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BIOTHECNOLOGIES Degree Program Profile


Basic Information

Qualification awarded

Laurea Degree in BIOTHECNOLOGIES

Qualification Type/Level

EHEA First Cycle; EQF level6

Number of Years/credits

3 years; 180 ECTS

Mode of Study

Full-Time/Part-Time*

*All Degree Programmes are planned and organised for full-time students. It is possible, however (without special arrangements), to proceed through the course of study at one's own rhythm. This makes it possible, if necessary, to accommodate employment or other non-university activities or obligations.

Name of Course Director and other contact information

President of the Degree Course Council:
Prof. Massimo Pasqualetti
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Department of BIOLOGY

Internationalization Coordinator (CAI)
Prof. Massimo Dal monte
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Language of Teaching

Italian

Admission Requirements

Formal Requirements

Certificate of completion of Italian upper secondary school or equivalent foreign qualification.

Possible assessment prior knowledge and competences

Obligatory selective/competitive entrance exam (numerus clausus).

Required knowledge and competences support programmes

Students who do not pass the entrance exam are required to take specific courses and/or complete extra reading to prepare for the programme.

General Information

Programme Profile

The Degree Programme in Biotechnologies has the main objective to prepare students with a solid background in cellular and molecular biology, structural and functional genomics, microbiology, physiological and pathological status, along with a good expertise in mathematics, chemistry and computing. The aim is to have graduates with the ability to plan and employ biotechnological solutions to resolve basic research problems, such as generation and selection of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells to be used as model organisms, production of novel compounds for industries and environment, as well as to design new molecular diagnostic and therapeutic tools. The Degree Program takes into consideration also bioethics rules as well as the economic benefits which may be intrinsically endowed with biotechnological applications, thus enabling the graduates with an overall biotechnological education to adequately enter the work environment.

Key Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Degree Program in Biotechnologies are expected to acquire: - Essential knowledge of basic biological and biomedical sciences in the perspective of biotechnological exploitation; - Deep knowledge of functional-structural genomics, DNA recombinant technologies and proteomics to generate both recombinant molecules and organisms and validate their impact on humans and environment ; - Design novel biopharmaceutical molecules and critically evaluate their effects in vitro and in vivo; - Understanding of the biochemical and biomolecular basis of physiology and physiopathology processes in animal organisms, humans included; - Ability to plan and validate biotechnological systems and devices for diagnosis of human diseases ; - Some ability in organizing scientific research projects for innovative industrial, environmental and biomedical technologies with respect of bioethical implications and economical benefits; - Basic knowledge of computing tools and computing languages.

Occupational Profile/s of Graduates

The graduates in Biotechnologies may find employment in both private and public laboratories particularly aimed to develop basic and applied research projects with biotechnological purposes. The degree prepares students to exert professional activities in several fields, including: - Generation of genetically modified organisms to produce new molecules of industrial interest, for environmental protection/preservation; - Design and production of novel molecules pharmacologically useful; - Development and validation of recombinant vaccines for the prevention and/or treatment of various types of human diseases; - Development and validation of molecular diagnostic systems to carry out analyses in the field of genomics, microbiology, immunology, biochemistry, cell biology, and clinical chemistry.

Access to further study

The Laurea Degree in BIOTHECNOLOGIES normally gives direct access to the corresponding Second Cycle degree programme. It also gives access to some other Second Cycle degree programmes, in which case extra work may be necessary for admission.

Assessment methods, examination regulations, and grading

Assessment is normally by means of an oral or written examination; in some cases there are intermediate exams during the course; other elements (participation in discussion, written or oral reports, comment of texts etc. ) are foreseen in specific course units and are described in the Course Unit Profiles.
The grading system for the course units consists of 30 possible points, plus 'lode' (cum laude) in case of excellence. Marks are given by the lecturer on the basis of performance as ascertained in a public examination by a board of at least two teachers. Main exam sessions are held in June/July; September; and January; students may resit exams**. Actual grading curves differ in different degree programmes. The University of Pisa provides an ECTS Grading Table, which shows the actual distribution, of examination and final grades among students of each degree programme, in order to facilitate comparison with other grading systems. ---> Link to ECTS Grading Table
An overall mark is given on occasion of the 'Final Exam', when a written research text is presented and discussed. The final overall mark is calculated on the results of the marks obtained in the single course units and the final exam, and is based on 110 possible points, with the possible further mention of honours ("lode" or cum laude).

**The exam sessions are organised in sessions (the dates vary according to the Department and are published in the Department's academic calendar). In each session there are a certain number of 'appelli' [calls], or dates on which the examination for each course unit may be taken. The 'appelli' are fixed by the teacher. The student chooses which of the appelli he or she wishes to respond to. In most cases it is obligatory to sign up before the specified date.

Requirements (regulations) to obtain the qualification

The learner must complete the curriculum/one of the 'curricula' (tracks) as described in the Table below. This includes obligatory and elective course units and other activities for a total of 180 credits.

The final dissertation, to which 6 ECTS credits are allocated, must show that the candidate has critically acquired the knowledge of the above mentioned professional skills.

Course structure diagram w/credits

Available Tracks

Track CURRICULUM UNICO

Year 1
065CC - ORGANIC CHEMISTRY 6 ECTS
279AA - MATHEMATICS 9 ECTS
053CC - GENERAL CHEMISTRY AND STOECHIOMETRY 9 ECTS
146BB - PHYSICS 9 ECTS
138ZW - KNOWLEDGE OF AT LEAST ONE FOREIGN LANGUAGE 3 ECTS
321EE - CELL AND ANIMAL BIOLOGY 12 ECTS
315GG - PRINCIPLES OF BIOECONOMY 6 ECTS
Year 2
113EE - BIOCHEMISTRY 9 ECTS
004FE - MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY 12 ECTS
123EE - METODOLOGIE BIOCHIMICHE 6 ECTS
231EE - HISTOLOGY AND HUMAN ANATOMY 9 ECTS
322EE - PLANT BIOLOGY AND PHYSIOLOGY 12 ECTS
278AA - INFORMATICA PER LE BIOTECNOLOGIE 6 ECTS
379EE - GENETICA E GENOMICA 12 ECTS
Year 3
257EE - CELL PHYSIOLOGY AND SYSTEMS PHYSIOLOGY 9 ECTS
140ZW - PROVA FINALE 6 ECTS
003EC - FARMACOLOGIA GENERALE E FONDAMENTI DI CHIMICA FARMACEUTICA 6 ECTS
035GG - BIOTECNOLOGIE PER IL MIGLIORAMENTO GENETICO 9 ECTS
309FF - IMMUNOLOGIA 6 ECTS
310FF - VIROLOGIA GENERALE E MOLECOLARE 6 ECTS
Group GR1 - Choice of 12 ECTS from:
    032GG - ANALYTICAL MICROBIOLOGY 6 ECTS
    338EE - BIOCHIMICA SPERIMENTALE I 3 ECTS
    339EE - BIOCHIMICA SPERIMENTALE II 3 ECTS
    378EE - ENZIMOLOGIA 6 ECTS
    380EE - METODOLOGIE BIOMOLECOLARI 3 ECTS
Group GR2 - Choice of 6 ECTS from:
    323EE - BIOTECNOLOGIE CELLULARI 6 ECTS
    377EE - BIOTECNOLOGIE DEI PROTISTI 6 ECTS

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