UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering


Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies MSc

Developing the next generation of engineers, scientists and business professionals to address the manufacturing, scientific and commercial challenges of advanced stem cell and gene therapy development

Please note

Applications may close earlier than the stated deadline if all places on the programme are filled.

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Dr Qasim Rafiq introduces the new Manufacture and Commercialisation of Cell and Gene Therapies MSc, together with current UCL Biochemical Engineering students and members of the steering committee.

This programme is aimed at enabling, enhancing and empowering two types of complementary future leaders:

  1. Scientific and Manufacturing Leaders: those individuals who focus on furthering and leading scientific R&D and manufacturing activity within the advanced therapy sector, with a view to improving productivity, enhancing efficiency and minimizing the cost of production, and thereby tackling the critical issues holding back the sector.
  2. Technology and Business Leaders:  those individuals who understand the key scientific and technology innovations in the sector and can drive commercial growth, profitability and operational excellence to maintain a competitive advantage. Through the establishment and implementation of business strategies, these leaders will address the translational bottlenecks and are motivated to make advanced therapies accessible to all.

Visit graduate prospectus to apply

Course information

This one-year, full-time programme will involve a combination of both biological and lab-based bioprocessing studies in conjunction with core research-based educational content covering a range of novel therapeutic modalities and the translation of these advanced therapies from the laboratory to the market.

Through close industry partner involvement in the development and delivery of this programme, you will be introduced to real-life case studies of novel therapeutic manufacture. In addition to being taught by UCL academics who will draw upon extensive industrial research collaborations, you will receive lectures from industry experts and guest speakers to provide you with the industrial relevance and the wider commercial context. You will, therefore, benefit greatly from the academic expertise and real-world commercial and clinical insights which will be brought together through this holistic educational approach.

The programme places special emphasis on exposing you to a wide-range of industrially-enriching experiences including visits to company and manufacturing sites (at no additional cost) to embed the learning and grasp the reality of a commercial setting. This significant focus on industry engagement will enable you to understand and address relevant, commercial challenges and establish your own professional network. This builds on the department’s extensive industrial research activity with over 50 different company collaborations. You will analyse and develop solutions to scenarios based on real-life commercial case studies involving novel therapy manufacture. 

The extensive practical and hands-on nature of the course means that you will learn key laboratory techniques and research skills including aseptic cell culture training, the growth, maintenance and characterization of different types of stem cells (embryonic and adult stem cell) and other key cell types of interest (e.g. T-cells) as well as developing the necessary research and data analysis skills to excel in an R&D and commercial setting. 

This innovative and highly-multidisciplinary programme has been co-developed and will be co-delivered with industry partners and will have a specific industrially-led steering committee to ensure that the content remains relevant and at the cutting-edge of this fast-paced, competitive sector. This puts you at a significant competitive advantage upon graduating as you will have been taught by world-leading academics complimented with industrially-leading experts in the advanced stem cell and gene therapy field.

Course Structure

The course has been designed with extensive industry input and aligns with the clinical and commercial need within the advanced therapy sector. The course comprises of six core modules as outlined below:



The rapid developments in the stem cell and gene therapy fields have created skills shortage in this high-value manufacturing sector. Graduates from our undergraduate with a focus on advanced therapies have secured positions at leading national and international companies, ranging from SMEs to large companies including, but not limited to, Autolus, Meira GTx, GSK, Orchard Therapeutics, Novartis, ReNeuron, Sartorius and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult.

The department places great emphasis on its ability to assist its graduates in taking up exciting careers in the sector. UCL alumni, together with the department’s links with industrial groups, provide an excellent source of leads for graduates. Over 1,000 students have graduated from UCL with graduate qualifications in biochemical engineering at Master’s or Doctoral levels. Many have gone on to distinguished and senior positions in the international bioindustry. Others have followed independent academic careers in universities around the world.

Find out more

Applications now open for September 2020. If you would like to find out more details about the programme and receive invitations to events where you can find out more please click the button below to leave your details with us.

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