Biochemical Engineering concerns the use of biological organisms or processes by manufacturing industries. It is a multidisciplinary subject, requiring the integration of engineering and bioscience knowledge to design and implement processes used to manufacture a wide range of products; from novel therapeutics such as monoclonal antibodies for treating cancer, vaccines and hormones, to new environmentally-friendly biofuels. It is also essential in many other fields, such as the safe manufacture of food and drink and the removal of toxic compounds from the environment..
This course will provide you with the skills you need to start an exciting career in the bioprocess industries, or continue research in the area of bioprocessing or industrial biotechnology.
As this is a highly industrially-led subject area, we have secured guest lectures from Cobra Biologics (contract manufacturing), Biocats Ltd (Enzyme manufacture) and the Centre for Process Innovation Ltd (biological process development) and are currently seeking additional industrial lectures.
Academics working at Birmingham have strong links with industry, through collaborative projects, so allow students to make contact with companies. Graduates from the MSc programme have gone on to careers in biochemical engineering world-wide, in large and small companies working in diverse areas.
There are also guest lectures from academics working at other institutions.
You will gain practical experience of working with industrially applicable systems, from fermentation at laboratory scale to 100 litre pilot scale, in the Biochemical Engineering laboratories. Theory learned in lectures will be applied in practical terms. In addition, theoretical aspects will be applied in design case studies in a number of modules, including the Design Project.
All MSc students complete a summer research project, working on a piece of individual, novel research within one of the research groups in the school. These projects provide an ideal experience of life as a researcher, from design of experimental work, practical generation of data, analysis and communication of findings. Many students find this experience very useful in choosing the next steps in their career.
The lecture courses are supplemented with tutorials, seminars and experimental work. Industrial visits and talks by speakers from industrial and service organisations are also included in the course programme.
The Biochemical Engineering building houses a pilot plant with large-scale fermentation and downstream processing equipment. The newly-refurbished facility includes state-of-the-art computer-controlled bioreactors, downstream processing equipment and analytical instruments.
The MSc is a 12-month full-time advanced course, comprising lectures, laboratory work, short experimental projects and a research project. You will take an introductory module, four core modules, and then choose 50 credits of optional themed modules. The course can also be taken on a part-time basis. The Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) lasts for 8 months from the end of September until June.
For the first eight months you have lectures, tutorials and laboratory work. Core module topics include:
Fermentation and cell culture
Process monitoring and control
Systems and synthetic biology approaches
Optional module include:
Biopharmaceutical development and manufacture
Business skills for the process industries
The programme is strongly design-orientatedand you complete a full process plant design exercise. You also have practical experience of working in the newly-refurbished pilot plant of the Biochemical Engineering building.
From June to September you gain research training on your own project attached to one of the teams working in the bioprocessing research section.
About the School of Chemical Engineering
Birmingham has one of the largest concentrations of Chemical Engineering expertise in the UK, with an excellent reputation in learning, teaching and research.
Investment totalling over £3.5 million in our buildings has resulted in some of the best teaching, computing and laboratory facilities anywhere in the UK.
We have achieved an excellent performance in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) – the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. 87% of the research in the School was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent. It was ranked joint fourth overall in the UK for its research prowess and first nationally for research impact.
The enthusiasm that the academic staff have for their research comes through in their teaching and ensures that they and you are at the cutting edge of chemical engineering.
Funding and Scholarships
There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgfunding
Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays
Virtual Open Days
If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk