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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? 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).

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).

Compulsory 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

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.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

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.

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.

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.

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).

The “Engineering” stream is accredited by the IChemE as meeting the learning requirements, in full, for registration as an Incorporated Chemical Engineer (AMIChemE).

Department: Biochemical Engineering

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This programme is suitable for graduate scientists holding qualifications in applied biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, chemistry, microbiology, pharmacy or other related subjects. Graduate engineers who apply normally hold qualifications in chemical engineering, process engineering or other related engineering disciplines.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Biochemical Engineering at graduate level
  • why you want to study Biochemical Engineering at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic, professional and personal background meets the demands of a challenging programme. We are particularly interested in any individual or group research project that you have undertaken.
  • how will the MSc help you in your future career aspirations

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Visit the Biochemical Engineering MSc page on the University College London website for more details!

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