrete terms, graduates of the Bachelor’s programme in Bioeconomy acquire the following skills:

  • they understand business and economic processes and know models and methods for evaluating the effects of biobased innovations on companies, the economy and society.
  • They understand environmental and resource economic issues and know methods and procedures for evaluating them in companies, national economies and society and integrating them in decision-making.
  • they master mathematical and scientific methods to abstract and analyse problems in their basic structure they have basic knowledge of the natural and engineering sciences and know methods for analysis, modelling, simulation and design and are able to apply them
  • they are able to recognize and understand operational change processes
  • they can work successfully in a group and communicate their results
  • they are able to identify and structure inter- and transdisciplinary problems taking into account the business, economic and scientific framework conditions
  • they are able to independently acquire new knowledge in the relevant subject areas
  • they have become acquainted with selected fields of technology and are thus able to bridge the gap between basic natural and engineering sciences and economic applications
  • they have acquired non-technical qualifications by way of example and are thus sensitised to the non-technical requirements of a professional activity, particularly in the field of political processes
  • they are able to plan projects independently due to their interdisciplinary knowledge in the field of bioeconomics and are able to take up a correspondingly oriented professional activity in industry, research and consultancy
Job description

For the rapidly growing tasks in bioeconomics, university graduates with interdisciplinary understanding are needed. Bioeconomics graduates can support and shape a sustainable bio-based economy. In addition
The complex conversion of the raw material base from fossil resources to renewable raw materials in energy production and the chemical industry is a major challenge. Bio-economists are in demand in areas that deal with the production, use and economy of biogenic resources as well as with the establishment of sustainable processes.

Building on the Bachelor Bioeconomy, the Master’s programme Bioeconomy can be studied from the winter semester 2020/21 onwards. 

Master Bioeconomy

Key data

Standard Duration of Studies
(Number of Semesters) / Credits


  • Master of Science (M.Sc.)

Start of Degree Program

  • Winter semester
  • Summer semester

Application period

  • Winter semester: 01.04. – 31.05.
  • Summer semester: 01.10. – 15.01.

Required Language Proficiency

Language of instruction

  • English

Admission requirements

The Master’s program “Bioeconomy” addresses qualified students holding a university degree in economics or management. In the application process (aptitude assessment) the applicant’s professional suitability for the course of study as well as the courses and achievements in the preceding Bachelor’s programme are examined.

Admission Category

Costs per semester/financing

Study structure

The master’s degree program in Bioeconomy, including the master’s thesis, comprises four semesters of standard study time. Including the master thesis, the course of study has a total of 120 ECTS credits.

In addition to six compulsory subjects, two specialisations are offered: The Major in Social Sciences or the Major in (Bio-)Technology. Students who have already completed a combination of economics with engineering and natural sciences in their bachelor’s programme (for example, successful graduates of the B.Sc. Bioeconomics or the B.Sc. TUM-BWL with a focus on renewable resources), and who are aiming for a further technical-scientific specialisation, can choose a larger number of modules from the technical-scientific area. They then complete the Master Bioeconomy with a Major in (Bio-) Technology. Graduates who prefer a stronger focus on economics and social sciences can complete the Master Bioeconomy with a Major in Social Sciences.

The course is divided into the following four areas:

1st area: Fundamentals in Economics and Sustainability

Advanced Empirical Research, Operations Research, Behavioral Public Economics, Advanced Sustainability and Life Cycle Assessment, Advanced Environmental and Resource Economics, Sustainable Production

2nd area: Specialization in (Bio-)Technology

Microbial and Plant Biotechnology, Artificial Intelligence in Biotechnology, Biogenic Polymers, Biological Materials in Nature and Technology, Bioinspired Materials and Processes, Sustainable Chemistry, Modelling and Optimization of Energy Systems, Renewables Utilization, Chemistry of Enzymes, Enzyme Engineering, Enzymatic Biotransformation, Wood-based Resources, Advanced Concepts

3rd area: Electives in Social Sciences, Sustainability, and Technology

Green Chemistry | Fundamentals of Thermodynamics | Forestry and Wood | Production of Biogenic Resources | BWL 2 – Accounting and Entrepreneurship | Material Flow Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment

4th area: Master’s Thesis

Competences and skills

The social transformation towards a bioeconomy requires a sufficient number of decision-makers and experts in society, business, politics and research who, in addition to disciplinary knowledge, possess the necessary interdisciplinary skills, practical abilities and social competencies. The Bioecocomy Master’s program aims to provide students with these competences and skills so that they can act as innovators and mediators across disciplines to further develop, implement and disseminate the bioeconomic idea in society, industry, politics and research. In particular, the course of study is intended to promote out-of-the-box thinking for solving complex inter- and transdisciplinary problems. Students are thus able to grasp the interaction of new technologies and their dissemination with the socio-technical systems in which they are embedded, to recognize and absorb future developments and thus to develop holistically sustainable solutions and make decisions. Successful graduates of the master’s degree Bioecocomy can combine environmental compatibility and technological possibilities with the ideas of economic efficiency and social acceptance in their decision-making.

Accordingly, the qualification profile of the students of the Master’s degree program Bioeconomy includes the areas of knowledge, knowledge generation and application, the fields of communication and cooperation, and also the scientific and professional self-image in order to train internationally oriented, inter- and transdisciplinary experts and managers. Students acquire essential specialist and methodological knowledge for the bioeconomy in the fields of economics, sustainability sciences, engineering and natural sciences. Students learn the methods of the disciplines under consideration in order to be able to acquire knowledge independently in the future and to understand the discipline-specific forms of problem solving and decision-making. Ultimately, the aim is to develop linguistic expression in the relevant disciplines.

Students will be enabled to work together in inter- and transdisciplinary teams to develop solutions to questions of the bioeconomy. Since the bioeconomy is not only regionally or nationally limited, but is embedded in a globally networked and digital society, the course of study is internationally oriented and is therefore offered completely in English.

Job description

Due to the strong interdisciplinary profile, graduates are able to work across disciplines. Professional fields include public offices and international organisations that deal with the production, use and national and international markets of biogenic resources and generally the establishment of more sustainable processes, but also companies that are active or want to become active in this field. Graduates* of the program can be employed in all areas in which complex and systemic inter- and transdisciplinary thinking is the basis for international entrepreneurial and economic success.

More Info

Further information on application and admission as well as binding regulations on the course of studies and examinations can be found in the study database of the TUM:

Contact Person

Viola Probst
Viola Probst, M.Sc.

Program Manager Bioeconomy

Phone: +49 (0) 9421 187-145

TUM Campus Straubing
Petersgasse 5
94315 Straubing

PG5, Room: 00.3503.005

Contact Student Advising

You have questions about the application, admission or administrative
processes in your studies?
Please have your application or matriculation number ready, if available.

Student Advising Munich

Arcisstraße 21
Room 0144
D-80333 Munich

Phone: +49 (0) 89 289-22245

Phone and opening hours
Appointments only by arrangement

Student Advising Straubing

Petersgasse 5
Room: 00.3503.009
D-94315 Straubing

Phone: +49 (0) 9421 187-166

More Information

Find additional information in the OASA’s wiki.