ESA - Agrarian School

Objectives and Skills

The aim of the undergraduate degree in Biotechnology is to prepare professionals able to develop, implement and control biotechnological processes. The course is designed for degree completion in three years, according to the guidelines of the Bologna Process framework, and seeks to provide students with broad practical training and education in the various biotechnology fields:

  • Agricultural biotechnology
  • Food biotechnology
  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Applications

In the Agricultural Biotechnology field, the course provides skills to develop biotechnological applications to improve plant characteristics, to prevent plant diseases and to promote pest control.

In the Food Biotechnology field, the course is designed to provide specialised training regarding the introduction and implementation of new biotechnology processes and products in agri-food chain. These include the identification and selection of target microorganisms and the use of processes and technologies to develop new food products with specific nutritional requirements (e.g. functional foods) or sensorial properties (e.g. colour or flavour), together with the operation, development and optimization of food traceability techniques and food preservation/processing technologies.

In the Environmental Biotechnology area, the course provides skills to identify and select microorganisms and plants involved in specific environmental processes and to develop and implement bioprocesses, gaseous emissions control, bioremediation of contaminated sites, waste and wastewater treatment and valorization with by-products and energy recovery, thus contributing to circular economy.

The industrial biotechnology course unit aims to provide students with a set of theoretical and practical interdisciplinary knowledge in areas such as by-products valorization and production of high added value products – biorefinery concept: bio-based chemicals, biomaterials, biofuels; applications in pulp & paper and textile industries, and nanotechnologies applications in industrial processes.

In the biomedical and pharmaceutical field, the course will provide students with knowledge and skills to assess the potential of biomaterials for biomedical applications, as well as to develop biotechnological processes, techniques and products useful for the pharmaceutical industry.

Course Coordinator

Ana Cristina Pontes de Barros Rodrigues

Career opportunities

According to the training foreseen in the curricular plan, this professional may assume technical and management functions in the following domains: regulation, control and management of the quality of agrifood products, improvement of the quality and the safety of agri-food products, plague control, environmental quality control and management and research and innovation of biotechnological processes.

The employment areas are public administration organisms (Institute of Water, Nature Conservation Institute), regional organisms (Coordination Commissions, Regional Directions of Agriculture and Fishery, Regional Associations of Health, etc.) and local organisms (Municipal districts; Local Technical Support Associations), public and private laboratories, private companies in all domains of biotechnology and Innovation, Research and Development Centres.


Study programme