The Biochemical Engineering undergraduate programme at UCL fully integrates engineering and biotechnology. Both BEng and MEng routes share a common curriculum of core modules, delivered through innovative teaching and practical courses. Both programmes will equip you with skills to follow a wide range of careers in this emerging sector.
- UCAS code
- Full-time: 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2018
- London, Bloomsbury
- Mathematics required, plus one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
- A total of 18-19 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics, plus one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics, with no score below 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
D2,D3,D3 - D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Mathematics required, plus one from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
A1AA-AAA at Advanced Highers (or A1A at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher - AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher). Mathematics required plus one from Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Advanced Higher.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades A*AA - AAA. Mathematics required, plus one from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
The department has among the most modern and comprehensive biochemical engineering facilities of any university in the world. Valued at over £35 million, our facilities attract leading collaborators from industry.
Our staff are at the forefront of research in areas such as regenerative medicine, biopharmaceuticals and biofuels. We are committed to research-based teaching through UCL's Connected Curriculum, meaning students will be exposed to the newest developments in these fields.
The programme is professionally accredited by the Institution of Chartered Engineers (IChemE), which means that it provides the essential entry point to Chartered Engineering Status (CEng).
We have been pioneers in providing our undergraduates with training to help them understand the business environment in which the life sciences operate. This will prepare you better for your future career.
This programme is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) as satisfying the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Chemical Engineer when supplemented with further learning to Master's level.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
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.
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In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
The Engineering (Biochemical) BEng and MEng share a common curriculum of core modules. These are designed to introduce you to biochemical engineering through lectures and use of practical training facilities. Scenario-based learning activities will give you hands-on experience in a diverse range of fields, from tackling biopharmaceutical process development to evaluating sustainability of biofuels.
In all years you will supplement compulsory modules by selecting options to match your interests. You may choose to complete your degree at this stage with a BEng qualification. However, we advise you to apply for a four-year MEng programme initially as this gives you the most control over your plans.
This degree is part of the Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP), a teaching framework that engages students in specialist and interdisciplinary engineering activities designed to create well-rounded graduates with a strong grasp of the fundamentals of their discipline and a broad understanding of the complexity and context of engineering problems.
Students register for a core discipline, but also engage in activities that span departments so the development of fundamental technical knowledge takes place alongside specialist and interdisciplinary research-based projects and professional skills. This creates degrees that encourage professional development, with an emphasis on design and challenging students to apply knowledge to complex problems.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Chemistry for Biologists
Fluid Flow and Mixing in Bioprocesses
Introduction to Biochemical Engineering
Introductory Statistical Methods and Computing
One Minor module from the IEP options that are available.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Biochemistry of Protein Production
Bioprocess Recovery and Purification
Design and Professional Skills II
Fermentation and Bioreactor Engineering
Heat and Mass Transfer
Mathematical Analysis and Modelling II
You will select one optional module from a range to the value of 1.0 credit.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Advanced Materials, Devices and Manufacturing Processes for Regenerative Medicine
Bioprocess Research Project
Business Planning in Bioprocessing and Life Sciences
One Minor module
Please note: As part of the faculty-wide Integrated Engineering Programme the degree will be broken down into three main components:
A) Discipline-specific material to biochemical engineering;
B) Common engineering elements taught within the Faculty of Engineering; and
C) Optional modules in the form of Minors.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, case studies, team-based projects and experiments. Leading industrialists and researchers regularly visit the department to provide guest lectures. Our programmes offer regular opportunities for students to put their learning into practice through the use of scenarios. Case studies are conducted in small teams, with your tutors offering individual support.
Written examinations, individual and group reports, coursework and oral presentations all contribute towards your assessment.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Engineering (Biochemical) BEng.
The core science, engineering, business and leadership skills that you acquire on the programme will provide you with excellent and diverse career prospects. In addition to your core subject knowledge, the programme will provide you with skills in innovative thinking, team-working and computing.
The excitement of taking biological advances towards new medicines and greener sustainable processes is creating an ever-growing need for biochemical engineering graduates to work in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, biofuels, chemical, environment and food industries.
After graduation you may elect to work in a company, conducting research and development activity in design of facilities and the creation of safe materials. Many work in managing the multi-million pound investments that produce life science drugs. Others decide to pursue a higher degree, either an MSc or a doctorate.
First career destinations of recent Biochemical Engineering BEng graduates (2013-2015) include:
- Analyst, BlackRock
- Full-time student, EngD in Biochemical Engineering and Bioprocess Leadership at UCL
- Full-time student, MSc in Management at Imperial College Business School, Imperial College London
- Pharmaceutical Industry Analyst, Visiongain
- Full-time student, MSc in Environmental Engineering at Griffith University
Data 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.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for 2018 entry will appear here as soon as they are available.
- UK/EU students
- £9,250 (2017/18 - see below)
- Overseas students
- £23,710 (2017/18)
The UK/EU fee quoted above may be subject to increase for the 2018/19 academic year and for each year of study thereafter and UCL reserves the right to increase its fees in line with UK government policy (including on an annual basis for each year of study during a programme). Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.
Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current Students website.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
Several major international companies have established a Trust Fund with the department. This fund provides five bursaries, each worth at least £1,500, which are open to all applicants.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Application and next steps
In addition to academic requirements, we will use your application to assess your motivation for studying biochemical engineering. We are seeking applicants committed to studying at the highest level, who are eager and able to rise to the challenges presented both by the programme and by a career in the discipline.
How to apply
Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.
Application deadline: 15 January 2018
If we are considering making you an offer, and you live in the UK, you will be invited to an applicant open day. Your visit provides an excellent opportunity to examine the departmental facilities before making a final decision.
If you live outside the UK, or travel distance is a problem, we will arrange for a telephone or online (VoIP) chat to assist with any questions you may have.
We are happy to consider your application if you wish to defer entry and take a gap year before taking up your place on the programme, especially if you have constructive plans for your time. The Year in Industry scheme provides suitably qualified students with work placements, allowing them to gain relevant work experience whilst earning money.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.