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Undergraduate prospectus 2021

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Engineering (Biochemical) MEng

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.

Covid-19 programme updates

To check whether there are updates to degrees starting in September 2020 due to Coronavirus (Covid-19) please view the 2020 degree information by clicking on the "2020 entry" link above or visit Degrees 2020 and search for your degree programme.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2021
UCAS code
H813
Duration
Full-time: 4 years
Accreditation
Institution of Chemical Engineers
Application deadline
15 January 2021
Location
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades
AAA
Subjects
Mathematics required, plus one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs.

Contextual offer

Grades
ABB (more about contextual offers)
Subjects
Mathematics required, plus one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs.

IB Diploma

Points
38
Subjects
A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics at grade 6, plus one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics, with no score below 5.

Contextual offer

Points
34 (more about contextual offers)
Subjects
A total of 16 points in three higher level subjects including Mathematics at grade 6, plus one from Biology, Chemistry or Physics, with no score below 5.

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.

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

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: www.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.

Degree benefits

  • 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. 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 intedisciplinary knowledge from the BEng programme. 

  • 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.

Accreditation

This programme is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) as satisfying the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Chemical Engineer.

Degree structure

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).

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

As part of the Integrated Engineering Programme at UCL, students register for a core discipline, but also engage in activities that span departments so the development of fundamental technical knowledge takes place alongside specialist and interdisciplinary research-based projects and professional skills. This helps build creativity and and understanding of the complexity and context of engineering problems.

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.

Upon successful completion of 480 credits, you will be awarded a MEng (Hons) in Engineering (Biochemical).

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.

Compulsory module(s)

  • Introduction to Biochemical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Mixing in Bioprocesses
  • Thermodynamics
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Bioprocess Analysis
  • Mathematical Modelling and Analysis 1
  • Design and Professional Skills 1
  • Engineering Challenges

Compulsory module(s)

  • 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

Optional modules

You will be able to select one subject from the Integrated Engineering Programme list of Minor subjects.

Compulsory module(s)

  • Bioprocess Plant Design
  • Biochemical Reaction Engineering
  • Computer Aided Bioprocess Engineering
  • Applied Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Chemistry and Industrial Biotechnology

Optional modules

You will continue with two modules in your selected Minor subject from year two.

Compulsory module(s)

Route: Biochemical Engineering:

  • Bioprocess Systems Engineering
  • Sustainable Industrial Bioprocesses and Biorefineries
  • Vaccine Bioprocess Development
  • Bio-microfluidics and Microsystems Engineering
  • Bioprocess Research Project

Route: Chemical Engineering:

  • Advanced Safety and Loss Prevention
  • Process Dynamics and Control
  • Separation Processes I
  • Chemical Engineering Research Project

Route: Bioprocess Management:

  • Advanced Enterprise Implementation
  • Bioprocess Research Project
  • Bioprocess Systems Engineering
  • Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control
  • Business in a Competitive Environment
  • Commercialisation of Research Ideas
  • Project Management

Route: Year in Industry Students undertake research on an industrial placement.

Route: International Placement students will undertake an equivalent programme at an approved institution abroad.

Optional modules

Students on the Biochemical Engineering, Bioprocess Management and Chemical Engineering routes will select credits from a range of optional modules. For more detailed information please see the MEng Prospective Students page. 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. 

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.

Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Engineering (Biochemical) MEng.

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.

Careers

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.

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.

UCL is commited 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.

Student view
I really wanted to study at UCL because I knew I was going to gain a real life insight into biochemical engineering at its best. As well as this, the fact it is a research university meant that I would be exposed to the latest ideas as I was studying. Amandeep Varia - Engineering (Biochemical) MEng Third Year

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2021/22 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 2021/22 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK students
£9,250 (2021/22)
Overseas students
£31,200 (2021/22)

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

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.

Departmental scholarships

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.

Application and next steps

Your application

In addition to academic requirements, we will use your application to assess your motivation for studying biochemical engineering. We will be seeking applicants committed to studying at the highest level, who are both eager and able to rise to the challenges presented both by the programme and by a career in the discipline.

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.

Application deadline: 15 January 2021



Selection

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.

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.

For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.


UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.


Page last modified on 28 September 2020