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UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering

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Biochemical Engineering MSc

A multidisciplinary programme at the interface of biology and engineering providing graduates with the skills necessary to design, develop and oversee the next generation of industrial bioprocesses.

Biochemical engineers apply the principles of biology, chemistry and engineering in order to design processes that make use of living cells (or their components). They operate as the link that transforms the latest life science discoveries into modern industrial processes. Their primary role is to design, implement and oversee every step of the transfer from the lab to commercial scale production.

To find out core information about this degree, such as entry requirements, programme length and cost, visit the UCL prospectus site.

Course Structure

On this 1-year MSc programme you will learn how to link knowledge of biological science with fundamental engineering principles. This could be to design new routes of manufacture, create novel transformative technologies or develop clinical processes. Through problem based learning and practical workshops you will develop advanced engineering skills (such as bioprocess design, bioreactor engineering, downstream processing), train on state-of-the-art life science techniques (such as molecular biology, vaccine development, microfluidics) and gain essential business and regulatory knowledge (such as management, quality control, commercialisation).

Three distinct pathways (called “streams”) are offered tailored for graduate scientists, engineers, or biochemical engineers. Two of the streams have been designed as fast track conversion programmes for graduates with a background either in the Life Sciences or in another Engineering discipline and one stream has been designed as a specialized advanced course for Bioprocess Engineers.

Engineering stream

Suitable for graduates in applied/molecular biology, biotechnology, microbiology, (bio-)chemistry and life sciences, the Engineering Stream focusses on core engineering principles and bioprocess unit operations with a final bioprocess design project.

The philosophy of the MSc Biochemical Engineering (Engineering Stream) is to equip high quality numerate science graduates of relevant disciplines (such as Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Chemistry) with the engineering knowledge necessary to pursue a wide range of careers within the process industries and beyond.

Core modules
Dissertation Element
Optional modules

Students must choose one module from the following options:

Science stream

Suitable for graduates in chemical engineering, process engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and civil engineering, the Science Stream focusses on fundamental biosciences and advanced bioprocess design with a final bioprocess research project. 

The philosophy of the MSc Biochemical Engineering (Science Stream) is to teach high quality engineering graduates the skills needed to address the rapidly developing life sciences and the challenges of turning them into real outcomes especially within the biopharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.

Core modules
Dissertation Element
Optional modules

Pool A, students must choose one module from the following options:

Pool B, students must choose one module from the following options:

Biochemical Engineering stream

Suitable for graduates in biochemical engineering and bioprocess engineering the Biochemical Engineering Stream focusses on advanced biochemical engineering and advanced bioprocess design with a final bioprocess research project.

The philosophy of the MSc Biochemical Engineering (Biochemical Engineering Stream) is to provide graduates with further insight into the challenges of processing delicate biological materials and to enable them to relate their advanced engineering skills with the regulatory, environmental, social and commercial demands of the bioprocess industries particularly in the healthcare and biotechnology sectors.

Core modules
Dissertation Element
Optional modules

Students must choose three modules from the following options:

In the next decade and beyond, the contributions of biochemical engineers to the worldwide community will have a significant impact on human health and wellbeing through the development of new medicines and cell based therapies, novel biomaterials and environmentally friendly biofuels from renewable sources as well as improved approaches to monitor and reduce environmental pollution.

Find out more and apply