XClose

UCL Graduate degrees

Home
Menu

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.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£13,290 (FT)
Overseas:
£34,150 (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.

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

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.

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study.  We have included these updates below:   Core Practical Research Skills (BENG0069) will now take place in terms 2 and 3. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.  

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%).

Fieldwork

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.


Covid-19 field trip updates
Due to COVID-19 updates, there may need to be changes to planned field trips for this programme. This will depend on travel restrictions, social distancing measures, and the availability of the relevant venues. Your department will keep you updated if field trips are able to occur and/or any alternative options available.

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.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 practical component updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be changes to the availability of the practical components for your chosen programme. Any updates relate only to the 20/21 academic year and may not apply to all students across the programme depending on your year of study.  Your department will keep you updated if the practical component of your programme is able to occur and/or any alternative options available.   There may need to be additional updates or changes to the practical component during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and/or Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available. 
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

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.

Accessibility

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

Funding

Brown Family Bursary

Value:
    £15,000 (1 year)

Eligibility:
    UK

Criteria:
    Based on both academic merit and financial need

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Brown Family Bursary

Note:
This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
Value:
£15,000 (1 year)
Eligibility:
UK
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and 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.

Careers

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.

Employability

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

Application and next steps

Applications

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.

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
11 August 2020

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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020