Biochemical Engineering MSc

London, Bloomsbury

Have you ever wondered how the latest life science discoveries, such as a novel stem cell therapy, can move from the lab into commercial scale production? Would you like to know whether it is possible to produce bio-polymers (plastics) and biofuels from municipal or agricultural waste? If you are thinking of a career in the pharma or biotech industries, the Biochemical Engineering MSc could be the right programme for you.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£16,500
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£32,100
Duration
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications open

Entry requirements

Normal entry requirements are at least a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or the equivalent from an approved overseas institution. Candidates offering recent industrial experience are also encouraged to apply. As with any engineering discipline numeracy skills are important for the quantitative description of biological and physical phenomena. Evidence of numerical ability is requested as either an A level in Mathematics (or in exceptional cases, in Physics) or some mathematics studied at university. The department provides mathematics tutoring for Master's students throughout the year adjusted to a candidate's ability.

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

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. International Preparation Courses

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

ATAS statement

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.

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 MSc programme focuses on the core biochemical engineering principles that enable the translation of advances in the life sciences into real processes or products. Students will develop advanced engineering skills (such as bioprocess design, bioreactor engineering, downstream processing), state-of-the-art life science techniques (such as molecular biology, vaccine development, microfluidics) and essential business and regulatory knowledge (such as management, quality control, commercialisation).

The MSc offers distinct routes tailored both for graduate scientists and engineers:

  • MSc Biochemical Engineering for Scientists (accredited by the IChemE at B-Standard)
  • MSc Biochemical Engineering for Engineers (accredited by the IChemE at F-Standard)

MSc Biochemical Engineering, Advanced Biochemical Engineering (accredited by the IChemE at F-Standard)

Who this course is for

This programme is suitable for graduate scientists holding qualifications in applied biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacy or other related subjects. Graduate engineers who apply normally hold qualifications in chemical and/or biochemical engineering, process engineering or other related engineering disciplines.

What this course will give you

This programme is suitable for graduate scientists holding qualifications in applied biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacy or other related subjects and graduate engineers who hold qualifications in chemical and/or biochemical engineering, process engineering or other related engineering disciplines.

UCL was a founding laboratory of the discipline of biochemical engineering, established the first UK department and is the largest international centre for bioprocess teaching and research. Our internationally recognised MSc programme maintains close links with the research activities of the Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering which ensures that lecture and case study examples are built around the latest biological discoveries and bioprocessing technologies.

UCL Biochemical Engineering co-ordinates bioprocess research and training collaborations with more than a dozen UCL departments, a similar number of national and international university partners and over 40 international companies. MSc students directly benefit from our close ties with industry through their participation in the department's MBI Training Programme.

The MBI Training Programme is the largest leading international provider of innovative UCL-accredited short courses in bioprocessing designed primarily for industrialists. Courses are designed and delivered in collaboration with 70 industrial experts to support continued professional and technical development within the industry. Our MSc students have the unique opportunity to sit alongside industrial delegates, to gain deeper insights into the industrial application of taught material and to build a network of contacts to support their future careers. 

The foundation of your career

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 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.

Employability

The rapid advancements in biology and the life sciences create a need for highly trained, multidisciplinary graduates possessing technical skills and a fundamental understanding of both the biological and engineering aspects relevant to modern industrial bioprocesses. Consequently, UCL biochemical engineers are in high demand due to their breadth of expertise, numerical ability and problem-solving skills. The first destinations of those who graduate from the Master's programme in biochemical engineering reflect the highly relevant nature of the training delivered.

Approximately three-quarters of our graduates elect either to take up employment in the relevant biotechnology industries or study for a PhD or an EngD, while the remainder follow careers in the management, financial or engineering design sectors.

Accreditation

Our MSc is accredited by the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).

The routes "for Engineers" and Advanced Biochemical Engineering are accredited by the IChemE as meeting the further learning requirements, in full, for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng, MIChemE).

The route for Scientists is accredited by the IChemE as meeting the learning requirements, in full, for registration as an Incorporated Chemical Engineer (AMIChemE).

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, and individual and group activities. Guest lectures delivered by industrialists provide a professional and social context. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, coursework, individual and group project reports, individual and group oral presentations, and the research or design project.

Modules

Full-time

The department offers two different routes depending on the first degree of the applicants.

The MSc Biochemical Engineering (for Scientists) route is designed to equip science graduates with the essential process of engineering knowledge and biochemical engineering insight in terms one and two that builds upon their relevant earlier learning. These new skills are further developed and applied in practical and group work sessions including major design and enterprise projects in the summer term.

An overview of the programme taken is provided below according to the broad areas of study: 

  • Essential process engineering: Bioprocess Synthesis and Mapping, Fluid Flow and Mixing, Heat and Mass Transfer.
  • Advanced biochemical engineering: Advanced Bioreactor Engineering, Integrated Downstream Processing, Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control, Biochemical Engineering Laboratory
  • One optional module (Commercialisation of Research Ideas or Sustainable Bioprocesses and Biorefineries or Advanced Safety and Loss Prevention).
  • Dissertation option in Bioprocess Research or Bioprocess Design

The MSc Biochemical Engineering (for Engineers) route designed to take first degree chemical and process engineering graduates and equip them with underpinning bioscience knowledge and advanced biochemical engineering insight in term one and two. These skills are further developed and applied in practical and group work sessions including major research and enterprise projects in the summer term.

  • Appraisal and application of advanced life sciences: Fundamental Biosciences
  • Advanced biochemical engineering: Advanced Bioreactor Engineering, Integrated Downstream Processing, Sustainable Industrial Bioprocesses and Biorefineries, Bioprocess Systems Engineering, Biochemical Engineering Laboratory
  • One module from Pool A comprising of three advanced modules (Vaccine Bioprocess Development, Industrial Synthetic Biology, Bio-microfluidics and Microsystems Engineering)
  • One module from Pool B of optional modules (see below, same as Pool B for Advanced Biochemical Engineering Pathway)
  • Dissertation option in Bioprocess Research or Bioprocess Design

Within this route, the Advanced Biochemical Engineering Pathway is designed to take first degree biochemical engineering graduates and provide Masters level modules encompassing the latest advances in the sector. In term one and two, your skills are further developed and applied in practical and group work sessions including a major research project in the summer term.

An overview of the programme taken is provided below according to the broad areas of study:

  • Advanced biochemical engineering: Vaccine Bioprocess Development, Industrial Synthetic Biology, Bio-microfluidics and Microsystems Engineering, Sustainable Industrial Bioprocesses and Biorefineries, Bioprocess Systems Engineering, Industrial Synthetic Biology, Biochemical Engineering Laboratory
  • One module from Pool A of optional modules (Process Dynamics and Control, Water and Wastewater Treatment or Environmental Systems)
  • One module from Pool B of optional modules (Commercialisation of Research Ideas, Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control, Energy Systems and Sustainability
  • Dissertation option in Bioprocess Research or Bioprocess Design

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 is subject to change.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Biochemical Engineering.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: How have biochemical engineers helped fight the pandemic?

Biochemical Engineers have been critical to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, with our researchers and graduates not only playing a critical role in vaccine manufacture but also many other areas. In this session, we will have academics discussing this and the many other biochemical engineering approaches being used to solve the world's problems.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £16,500
Tuition fees (2022/23) £32,100

Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.

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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

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

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

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

Next steps

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Biochemical Engineering at graduate level
  • why you want to study Biochemical Engineering at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic, professional and personal background meets the demands of a challenging programme. We are particularly interested in any individual or group research project that you have undertaken.
  • how will the MSc help you in your future career aspirations

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible. The programme may remain open if places are still available after 31 March 2022 and will be closed as soon as it is full or by 30 June 2022.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021