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MRes Synthetic Biology

MRes Synthetic Biology

Application

{'application_note': u'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.', 'iris_logo': u'<a class="image" href="http://iris.ucl.ac.uk" title="UCL IRIS research portal" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/images/logos/iris-logo.png" alt="IRIS logo"></a>', 'funding_generic': u'For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships">Scholarships and Funding website</a>.', 'dbs_statement': u'If you are offered a place on a Teacher Training programme, you will be asked to apply for an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate from the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS). A satisfactory certificate is a condition of entry to the programme, as we need to assess your suitability for access to children and vulnerable adults. Further information about the Enhanced Disclosure check and any related fees that you will need to pay will be provided in our offer letter, if your application to UCL is successful. Further information is available on our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/requirements">Entry requirements page</a>.', 'funding_ite': u'For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/teacher-training">UCL Scholarships and Funding website</a>.', 'english_requirement': u'The English language level for this programme is:', 'iris_text': u'Visit the <a href="http://iris.ucl.ac.uk" target="_blank" title="UCL IRIS research portal">IRIS research portal</a> to learn more about researchers\' activities, research groups, research centres and interdisciplinary networks across the whole of UCL.', 'register_interest': u'Keep up to date with news from UCL and receive personalised email alerts.<br><a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/ucl-plus/">Register your interest</a>', 'fees_note': u"Up-to-date tuition fee information is available at <a href='http://www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/money'>www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/money</a>", 'funding_no_schol': u'Scholarships and sources of funding may be available; please check our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships">Scholarships and Funding</a> website. You should take note of funding application deadlines as these will differ from programme application deadlines.', 'fees_generic': u'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 <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/students/fees">UCL Students website</a>.', 'ref_intro_text': u'', 'ref_about_text': u'The <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ref2014">Research Excellence Framework</a>, 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.', 'fundingGeneral': u'Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL\nScholarships website: <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships">www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships</a>', 'english_more': u'Further information can be found on our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/life/international/english-requirements">English language requirements</a> page.', 'application_generic': u'The deadline for applications is {app_date_1}.', 'destination_hesa_note': u'Careers data is taken from the \u2018Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education\u2019 survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013\u20132015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.', 'international_students': u'Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the <a class="clicktracker international" href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/international">International Students website</a>.', 'application_research': u'Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply/research/how-to-apply">How to apply</a> page.', 'ref_outro_text': u'Learn more about the scope of UCL\'s research, and browse case studies, on our <a href="https://www.ucl.ac.uk/impact/">Research Impact website</a>.', 'english_intro': u'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.', 'londonCareers': u"Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:<ul><li><a href='http://wlgd.thecareersgroup.co.uk' target='_blank'>What London Graduates Do</a></li></ul>", 'ite_degree_footer': u'UCL offers a wide range of routes into teaching. For an overview please see our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/subject-areas/teacher-training">teacher training subject page</a>.', 'funding_schol': u'Scholarships relevant to this <b>department</b> are displayed below. ', 'international_equivs': u'International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.'}
False

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019

Tuition Fees (2019/20)
UK/EU:
£15,220 (FT)
Overseas:
£27,470 (FT)
Application dates
All applicants
Open: 15 October 2018
Close: 26 July 2019

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 Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally, a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in biochemistry, biomedical sciences, life sciences, biochemical engineering, chemical biology or any related subject area, or a medical degree (MBBS), or a physical sciences degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with an appropriate professional qualification and relevant work experience may also apply.

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:

Funding

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Brown Family Bursary
Note:
Applications will open December/January
Value:
£15,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK students
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Application and next steps

Applications
Who can apply?

The programme attracts students from a wide range of science backgrounds including graduates from biology-based science degrees and the physical, engineering, chemical and mathematical sciences and we train them in this new field, enabling students to transfer these skills to further research, to industry and teaching.

Application dates
All applicants
Open: 15 October 2018
Close: 26 July 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now


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

Register your interest

Summary

{'application_note': u'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.', 'iris_logo': u'<a class="image" href="http://iris.ucl.ac.uk" title="UCL IRIS research portal" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/images/logos/iris-logo.png" alt="IRIS logo"></a>', 'funding_generic': u'For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships">Scholarships and Funding website</a>.', 'dbs_statement': u'If you are offered a place on a Teacher Training programme, you will be asked to apply for an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate from the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS). A satisfactory certificate is a condition of entry to the programme, as we need to assess your suitability for access to children and vulnerable adults. Further information about the Enhanced Disclosure check and any related fees that you will need to pay will be provided in our offer letter, if your application to UCL is successful. Further information is available on our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/requirements">Entry requirements page</a>.', 'funding_ite': u'For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/teacher-training">UCL Scholarships and Funding website</a>.', 'english_requirement': u'The English language level for this programme is:', 'iris_text': u'Visit the <a href="http://iris.ucl.ac.uk" target="_blank" title="UCL IRIS research portal">IRIS research portal</a> to learn more about researchers\' activities, research groups, research centres and interdisciplinary networks across the whole of UCL.', 'register_interest': u'Keep up to date with news from UCL and receive personalised email alerts.<br><a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/ucl-plus/">Register your interest</a>', 'fees_note': u"Up-to-date tuition fee information is available at <a href='http://www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/money'>www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/money</a>", 'funding_no_schol': u'Scholarships and sources of funding may be available; please check our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships">Scholarships and Funding</a> website. You should take note of funding application deadlines as these will differ from programme application deadlines.', 'fees_generic': u'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 <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/students/fees">UCL Students website</a>.', 'ref_intro_text': u'', 'ref_about_text': u'The <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ref2014">Research Excellence Framework</a>, 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.', 'fundingGeneral': u'Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL\nScholarships website: <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships">www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships</a>', 'english_more': u'Further information can be found on our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/life/international/english-requirements">English language requirements</a> page.', 'application_generic': u'The deadline for applications is {app_date_1}.', 'destination_hesa_note': u'Careers data is taken from the \u2018Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education\u2019 survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013\u20132015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.', 'international_students': u'Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the <a class="clicktracker international" href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/international">International Students website</a>.', 'application_research': u'Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply/research/how-to-apply">How to apply</a> page.', 'ref_outro_text': u'Learn more about the scope of UCL\'s research, and browse case studies, on our <a href="https://www.ucl.ac.uk/impact/">Research Impact website</a>.', 'english_intro': u'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.', 'londonCareers': u"Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:<ul><li><a href='http://wlgd.thecareersgroup.co.uk' target='_blank'>What London Graduates Do</a></li></ul>", 'ite_degree_footer': u'UCL offers a wide range of routes into teaching. For an overview please see our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/subject-areas/teacher-training">teacher training subject page</a>.', 'funding_schol': u'Scholarships relevant to this <b>department</b> are displayed below. ', 'international_equivs': u'International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.'}
False

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is recognised as one of the world's best research environments within the field of synthetic biology, molecular biology and biochemical engineering as well as biological and biomedical sciences. There is an emphasis on laboratory based work to put into practice in the lab what has been learnt in the taught modules of the course.

UCL Biochemical Engineering is in a unique position to offer tuition and research opportunities in internationally recognised laboratories that carry out synthetic biology research, and an appreciation of the multidisciplinary nature of synthetic biology research.

Students on this MRes programme undertake a major research project where topics can be chosen spanning the expertise in six departments across UCL.

Department: Biochemical Engineering

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

(Student / staff ratio correct as of current prospectus)

Projects

This is a list of titles of research projects available to students on the MRes Synthetic Biology programme in 2015/2016

  • Engineering the human microbiota: design and construction of robust therapeutic delivery devices
  • Direct cell reprogramming using microfluidic chips
  • Design of calcineurin variants containing unnatural amino acids to determine how the phosphatase is targeted during synaptic plasticity
  • Directed evolution of functional XNA molecules
  • Establishing a high-throughput tRNA charging assay
  • Properties of electron transfer in a spin labelled phage
  • 'Design and construction of rigid phage and viruses of different lengths and widths as molecular wires'
  • Making nanorings with toroidal currents from Ouroboros phage
  • Engineering Phaeodactylum for biocatalyst production
  • Design and use of de novo pathways for alkaloid biosynthesis
  • Design of an artificial signaling system
  • Repurposing a versatile genetic payload delivery system through refactoring studies
  • Expression of firefly luciferace in CHO cells to act as a reported for transcriptional activity of recombinant proteins
  • Engineering Synthetic Biology workflows with Antha-Lang
  • A DNA-based synthetic channel for the ligand-controlled transport across bilayers
  • Genome engineering to intensify productivity of a stable lentiviral ‘super-packaging’ cell line
  • Rewiring the Pichia pastoris genome to maximise industrial production of chiral amino alcohols
  • Combinatorial directed co-evolution of two enzymes in a novel pathway
  • Aminoacylases: the final step in a de novo pathway to antibiotics
  • Synthetic genes for modified Honey Bee silk
  • Designing and constructing phages for opto-electronic applications

Structure

The MRes in Synthetic Biology is composed of 4 parts; a major research project and 3 taught modules. The taught modules run from the end of September through to March with the research project beginning in January.  The choice of research project is made in November. These projects are offered from our own department and other groups spread across UCL which exemplifies the multidisciplinary nature of Synthetic Biology.

The three taught course modules and the research project add up to a total of 180 credits.

Synthetic Biology

(30 credits)

Research Skills

(15 credits)

Transferable Skills in Bioprocess Research and Development

(15 credits)

MRres Research Project

(120 credits)

Career

Henry de Malmanche, Graduate

Henry de Malmanche

(pictured right in photo)

"UCL is one of the few universities in the world offering a Synthetic Biology masters course.

[image reference is broken]

I found the Research masters to be challenging and stimulating - the taught component got me up to speed with the latest development in the field, and the research component allowed me to hone my skills in the laboratory. I was very impressed with the diversity of projects available for the research component of the course. To be able to conduct high-tech research right in the centre of the vast metropolis of London was icing on the cake. 

Since finishing the program I have received several offers for various PhD programmes, and I will shortly be beginning a PhD split between New Zealand and Australia working on virus bioprocessing using a synthetic biology approach. Without a doubt the MRes from UCL has opened doors for me whether applying for further postgraduate study or jobs in science and research. Recently I completed an internship at a NZ-based biotechnology company working on a very exciting project involving synthetic biology."

{'application_note': u'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.', 'iris_logo': u'<a class="image" href="http://iris.ucl.ac.uk" title="UCL IRIS research portal" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/images/logos/iris-logo.png" alt="IRIS logo"></a>', 'funding_generic': u'For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships">Scholarships and Funding website</a>.', 'dbs_statement': u'If you are offered a place on a Teacher Training programme, you will be asked to apply for an Enhanced Disclosure Certificate from the Disclosure Barring Service (DBS). A satisfactory certificate is a condition of entry to the programme, as we need to assess your suitability for access to children and vulnerable adults. Further information about the Enhanced Disclosure check and any related fees that you will need to pay will be provided in our offer letter, if your application to UCL is successful. Further information is available on our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/requirements">Entry requirements page</a>.', 'funding_ite': u'For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/teacher-training">UCL Scholarships and Funding website</a>.', 'english_requirement': u'The English language level for this programme is:', 'iris_text': u'Visit the <a href="http://iris.ucl.ac.uk" target="_blank" title="UCL IRIS research portal">IRIS research portal</a> to learn more about researchers\' activities, research groups, research centres and interdisciplinary networks across the whole of UCL.', 'register_interest': u'Keep up to date with news from UCL and receive personalised email alerts.<br><a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/ucl-plus/">Register your interest</a>', 'fees_note': u"Up-to-date tuition fee information is available at <a href='http://www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/money'>www.ucl.ac.uk/current-students/money</a>", 'funding_no_schol': u'Scholarships and sources of funding may be available; please check our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships">Scholarships and Funding</a> website. You should take note of funding application deadlines as these will differ from programme application deadlines.', 'fees_generic': u'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 <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/students/fees">UCL Students website</a>.', 'ref_intro_text': u'', 'ref_about_text': u'The <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/ref2014">Research Excellence Framework</a>, 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.', 'fundingGeneral': u'Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL\nScholarships website: <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships">www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships</a>', 'english_more': u'Further information can be found on our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/life/international/english-requirements">English language requirements</a> page.', 'application_generic': u'The deadline for applications is {app_date_1}.', 'destination_hesa_note': u'Careers data is taken from the \u2018Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education\u2019 survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013\u20132015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.', 'international_students': u'Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the <a class="clicktracker international" href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/international">International Students website</a>.', 'application_research': u'Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply/research/how-to-apply">How to apply</a> page.', 'ref_outro_text': u'Learn more about the scope of UCL\'s research, and browse case studies, on our <a href="https://www.ucl.ac.uk/impact/">Research Impact website</a>.', 'english_intro': u'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.', 'londonCareers': u"Find out more about London graduates' careers by visiting the Careers Group (University of London) website:<ul><li><a href='http://wlgd.thecareersgroup.co.uk' target='_blank'>What London Graduates Do</a></li></ul>", 'ite_degree_footer': u'UCL offers a wide range of routes into teaching. For an overview please see our <a href="http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/subject-areas/teacher-training">teacher training subject page</a>.', 'funding_schol': u'Scholarships relevant to this <b>department</b> are displayed below. ', 'international_equivs': u'International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.'}
False

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2019

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Careers

The Synthetic Biology MRes will qualify students to go on to work in the growing number of small companies engaged in synthetic biology both here in London and across the UK and the world. There are many large companies that are building their own synthetic biology potential and some of our students are already working with these groups. Our students often go on to do further research in PhDs and EngDs globally. Our graduates have practical experience of generating novel research with our unique facilities that makes them of great value to employers and collaborators. Some of our MRes graduates have set up their own synthetic biology spin-out companies.

Employability

Synthetic biology is a fast growing area of research and will have a major economic and social impact on the global economy in the coming decades. The involvement of molecular biologists, biochemists, engineers, physical scientists, chemists and biologists can create designed cells, enzymes and biological modules that can be combined in a defined manner. These can be used to make complex metabolic pathways for pharmaceuticals, designed and synthetic cells, novel hybrid biosensors or novel routes to biofuels. A future integration of biological devices and hybrid devices as components in the electronics industry might lead to a whole new high value industry for structured biological entities.

Student View

Sahan Liyanagedera

What is your background?
sahan-liyanagedera

I did my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Science at the 

Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry at Plymouth University.

I became interested in Synthetic Biology following a module on the final year of my degree on DNA sequencing technology. I was more interested in taking a course that would give me experience in a laboratory than focus on an exam. I think I’ve learned more over the past few weeks working on my project than I did over my degree, especially due to having no experience in Molecular Biology techniques.

What is your research project?

My project aim is to link the Transaminsae and Transketolase Enzymes via a flexible linker and express this  fusion enzyme in the yeast Pichia Pastoris. If accomplished it will increase the efficiency of the two step pathway these enzymes are involved in that produces chiral amino alcohols; which is present in 40% of pharmaceuticals. 

What inspired you to become a biochemical engineer?

The ability to make things, to be creative. We all consume so much that it’s a great opportunity to actually create something.

What is your aim after graduation?

I am considering studying for a Phd in Biochemical Engineering and then studying medicine.