Biochemical Engineering


Key Information

Student in pilot plant

The Engineering Doctorate is an industrially-focused doctoral research degree that has equal academic status to that of a PhD. Upon graduation both EngD and PhD candidates are referred to as ‘Doctor’. During the programme EngD candidates are known as Research Engineers (REs). Like a PhD, each RE carries out an original research project with the end result being a distinct contribution to knowledge. However, there are notable differences between the two programmes that make the EngD particularly attractive to both degree candidates and industry employers alike.

An EngD in Bioprocess Engineering Leadership is ideal for engineers who intend to work in the bioprocess industry, or who have yet to decide between an academic or industrial career, thanks to the combination of research activities and taught elements. Research projects are created in collaboration with industry partners meaning that the results of each EngD programme have an immediate positive impact on real-world problems that have been identified by our sponsoring companies.

The centre’s close connection with all of its sponsors ensures that the taught elements equip our research engineers with leading-edge skillsets that will enable them to tackle the next generation of bioprocess challenges beyond the scope of their original EngD research project. Our REs graduate with the broad technical knowledge, business understanding and personal development skills needed to become the senior research managers of the future.

How can I apply for the programme, or find out further information?

You can start the process by applying on PRiSM or contacting the CDT manager (details on the Contact page) if you have any questions? Keep an eye on the news area of our website, where we'll publish information about upcoming events that you can attend to find out more.

How can I check if I am eligible?

The EPSRC dictates that EngD students must have been a UK resident for an uninterrupted period for at least three years before the start date of the project.  This applies to EU nationals who have been living in the UK for study purposes.  International candidates will only be considered if they have been an ordinary resident in the UK for at least three years and this must not include being here as a student. 

Further details can be found on the EPSRC website.

How do I find an industrial partner and a project?

In the first instance, get in touch with the Centre. We have a large number of industrial collaborators, and a number of pending projects that might suit your skills. Alternatively, if you already have a project idea, or a potential industrial collaborator, we can help you to turn theese from an idea into a funded research programme.

I'm already working in industry. Can I get my current employer to sponsor me?

There is nothing to stop your current employer sponsoring your EngD, provided that:

  • You have the correct background and academic qualifications
  • You meet eligibility criteria
  • The proposed research falls within the remit of the  Bioprocess Engineering Leadership Centre

Get in touch to discuss the possibilities.

Can I do an EngD part time?

The EngD programme takes four years to complete full time.  Part time options are currently not available.

For further information, please contact the Centre.

We are looking for graduates with at least a 2:1 honours degree from a UK university or the equivalent, or postgraduates with a Master's qualification in a suitable science or engineering discipline. Candidates offering a relevant industrial experience in addition to, or partly in place of, academic qualifications are also welcome to apply.

Applications from graduate scientists are normally from candidates holding qualifications in applied biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacy or other related subjects. Applications from graduate engineers are normally from candidates holding qualifications in biochemical engineering, chemical engineering or other engineering disciplines.


Researching real-world industry problems and getting paid to study

Given the levels of company sponsorship negotiated by the Department, the stipends received by EngD researchers are, in many cases, equivalent to graduate starting salaries in industry. This funding, together with the chance of working on real-world industry problems, gives the research clear industrial impact with great career opportunities to follow.

On completion of the EngD, excellent and diverse career routes are available for our sought-after UCL biochemical engineers. our EngD graduates have an enviable track record having established rewarding careers for themselves in the global industry.

To apply for the EngD please visit PRiSM, providing both a CV and a personal statement to indicate your areas of research interest.

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford

- Samuel Johnson

Where you study is just as important as what you study and being in London places our REs in one of the global hearts of pharmaceutical R&D. In 2007, the UK had the highest pharmaceutical expenditure in Europe and came third in the world, behind only the U.S. and Japan. But the RE experience should be about more than just work and candidates looking to conduct their research in a culturally diverse, vibrant, world-leading city will find few places that can compete with the UK’s capital.

London is an incredibly attractive place for people to come to study. It has a student population of over 400,000 and 100,000 of them are international students from around 200 different nationalities. More languages are spoken in London than any other city in the world. Even the word ‘international’ was coined by UCL’s own Jeremy Bentham in 1780.

The capital has over 850 art galleries and over 170 museums. There are also over 380 public libraries for students to take advantage of including the British Library (a few minutes’ walk from UCL’s main campus in the other direction) which holds the Magna Carta. Four UNESCO world heritage sites are available to London’s visitors: The Tower of London, Maritime Greenwich, Westminster Palace (including Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret’s Church) and Kew’s Royal Botanical Gardens.

According to GLA/ICM research 84% of Londoners think that the city’s cultural scene is important in ensuring a high quality of life…

London has over 300 venues for music performances that produce more than 17,000 gigs a year. There are 250 annual festivals in the capital with the most significant being the Notting Hill Carnival (attracting around a million people each year) and the Mayor’s Thames Festival. Theatre lovers are similarly spoilt for choice as there are 200 different shows to see in any given week.