2nd Cycle Degree/2 year Master in Animal Biotechnology

Degree programme

Programme type 2nd Cycle Degree/2 year Master
Academic Year 2018/2019
Code 8522
Degree Programme Class LM-9 - Pharmaceutical, Veterinary and Medical biotechnologies.
Years in which the programme is being held All (1st and 2nd year)
Type of access Open access with assessment of personal competencies
Place of teaching Ozzano dell' Emilia
Degree Programme Director Barbara Brunetti
Language Italian

Admission requirements and assessment of previously acquired knowledge/competences

Admission requirements for the degree programme

1.1 Admission requirements

To be able to profitably follow the 2nd cycle degree programme in Animal Biotechnologies, applicants must have previous knowledge of Biology, Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics.

Admission to the 2nd cycle degree programme is also subject to the possession of the following curricular requirements:

1. A 1st cycle degree in one of the following classes, or other suitable qualification obtained abroad:

ex Italian Ministerial Decree no. 270:

Class L-2 Biotechnologies

Class L-13 Biological Sciences

Class L-38 Zootechnical and Animal Production Sciences and Technologies

Class LM-42 Veterinary Medicine

ex. Italian Ministerial Decree no. 509/99:

Class 1 Biotechnologies

class 12 Biological Sciences

Class 40 - Zootechnical and Animal Production Sciences and Technologies

Class 47/S Veterinary Medicine

Degree from the previous five-year system in Biological Sciences or Biotechnologies.


2. At least 40 CFU credits in one or more of the following subject areas:

BIO/05; BIO/09 BIO/12; BIO/18; BIO/19; CHIM/01-CHIM/12; FIS/01-FIS/08; MAT/01-MAT/09; SECS-S/02

If the above curricular requirements (degree certificate and/or above-mentioned credits) are not met, admission to the 2nd Cycle Degree Programme is subject to a preliminary assessment by a Board to ascertain the required skills and competencies through an interview.

The Board, composed of two professors or research fellows of the Faculty, appointed by the Degree Programme Board, will establish a calendar for the interviews to be held between September and December, which will be published on the degree programme website.

If the Board considers the level of the candidates' knowledge and skills to be satisfactory, they will be allowed to enrol in a test to assess their personal competencies and skills.

1.2 Assessment of language skills

Admission to the degree programme is subject to the assessment of knowledge and skills in the English language, to level B1 by the University Linguistic Centre.

Students holding a corresponding language certification may be exempted from sitting this exam.

The Degree Programme may require students to recover any initial deficit in the event of them being assessed to below level B1 on admission.

1.3 Assessment of personal competencies and skills

Admission to the 2nd cycle degree programme is subject to the possession of the described curricular requirements and to the assessment of the students' personal competences and skills. This is done through the assessment of the candidates' curriculum, which may be followed by an interview, the methods, criteria and procedures of which will be set by the Degree Programme Board and published in advance on the degree programme website.

Second Cycle Degree Programmes may include a specific session for international students, appointing a Board to assess personal competences and skills, compatibly with the schedule laid down in the call for applications for study grants (the deadline of which is indicatively in May).

International students who pass the above-mentioned assessment are exempted from the following assessment of their personal competencies and skills required for other students.

Programme profile

The degree programme in Animal Biotechnologies sets out to train professional figures able to perform and coordinate research and analyses linked to the cellular and molecular aspects of animal health, and consequently human health.

Graduates are able to perform basic and applied research in a range of sectors including veterinary medicine, pharmacology, diagnostics, epidemiology and food safety.

They may particularly work in animal research to study human diseases, significantly contributing to the scientific bases of innovative approaches to diagnosis and treatment of disease, including gene therapy, stem cells and reproductive biotechnologies.

They may also work in the technical and sales areas of companies specialising in human and animal nutrition.

After sitting the state exam and registering with the National Association of Biologists, they may also hold management positions in analytical laboratories.

Graduates are particularly able to perform the following:

1) laboratory activities to study and identify cures for animal diseases;

2) in vivo and in vitro modelling to study human diseases;

3) laboratory activities linked to reproductive biotechnologies;

4) food hygiene, quality and safety.

The adopted learning model is inductive, based on a learning process that develops a simultaneous mix of basic, technical, professional and transversal knowledge.

The curriculum is structured in four areas of knowledge:

- DIAGNOSTICS This theoretical and practical knowledge starts with basic cell and molecular techniques, developing through a range of disciplines aiming on one hand to identify specific pathological conditions in animals and on the other to study in-depth the models and progression of the diseases as a result of interference factors including drugs, innovative foods, genetics, etc.

- ANIMAL MODELS This highly interdisciplinary knowledge is gained in all course units, allowing students to understand the possibilities afforded by spontaneous and induced models of animal diseases. These models are considered fundamental instruments for the study of human diseases and syndromes and the effectiveness of conventional or innovative pharmacological approaches including gene therapy, stem cells, nutrigenomics. These competences are not strictly linked to a specific professional activity, but can be applied to medical, pharmacological, zootechnical research, or the food industry, and become part of the researchers' professional heritage, allowing them to develop a holistic vision of the problem studied, which, together with communication, interpersonal, decision making and problem solving skills, is essential to work in a team leader capacity in research projects or industrial R&D activities.

- REPRODUCTION These highly specialist competences are closely linked to a specific professional context, allowing graduates to work with animal embryos and gametes, also in genetic manipulation, transgenic organisms and cloning. These competences, combined with genetic skills and the ability to establish and use stem cells, provide the grounding to work in both animal and human research and clinical activities.

- FOOD QUALITY AND SAFETY In their dual role as both consumers and food source, animals are heavily involved in the food safety and quality process. Knowledge of biochemistry of nutrition and traditional and functional foods, etiopathogenesis and principles of prevention and control of transmissible diseases, the principles of legislation and molecular analytical methods are decisive skills allowing graduates to work in this specific professional area.

The ability to apply knowledge and understanding is developed through lectures and a significant amount of seminars, group work, practical activities and exercises, field trips, a curricular internship and the production of the final dissertation. The latter activities can be performed in approved businesses in Italy or abroad, and are systematically promoted by the degree programme. A further important element developing this knowledge is the students' self-study, an opportunity to further process the acquired information in order to assure a stronger command of the curriculum.

A teaching laboratory equipped for the main biomolecular techniques is available specifically for this purpose. Training may also be integrated by the attendance of laboratories for research and diagnostic activities running at the Department of Veterinary Medical Science or externally.

The ability to apply knowledge and understanding is assessed in oral and written exams, and through the assessment of written papers and essays produced by students and the discussion of problems in group work, where students demonstrate their command of the instruments and methods introduced during the study programme.

All core course units in the degree programme are functional to the development of the identified professional profiles.

The programme aims to offer specific cultural competences but at the same time to provide the technical means and interpretative methods applicable to a wide range of laboratory activities, from simple diagnostics to complex research in all biological and biotechnological areas.

The programme curriculum covers a series of core and supplementary learning activities.

Expected learning outcomes

This content is not currently available.

Access to further study

It gives access to third cycle studies (Dottorato di ricerca/Scuole di specializzazione) and master universitario di secondo livello.

Career opportunities

This content is not currently available.