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.
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).
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).
Please go to the "Degree Structure" tab on the departmental website for a full list of core modules.
Optional modules may include the following (details will vary depending on stream allocation).
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
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
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.
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.
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).
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.
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).
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.