Short courses


Towards improved tools and technologies for vaccine manufacturing

  • 10-15 hours
  • Self-paced


This online self-paced course provides an introduction to traditional and emerging technologies in the development and production of vaccines. It integrates the expertise of researchers and academics from leading UK institutions in vaccine research.

The course operates on a self-paced and fully asynchronous model, featuring recorded lecture-style videos that enable learners to review content at their convenience. Materials are organised into six modules:

  1. Introduction to Vaccines
  2. Upstream Processing Tools
  3. Downstream Processing Tools
  4. Analytical Tools
  5. Formulation and Supply Chain
  6. Future Trends

This course is run jointly by the UCL Department of Biochemical Engineering, The University of Oxford, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Imperial College London, amongst others who were affiliated with Vax-Hub from 2018 to 2023

Who this course is for

The course aims to cater to a diverse audience with varying interests and levels of expertise in the field:

  • The introductory videos are designed to provide learners with no prior knowledge of vaccine bioprocessing a comprehensive understanding of how vaccines are developed and produced.
  • The remaining materials cater to a more advanced audience, serving as resources for those studying and/or working in the field.

Course content

Over six modules, the course will cover:

  • Upstream vaccine bioprocessing (with emphasis on automation and process miniaturisation)
  • Downstream vaccine bioprocessing (with focus on continuous platforms and ultra-scale down DSP technologies)
  • Analytical techniques in vaccine development (with focus on mass spectrometry and the mini-Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) system)
  • Vaccine formulation and stability
  • Vaccine supply chains

Case studies are used to provide a better understanding of key topics, with the Covid-19 Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine development case study serving as a recurring example across several modules.

The course also briefly covers some key current and future trends in vaccine manufacturing, specifically focusing on novel expression systems, nanoparticle-based vaccines, and cell-free synthesis.

The overall focus of the course is on three vaccine platform technologies which were extensively studied throughout the lifespan of Vax-Hub 2018-2023, namely: glycoconjugate vaccines, virus like particle (VLP) vaccines, and viral vector vaccines.

Teaching and structure

This course is self-paced and fully asynchronous. Lectures are delivered via lecture-style videos, which consist of recorded presentations that participants can revisit as often as desired.

Reading lists are made available for a more comprehensive learning experience.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course learners should be able to:

  • Describe the importance of vaccines as essential preventative tools 
  • Explain different types of vaccine technologies, with focus on glycoconjugate, virus-like particle (VLP) and viral-vector vaccines
  • Describe the fundamentals of upstream processing, downstream processing, and formulation in the context of vaccine production
  • Explain analytical techniques used to characterise vaccines
  • Elaborate on current and future trends in vaccine manufacturing 

Course team

UCL Biochemical Engineering

UCL Biochemical Engineering

Dr Jasmin Samaras

Dr Salome De Sa Magalhaes

Dr Shaleem Jacob

Dr Stephanie Frank

Prof Daniel Bracewell

Dr Stephen Morris

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Dr Marta Mauri

University of Oxford

University of Oxford

Dr Sandy Douglas

Dr Aadil El-Turabi

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

Dr Dauda Ibrahim

Course information last modified: 23 Jan 2024, 10:59