Biochemical Engineering BEng

London, Bloomsbury

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 and core modules, delivered through innovative teaching.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
Duration
3 academic years
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£9,250
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£35,000
Programme starts
September 2023
Application deadline
25 Jan 2023
UCAS course code
H811

Entry requirements

Grades
AAA
Subjects
Mathematics required, plus one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer information

Grades
ABC more about contextual offers
Subjects
A in Mathematics, B in one of Biology, Physics, or Chemistry
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.
Points
38
Subjects
A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including grade 6 in Mathematics, plus one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics, with no higher level score below 5. The programme will accept either 'Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches' or 'Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

Points
32 more about contextual offers
Subjects
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:

Equivalent qualification

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

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.

AAA at Advanced Highers (AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher). Mathematics required plus one from Physics, Chemistry and Biology at Advanced Higher.

D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Mathematics required, plus one from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

International applications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

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

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

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.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview



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.

Optional modules (year 1)
All first-year modules are compulsory.

Optional modules (year 2) 
IEP Minor I*

*Students will choose the IEP Minor towards the end of year 1 for year two,  the IEP Minor allows them to gain a grounding in another engineering, or relevant discipline or an interdisciplinary topic, by offering a coherent set of three modules (over Years 2 & 3) allowing an introduction to a field, as well as an opportunity to cover an interdisciplinary topic to reasonable depth.

Optional modules (year 3) 
These modules (IEP Minor modules 2 and 3) are automatically allocated by the IEP (based on their Year 2 Minor Selection)

What this course will give you

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.

Teaching and learning

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).

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BEng (Hons) in Biochemical Engineering.

Modules

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. 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.

Your learning

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.

Assessment

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.

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.

The foundation of your career

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.

Employability

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.

Accreditation

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.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £9,250
Tuition fees (2023/24) £35,000

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2023/24 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 2023/24 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

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/prospective-students/undergraduate/funding-your-studies.

Additional costs

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).

Funding your studies

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.

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.

Scholarships

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.

Next steps

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Selection

For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

If you live outside the UK, or travel distance is a problem, we will arrange for a telephone or online (VoIP) chat to assist with any questions you may have.

We are happy to consider your application if you wish to defer entry and take a gap year before taking up your place on the programme, especially if you have constructive plans for your time. The Year in Industry scheme provides suitably qualified students with work placements, allowing them to gain relevant work experience whilst earning money.

If we have made you an offer, you will be invited to an offer-holder's open day. This provides an excellent opportunity for you to visit the departmental facilities and meet current students and staff before making a final decision.