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Biochemical Engineering, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #10 (QS) ,
The UCL Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering trains bioprocess engineering leaders of the future who will underpin the translation of new scientific advances into safe, selective and manufacturable therapies for often currently intractable conditions, but at affordable costs.


Our PhD projects allow for fundamental 'blue-skies' research that will have an eventual impact on the bioprocess industries. Research areas are broadly grouped in three main areas:

Biocatalysis/Biorefining, Biopharmaceutical bioprocessing, and human cell therapy bioprocessing. The type of research is project specific and can include multiple combined elements from areas such as: synthetic biology, cell engineering, protein engineering, enzyme engineering, metabolic engineering, process engineering, downstream processing, bioreactor engineering, mathematical bioprocess modeling, fluid dynamics, biophysical analysis, biocatalytic reaction engineering, microfluidics, development of novel unit operations.
PhD projects are funded by different mechanisms (including the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies), but the application process is always the same.


Recent graduates have taken up academic posts at UCL, Cancer Research UK and Cambridge University. Others have entered professional occupations within organisations such as GlaxoSmithKline, Lonza, MedImmune, Biopharm Services and UCB Pharma. Several have even founded or co-founded new Biotechnology start-up companies (e.g. Synthace and Puridify).

Top career destinations for this degree
  • Chemical Engineering, Nuclear Decommisioning Authority (2009)
  • Bioprocess Product Specialist, TAP Biosystems (2010)
  • Project Manager for Virus and Contaminant Clearance, Sartorius Stedim Biotech, US (2010)
  • Biochemical Engineer, Merck Pharmaceuticals (2010)
  • Biochemical Engineer, Merck Biosciences (USA) (2011)
  • Postdoctoral Research, Scripps Research Institute (USA) (2010)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Cambridge University (2010)

The department places great emphasis on its ability to assist its Research Degree graduates in taking up exciting careers in the sector. Research Centres in the Department of Biochemical Engineering, such as the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing, are partnered with over 80 UK and global companies in total, and provide an extensive network to all major companies in the sector.


All PhD and EngD students will be participants in Research Centres established at UCL Biochemical Engineering. All students participate in the Modular Training for the Bioprocess Industries Programme (MBI) which is also attended by company delegates, and also by industrial guest speakers. These events provide exposure to key industry contacts. Research students are also expected to attend at least one major international conference with the aim of promoting their work.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date Application deadline and start date were not specified by the programme.
  • Programme intensity

    You can choose to do this programme part-time or full-time.

    • Full-time duration 36 months
    • Average part-time duration 60 months
    • Intensity Flexible
    • Part-time variant
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Research areas

Research in the Department of Biochemical Engineering focuses on three major areas: Biocatalysis, Biopharmaceutical bioprocessing, and human cell therapy bioprocessing. These fields each explore similar research goals which include the following:

  • Environment and sustainability: exploiting green biological catalysts for biorefining and high-value pharmaceutical syntheses
  • Harnessing genomics: directed evolution, metabolic engineering and synthetic biology can deliver efficient cell systems for producing biopharmaceuticals and enzymes
  • Making the outcome affordable: business approaches coupled with engineering paradigms offer new healthcare opportunities
  • Processing of complex biological materials: epitomised by the use of human proteins and stem cells for therapy, the challenge is to process materials of increasing complexity to make them available to all who need them
  • Speed from discovery to benefit: using small mimics, microfluidics and mathematical models provides process understanding for effective scale-translation enhancing the precision and rate of process development.

English Language Requirements

This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

Academic Requirements

A UK Master’s degree, or a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree, in a relevant discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English languageInternational students
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website. level for this programme is: Standard

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Tuition Fee

  • International Applies to you

    23050 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 23050 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA Applies to you

    4915 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 4915 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for London

  • 1137 - 2160 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


  • CSC-UCL Joint Research Scholarship - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

Value: Fees, maintenance and travel (Duration of programme)

Eligibility: Overseas students

Criteria: Based on academic merit

  • Science Without Borders

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