Why this programme?
As the planet is running out of fossil fuels, alternative resources for materials and plastics need to be identified and developed. We need a new generation of scientists to discover new materials and sustainable production methods that make use of biological resources. This provides an opportunity for the development of novel materials with completely new material properties. The master’s programme in Biobased Materials allows you to play a part in this revolution, preparing you for a career in the research, development, production and application of biobased materials.
As a Biobased Materials student, you'll be part of an intellectual community in which staff and students together create a learning environment that fosters the desire to learn and develop. It's easy to get to know your fellow students and professors, and the richness of their diverse backgrounds adds to the discussions you'll have both inside and outside of class. Our location at Chemelot creates the possibility for close contact with local companies and research institutes that are becoming part of this community through our work together.
- Multi-disciplinary programme
- Open curriculum that allows you to build your own programme
- Clear connection to relevant developments within science, industry and society
- Direct links to local industry involved in research and development
- Classes at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus
- Opportunities to meet potential future employers
- Unique way of learning materials science at Master’s level, using Problem-Based Learning and Research-Based Learning
- State-of-the-art laboratory facilities
- Development of both knowledge and skills
As with many Maastricht University programmes, the master’s in Biobased Materials is taught using Problem-Based Learning (PBL). You will work in small groups of about 12 students on real-life topics and problems facing researchers working at the Chemelot Campus. You conduct discussions, exchange knowledge and formulate your learning goals as a group.
Instructors act as facilitators, giving help as it is needed. This allows you to build independence and develop problem-solving skills that you’ll need in the field. By actively addressing real cases, you better grasp the theory and learn to apply your insights to a variety of situation. Additionally, you gain essential professional skills, such as presenting your viewpoint, debating, writing persuasively and working in teams.
During the programme, you will conduct your own research projects. In small groups, you will design your own experiments and get the opportunity to research innovative materials, new material properties, alternative production methods or novel applications of biobased materials. Your imagination is the limit.
The master’s in Biobased Materials takes PBL one step further by incorporating research into the equation through Research-Based Learning (RBL). In RBL, you work on contemporary research topics as part of your studies. In addition, practical skills trainings are incorporated into the courses. During the two group research projects you will have in your first year, you will integrate your theoretical knowledge with academic skills such as scientific argument, experimental design and communication skills. You will also explore creative ways to find solutions to genuine research problems from academic and industrial practices.
RBL gives you the opportunity to study both fundamental and more applied research problems that are yet to be solved. This allows you to interact directly with the local industry and research institutes that have offices on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus and allows them to exchange ideas and stay on top of developments in the academic work.
Master’s thesis project
The biggest part of the second year is dedicated to a master’s thesis research project. This is an individual research project that spans 8 months. You can do the project with an academic or industrial research group of your choice. You will outline your research plan and conduct your research within the research group. Your research will form the basis of your master’s thesis, which you will present to a panel of specialists.
Brightlands Chemelot Campus
The Brightlands Chemelot Campus is an industrial site where a variety of research institutes form one of the most innovative chemical and materials communities in Europe. In this environment, which has the exchange of ideas at its heart, companies and students benefit from shared knowledge, short distances, excellent facilities and open innovation. As a Biobased Materials student, you will conduct your studies, research and practical work with experts in the heart of industry.
PREMIUM honours programme
Want to gain that extra edge by getting real-world experience during your studies? The PREMIUM honours programme will help you gain the experience and develop the skills employers are looking for. As part of a team of students and under the guidance of our academic staff, you’ll spend about three months working on a real-world assignment for a company, NGO or educational institution.
Department of Biobased Materials
The curriculum of this master’s programme is developed in close collaboration with the Department of Biobased Materials. The researchers of this department comprise a multidisciplinary group that focuses on the development of novel biobased materials and their production techniques. The Biobased Materials education and research programme are aligned with the Biobased Materials development chain, which demonstrates the multidisciplinary nature of this field of study.