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Biochemical Engineering MSc

Have you ever wondered how the latest life science discoveries - such as a novel stem cell therapy - can move from the lab into commercial scale production? Would you like to know whether it is possible to produce bio-polymers (plastics) and biofuels from municipal or agricultural waste? If you are thinking of a career in the pharma or biotech industries, the Biochemical Engineering MSc could be the right programme for you.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2018

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Tuition fees (2018/19)

UK/EU:
£12,380 (FT) £N/A (PT)
Overseas:
£25,880 (FT) £N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 16 October 2017
Close: 27 July 2018

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Accreditation:

Our MSc is accredited by the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).

The “Science” and “Biochemical Engineering” streams are accredited by the IChemE as meeting the further learning requirements, in full, for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng, MIChemE).

The “Engineering” stream is accredited by the IChemE as meeting the learning requirements, in full, for registration as an Incorporated Chemical Engineer (AMIChemE).

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

Our MSc programme focuses on the core biochemical engineering principles that enable the translation of advances in the life sciences into real processes or products. Students will develop advanced engineering skills (such as bioprocess design, bioreactor engineering, downstream processing), state-of-the-art life science techniques (such as molecular biology, vaccine development, microfluidics) and essential business and regulatory knowledge (such as management, quality control, commercialisation).

Three distinct pathways are offered tailored to graduate scientists, engineers, or biochemical engineers.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme offers three distinct pathways tailored to: graduate scientists ("Engineering Stream"); graduate engineers from other disciplines ("Science Stream"); or graduate biochemical engineers ("Biochemical Engineering Stream"). The programme for all three streams consists of a combination of core and optional taught modules (120 credits) and a research or design project (60 credits).

Core modules

Students are allocated to one of the three available streams based on their academic background (life science/science, other engineering disciplines, biochemical engineering). The programme for each stream is tailored to the background of students in that stream. Core modules may include the following (depending on stream allocation). 

  • Advanced Bioreactor Engineering
  • Dissertation on Bioprocess Research
  • Fundamental Biosciences
  • Integrated Downstream Processing
  • Sustainable Industrial Bioprocesses and Biorefineries

Please go to the "Degree Structure" tab on the departmental website for a full list of core modules.

Optional modules

Optional modules may include the following (details will vary depending on stream allocation).

  • Bioprocess Management – Discovery to Manufacture
  • Bioprocess Microfluidics
  • Bioprocess Systems Engineering
  • Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control
  • Commercialisation and Bioprocess Research
  • Vaccine Bioprocess Development

Please go to the "Degree Structure" tab on the departmental website for a full list of optional modules

Research project/design project

Students allocated to the "Engineering" stream will have to complete a bioprocess design project as part of their MSc dissertation.

Students allocated to the "Science" and "Biochemical Engineering" streams will have to complete a research project as part of their MSc dissertation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, and individual and group activities. Guest 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 information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Biochemical Engineering MSc

Funding

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Brown Family Bursary

Value:
£15,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

The rapid advancements in biology and the life sciences create a need for highly trained, multidisciplinary graduates possessing technical skills and fundamental understanding of both the biological and engineering aspects relevant to modern industrial bioprocesses. Consequently, UCL biochemical engineers are in high demand, due to their breadth of expertise, numerical ability and problem-solving skills. The first destinations of those who graduate from the Master's programme in biochemical engineering reflect the highly relevant nature of the training delivered.

Approximately three-quarters of our graduates elect either to take up employment in the relevant biotechnology industries or study for a PhD or an EngD, while the remainder follow careers in the management, financial or engineering design sectors.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Biopharmaceutical Processing Engineer, Johnson & Johnson
  • Process Engineer, ExxonMobil
  • PhD Biochemical Engineering, UCL
  • Bio-Pharmaceutical Engineer, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Research Analyst, CIRS (Centre for Innovation in Regulatory Science)

Employability

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.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL was a founding laboratory of the discipline of biochemical engineering, established the first UK department and is the largest international centre for bioprocess teaching and research. Our internationally recognised MSc programme maintains close links with the research activities of the Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering which ensures that lecture and case study examples are built around the latest biological discoveries and bioprocessing technologies.

UCL Biochemical Engineering co-ordinates bioprocess research and training collaborations with more than a dozen UCL departments, a similar number of national and international university partners and over 40 international companies. MSc students directly benefit from our close ties with industry through their participation in the Department’s MBI® Training Programme.

The MBI® Training Programme is the largest leading international provider of innovative UCL-accredited short courses in bioprocessing designed primarily for industrialists. Courses are designed and delivered in collaboration with 70 industrial experts to support continued professional and technical development within the industry. Our MSc students have the unique opportunity to sit alongside industrial delegates, to gain deeper insights into the industrial application of taught material and to build a network of contacts to support their future careers. 

Accreditation:

Our MSc is accredited by the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).

The “Science” and “Biochemical Engineering” streams are accredited by the IChemE as meeting the further learning requirements, in full, for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng, MIChemE).

The “Engineering” stream is accredited by the IChemE as meeting the learning requirements, in full, for registration as an Incorporated Chemical Engineer (AMIChemE).

Department: Biochemical Engineering

Student / staff numbers › 51 staff including 31 postdocs › 49 taught students › 121 research students
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Biochemical Engineering
90% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

Application fee: There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. More details about the application fee can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This programme is suitable for graduate scientists holding qualifications in applied biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacy or other related subjects. Graduate engineers who apply normally hold qualifications in chemical engineering, process engineering or other related engineering disciplines. For the graduate biochemical engineering pathway applicants will have a degree in the field or in a closely related subject.

Application deadlines

All applicants
27 July 2018

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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.

Contact information

Page last modified on 14 November 2017 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing

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