UCL Graduate degrees


Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies MSc

Rapid developments in the stem cell and gene therapy field have created skills shortages in this high-value manufacturing sector. This innovative and industrially-relevant MSc, which is co-developed and co-delivered by industry experts, provides key skills, practical training and expertise to develop future generations of engineers, scientists and business professionals with the breadth and depth required to manufacture and deliver 21st century medicines.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£14,300 (FT)
£36,900 (FT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree in relevant subject (e.g. Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Bioengineering, Environmental Science, Engineering, Chemistry or Business with a Biotechnology component) from a UK university or the equivalent from an approved overseas institution. Candidates offering recent industrial experience are also encouraged to apply.

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: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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.

International students

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.

Select your country:

About this degree

Students will learn the manufacturing and commercial requirements for advanced therapies via lectures, company site visits and extensive practical laboratory training. Leading industry professionals will teach the commercial and regulatory requirements.

Students will:

  • Understand requirements for translation from bench to bedside.
  • Learn from venture capitalists/life science business professionals.
  • Learn transferable management/communication skills.
  • Receive support/mentoring to make informed career choices.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits

The programme consists of five compulsory taught modules (120 credits) and a compulsory research project (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies.

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.

Compulsory modules

  • Advanced Therapy Manufacture
  • Commercialisation, Regulation and Ethics of Advanced Therapies
  • Pre-clinical and Clinical Analysis of Advanced Therapies
  • Emerging Tools and Technologies for New Medicines
  • Core Practical Research Skills
  • MSc Advanced Therapy Research Project

Optional modules

There are no optional modules.

Research project/report

The MSc programme culminates with the MSc Advanced Therapy Research Project, which offers students in a relevant advanced therapy stem cell/gene therapy application area. This module has a total credit value of 60 credits.

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 7,500 words (max) which is worth 50% of the module. Other module assessments include a Poster (20%), Poster Defence (10%), Laboratory Performance (10%) and assessment of the Laboratory Notebook (10%).


The programme will provide a minimum of three commercial/clinical site visits (at no additional cost to the student).

This is intended to expose students to a wide-range of industrially-enriching experiences. These visits to company and manufacturing sites will embed the learning and grasp the reality of a commercial setting. Additionally, this significant focus on industry engagement will enable you to understand and address relevant, commercial challenges and establish your own professional network.

Teaching and learning

The approach to the teaching and learning will focus on three types of teaching methods: (1) lecture-based content, (2) problem-based learning where students will work in smaller groups or individually on real-life case studies to solve open-ended problems, (3) lab-based experimental learning which will include training of key cell culture procedures and analytical and experimental techniques.

All activities are designed to enable student learning and engagement with the core topics of the programme, providing an overview of the breadth of research in the field. This is complemented by substantial independent study and pre-reading. Students will be expected to engage in critical discussions to explore the material covered in lectures and seminar sessions. In addition, students will be expected to work as teams on case studies and presentations where mentoring will be provided during the tutorial and preparation sessions.

It is estimated that approximately 35% of student time will be spent in lectures, tutorials and industry site visits. Another 25% will be spent undertaking practical laboratory work and the remainder in independent study.

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.


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.


Brown Family Bursary

    £15,000 (1 year)


    Based on both academic merit and financial need

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

The Pall Biotech Postgraduate Taught Scholarship

Deadline extended: 5pm, 17 June 2021
USD $10,000 (approx. £7500) (1 year)
Based on financial need

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


Graduates from this MSc will be in high demand due to their breadth of expertise, extensive understanding industrial requirements and problem-solving skills.

Potential roles include senior scientific, R&D, manufacturing and management positions. Given the content of the MSc, the significant commercial exposure and substantial focus on industrial activity, students will develop an extensive professional network.

Since 2017, undergraduate/postgraduate students from our department have secured positions in the advanced therapy sector at UK and global companies including Autolus, GSK, Meira GTx, Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult amongst others. Graduates will be well-positioned to advance their research skills and study for a PhD/EngD.


This MSc will provide the necessary skills, practical training and sector-specific expertise to succeed in this field. Students will learn numerous practical techniques including the culture of human adult and embryonic stem cells, T-cells and characterisation techniques.

Students will be taught about the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) and how this applies to the clinical and commercial requirements for advanced therapy development.

Designed to produce graduates that are industry-ready and can affect organisational change, this MSc will include a specific focus on entrepreneurship, developing advanced managerial skills, enhancing leadership and communication abilities and establishing an effective global academic and industrial network.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Students will be introduced to real-life case studies of novel therapeutic manufacture and will be taught by UCL academics who will draw upon extensive industrial research collaborations to ensure academic quality and rigour; this will be supplemented with lectures from industry experts to provide industrial relevance and wider commercial context.

The MSc places special emphasis on exposing you to a wide-range of industrially-enriching experiences including visits to manufacturing sites to embed learning and enable you to develop your professional network. You will therefore benefit greatly from the academic expertise and real-world commercial insights brought together through this holistic educational approach.

This programme will also provide 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).

The programme is hosted by the Department of Biochemical Engineering which is the leading UK centre for biochemical and bioprocess engineering and has been awarded over £100M in research and infrastructure funding to addressing the bioprocessing challenges of biologics, vaccines and advanced therapies.

This innovative and highly-multidisciplinary programme has been co-developed and will be co-delivered with industry partners. This puts the students at a significant competitive advantage upon graduating as they will have been taught by world-leading academics complemented with industrially-leading experts.

Designed to produce graduates that are industry-ready and can affect organisational change, this MSc will provide core aspects traditionally associated with MBA programmes including a specific focus on entrepreneurship, developing advanced managerial skills, enhancing leadership and communication abilities and establishing an effective global academic and industrial network.

Department: Biochemical Engineering

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Application and 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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This MSc will enable and empower two types of complementary future leaders:

(1) Scientific and Manufacturing Leaders: those who further and lead scientific R&D/manufacturing activity within the sector.

(2) Business and Technology Leaders:  those who understand the key business/technology innovations and drive commercial growth, profitability and operational excellence to maintain competitive advantage.

Application deadlines

All applicants
31 May 2021

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • What your motivations are for studying this MSc programme
  • What particularly attracts you to the MSc
  • How your academic, professional/personal background meets the demands of a challenging programme.
  • How will the MSc help you in your future career aspirations

The personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021