Biochemical Engineering


MEng Engineering (Biochemical)

Female student in labicheme-degree-accreditation-logo

UCAS Code: H813

This four-year programme builds upon the Biochemical Engineering BEng. It provides additional opportunities to acquire hands-on practical research experience and advanced design skills relating to new challenges such as the design of processes to deliver novel stem cell therapies.

The requirement for foreign modern languages is under review with its no longer being an admission prerequisite.

Engineering (Biochemical) MEng

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.

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.

Flexible programmes

You can choose to study courses from outside your core discipline (selecting, for examples, other engineering subjects, business-oriented programmes, or topics from another faculty altogether) or in interdisciplinary fields through collaboration with other subjects. All our courses are fully accredited by the relevant professional body, the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), so if you take the 4-year course you will fulfill all the educational requirements for chartered engineering (CEng) status.

Year One, Year Two and Year Three programme diets can be viewed at the BEng Programme page.  Specialisations for the MEng Programmes take place in Year Four as detailed below.

MEng Biochemical Engineering

Year Four

BENGM005 Bioprocess Research Project
(1 credit)
BENGM010 Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control
(0.5 credits)
BENGM015 Industrial Synthetic Biology
(0.5 credits)
BENGM022 Sustainable Industrial Bioprocesses and Biorefineries
(0.5 credits)
BENGM023 Bioprocess Systems Engineering
(0.5 credits)
Options* - choose from:
BENGM004  Cell Therapy Biology, Bioprocessing and Clinical Translation
(0.5 credits)
BENGM027 Bioprocess Microfluidics
(0.5 credits)
BENGM028 Vaccines Bioprocessing Developmen
(0.5 credits)

MEng Biochemical Engineering with Chemical Engineering

Year Four

CENGM001 Research Project (1 credit)
CENGM010 Energy Systems and Sustainability (0.5 credits)
CENGM008 Advanced Safety and Loss Prevention (0.5 credits)
CENGM006 Fluid-particle Systems (0.5 credits)
CENGM012 Process Dynamics and Control (1 credit)
Options* - choose from:
BENGM010 Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control
(0.5 credits)
BENGM015 Industrial Synthetic Biology
(0.5 credits)
BENGM028 Vaccine Bioprocessing Development
(0.5 credits)

MEng Biochemical Engineering with Bioprocess Management

Year Four

BENGM004  Cell Therapy Biology, Bioprocessing and Clinical Translation
(0.5 credits)
BENGM007  Advanced Bioprocess Business Plan and Enterprise Implementation
(0.5 credits)
BENGM010 Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control
(0.5 credits)
MSINM001  Project Management
(0.5 credits)
MSINM005 Business in a Competitive Environment
(0.5 credits)
BENGM005 Bioprocess Research Project
(1 credit)
BENGM023  Bioprocess Systems Engineering
(0.5 credits)

MEng Biochemical Engineering with Study Abroad 

Year Four

BENGM013 Biochemical Engineering Study Abroad
(4 credits)

MEng Biochemical Engineering with Year in Industry

The first students from the Year in Industry programme will graduate in 2018. IChemE can only accredit programmes once the first cohort of students has graduated. We at UCL Biochemical Engineering intend to seek accreditation by IChemE at the earliest possible date after the first graduation. We have been in consultation with IChemE during the design and development of the degree programme and are working towards a successful application for accreditation so this could be backdated to include all graduations from the start of the programme delivery.

The student will be a full-time employee at the placement company for the duration of that year.

For further information contact Iris Luke i.luke@ucl.ac.uk.

Year Four


BENGM017 Bioprocess Research and Design Project
(1.5 credits)

BENGM018 Engineering and Profession Skills Development
(1.5 credits)
Options* - choose 4 (subject to availability) from:
BENGM031 Industrial Biotechnology and Biorefining
(0.25 credits)
BENGM032 Cell Therapy Manufacturing
(0.25 credits)
BENGM033 Single Use Technology
(0.25 credits)
BENGM034 Design of Experiments for Bioprocess Optimisation
(0.25 credits)
BENGM035 Mammalian Cell Processes
(0.25 credits)
BENGM036 Quality by Design for Effective Bioprocess Characterisation and Validation
(0.25 credits)
BENGM037 Vaccine Bioprocess Development and  Commercialisation - details to be announced
(0.25 credits)

Information on industry placements for prospective students can be found on the Industry Placements page.

Current students can find further information on moodle (requires UCL login and password).

* Options can vary year-to-year depending on factors such as timetable clashes, oversubscription or prerequisites, for example.

Innovative teaching

UCL pioneered the teaching of biochemical engineering in the UK and has been providing the process industries with first-class people ever since it started teaching the subject in 1956. The Department has a unique national and international network of industrial contacts, which help it to maintain its position at the forefront of education and research.

Our approach to learning produces well-rounded graduates with a strong grasp of the engineering principles of biochemical engineering, accompanied by solid understanding of the complexity and context of broader engineering problems.

We focus our teaching on problem solving through problem- and scenario-based learning, an approach pioneered at UCL. This creates a highly engaging learning environment where students have regular opportunities to put their theoretical knowledge to practical application.

You will learn in a variety of ways. Some learning will be lecture-based, while some will provide you with the materials and support to self-study through video and written material, problem sheets, exercise classes and tutorials. We have invested heavily in making learning material available online, including a comprehensive system to record lectures so you can study at your own pace. You will also spend time in experimental labs or computer labs learning key technical skills.

Our staff engage in cutting-edge research, so you will be taught by experts about the latest advancements in the field. The department’s research activity embraces six major themes:

  • The achievement of speed from discovery to outcome
  • The harnessing of genomics
  • Addressing the new generation of complex materials
  • Making the outcome affordable 
  • Achieving sustainability
  • Translational stem cell research

UCL has the highest staff : student ratio in the UK, meaning plenty of people available to answer your questions. You will also be allocated a tutor, who you’ll meet regularly during teaching periods at UCL for help with academic and personal matters.

Real engineering experience

In the outside world, problems cross discipline borders, needing interdisciplinary teams to attack them. From your first year, you will get experience working with people from different backgrounds and with different approaches. We’ll give you challenging problems to work on in your own way, exploring how what you learn can be applied and what works in different situations.

The Department of Biochemical Engineering has the most modern and comprehensive biochemical engineering facilities in the world. Constructed at a cost of £30 million, they attract leading industrial collaborators for the Department’s teaching and research programmes. In the second year, you’ll spend time working in our pilot plant facility, the only one of it’s kind in academic institutes in the UK. This will give you practical, hands-on experience of the sort of real-life engineering that is needed to create products in the biopharma industries.

As well as giving a more realistic experience of the way engineers think and practice, our students find this model allows them to develop themselves and demonstrate those skills to future employers. Many also enjoy this freedom!

In addition, our programmes have major projects in the final year or years. Here you will spend two terms working on a major design or research topic, many linked to industry or current research projects within the department.

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.

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Amandeep Varia

It’s a research-based degree, the lecturers are world leading in their fields and are really prepared to help you. I’m trying to decide between a career in research and development or pharmaceuticals, UCL will give me the knowledge to help me decide what to go for.