Biochemical Engineering MSc

Options: PG Diploma

This MSc analyses how advances in the life sciences can effectively be translated into real outcomes of benefit to all. Close links with the research activities of the Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering ensure that lecture and case study examples are built around the latest biological discoveries and bioprocessing technologies.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £10,450
  • Overseas Full-time: £21,700

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

Students develop an advanced knowledge of core biochemical engineering principles and applications, design techniques for the creation of products and process plants to meet a defined need, commercial and economic aspects, health, safety, sustainability, environmental and other professional issues, management and business practices, and techniques applicable to research and advanced scholarship.

Three distinct pathways are offered designed for graduate scientists, engineers, or biochemical engineers.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

UCL Biochemical Engineering is the largest of its kind in the UK. Our graduate programmes are internationally recognised and draw on advances in life sciences and the core discipline of biochemical engineering.

We maintain close teaching and research links with other highly-rated UCL departments and with experts from other departments throughout the UK and overseas, and are also involved in exceptionally close collaborations with industry.

The content of the MSc programmes is closely linked to the department’s post-experience MBI® Training Programme. Scientists and engineers already working in the bioindustry participate in the MBI® programme to update their knowledge on particular aspects of biochemical engineering, or to work towards a Master’s qualification. Delegates from nearly 200 companies have benefited from such training and sit alongside the full-time Master’s students for a number of the programme elements while over 50 leading industrialists contribute to the teaching activities. Industrialists engaged upon MBI® training activities come from all over the world providing unique networking opportunities.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme offers three different pathways (for graduate scientists, engineers, or biochemical engineers) and consists of core taught modules (120 credits) and a research or design project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.

Core Modules for graduate scientists

  • Bioprocess Synthesis and Process Mapping; Heat and Mass Transfer in Bioprocesses; Fluid Flow and Mixing in Bioprocesses; Advanced Bioreactor Engineering; Integrated Downstream Processing; Commercialisation of Bioprocess Research; Mammalian Cell Culture and Stem Cell Processing; Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control

Core Modules for graduate engineers

  • Cellular Functioning from Genome to Proteome; Metabolic Processes and Regulation; Structural Biology and Functional Protein Engineering; Advanced Bioreactor Engineering; Integrated Downstream Processing; Commercialisation of Bioprocess Research; Mammalian Cell Culture and Stem Cell Processing; Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control
  • Core Modules for graduate biochemical engineers

  • Industrial Synthetic Biology; Sustainable Bioprocesses and Biorefineries; Cell Therapy Biology; Bioprocessing and Clinical Translation; Bioprocess Systems Engineering; Bioprocess Microfluidics; Vaccine Bioprocess Development; Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control

Design or research project

All MSc students submit a 10,000-word dissertation in either Bioprocess Design (science graduate pathway) or Bioprocess Research (engineering and biochemical engineering graduate pathway).

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, and individual and group activities. Invited lectures delivered by industrialists provide a professional and social context. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, coursework, individual and group project reports, individual and group oral presentations, and the research or design project.

Further details available on subject website:

Scholarships available for this department

Brown Family Bursary

This award is based on financial need.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

Normal entry requirements are at least a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or the equivalent from an approved overseas institution. Candidates offering recent industrial experience are also encouraged to apply. As with any engineering discipline numeracy skills are important for the quantitative description of biological and physical phenomena. Evidence of numerical ability is requested as either an A level in Mathematics (or in exceptional cases, in Physics) or some mathematics studied at university. The department provides mathematics tutoring for Master's students throughout the year adjusted to a candidate's ability.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Standard

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.

Who can apply?

Graduate scientists holding qualifications in applied biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacy or other related subjects will find this programme suitable. Applications from graduate engineers are normally from candidates holding qualifications in chemical engineering, process engineering or other related subjects. For the graduate biochemical engineering pathway applicants will have a degree in the field for closely related subject.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Biochemical Engineering at graduate level
  • why you want to study Biochemical Engineering at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic, professional and personal background meets the demands of a challenging programme. We are particularly interested in any individual or group research project that you have undertaken.
  • how will the MSc help you in your future career aspirations
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


The first destinations of those who graduate from the Master's programme in Biochemical Engineering reflect the highly relevant nature of the training delivered. UCL biochemical engineers are in demand, due to their breadth of expertise, numerical ability and problem solving skills.

Approximately three-quarters of candidates elect to take up employment in the relevant biotechnology industries while the remainder follow careers in the management, financial or engineering design sectors.

Approximately half of those who choose the bioindustry sector will undertake PhD or EngD programmes in biochemical engineering either at UCL or other universities before commencing their industrial careers.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Novartis, UK, Research Associate, 2011
  • Abbott, UK, Production Process Technologist, 2011
  • Merck Animal Health, UK, Scientist, 2011
  • Medimmune UK, Research & Development Associate, 2010
  • Jacobs Engineering UK, Biochemical Analyst, 2009


The department places great emphasis on its ability to assist its graduates in taking up exciting careers in the sector. UCL alumni, together with the department’s links with industrial groups, provide an excellent source of leads for graduates. Over 1,000 students have graduated from UCL with graduate qualifications in biochemical engineering at Master’s or doctoral levels. Many have gone on to distinguished and senior positions in the international bioindustry. Others have followed independent academic careers in universities around the world. A few examples of our latest graduates are given here.

Next steps


Dr Daniel Bracewell

T: +44 (0)20 7679 7013


Biochemical Engineering

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Prospectus subject

Biochemical Engineering

Faculty overview

Engineering Sciences


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Student View

"Living and studying in London has enabled me to meet people and make friends from all over the globe. The breadth of activities and events, both academic and non-academic, has also helped in terms of enhancing career prospects and social enjoyment."

Gavin Wai

Degree: Biochemical Engineering MSc

Student View

"Attending seminars organised by our department also provides good networking; speakers are invited from different universities as well as from industry and I've met some very interesting people in the field. I feel like there are so many options open to me."

Alice Mazzer

Degree: Biochemical Engineering PhD