Home Menu

Taught

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 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Tuition fees (2017/18)

UK/EU:
£11,800 (FT)
Overseas:
£24,610 (FT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

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: iChemE
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:

Degree information

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 for graduate scientists, engineers, or biochemical engineers.

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).

Core modules for graduate scientists

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

Core modules for graduate engineers

  • Advanced Bioreactor Engineering
  • Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control**
  • Cellular Functioning from Genome to Proteome
  • Commercialisation of Bioprocess Research
  • Integrated Downstream Processing
  • Mammalian Cell Culture and Stem Cell Processing
  • Metabolic Processes and Regulation
  • Structural Biology and Functional Protein Engineering
  • Bioprocess Microfluidics*
  • Bioprocess Systems Engineering*
  • Bioprocessing and Clinical Translation*
  • Cell Therapy Biology*
  • Industrial Synthetic Biology*
  • Sustainable Bioprocesses and Biorefineries*
  • Vaccine Bioprocess Development*

*Core module for graduate biochemical engineers; **core module for both graduate engineers and graduate biochemical engineers

Research project/design project

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

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

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.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Mechanics of Material, Imperial College London
  • PhD Biochemical Engineering, University College London (UCL)
  • Bio-Pharmaceutical Engineer, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Associate Consultant, PwC
  • Genetics Technician, Chinese Academy Of Sciences

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 2012–2014 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 ensure 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 programme is accredited by the Institute of Chemical Engineering (IChemE). The level of accreditation is dependent on the background of an individual student and the MSc pathway taken.

Department: Biochemical Engineering

Student / staff numbers › 51 staff including 31 postdocs › 49 taught students › 121 research students

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
74% 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.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"My field of study takes successful bench-scale science and translates it into useful, real-life processes that enable novel products to be produced and supplied at a large scale. It takes qualitative science and applies quantitative analyses so that it can be used in real-life applications. The Modular Training for the Biopress Industries® has been particularly valuable, which covers efficient and robust process design, development and optimisation, and is designed specifically for industrialists by industrialists."

Gavin Wai

Biochemical Engineering MSc
Student view

"During this MSc programme, I've had the chance to undertake business oriented courses which I believe will prove very useful to my career as an engineer. I've thoroughly enjoyed the pilot plant week and I also had the unique opportunity of conducting my research project which took place at the 3rd term of my studies, as a summer placement student in a global biorpharmaceutical corporation, in Cambridge."

Evangelia Argentou

Biochemical Engineering MSc

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.

Who can apply?

Graduate scientists holding qualifications in applied biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacy or other related subjects will find this programme suitable. 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
28 July 2017

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 27 October 2016 at 11:10 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.

UCL+

  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now