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Masters Degrees (Bioprocesses)

We have 8 Masters Degrees (Bioprocesses)

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Have you ever wondered how the latest life science discoveries - such as a novel stem cell therapy - can move from the lab into commercial scale production?… Read more

Have you ever wondered how the latest life science discoveries - such as a novel stem cell therapy - can move from the lab into commercial scale production? Would you like to know whether it is possible to produce bio-polymers (plastics) and biofuels from municipal or agricultural waste? If you are thinking of a career in the pharma or biotech industries, the Biochemical Engineering MSc could be the right programme for you.

About this degree

Our MSc programme focuses on the core biochemical engineering principles that enable the translation of advances in the life sciences into real processes or products. Students will develop advanced engineering skills (such as bioprocess design, bioreactor engineering, downstream processing), state-of-the-art life science techniques (such as molecular biology, vaccine development, microfluidics) and essential business and regulatory knowledge (such as management, quality control, commercialisation).

Three distinct pathways are offered tailored to graduate scientists, engineers, or biochemical engineers.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme offers three distinct pathways tailored to: graduate scientists ("Engineering Stream"); graduate engineers from other disciplines ("Science Stream"); or graduate biochemical engineers ("Biochemical Engineering Stream"). The programme for all three streams consists of a combination of core and optional taught modules (120 credits) and a research or design project (60 credits).

Core modules

Students are allocated to one of the three available streams based on their academic background (life science/science, other engineering disciplines, biochemical engineering). The programme for each stream is tailored to the background of students in that stream. Core modules may include the following (depending on stream allocation). 

  • Advanced Bioreactor Engineering
  • Dissertation on Bioprocess Research
  • Fundamental Biosciences
  • Integrated Downstream Processing
  • Sustainable Industrial Bioprocesses and Biorefineries

Please go to the "Degree Structure" tab on the departmental website for a full list of core modules.

Optional modules

Optional modules may include the following (details will vary depending on stream allocation).

  • Bioprocess Management – Discovery to Manufacture
  • Bioprocess Microfluidics
  • Bioprocess Systems Engineering
  • Bioprocess Validation and Quality Control
  • Commercialisation and Bioprocess Research
  • Vaccine Bioprocess Development

Please go to the "Degree Structure" tab on the departmental website for a full list of optional modules

Research project/design project

Students allocated to the "Engineering" stream will have to complete a bioprocess design project as part of their MSc dissertation.

Students allocated to the "Science" and "Biochemical Engineering" streams will have to complete a research project as part of their MSc dissertation.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, and individual and group activities. Guest lectures delivered by industrialists provide a professional and social context. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, coursework, individual and group project reports, individual and group oral presentations, and the research or design project.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Biochemical Engineering MSc

Careers

The rapid advancements in biology and the life sciences create a need for highly trained, multidisciplinary graduates possessing technical skills and fundamental understanding of both the biological and engineering aspects relevant to modern industrial bioprocesses. Consequently, UCL biochemical engineers are in high demand, due to their breadth of expertise, numerical ability and problem-solving skills. The first destinations of those who graduate from the Master's programme in biochemical engineering reflect the highly relevant nature of the training delivered.

Approximately three-quarters of our graduates elect either to take up employment in the relevant biotechnology industries or study for a PhD or an EngD, while the remainder follow careers in the management, financial or engineering design sectors.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Biopharmaceutical Processing Engineer, Johnson & Johnson
  • Process Engineer, ExxonMobil
  • PhD Biochemical Engineering, UCL
  • Bio-Pharmaceutical Engineer, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Research Analyst, CIRS (Centre for Innovation in Regulatory Science)

Employability

The department places great emphasis on its ability to assist its graduates in taking up exciting careers in the sector. UCL alumni, together with the department’s links with industrial groups, provide an excellent source of leads for graduates. Over 1,000 students have graduated from UCL with graduate qualifications in biochemical engineering at Master’s or doctoral levels. Many have gone on to distinguished and senior positions in the international bioindustry. Others have followed independent academic careers in universities around the world.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL was a founding laboratory of the discipline of biochemical engineering, established the first UK department and is the largest international centre for bioprocess teaching and research. Our internationally recognised MSc programme maintains close links with the research activities of the Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering which ensures that lecture and case study examples are built around the latest biological discoveries and bioprocessing technologies.

UCL Biochemical Engineering co-ordinates bioprocess research and training collaborations with more than a dozen UCL departments, a similar number of national and international university partners and over 40 international companies. MSc students directly benefit from our close ties with industry through their participation in the Department’s MBI® Training Programme.

The MBI® Training Programme is the largest leading international provider of innovative UCL-accredited short courses in bioprocessing designed primarily for industrialists. Courses are designed and delivered in collaboration with 70 industrial experts to support continued professional and technical development within the industry. Our MSc students have the unique opportunity to sit alongside industrial delegates, to gain deeper insights into the industrial application of taught material and to build a network of contacts to support their future careers. 

Accreditation

Our MSc is accredited by the Institute of Chemical Engineers (IChemE).

The “Science” and “Biochemical Engineering” streams are accredited by the IChemE as meeting the further learning requirements, in full, for registration as a Chartered Engineer (CEng, MIChemE).



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Biochemical Engineering creates solutions to the most pressing problems the world is facing in relation to energy, food, water and the environment. Read more

Biochemical Engineering creates solutions to the most pressing problems the world is facing in relation to energy, food, water and the environment.

Biochemical engineers explore the development of large-scale processes using microbial, plant or animal cells.

You will design novel bioproducts and bioprocesses that will have applications in food and beverage engineering, production of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, and environmental remediation.

You will benefit from interaction with industry representatives and work on a design or research project, which may take the form of an industrial placement.

The Master of Engineering (Biochemical) will lead to a formal qualification in biochemical engineering.

CAREER OUTCOMES

Biochemical Engineering Career Pathways [PDF]

Biochemical engineers explore the development of large-scale processes using microbial, plant or animal cells and design novel bioprocesses that have applications in the production of bioproducts, such as cosmetics, cheese, beer, wine, biofuels and pharmaceuticals.

You may enter a variety of industries including: food and beverage processing; pharmaceutical manufacture; cosmetics; biological waste treatment and bioremediation.

Employment opportunities exist with companies, such as CSL Limited, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), National Foods, Nestlé, Mondelez International and Melbourne Water and with organisations such as the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

PROFESSIONAL ACCREDITATION

The Master of Engineering is professionally recognised under two major accreditation frameworks — EUR-ACE® and the Washington Accord (through Engineers Australia). Graduates can work as chartered professional engineers throughout Europe, and as professional engineers in the 17 countries of the Washington Accord.

Master of Engineering (Biochemical) is also accredited by IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers). This accreditation has worldwide recognition.



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Our established programme in Biotechnology, which has been extensively updated, includes a wide range of modern molecular biology techniques and how biotechnology can be used by today's society. Read more
Our established programme in Biotechnology, which has been extensively updated, includes a wide range of modern molecular biology techniques and how biotechnology can be used by today's society. You will complement your theoretical studies with hands on experience of fully controlled fermenters that are up to pilot-plant scale, and are linked to modern monitoring and control systems.

You will study a range of subjects in considerable depth, including bioactive compounds, industrial bioprocesses, microbial physiology and fermentation technology, microbial production of novel metabolites, monitoring and control of fermentation, topics in biotechnology, and types of bioreactors.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of what you will study on this course.

Core modules
-APPLIED MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
-FERMENTATION TECHNOLOGY
-INDUSTRIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL BIOTECHNOLOGY
-POSTGRADUATE RESEARCH METHODS
-POSTGRADUATE PROJECT
-SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND COMMERCIALISATION

Option modules
-COMMUNICATING SCIENCE
-EXTENDED POSTGRADUATE PROJECT
-MOLECULAR BIOINFORMATICS
-MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR THERAPEUTICS
-REGENERATIVE MEDICINE
-SYSTEMS BIOLOGY

Associated careers

The course is aimed at those aspiring to be researchers and managers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries or other biosectors.

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The two year MSc Biology concerns understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. Read more

MSc Biology

The two year MSc Biology concerns understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. The biosciences aim to understand living systems and to help preserve biodiversity and our environment and simultaneously produce sufficient healthy and safe food.

Programme summary

Biological issues are at the forefront of the technological progress of modern society. They are central to global concerns about how we effect and are affected by our environment. Understanding the complexity of biological systems, at scales ranging from single molecules to whole ecosystems, provides a unique intellectual challenge. The MSc Biology allows students to get a broad overview of the latest developments in biology, ranging from genes to ecosystems. They learn to critically discuss the newest scientific developments in the biological sciences. Within their area of specialisation, students deepen their knowledge and skills in a certain subject. To prepare for a successful international career, we strongly encourage our students to complete part of their programme requirements abroad.

Specialisations

The MSc Biology offers nine specialisations:

Animal Adaptation and Behavioural Biology
This specialisation focuses mainly on subjects as adaptation, mechanisms involved in these adaptations and behaviour of animals.

Bio-interactions
In this specialisation, you obtain knowledge about interactions between organisms. You learn to understand and interpret interactions on different levels, from molecular to ecosystem level.

Molecular Ecology
In this specialisation, you learn to use molecular techniques to solve ecological questions. You will use, for example, molecular techniques to study the interaction between a virus and a plant.

Conservation and Systems Ecology
This specialisation focuses initially on fundamental processes that play a key role in ecology. You learn to interpret different relations, for example, the relation between chemical (or physical processes) and bioprocesses. Furthermore, you learn to analyse different ecosystems. You can use this knowledge to manage and conserve these ecological systems.

Evolution and Biodiversity
The systematics of biodiversity in an evolutionary perspective is the central focus of this specialisation. Subjects that will be addressed in this specialisation are: evolution, genetics, biosystematic research and taxonomic analysis.

Health and Disease
This specialisation focuses on regulatory mechanisms that have a central role in human and animal health.

Marine Biology
Choosing this specialisation means studying the complexity of the marine ecosystem. Moreover, you learn about the impacts of, for instance, fishery and recreation on this ecosystem or the interaction between different species in this system.

Molecular Development and Gene Regulation
This specialisation focuses on gene regulations and the different developmental mechanisms of organisms.

Plant Adaptation
This specialisation focuses on the adaptations that different plants gained in order to adjust to various conditions. You learn to understand the regulation processes in plants that underlie these adaptations.

Your future career

Many graduates from the MSc Biology study programme enter careers in fundamental and applied research or go on to become PhD students. Some find a position as communication officer, manager or policymaker. Compared with other Dutch universities, many biology graduates from Wageningen University find a position abroad.

Alumna Iris de Winter.
"I work as a PhD student at Wageningen University. In my research, I aim to understand the effect of human disturbance on the parasites prevalence in lemurs. I also look at the potential risks of the transmission of diseases and parasites from lemurs to humans, but also vice versa, from humans (and their livestock and pets) to wild lemur population. I alternate my fieldwork in Madagascar with parasite identification, analyses and writing manuscripts in the Netherlands. With this research, I hope to gain more insight in the factors that increase parasite prevalence in natural systems and hereby to improve the protection of both lemurs and their natural habitat."

Related programmes:
MSc Molecular Life Sciences
MSc Animal Sciences
MSc Plant Sciences
MSc Forest and Nature Conservation
MSc Biotechnology
MSc Plant Biotechnology
MSc Aquaculture and Marine Resource Management
MSc Organic Agriculture.

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