Undergraduate Degrees

Oferta 2016/2017

  • Degree in Biotechnology

    General Information


    The duration of the Degree in Biotechnology is of 4 years. The minimum number of credits needed to obtain the degree is 240 ECTS credits.

    Responsible Center:

    Modality: Attendance required

    Teaching Languages: Spanish

    Distribution and Credits:

    • Basic Formation: 60
    • Compulsory Subjects: 150
    • Elective Subjects: 12
    • Undergraduate Thesis: 18

    Registration fees for first-time enrollment in a full course:  1068,54 €

    Access and Career Opportunities

    Profile of the New Student
    • Recommended High School modalities with the PAU examination passed: Humanities and Social Sciences.
    • Higher Grade formative cycle: Higher Technician of Analysis Laboratory and Quality Control, and Higher Technician of Clinical Diagnosis Laboratory.
    • Access examination for people Older than 25, 40 or 45.
    • University degree.

    The perfect candidate has to like the physical-mathematical, chemical and biological disciplines. It is also recommended that they have a good capacity for abstract analysis and comprehension, deductive dexterity, a solid command of English and that they are interested in experimentation and technique.

    Professional Opportunities

    The Degree in Biotechnology is designed to lead to a profession without needing to take complementary formation, although graduates may choose to specialize afterwards by completing a Master's Degree or a PhD Program.

    Professional profiles:

    • Teaching and/or research.
    • Development and innovation.
    • Production and commercialization of goods and services, or management in pharmaceutical and cosmetic, food, farming, environmental and renewable energy enterprises.
    • Health laboratories and analysis and control laboratories.
    • Professionals in information, documentation and dissemination.

    Characteristics of the Center

    Premises and services

    The Faculty of Biology is equipped with a classroom building, a computer room, a library, laboratories, meeting room, scientific-technical services of the University of Oviedo, administrative services, cafeteria, lunchroom.

    Mobility and international relations

    The Faculty collaborates in the exchange of students in the ERASMUS Program with more than 30 European universities. It also collaborates with almost all of the Spanish universities in the Student Mobility Program (SICUE) .

    Internships, employment and tutorial action plan

    The Faculty maintains agreements with more than 50 enterprises and public entities (with more than 150 places offered) to provide External Internships. The Tutorial Action Plan includes the welcome meetings, the monitoring of the academic activity and the transition to the labor market.

    Further information

    Justification of the Degree

    The University of Oviedo has been including as part of its formative offer the formation of professional in Biochemistry since 1994, date that marked the establishment of the second-cycle Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry. The beginning of the Degree in Biotechnology, whose organization and planning is presented in this Report, involves the transformation of the second-cycle Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry into an Undergraduate Degree in Biotechnology with four academic courses, which, apart from a solid biochemical formation, includes the subjects that cover the most relevant aspects of Biotechnology with the goal of obtaining a highly professionalizing Degree, so that through the combined and coordinated study of subjects belonging to biology, chemistry and engineering, the students acquire competences that cannot be provided by the so-called "classic" Degrees on their own, such as Biology or Chemistry.

    Scientific and social interest of the Degree in Biotechnology

    Biotechnology can be defined (see OECD Biotechnology Statistics, 2006 edition) as "the application of science and technology to the study of living organisms, as well as to parts, products and models derived from them, to manipulate living or inert materials in order to generate knowledge, goods and services".

    Biotechnology represents a fundamental exponent in an economy based on knowledge, and due to its innovate nature, it is having an enormous impact on its progress, developing products and technologies that affect all the fields of activity of living beings. Alongside other sectors, like Communications or Nanotechnology, Biotechnology is considered by many analysts as a very important motivator of technological change. It is a cross-curricular sector with deep effects on economic development and structural change, which affects a great variety of industries generating products with a high added value, and also affecting the quality of sanitary assistance, commerical competitiveness, and the creation of employment in development countries.

    The potential impact of the development of Biotechnology is only comparable to the one that took place with the arrival of the technologies of information, which affected such sectors as healthcare, agriculture, fishing, food production, cosmetic products and medicinal drugs, the environment or the production of energy, among many others, which, overall, has been estimated to comprise around 20% of the gross domestic product. The knowledge available to biotechnologists, who are the link between biology, chemistry and chemical engineering, allows them to optimize and make large-scale synthesis of products that affect all the aforementioned fields. Thus, for example, apart from the direct use of genetically-modified microorganisms in the efficient production of organic products like beer or dairy products, and pharmaceutical products like insuline or antibiotics, other biotechnological of microorganisms include biobleaching, recycling and the treatment of waste and cleaning of areas contaminated by industrial activities (bioremediation). Other applications include the use of stem cells, the development of methods for early diagnosis of certain pathologies (tumoral processes or neurodegenerative diseases, among others), control of food security, or testing of biological activities carried out by pharmaceuticals, based on the use of cultures of animal cells or transgenic animals. Furthermore, ADN microchips used by genetic analyses, and the use of isolated or immobilized enzymes represent some of the examples of biotechnological applications that do not use living organisms. During the last few years, the potential of plant biotechnology has been highlighted by its capacity to improve plants or their use as cheap bioreactors. The social-economic importance and the highly innovative nature of Biotechnology has been showcased in different forums of economic and social analysis (see, for example, the 22nd annual report of the Ernst & Young consultancy agency on the state of the biotechnological industry [Beyond Borders, 2008], or the report on Relevance of Biotechnology in Spain, 2007 by Genoma Spain).

    Biotechnology in Europe is widely represented both in the world of the university and in the industry. The importance of a formation in Biotechnology at the European Union is reflected by the report Consequences, opportunities and challenges of modern Biotechnology for Europe (European Commission JRC, EUR 22728 EN, 2007), which highlights the key role of Biotechnology in order to achieve a sustainable development in Europe, and its special effects in key aspects such as economic growth, protection of the environment or publich health. In said report, three great areas on which Biotechnology has a great impact are highlighted: a) primary production and the farming-food industry, b) medicine and health, and c) industrial production, energy and the environment, and it concludes that the impact of Biotechnology is wide and expanding.

    With respect to the situation and perspectives of Biotechnology in Spain, the periodical analyses conducted by different specialized organizations, such as Genoma Spain (Relevance of Biotechnology in Spain, 2007), the National Institute of Statistics (INE, Report 2007), or the Association of Biotechnological Enterprises (ASEBIO, 2006), coincide in the strong push of the biotechnological sector in its different facets, which is already a reality in terms of employment, economy, production, quality of life and well-being of the citizens. Moreover, they emphasize the high level of research in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology-Biotechnology according to the international criteria established, with it currently being the first discipline in terms of scientific contributions of impact in the international context.

    However, there is still a long road ahead in terms of transference of knowledge to the productive sector, an aspect that the formation of biotechnologists will undoubtedly affect positively.

    Academic interest of the Undergraduate Degree in Biotechnology

    Degrees in Biotechnology have been established in all of the countries that form the European Union (visit the websites of Studieren to check the educational offer of European universities), and they are also part of the formative offer of American universities of reference, as can be seen by visiting the website of Bio-Link, belonging to the National Advanced Technological Education Center.

    In Spain, the formation in Biotechnology currently has a great demand by the students in those universities where it is already being offered, and in comparison with related studies, a high minimum mark for entry. Available data for the 2004-2007 period show that there is a demand that is much higher than the offer of Degrees in Biotechnology, and as a consequence two thirds of the potential students of Biotechnology of the Spanish universities have been forced to choose another type of studies. Moreover, the employment rate of Biotechnology is very high, mainly in the industrial and productive sector (consult the White Book of Biochemistry and Biotechnology).

    This data provide more than enough justification for the establishment of the Undergraduate Degree in Biotechnology of the University of Oviedo. The analysis of the scientific, social and academic interest of Biotechnology showcase the need to educate polivalent professionals who have the conceptual and technical tools needed to answer the demands of society and the labor market in the different fields of research, development, production, management and education. In other words, a professional with a multidisciplinary formation based on the knowledge of the biological systems, the biochemical processes, and the industrial production, as well as management of enterprises and legal and ethical aspects.

    Termination of the Curriculum

    The Undergraduate Degree in Biotechnology of the the University of Oviedo replaces the Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry, which is obtained by completing the first cycle of the Bachelor's Degrees in Biology, Medicine or Chemistry, and the second-cycle Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry. Students who have completed at the University of Oviedo the studies that lead to the achievement of the Bachelor's in Biochemistry, either in full or partially, may request the recognition of the credits of the corresponding subjects in the Degree in Biotechnology according to the following table of equivalences (the credits of each subject are included in brackets):

    Adaptation from the Bachelor's Degree in Biology, Plan 2000 of the University of Oviedo

    Degree in Biotechnology

    • Cellular Biology (6)
    • Genetics (6)
    • Microbiology (6)
    • Biological Resources (6)

    Bachelor's Degree in Biology (2000)

    • Plant and Animal Cytology and Histology (10)
    • Genetics (11)
    • Microbiology (10)
    • Botanics (10) + Zoology (10)

    Adaptations from the first cycle of the Bachelor's Degree in Medicine, Plan 2000 of the University of Oviedo

    Degree in Biotechnology

    • Cellular Biology (6)
    • Genetics (6)
    • Microbiology (6)
    • Metabolism (6)

    Bachelor's Degree in Medicine (2000)

    • Functional Human Cytology and Histology (14)
    • Human Genetics (10) + Bases of Genetic Analysis (5)
    • Medical Microbiology and Parasitology(12)
    • Molecular Biochemistry and Biology (20)

    Adaptations from the first cycle of the Bachelor's Degree in Chemisty, Plan 2001 of the University of Oviedo

    Degree in Biotechnology

    • General Physics (12)
    • General Chemistry (12)
    • Mathematics (12)
    • Organic Chemistry (6)
    • Thermodynamics and Kinetics (6)
    • Instrumental Analytical Techniques (6)

    Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry (2001)

    • Physics I (12) + Physics II (7,5)
    • Chemical Bonds and Structure of Matter(9) + Introduction to Experimentation in Physical Chemistry (7,5)
    • Mathematics (12)
    • Organic Chemistry I (12) + Organic Chemistry II (6)
    • Physical Chemistry I (12)
    • Instrumental Analysis(9)

    Adaptations from the Bachelor's Degree in Biochemisty, Plan 2000 of the University of Oviedo


    Degree in Biotechnology

    • Cellular Biology (6)
    • Structure and Functions of Proteins (6)
    • Plant Fisiology and Biotechnology(6)
    • Immunology and Immunotechnology(6)
    • Organic Chemistry (6)

    Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry (2000)

    • Cellular Biology (6)
    • Macromolecular Structure (6) + Enzymology (6)
    • Plant Physiology (4.5) + Plant Biotechnology (6)
    • Immunology (6) + Immunotechnology (6)
    • Organic Chemistry (8)

    Bachelor's Degrees that are finished by the establishment of the proposed Undegraduate Degree

    The establishment of the Undergraduate Degree in Biotechnology of the University of Oviedo means the conclusion of the current studies of the Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry (Resolution of October 14, 1997, BOE 03-11-1999).