Programme specification

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Programme title:

MEng in Biochemical Engineering

Final award (BSc, MA etc):

(where stopping off points exist they should be detailed here and defined later in the document)


UCAS code:
(where applicable)


Cohort(s) to which this programme specification is applicable:

(e.g. from 2015 intake onwards)

Intakes from 2005/06

Awarding institution/body:

University College London

Teaching institution:

University College London


Engineering Sciences

Parent Department:
(the department responsible for the administration of the programme)

Biochemical Engineering

Departmental web page address:

(if applicable)

Method of study:



Criteria for admission to the programme:

Length of the programme:

(please note any periods spent away from UCL, such as study abroad or placements in industry)

Four academic years full-time. An optional extra-mural year in industry is available, to be taken in the penultimate year. The duration of the programme then becomes five academic years.

Level on Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ)
(see Guidance notes)


Relevant subject benchmark statement (SBS)
(see Guidance notes)


Brief outline of the structure of the programme and its assessment methods:

(see guidance notes)

Board of Examiners:

Name of Board of Examiners:

Undergraduate Board of Examiners in Biochemical Engineering

Professional body accreditation

(if applicable):

Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)

Date of next scheduled accreditation visit: 2015

1. To provide students with a knowledge and understanding of fundamental principles of biochemical engineering and of the underlying scientific principles.

2. To provide an advanced knowledge of topics in biochemical engineering, and in associated engineering and scientific disciplines over a broad range of specialist subjects.

3. To provide an awareness of the context in which engineering operates, in terms of safety, environmental and economic aspects.

4. To provide a wide range of intellectual, practical and transferable skills that will allow students to develop careers in research, industry and other professional areas of the economy.

The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, qualities, skills and other attributes in the following areas:

A: Knowledge and understanding

Knowledge and understanding of:

1. Mathematics, underlying science and associate engineering disciplines.

2. Core principles and applications of biochemical engineering.

3. Design techniques for the creation of biochemical engineering products and processes.

4. Commercial and economic aspects, health, safety, environmental and other professional issues.

5. Subjects complementary to, but outside of, biochemical engineering.

6. Management and business practices.

7. Techniques applicable to research and advanced scholarship.

Teaching/learning methods and strategies:

1-7 are acquired through a combination of lectures, seminars, problem classes, tutorials, laboratory classes and projects. Timetabled lectures decrease during the programme as project work increases. Acquisition of 3 and 4 is augmented in the third and fourth year projects, conducted individually or in small groups. To acquire 5 and 6, students are encouraged to broaden their experience beyond their discipline through approved optional courses, both inside and outside the department.

Testing of the knowledge base is through a combination of written exams, presentations and vivas, assessed tests, coursework, written reports. Projects are assessed through written reports, vivas and formal presentations.

B: Skills and other attributes

Intellectual (thinking) skills:

1. The ability to analyse a problem and use appropriate scientific and professional tools to solve it on the basis of the information available, which is often limited and possibly contradictory.

2. The ability to evaluate and confront different methodologies of problem solving, development and design, develop critiques of them and propose alternative avenues where appropriate.

3. The ability to assess the nature and impact of economic, environmental, safety and commercial aspects of a problem.

4. The ability to understand and analyse information and data and, when necessary, to design new experiment to acquire the necessary data.

5. Creativity, self-reliance and independence of judgment.

Teaching/learning methods and strategies:

Intellectual skills are taught at the same time as specialist knowledge, using the same range of teaching methods. Students are gradually taught to work more independently and more as members of teams, to learn actively rather than passively, and to include an increasingly wider range of factors in their problem-solving, decision-making and analysis. These skills are brought together and emphasised particularly in third and fourth year projects, which are aimed at developing the ability to take a holistic approach to the knowledge, understanding and practice of engineering.


The variety of assessment methods outlined above all place emphasis on the learner's ability to demonstrate intellectual skills. During group work and project work, this is augmented by the students discussing their reasoning with their peers and with their supervisors.

C: Skills and other attributes

Practical skills (able to):
1. The ability to assess the nature and significance of data, and their relevance to given engineering problems.

2. The ability to use laboratory and test equipment to generate useful data.

3. The ability to design experiments to test specific assumptions and theories.

4. The ability to test design and research ideas through either laboratory investigations or computer simulation, with technical analysis and evaluation of results.

Teaching/learning methods and strategies:

Practical skills are taught in laboratory classes in years 1 and 2, in which experiments are carried out in pairs or small groups and data are collected, analysed and presented in reports and oral presentations. In years 3 and 4, individual and project work provide the opportunity of greater student involvement in the design of experiment, the design and development of devices and systems, and the analysis and presentation of experimental results.


Practical skills are primarily assessed through reports, written coursework and presentations of laboratory and project work.

D: Skills and other attributes

Transferable skills (able to):

1. The ability to retrieve, analyse and use information from a range of sources.

2. The ability to use IT tools effectively.

3. The ability to work alone or in teams.

4. The ability to communicate effectively with co-workers and supervisors, and to participate effectively in all levels of project management.

5. The ability to communicate technical and non-technical information clearly and effectively, to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

6. The ability to exercise initiative, self-sufficiency and leadership where appropriate.

Transferable skills are not taught in separate courses, but permeate the whole range of teaching and learning methods used in the department. In the first and second year, small-group tutorials are used to help students develop management and communications skills which are augmented in the project work carried out during their third and fourth year. Communications skills are also developed by encouraging discussion and interaction with fellow students and members of staff.


The Department is at the forefront of transferable skills development and training in engineering. Throughout the programme guidance is provided to students on communication, teamwork, IT and project management through a series of workshops and demonstrations. Opportunities to develop these skills are provided through oral presentations and project work. Language skills are developed by the students taking appropriate optional courses, in a language appropriate to their final year placement, at the UCL Language Centre.

The following reference points were used in designing the programme:

  • the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications:


  • the relevant Subject Benchmark Statements:


  • the programme specifications for UCL degree programmes in relevant subjects (where applicable);

  • UCL teaching and learning policies;

  • staff research.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course unit/module can be found in the departmental course handbook at The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by UCL and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Programme Organiser(s) Name(s):

Dr Farlan Veraitch

Date of Production:

July 2009

Date of Review:

July 2016

Date approved by Chair of Departmental Teaching Committee:

July 2016

Date approved by Faculty Teaching Committee

July 2016

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