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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £11,800 (FT)
- £24,610 (FT)
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.
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.
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 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 may include the following (details will vary depending on degree of student). The programme will be tailored to the background of the student according to the three routes in.
- Advanced Bioreactor Engineering
- Dissertation on Bioprocess Research
- Fundamental Biosciences
- Integrated Downstream Processing
- Sustainable Industrial Bioprocesses and Biorefineries
Please go to www.ucl.ac.uk/biochemeng/prospective-students/msc for a full list of core modules.
Optional modules may include the following (details will vary depending on degree of student).
- Bioprocess Management – Discovery to Manufacture
- Bioprocess Microfluidics
- Bioprocess Systems Engineering
- Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control
- Commercialisation and Bioprocess Research
- Vaccine Bioprocess Development
The exact options available will depend on the degree of the student. Please go to www.ucl.ac.uk/biochemeng/prospective-students/msc for a full list of core modules.
Core Modules for Biochemical Engineering Graduates
Sustainable Industrial Bioprocesses and Biorefineries
Bioprocess Systems Engineering
Cell Therapy Biology, Bioprocessing and Clinical Translation
Industrial Synthetic Biology
Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control
Bioprocess Research Project
Students can choose three options
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.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
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
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.
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
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
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
"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 WaiBiochemical Engineering MSc
"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 ArgentouBiochemical Engineering MSc
Application and next steps
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.
- 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.
- Dr Alex Kiparissides