Biochemical Engineering and Bioprocess Leadership EngD

London, Bloomsbury

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. It will equip graduates with the necessary research skills and commercial and regulatory insights to progress rapidly to leadership positions across the global bioindustry.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
4 calendar years
7 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree, or a UK Master's degree, in life or physical sciences or engineering, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant industrial experience can also be considered.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

If you are intending to apply for a time-limited visa to complete your UCL studies (e.g., Student visa, Skilled worker visa, PBS dependant visa etc.) you may be required to obtain ATAS clearance. This will be confirmed to you if you obtain an offer of a place. Please note that ATAS processing times can take up to six months, so we recommend you consider these timelines when submitting your application to UCL.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Our graduate programmes are internationally recognised and draw on advances in life sciences and the core discipline of biochemical engineering. We maintain close teaching and research links with other highly rated UCL departments and with experts from other departments throughout the UK and overseas, and are also involved in close collaborations with industry. This vibrant department leads in the field and offers an exciting graduate training and research environment. Independent assessments confirm the excellence and breadth of the department's taught programmes (IChemE accredited) and place our research programmes at the forefront of international endeavours.

Who this course is for

This unique EngD programme provides our research students the opportunity to explore novel science and engineering in a manufacturing and business context while also being embedded in the UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering.

What this course will give you

UCL was one of the founding biochemical engineering laboratories and established the first UK university department in the discipline. UCL Biochemical Engineering is a world leader and co-ordinates bioprocess-related activities across the university. In the latest UK Research Excellence Framework UCL (REF2021) was ranked second in research power, 97% of “Engineering” outputs were ranked as either "world-leading" (4*) or “internationally excellent”

The department has outstanding facilities following capital investments worth over £30 million in recent years. These include a full-scale bioprocess pilot plant and new laboratory suites for synthetic biology, stem cell and virus bioprocessing research. Researchers have access to further resources across UCL, which was rated 2nd in the UK for research power in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.

The EngD Centre has received continuous support since 1999 and is a national focus for bioprocess research and training. Researchers at the centre are embedded within a vibrant research community of over 100 doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.

The foundation of your career

An EngD in Bioprocess Engineering Leadership is ideal for science and engineering graduates who intend to work in the bioindustry sector, or who have yet to decide between an academic or industrial career. Research projects are created in collaboration with individual industry partners meaning that the results of each project have an immediate impact on real-world problems. Close connections with all of our industrial collaborators ensure that you are equipped with leading-edge skill sets that will enable you to tackle the next generation of bioprocess challenges, beyond the scope of your individual project.


Excellent and diverse career paths are available for you. Well over one hundred EngD researchers have graduated to date with 97% progressing to relevant bioindustry careers. Many now hold distinguished and senior positions in the bio/pharmaceutical, chemical, cell therapy and personal care product sectors. The majority are engaged in bioprocess research and development, equipment and software design and manufacturing. Others have followed management and investment careers in the biotechnology field or have established independent academic careers in universities around the world.


The EngD Centre has extensive collaborative links, both in the UK and internationally, providing unparalleled opportunities for you to network with future academic and industrial collaborators. Over one hundred EngD projects have been completed to date with over sixty-five different companies. There is an established network of former UCL EngD graduates many of whom now sponsor current EngD researchers.

Over 70 industrial experts contribute each year to the department's MBI Training Programme. EngD researchers take these modules as full industrial delegates and the programme is attended by over 150 industrialists annually.

Teaching and learning

The EngD 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.

The programme consists of seven core modules that address research and professional skills specific to the sector:

  • Design of Experiments and Bioprocess Data Mining
  • Biomolecular and Cellular Analysis
  • Pilot Plant Project
  • Pilot Plant Unit Operations
  • Responsible Innovation (RI) in Healthcare
  • 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.

In years two to four researchers take a wide variety of optional modules to suit their interests and support their doctoral research project. These address advanced knowledge of the discipline as well as transferable skills and many are taken together with industrial delegates as part of the department's MBI Training Programme.

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

Students are registered on a 4-year EngD (total of 255 credits); with an MRes exit award from the end of Year 1 onwards if eligible. Students must take 180 credits in Year 1 including 172.5 compulsory and 7.5 credits of optional modules. In years 2-4 students choose 45 credits of optional modules on top of 30 credits of compulsory ones.

Typically these are full-time research programmes that take place in partnership with an industrial partner.

Research areas and structure

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.

Research environment

The Department is a world leader in bioprocess research creating novel engineering solutions to underpin future biomanufacturing operations across a range of sectors, including biopharmaceuticals, cell and gene therapies, vaccines, bio-manufactured small molecules, bioenergy, biorefining and bioremediation. The interdisciplinary Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering (ACBE) coordinates bioprocess research and training across UCL and with numerous external collaborators from academia and industry.

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.

The programme is full-time but students may request to move to part-time if on a case-by-case basis as agreed with their supervisor. 

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £6,035 £3,015
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website:

Additional costs

There are no additional costs for this programme.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

EPSRC studentships are available to UK applicants and there are a limited number for exceptional overseas candidates.

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

CSC-UCL Joint Research Scholarship

Value: Fees, maintenance and travel (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Next steps

Applications are considered throughout the year but interviews are generally held in March each year and the start date is usually in September/October.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

Got questions? Get in touch

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