Undergraduate prospectus

  • Start date: September 2018

Engineering (Biochemical) MEng

Biochemical Engineering translates life science discoveries into new products and sustainable manufacturing processes. You will acquire the underpinning knowledge needed to produce biopharmaceuticals, make biofuels, manufacture vaccines or grow stem cells for therapy. The MEng offers an extra year on top of the Biochemical Engineering BEng to gain research experience and take advanced modules.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2018
UCAS code
Full-time: 4 years
Application deadline
15 January 2018
London, Bloomsbury
Institution of Chemical Engineers (See Degree benefits)
Applications per place
4 (2016 entry)*
Total intake
57 (2018 entry)*
* Figures relate to Biochemical Engineering and Bioprocessing subject area

Entry requirements

A levels

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

IB Diploma

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:

Equivalent qualification

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.

International applications

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.

Degree benefits

  • 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 industrial collaborators.

  • Our teaching is designed to help you both work at a detailed, analytical level, and to see the bigger picture in terms of addressing environmental and ethical issues.

  • The programme is professionally accredited by the Institution of Chartered Engineers (IChemE). 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.

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.


A short video with more information.

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Degree structure

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.

You may reassess your choice of degree programme towards the end of the second year, when you have gained a deeper knowledge of what the subject involves. This gives you greater control over your study and career plans.

In all years you will supplement compulsory modules by selecting options to match your own interests. You may choose to complete your degree with a BEng qualification at the end of year three. However, we advise you to apply for a four-year MEng programme initially as this gives you the most control over your plans.

MEng students may then choose to join one of the following additional routes: Bioprocess Management; Chemical Engineering; Study Abroad; or Year in Industry. The Study Abroad route enables students to spend their third year at a selected university in Europe (including Denmark, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and Italy), the USA, Hong Kong, Japan or Australia.

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.

Compulsory subjects

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Bioprocess Analysis
Chemistry for Biologists
Fluid Flow and Mixing in Bioprocesses
Introduction to Biochemical Engineering
Introductory Statistical Methods and Computing

Optional modules

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

Optional modules

One Minor module

Core or compulsory module(s)

Advanced Materials, Devices and Manufacturing Processes for Regenerative Medicine
Bioprocess Research Project
Regenerative Medicine
Vaccine Bioprocessing

Optional modules

One Minor module

Core or compulsory module(s)

Route: Biochemical Engineering:
Bioprocess Systems Engineering
Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control
Cell Therapy Biology, Bioprocessing and Clinical Translation
Industrial Synthetic Biology
Bioprocess Research Project

Route: Chemical Engineering:
Advanced Safety and Loss Prevention

Research Project
Energy Systems and Sustainability
Fluid-particle Systems
Process Dynamics and Control

Route: Bioprocess Management:
Advanced Bioprocess Business Plan
Bioprocess Research Project
Bioprocess Systems Engineering
Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control
Business in a Competitive Environment
Cell Therapy Biology, Bioprocessing and Clinical Translation
Project Management

Route: Study Abroad:
You will undertake a research project at an approved European Union, North American, South-East Asian or Australian university.

Route: Year in Industry:
You will spend your final year in industry.

Optional modules

Students on the Biochemical Engineering and Chemical Engineering routes will select credits from a wide range of optional modules.

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 UCL Engineering; and
C) Optional modules in the form of Minors.

Your learning

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. Case studies are conducted in small teams, and your personal and departmental tutors are available to provide individual support.


Written examinations, individual reports, coursework and oral presentations all contribute towards your assessment.

Further Information

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Engineering (Biochemical) MEng.


The core science, engineering, business and leadership skills that you acquire will provide you with excellent and diverse career prospects. In addition to your core subject knowledge, the programme will provide you with skills such as 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 in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, biofuels, chemical, environment and food industries.

After graduation you will be equipped for a wide range of roles: from conducting research and designing manufacturing facilities to contributing to specific aspects of bioprocess development. Many of our graduates work on managing the multi-million pound investments that produce life science drugs. As this field is new and constantly innovating, many students go on to pursue doctorates, often in collaboration with industry.


First destinations of recent Biochemical Engineering MEng graduates (2013-2015) at UCL include:

  • Process Engineer, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Supply Chain Graduate, RB (Reckitt Benckiser)
  • Full-time student, EngD in Biochemical Engineering and Bioprocess Leadership at UCL
  • Finance Consultant, Longview Partners
  • Bioprocess Consultant Engineer, Biopharm Services

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.

Student view

I really wanted to study at UCL because I knew I was going to gain a real life insight into biochemical engineering at its best. As well as this, the fact it is a research university meant that I would be exposed to the latest ideas as I was studying. Amandeep Varia - Engineering (Biochemical) MEng (Third Year)

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2018/19 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2018/19 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2018/19)
Overseas students
£25,960 (2018/19)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL 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.

Departmental scholarships

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

Your application

In addition to academic requirements, we will use your application to assess your motivation for studying biochemical engineering. We will be seeking applicants committed to studying at the highest level, who are both 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.

Page last modified on 19 January 2018 at 14:34 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing.