UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Biochemical Engineering and Bioprocess Leadership EngD

The EngD programme provides unique opportunities to explore novel science and engineering in a manufacturing and business context relevant to future careers in the international bioindustry.

Key information

Application information

To apply for the EngD in Biochemical Engineering and Bioprocess Leadership, please complete your application on UCL’s Application portal. Please make sure that apart from the basic requirements, you provide your up-to-date CV and a short cover letter with your broad area of research interest (Industrial Biotechnology / Biopharmaceuticals / Cell and Gene Therapies).
Projects are confirmed throughout the year (the majority of them in Spring/Summer) and we will contact shortlisted candidates afterwards.
Please note that students who require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK are not eligible to apply for this programme.
We are unable to offer studentships on this course for any overseas fee-paying students.

Apply via UCL application portal

Programme information 

This 4-year EngD programme is a research degree, equivalent to a PhD, with an additional training element designed to develop sector-specific skills and prepare graduates for leadership positions within the bioindustry sector. All projects are industry collaborative with up to 75% of the researcher’s time being spent with the sponsoring company.

Please note, all choices are subject to space on modules, timetabling constraints and the approval of the relevant Module Tutor and the Programme Director.

Year 1

Compulsory/ core modules

  • Design of Experiments for Bioprocess Optimisation
  • Industrial Synthetic Biology
  • Microfluidic and Analytical Tools for Synthetic Biology
  • Pilot Plant Project
  • Pilot Plant Unit Operations
  • Transferable Skills in Bioprocess Research and Development
  • Research Skills

There is also a major research project element that provides the basis for year one assessment and progression. The research project is closely related to the cutting-edge research carried out in the department and is performed in collaboration with the industrial sponsor.

Year 2-4

Optional modules

Researchers are able to choose optional modules that suit their interests, support their doctoral research project and address advanced knowledge of the discipline as well as transferable skills. Many are taken together with industrial delegates as part of the department’s MBI® Training Programme. Researchers choose from a range of modules structured along one of three career development pathways:

  • Business and Enterprise 
  • Public Policy and Engagement
  • Manufacturing Excellence

Elective modules

In addition, elective modules can be taken at the London Business School, the Manufacturing Institute or with other specialist providers depending upon the training needs of the researcher and project.

Dissertation/ report

A thesis of a maximum of 100,000 words forms the final part of the EngD training.

Research areas

The EngD Centre research ranges from fundamental studies through to their translation and impact on clinical and commercial practice. Research is structured across five main areas:

  • High throughput bioprocess design: the creation of single-use, automation and microfluidic technologies to give fundamental insights into bioprocess design and scale-up
  • Industrial biotechnology: biocatalysis for the sustainable synthesis of chemicals and pharmaceuticals from renewable resources
  • Macromolecular medicines: the manufacture of advanced biopharmaceutical therapies including antibodies, genes and recombinant vaccines
  • Regenerative medicine: the translation of stem cell science into novel cell and tissue-based therapies
  • Synthetic biology: the rational engineering of biological systems to deliver new safe, efficient and sustainable bioprocess options.

Teaching staff

Programme director

Professor Gary Lye

Lecturers and Teaching Fellows

Details of specific lecturers and teaching fellows can be found on module pages.


To illustrate how the course will be taught, you can find live timetable information at timetable.ucl.ac.uk - simply click on 'Degree programme' and enter the desired course title.


Visit our Facilities page to find out how our spaces and resources will assist in your learning, or visit the UCL Prospective Students site to find out what's more widely available to students.


All Biochemical Engineering students are based in Bloomsbury, London. Visit our About section to find out more.