Academic year 2020/2021


Basic Information

Qualification awarded


Qualification Type/Level

EHEA Second cycle, EQF level 7

Number of Years/credits

2 years; 120 ECTS

Mode of Study


*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 pace. This makes it possible, if necessary, to accommodate employment or other non-university activities or obligations.

Name of the Course Director and other contact information

President of the Degree Course Council:


Internationalization Coordinator (CAI):
Prof. Angelo Canale

Language of Teaching


Admission Requirements

Formal Requirements

Italian First cycle qualification (Laurea) or foreign equivalent in the same or related subject area, with possible extra work if required competences are lacking.

Possible assessment prior knowledge and competences

Assessment of competences acquired in First Cycle studies in related or un-related subject areas to determine admission by Degree Programme Council with possible assignment of extra work to be done before admission.

Required knowledge and competences support programmes

Students whose curricula show lacuna may need to take extra first cycle course units before admission.

General Information

Programme Profile

The Degree Programme has the objective of preparing students with a solid knowledge on plant and microbe systems interpreted from molecular and cellular point of view, which allows to pursue several professional careers in the fields of biotechnology process of food and no-food production, environmental protection and genetic improvement of plants and microorganisms. Graduation opens to further possibilities for professional training, such as PhD courses and schools of specialization.

Key Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Programme are expected to be able to:
- acquire an essential knowledge on basic sciences in perspective of their future professional application;
- use modern laboratory instrumentation, with some knowledge of the most important omics methodology;
- select and propagate plants and microorganisms to improve environment quality;
- select plants with improved nutraceutical traits in function with the final agro-food products;
- select plants with improved traits to withstand biotic and abiotic stresses
- select plants with the aim to improve quality of non-food products;
- apply techniques for diagnostics and certification of plant variety;
- develop techniques for plant disease diagnostics;
- develop techniques for cell culture aimed to the production of metabolites with applicative interest

Occupational Profile/s of Graduates

The degree prepares students for employment in:
- public and private research centers involved in the development of innovative crops for specific features and reduced environmental impact;
- public and private centers of research and experimentation dealing with phytopathological diagnostics by molecular methodologies;
- companies that produce microorganisms to be used as inoculants to improve the quality of soils; as nitrogen fixers, for silage,
- companies that select microorganisms for biological control;
- regional agencies and private laboratories for the detection of genetically modified organisms in agri-food and environmental matrices.
- companies that produce molecules of microbial and plant origin of high nutritional (proteins, vitamins, antibiotics) and nutraceutical (carotenoids, flavonoids) value;
- observatories and public and private agencies for pest control and for the protection of the environment;

Access to further study

The Laurea Magistrale degree in PLANT AND MICROBIAL BIOTECHNOLOGIES allows the graduate to compete for entry into a Third Cycle programme/doctoral school.

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, commentary 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 based on the performance as ascertained in a public examination by a board of at least two teachers. The 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 the examination and final grades among students for each degree programme, in order to facilitate the comparison with other grading systems. ---> Link to ECTS Grading Table
An overall mark is given on the occasion of the 'Final Exam', when a written research text is presented and discussed. The final overall mark is calculated based 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 into 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 students choose which of the appelli they wish to respond to. In most cases, it is obligatory to sign up before the specified date.

Requirements (regulations) to obtain the qualification

The final dissertation, to which 25 ECTS are allocated, must demonstrate the knowledge of the above mentioned professional skills.

Course structure diagram

Available courses, 2020/2021