Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies MSc

London, Stratford (UCL East)

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.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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.

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

This one-year, full-time programme will provide you with the latest advances in the rapidly growing sector of advanced therapies and regenerative medicine, as well as providing an in-depth industry perspective, research experience with internationally renowned research groups and key transferable skills to catapult your career.

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.

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

Who this course is for

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.

What this course will give you

This innovative and unique 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.

On our MSc, you will develop the key skills required for the stages of the translational pathway of stem cell and gene therapy products, including fundamental biology, viral/non-vector design, pre-clinical and clinical studies, GMP manufacturing, technology innovation, process analytical technologies, risk-based analysis (e.g. Quality by Design), quality assurance and control, clinical design, commercialisation and market authorisation.

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.

The 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.

In 2023, the programme will transfer to the UCL East campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which provides an exciting opportunity for enhancing delivery of the department’s educational programmes.

The foundation of your career

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.


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.

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.

Upon graduating from the programme, students from our department have secured positions in the advanced therapy sector at UK and global companies including GSK, Oxford Biomedica, Exmoor Pharma and Ori Biotech amongst others. Graduates have also been accepted onto doctoral programmes (PhD/EngD) at UCL and elsewhere.


The MSc was set up in collaboration with a steering committee comprised of industrial partners who are closely involved in the design and delivery of the programme. The committee provides mentoring and advice to the students. The programme leader and module leaders organise events such as networking sessions, coffee mornings and dinners with key leaders and alumni. The programme has several years of graduates who are closely connected with each other and the programme and are engaged with current students.
Other opportunities include

  1. Attendance at conferences and meetings with industrial partners
  2. "Dragon's Den" business plan pitch
  3. Networking sessions
  4. Industry and clinical visits
  5. Industry and alumni dinner
  6. Coffee morning sessions with experts
  7. Meetings with VC and key opinion leaders

Teaching and learning

The MSc Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies has implemented a range of teaching practice innovations to meet the knowledge and skills needs of this emerging field. Key practices include problem-based learning, peer assessment, group work, enterprise projects etc. As a student, you will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials/case studies, group projects, and practicals. Industrial visits and talks are a core component of the degree giving students practical and practise-led insight into the field of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies and of how to bring these new therapies to market

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.

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.


Students will take a total of six modules over the duration of the one-year programme that will have a total of 180 credits.

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies.


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.


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
Tuition fees (2024/25) £17,300
Tuition fees (2024/25) £44,400

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

Brown Family Bursary

    £15,000 (1 year)


    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.

UCL East London Scholarship

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,700 stipend ()
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

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 Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies at graduate level
  • why you want to study Manufacture and Commercialisation of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

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 (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

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.