Schools and teachers
The foundation of our education and training is laid in schools. The UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering welcomes school party visitors throughout the year in order to explain the excitement of Biochemical Engineering.
We offer a variety of ways for students and teachers to explore what the Department - and the discipline - has to offer.
- Engineering Experience Courses
YEAR 11 (S4) and 12 (S5)
Choosing what to do at university can be a daunting experience and, while biochemical engineering sounds very exciting, how do you know it's right for you? We have partnered with two educational charities to provide an four day engineering experience course which we offer to Year 11 and 12 students.
These courses are a great way of enhancing your UCAS application and giving you a taster of what biochemical engineering is all about. During your time with us we’ll take you through the steps involved in making new vaccines, antibiotics and stem cell therapies.
Students will explore major biochemical engineering issues such as:
- How are bioreactors best operated to support growth of cells to produce new therapeutic materials?
- How can new medicines be produced economically?
- What routes should be explored to develop new vaccines?
- What are the challenges behind effective tissue engineering?
Team studies will be used to tackle these and other issues that will face the biochemical engineer of the future.
Which course should you attend?
If you’re in Year 11 then you should select the Residential Course in Biochemical Engineering run by the Smallpeice Trust.
Year 12? Then the Headstart Course run by the Engineering Development Trust (EDT) is for you.
Both the Smallpeice Trust and the EDT charge a fee for these courses. We recommend that if you have attended one of these courses, you should not attend the other.
- Nuffield Research Placements
Stuck for things to do over the summer?
The Nuffield Research Placement offers any student in post-16 science and engineering courses the opportunity to be placed in a working research environment. If you have an enthusiasm for science this is a great way to take it further.
Placements at UCL are normally for a minimum of four weeks over the summer and you must live in or around the London area. Start dates are flexible but usually hosted during August of each year.
Students wishing to pursue this should register their interest with the regional Nuffield coordinator between November and February. After which time you will be invited to fill out an application form and we’ll try to align specific people with available projects. Sometime in July before the start of your placement, Nuffield will organise an induction day – but after that you can start your research placement.
The number of research placements the Department can offer will vary each year depending on the availability of research staff.
After your placement
As with all good science, you’ll be required to write a lab report on the work you did. It may sound taxing, but the good news is that many schools and colleges will accept the report for the EPQ (Extended Project Qualification). However, you’ll need to double check with your science teacher.
Furthermore, as a Nuffield Research Placement student you also qualify to apply for the British Science Association CREST Award. The CREST Award Scheme is the UKs largest science award scheme for project work undertaken at the pre-university level. Based on your project and the type of work involved, you could be eligible for a Bronze, Silver or Gold level Award.
Find out more at the Nuffield website.
- Information for teachers
We recognise the importance for teachers to be able to supplement their classroom teaching with real world application and examples. As such, the Department is active in several key research areas and would be happy to organise short talks and visits to your school. Of course, this would be based on availability and travel distance from London.
Several of our key research areas may overlap with your teaching curriculum. These areas are listed below and we would be happy in organising talks based on these themes.
- Vaccines and Immunisation
- Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
- Biofuels and Sustainability
- Biohacking and Synthetic Biology
Visiting UCL and the Department
The Department works closely with the UCL Outreach Office to facilitate visits to our labs and experience university. These can be through the Future Scholar Awards (formerly known as DUX Awards), summer courses and taster lectures. A variety of activities for both Years 7-11 and Years 12-13 are organised through the Outreach Office throughout the whole year. Teachers are encouraged to visit the UCL Widening Participation and Outreach website for more details.
Getting Advice on Applying to UCL and the Department
The best way is to come and talk to us. UCL runs an Open Day every year where you can visit the university and the Department. You’ll have tours of our teaching and research facilities as well as get to talk to some of the lecturers and admissions tutors. However, if you can make it then we also have a virtual Open Day tour which can be accessed any time after the event.
Additionally, around March-April of each year UCL hosts a State Schools and Colleges Conference. Teachers will be able to meet with Department and Faculty admissions tutors, discuss UCAS forms and get advice on how best to prepare your students for admission into UCL.