Biochemical Engineering MEng

London, Bloomsbury
Biochemical Engineering MEng (2025)

Biochemical engineering translates life science discoveries into new products and sustainable manufacturing processes. You will learn the applied biology, maths and engineering thinking needed to produce biopharmaceuticals, make biofuels, manufacture vaccines or grow stem cells for therapy. The MEng offers an extra year on top of the Biochemical Engineering BEng to gain research experience and take advanced modules.

UK students International students
Study mode
4 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme starts
September 2024
Application deadline
31 Jan 2024
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

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

Contextual offer information

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 Mathematics at grade 6, 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

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:

Equivalent qualification

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.

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.

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.

If you do not meet the entry requirements for direct entry to this undergraduate programme, you may be eligible to apply for the Engineering Foundation Year at UCL. Designed for individuals from non-traditional educational backgrounds who do not meet standard entry requirements for UCL's undergraduate engineering degrees, this pre-degree programme helps you develop confidence, academic and study skills, and subject specific knowledge. On successful completion of the Engineering Foundation Year, you can gain access to a selection of the engineering undergraduate degree programmes at UCL. Find out more about the Engineering Foundation Year.


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

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

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:

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

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

The Biochemical Engineering BEng and MEng share a common curriculum of core modules. These are designed to introduce you to biochemical engineering through lectures and tutorials, with a strong emphasis on hands-on learning activities, laboratory and pilot plant experience and immersive activities. Knowledge gained in the fundamentals will be applied to a Design Project for manufacture of a biological product in year three. 

You can choose from a range of options for the MEng year. The final-year project enables students to undertake independent research from a choice of biochemical engineering fields. 

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;
  • Minor modules where you may choose from a range of subjects offered by the Faculty of Engineering Sciences.

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. 

MEng students may then choose to join one of the following additional routes subject to availability: Bioprocess Management or Chemical Engineering. Final year MEng students can also choose to Study Abroad with one of UCL's partner universities. Biochemical Engineering offers a Year in Industry option for MEng, where our students conduct a research project at an industrial partner. Previous students have gained experience with global companies such as GSK and Eli Lilly.

What this course will give you

We are the only department of biochemical engineering in a UK university, incorporating the Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering (ACBE) with a fully-functional pilot plant making our facilities unique in this country. Our facilities attract leading industrial collaborators from the biopharmaceutical, cell therapy, and industrial biotechnology sectors. Practicals and research projects will equip you with cutting-edge skills.

The additional year enables you to gain research independence and build depth. The Year in Industry and Study Abroad options offer exciting possibilities for students to specialise or add breadth to their core interdisciplinary knowledge from the BEng programme. 

The use of innovative teaching methods is widespread in our degrees e.g. blended learning, problem-based learning, e-learning, and peer assessment. We aim to make our graduates confident and adaptable so they excel 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 480 credits, you will be awarded a MEng (Hons) in Biochemical Engineering.


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.

Optional modules

IEP (Integrated Engineering Programme) 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

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

Route Options

The above is a list of all the compulsory final year modules for year four. The exact programme will depend on which route the student chooses in the previous year.

Route: Biochemical Engineering:

Route: Biochemical with Chemical Engineering:

Route: Biochemical with Bioprocess Management:

Route: Year in Industry

This is aimed at developing the skills of future leaders in bioprocessing through hands-on engagement with industry. Students undertaking the 4th year of their MEng degree in biochemical engineering may be eligible for an industrial placement with a partner company in the sector. Successful candidates will remain full-time students but will spend the majority of their time at the company site and will receive employee benefits.

The selection procedure is highly competitive and includes both academic minimum requirements as well as succeeding at an interview stage with the company.

Year Abroad Programme

Allocation of study abroad places is on a competitive basis. Successful students will be enabled to transfer to the Year Abroad degree programme and go on a year overseas at a partner university for the final year of their MEng.

Year 4 modules will be selected from those available at the host University. Students will be required to take a credit load equivalent to a full-time student in the selected institution. Selection will be made in consultation with and will be approved by the Study Abroad Tutor based on specific requirements.

Assessment will be taken at the abroad institution and marks will be translated to one mark which will count towards the final degree classification.

There are minimum grade requirements for applicants, please contact us at for further details.

Optional modules
Students on the Biochemical Engineering, Bioprocess Management and Chemical Engineering routes will select credits from a range of optional modules. Students on the Year in Industry route will select four modules from the Modular Training for the Bioprocess Industries programme (MBI) to study at UCL.


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 give 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. 

Students are expected to attend all teaching events which are organised within each module in their programme. Each module broadly corresponds to 10hrs per credit, for example, a 15-credits module has been designed to require 150 hours of study time, a 30-credit module 300 hrs of study time, etc. This time is made up of formal in-person learning and teaching events such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, as well as independent study, assessment, revision and laboratory work (module dependent). Our programmes are full-time and in this mode, a student would engage with their studies typically for 40 hours per week during term time.

The use of innovative teaching and assessment methods is widespread in our degrees (e.g. blended learning, problem-based learning, e-learning, and peer assessment). Engineering practice is taught by short laboratory activities on a range of analytical devices and unit operations as well as by external visits to industrial sites. A series of teamwork activities embedded in the taught programmes from the first year (e.g. scenarios, challenges, design projects) introduce our students to the design cycle and test a range of communication skills

Students will have contact with academic staff for the purposes of learning, teaching, and assessment; either online or in person. Covering lectures, tutorials and workshops (on average 10-14 hrs), and term and year dependant laboratory classes (typically 2-4 hours per week). The exact number of contact hours and composition varies throughout the term and at different points during the degree programme, the breakdown in relation to optional/elective modules will depend on the choices of the students.


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.


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.

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The foundation of your career

The excitement of taking biological advances towards new medicines and greener sustainable processes is creating an ever-growing need for biochemical engineering graduates in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, biofuels, chemical, environment and food industries.

After graduation you will be equipped for a wide range of roles: from conducting research and designing manufacturing facilities to contributing to specific aspects of bioprocess development. Many of our graduates work on managing the multi-million pound investments that produce life science drugs. As this field is new and constantly innovating, many students go on to pursue doctorates, often in collaboration with industry.


The core science, engineering, business and leadership skills that you acquire will provide you with excellent and diverse career prospects. In addition to your core subject knowledge, the programme will provide you with skills such as innovative thinking, team-working and computing.


This programme is accredited by the IChemE as satisfying the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Chemical Engineer.

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 (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £37,500

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 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 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

Foundation Year fees for UK students are £6,000.

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

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.


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 and 2024/25 entry.

Baxter Healthcare Scholarship

Deadline: 8 July 2024
Value: £25,000/yr (based on a 3yr programme) (duration of study)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK

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.


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 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.

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