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Biochemical Engineering, Ph.D.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #8 (QS) London, United Kingdom
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.
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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 We did our best, but couldn't find the next application deadline and start date information online.
  • 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

Courses include:Year 1
  •  Microfluidic and Analytical Tools for Synthetic Biology (*not applicable to all students; depending on research project)
  • Pilot Plant Unit Operation
  • Research Skills
  • Design of Experiments
Year 2
  • Pilot Plant Project

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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  • Minimum required score:


    PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) is a language test that enables students to demonstrate their writing, listening, speaking, and reading skills when applying to study in English. Delivered and marked by computer, it reports on a scale between 10 and 90.

General 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.
  • 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 language level for this programme is: Standard

Tuition Fee

  • International

    24450 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 24450 GBP per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • EU/EEA

    5210 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 5210 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.

UK/EU: £5,210 (FT) £2,605 (PT) 

Overseas: £24,450 (FT) £12,510 (PT)

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

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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