Synthetic Biology MRes

London, Bloomsbury

This MRes programme trains students in the fast-growing area of synthetic biology, a discipline that takes the knowledge and understanding we now have of the individual parts of biological systems and uses them in a defined way to design and build novel artificial biological systems.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£17,270
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£31,040
Duration
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications open

Entry requirements

Normally, a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in biochemistry, biomedical sciences, life sciences, biochemical engineering, chemical biology or any related subject area, or a medical degree (MBBS), or a physical sciences degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with an appropriate professional qualification and relevant work experience may also 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: 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


Students develop an understanding of the areas involved in synthetic biology, including engineering principles, mathematical modelling, advanced molecular biology, microbiology, biochemical engineering and necessary chemistry. Modules also provide the necessary skills for acquisition and critical analysis of the primary scientific literature and transferable research development skills. This programme includes a major research project that will provide in-depth training in synthetic biology research methods.

Who this course is for

This programme attracts students from a wide range of science backgrounds including graduates from biology-based science degrees and the physical, engineering, chemical and mathematical sciences and we train them in this new field, enabling students to transfer these skills to further research, to industry and teaching.

What this course will give you

UCL has a vibrant community of academics who are experts within the fields of synthetic biology, molecular biology and biochemical engineering as well as biological and biomedical sciences. There is an emphasis on laboratory-based work to put into practice the material covered in the taught modules of the course and students are given the opportunity to present their research to their peers and UCL academics as part of their assessment.

The foundation of your career

Synthetic biology is a fast growing area of research and will have a major economic and social impact on the global economy in the coming decades. The involvement of molecular biologists, biochemists, engineers, physical scientists, chemists and biologists can create designed cells, enzymes and biological modules that can be combined in a defined manner. These can be used to make complex metabolic pathways for pharmaceuticals, designed and synthetic cells, novel hybrid biosensors or novel routes to biofuels. A future integration of biological devices and hybrid devices as components in the electronics industry might lead to a whole new high value industry for structured biological entities.

Employability

This Synthetic Biology MRes will qualify students to explore work within the growing number of small companies engaged in synthetic biology both here in London and across the UK and the world. There are many large companies that are building their own synthetic biology potential and some of our students are already working with these groups. Our students often go on to do further research in PhDs and EngDs globally. Our graduates have practical experience of generating novel research with our unique facilities that makes them of great value to employers and collaborators. Some of our MRes graduates have set up their own synthetic biology spin-out companies.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars and tutorials, combining research-led and skills-based modules. The taught modules are assessed by assignments and coursework. The research project is assessed by an oral presentation, submission of a dissertation and is subject to oral examination.

Modules

Full-time

You will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.  The MRes Synthetic Biology programme is one calendar year long.

The 9-month research project is 120 credits, the Synthetic Biology taught module is 30 credits and the transferrable skills modules are 15 credits each.

The taught modules start at the beginning of the academic year and the research project starts in November and continues till the end of August.

The taught module in Synthetic Biology spans over Term 1 and Term 2. 

The Transferable Skills in Bioprocess Research and Development is in Term 1 and the Research Skills spans Term 1 and 2.

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 MRes in Synthetic Biology.

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: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £17,270
Tuition fees (2022/23) £31,040

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.

Next steps

When we assess your application, we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Synthetic Biology at graduate level
  • why you want to study Synthetic Biology at UCL
  • what parlicularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with the 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. Applicants who have a portfolio are strongly recommended to submit it when they apply.

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