Biochemical Engineering BEng
The Biochemical Engineering undergraduate programme at UCL fully integrates engineering and biotechnology. The BEng degree is ideal for those who would like to explore careers in biotechnology, pharmaceutical or bioenergy sectors. Both BEng and MEng degrees share a common curriculum of practical core modules, delivered through innovative teaching.
- UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
- Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)
- Application deadline
- 26 January 2022
- London, Bloomsbury
- Mathematics required, plus one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
- ABC (more about contextual offers)
- A in Mathematics, B in one of Biology, Physics, or Chemistry
- English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
- A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in Mathematics, plus one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics, with no score below 5. The programme will accept either 'Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches' or 'Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.
- 32 (more about contextual offers)
- A total of 15 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in Mathematics, plus one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics, with no score below 5. The programme will accept either 'Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches' or 'Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Mathematics required, plus one from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
AAA at Advanced Highers (AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher). Mathematics required plus one from Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Advanced Higher.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAA. Mathematics required, plus one from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.
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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
The department has one of the most modern and comprehensive biochemical engineering facilities of any university in the world. Valued at over £35 million, our facilities attract leading industrial collaborators from the biopharmaceutical, cell therapy and industrial biotechnology sectors. You will gain skills through practical activities sought after by employers.
The BEng is an interdisciplinary programme, blending applied biology, mathematics and engineering thinking. It is ideal for students who enjoy applying science to real contexts. It prepares you for further study in the biotechnology area or to enter the bioprocess industry after graduation.
Use of innovative teaching methods is widespread in our degrees e.g. blended learning, problem-based learning, e-learning, peer assessment. We aim to make our graduates confident and adaptable so they are confident when applying their knowledge to real-life challenges.
Our staff are at the forefront of research in areas such as regenerative medicine, biopharmaceuticals and biofuels. We are committed to research-based teaching through UCL's Connected Curriculum, meaning students will be exposed to the newest developments in these fields.
This programme is accredited by the IChemE's Chartered Chemical Engineer requirements when further supplemented by learning to MSc level.
In order to meet the Engineering Council requirements for an accredited degree (which apply to all programmes professionally accredited by the Engineering Council, across all universities), students on this programme must pass all modules, with some possible specific exceptions for a limited number of optional modules. If a student fails a module (two attempts are permitted) they may be eligible to transfer to a related non-accredited degree.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
Core modules are designed to introduce you to biochemical engineering through lectures and use of practical training facilities. Scenario-based learning activities will give you hands-on experience in a diverse range of fields, from tackling biopharmaceutical process development to evaluating sustainability of biofuels.
The programme builds up to the Design Project in year three, where students apply the knowledge they have gained to a case study where they will be tasked with creating a process for manufacture of a biopharmaceutical product, for example, including facility design and technoeconomic evaluation.
The degree will be broken down into three main components:
- Discipline-specific material in biochemical engineering
- Common engineering elements taught within the Faculty of Engineering Sciences; and
- Minor modules where you may choose from a range of subjects offered by the Faculty of Engineering Sciences.
Students register for Biochemical Engineering as the core discipline, but they also engage in activities that span departments via the UCL Integrated Engineering Programme. Our degrees encourage professional development, with an emphasis on design and challenging students to apply knowledge to complex problems.
You may reassess your choice of BEng/MEng route towards the end of the second year, when you have gained a deeper knowledge of what the subject involves. We normally advise applying for the MEng if you are undecided, as this gives you the most control over your study plans.
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.
- Introduction to Biochemical Engineering
- Fluid Flow and Mixing in Bioprocesses
- Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- Bioprocess Analysis
- Mathematical Modelling and Analysis 1
- Design and Professional Skills 1
- Engineering Challenges
- Downstream Processing for Engineers
- Fermentation and Bioreactor Engineering
- Biochemistry of Protein Production for Biochemical Engineers
- Heat and Mass Transfer in Bioprocesses
- Modelling and Analysis II
- Design and Professional Skills II
- Biochemical Engineering Practicals
As part of your degree, you will select a cluster of three related modules known as an IEP Minor. The second and third of these modules occur in term one and two of your third year. Please note this does not currently affect your degree title. All modules are subject to availability.
- Bioprocess Plant Design
- Biochemical Reaction Engineering
- Computer Aided Bioprocess Engineering
- Applied Cell and Molecular Biology
- Chemistry and Industrial Biotechnology
You will continue with two modules in your selected Minor subject from year two.
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, case studies, team-based projects and laboratory and pilot-plant based practicals. Leading industrialists and researchers regularly visit the department to provide guest lectures. Our programmes offer regular opportunities for students to put their learning into practice through the use of scenarios. Case studies and the Design Project are conducted in small teams, with your tutors offering individual support.
Diverse forms of assessments linked to learning outcomes are designed to test a broad range of skills. Modules at the start of the degree are assessed via 2-3 pieces of coursework and an unseen examination at the end of the year. Problem-based activities may be assessed by individual or group reports, oral or poster presentations.
Detailed module descriptions are available on the department website: Biochemical Engineering BEng.
The science, engineering, business and leadership skills that you acquire on the programme will provide you with excellent and diverse career prospects. In addition to your core subject knowledge in biochemical engineering, the programme will provide you with the analytical, problem-solving and numeracy skills desired by a wide range of sectors.
The incredible pace of biological advances towards new medicines and greener sustainable processes is creating an ever-growing need for biochemical engineering graduates to work in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, biofuels, chemical, environment and food industries.
After graduation you may progress to work in a company, conducting research and development activity in design of facilities and the creation of safe materials. Many past students work in managing the multi-million pound investments that produce life science drugs. Others decide to pursue a higher degree, either an MSc or a doctorate.
UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2022/23 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2022/23 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
- UK students
- £9,250 (2022/23)
- Overseas students
- £32,100 (2022/23)
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.
This programme does not have any additional costs outside of purchasing books or stationery, printing, thesis binding or photocopying.
A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
The department has established a trust fund that supports five bursaries per year, each worth at least £1500. These are open to all applicants accepted onto undergraduate programmes.
Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.
Page last modified on 13 January 2022