Undergraduate School

Biochemistry

C700 BSc Biochemistry
C709 MBiol, BSc Biochemistry (Integrated Masters)

Society of BiologyBiochemistry (Integrated Masters) - has received interim accreditation by the Society of Biology.

This course offers:   

  • exciting contemporary topics such as gene therapy, cancer and oncogenes, viruses, protein structure and function, molecular machines in action, stem cell, membranes and signalling, nanotechnology, enzyme design and evolution, genomics and bioinformatics and modern methods in structural biology
  • wide range of options including microbiology, pharmacology, immunology, virology, chemotherapy and exercise biochemistry

 

 

* based on the numbers of staff producing research that was "world leading or internationally excellent"

What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry is central to all areas of the “biological” and “life” sciences. It aims to provide an understanding of every aspect of the structure and function of living things at a molecular level. It is a practical laboratory science that applies the molecular approaches of chemistry to the vast variety of biological systems.

We offer two biochemistry degrees, with a common first year. You will have the opportunity to specialise as the course progresses.

See also: Medical Biochemistry.

Why study Biochemistry?

The impact of biochemistry on modern life is enormous:

  • Understanding diseases such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is built on research by biochemists. This new found knowledge is allowing the development of innovative drugs and vaccines.
  • Techniques such as DNA-fingerprinting have revolutionised forensics and crime detection, while DNA-chip technology has fuelled rapid advances in gene research.
  • Biotechnological applications in agriculture and genetically–modified crops offer enhanced resistance to pests and improved yields.

These are just a few examples and the revolution is only just beginning!

The three dimensional structure of E.coli methionine repressor bound to its DNA recognition sequence, determined in the laboratory of Prof. S. Phillips, Leeds.Biochemists are able to:

  • Probe the structure and function of specific biomolecules
  • See how proteins work in exquisite detail
  • Understand how metabolic pathways are regulated
  • Decipher the human genome
  • Analyse the expression of genes
  • Identify molecular defects in human diseases


Contemporary applications of biochemistry continue to expand and career opportunities are excellent.

Biochemical Society : www.biochemistry.org



Entry Requirements

2014 entry requirements

BSc Biochemistry - UCAS code C700

A Level or Advanced Higher: AAA-ABB from 3 A2/Advanced Higher, including Chemistry and another science subject. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.

We consider applications on an individual basis and an offer will depend on the information given on your UCAS form. Applications are assessed from a combination of the following; the balance, nature and quality of A2, AS and GCSE subjects (or equivalents); the referee's comments and your personal statement.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF): DDD in Applied Science, including Distinctions in 10 units. Four of these will be from the Mandatory Suite. Fundamentals of Science, Scientific Investigations, Scientific Practical Techniques, Using Mathematical Tools in Science. The remaining six will be from Biology, Chemistry and Maths units which will be specified if you are made an offer.

International Baccalaureate: 35-34 (with 18-16 at higher level) including 6 in higher level Chemistry and another science at higher level.

Irish Leaving Certificate: AAAAAB-AAABBB including an A in HL Chemistry and another science at HL.

Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own

Cambridge Pre-U: D3/D3/D3-D3/M2/M2 including Pre-U Chemistry plus another science subject.

Science subjects: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics.
Science- related subjects: Computing, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, ICT, P.E, Psychology, Science in Society, Statistics and Sports Science.

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry with Industrial Placement

If you are interested in this programme, apply via UCAS for the standard BSc programme above. We will provide you with further details of the placement and study abroad schemes in year one, and you can transfer at the end of year two (subject to academic performance).

Read more about Industrial Placements

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry with Study Year Abroad

If you are interested in this programme, apply via UCAS for the standard BSc programme above. We will provide you with further details of the placement and study abroad schemes in year one, and you can transfer at the end of year two (subject to academic performance).

Read more about Study Year Abroad

MBiol, BSc Biochemistry (Integrated Masters) - UCAS code C709

A Level or Advanced Higher: AAA from 3 A2/Advanced Higher, including Chemistry and another science subject. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.

International Baccalaureate: 35 (with 18 at HL) including 6 in HL Chemistry and another science at HL.

Irish Leaving Certificate: AAAAAB including an A in HL Chemistry and another science at HL.

Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers are not accepted on their own.

Cambridge Pre-U: D3/D3/D3 including Pre-U Chemistry plus another science subject.

Applications are assessed from a combination of the following; the balance, nature and quality of A2, AS and GCSE subjects (or equivalents); the referee's comments and your personal statement.

Science subjects: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics.
Science- related subjects: Computing, Environmental Science, Geography, Geology, ICT, P.E, Psychology, Science in Society, Statistics and Sports Science.

Duration of the course 3 Years Full Time (C700)
4 Years Full Time (C709)
An Industrial Placement or Study Year Abroad will add a year to the duration of the course
Accreditation Royal Society of Chemistry logoRecognised by the
Royal Society of Chemistry
English language requirements
If English is not your first language, please check our minimum English language requirements. UG brochure 2014

See also

BSc Medical Biochemistry

Admissions policy
Download our Admissions Policy for 2014 entry. (PDF format). This includes information on the application process, our admissions intake and the selection process.

Admissions enquiries

Joan Gillson
Tel: 0113 343 3021
Email: fbsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk

Admissions tutor

Dr Stephanie McBurney
Tel: 0113 343 1457
Email: s.j.mcburney@leeds.ac.uk

Department

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School

Programme Leaders

Professor Alan Berry

Course brochure

Download a course brochure

Course Structure

Our exciting Biochemistry programme integrates practicals, tutorials and lectures to deliver a course that will develop your knowledge from basic principles to the latest cutting edge developments in biochemistry

The structure of your course will vary dependent upon which of the following pathways you choose:

Qualification Course Title Duration
BSc Biochemistry 3 years
BSc Biochemistry with industrial placement year 4 years
BSc Biochemistry with a study year abroad 4 years
MBiol, BSc Biochemistry 4 years
MBiol, BSc Biochemistry with industrial placement year 5 years
MBiol, BSc Biochemistry with a study year abroad 5 years

BSc Course StructureBiochemistry image

Modules

Each year of the Biochemistry programme is designed around compulsory core modules. In order to allow you to study additional subjects of interest, there will be opportunities to take optional (chosen from a list of alternatives) or elective (a free choice) modules; the balance depends upon the year and programme of study.

Biochemistry Year 1

The first year of the Biochemistry programme provides you with an integrated foundation to the subject including the key elements of biochemistry, chemistry and molecular biology. The focus will be on the molecules and processes of life. Laboratory sessions are an integral part of the coursework and small group teaching complements the course and helps develop your problem solving skills. Lectures in “hot topics”, given by Faculty experts and invited external speakers, will introduce you to cutting edge research. You may choose to take optional modules in pharmacology, genetics, immunology and microbiology or to pick an elective module of your choice.

Biochemistry Year 2

In the second year the programmes focuses on more in-depth studies of the major areas that underpin modern biochemistry. Key themes will include gene expression, cell communication, the biochemistry of disease and protein structure and function. Regular practical classes provide you with an opportunity to continue to improve your laboratory skills and you will take greater responsibility for your experimental design. Small group, academic tutorials have an emphasis on data analysis, problem solving and the interpretation of research literature. The range of second year optional modules includes exercise biochemistry, human genetics, chemotherapy, toxicology, and virology.

scanBiochemistry Year 3

In the final year you will develop specialist knowledge that will enable an understanding of current research themes in biochemistry. A distinctive feature of the final year of the BSc Biochemistry degree at Leeds is the strong emphasis on the teaching of “advanced topics”. You will choose advanced topics based on your particular interest and specific degree programme. These topics are taught by leaders in their research fields and focus on an understanding of specialist subjects at the cutting edge of knowledge. Current advanced topics include:

  • Protein Folding and Assembly
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Molecular Oncology
  • Gene Therapies
  • Membrane Channels
  • Cell Biology of Viral Infection
  • Directed Evolution
  • Bioinformatics
  • Sensory Transducers
  • Stem Cells
  • Protein:Nucleic Acid Interactions
  • Building Blood Vessels
  • Plant Cell Biology
  • Viruses versus Cells

Module Details

This link takes you to detailed information (on another part of the University of Leeds website) about this degree for the 2012/13 academic year. Please bear in mind that programme details may change and that entry requirements refer to previous years.

Research Projects

As a final year student, you will choose an individual research project from a wide range of topics, to suit your interests and career aspirations. The project is an original laboratory, literature or computer-based study, supervised by an academic member of staff. Final year research projects are an important way for students to learn about independent scientific research and develop important skills for future employment. Read about biochemistry graduate Kevin Tipping, who worked with Professor Eric Blair’s research team on his final year research project on Investigating protein interactions.

Recent examples include:

  • Protein complexes and DNA replication in Staphylococcus aureus
  • The 'annexome'- a new intracellular compartment?
  • Regulation of an amyloid-degrading enzyme in Alzheimer's disease
  • Regulation of the levels of gene transcription
  • Malaria: prospects for treatment and eradication

MBiol Course Structure

To find out more about how the MBiol differs from the BSc programme, download our PDF guide to MBiol degrees.

Visit the Studying with us pages to find out more about studying in the Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate School.

Please be aware that course details do change from time to time.

Please be aware that course details do change from time to time. ...

... If in doubt, please contact us to verify course content and availability. Whilst the University endeavours to ensure that the information on this website is accurate at the date of publication it does not accept liability for any inaccuracies. The University reserves the right to change or cancel its courses or services at any time without liability even after students have registered at the University. The University's contract with its students does not confer third party benefits for the purposes of Contracts (Right of Third Parties) Act 1999.

tab_teaching

You are here http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/admissions/biochem/tab_teaching.htm

Teaching and Assessment

Kevin Tipping doing a project with Professor Eric BlairOur approach to teaching and learning is based around developing your knowledge and skills, and training you to be independent and to think critically.As well as independent study, you will learn in many different ways:

Typical timetable (3 year BSc)

Across all three years, additional workshop and seminar sessions will complement your lectures and lab practicals, and you will also undertake private study. A typical week

  • in year one includes ten to twelve hours of lectures, a tutorial and a three to six hour lab practical session, plus private study time.
  • in year two consists of around eight to ten lectures per week, tutorials and a six hour lab practical session, plus plus private study time.
  • in year three your research project will take around three days per week (mainly in Semester One), you will also attend a number of associated lectures, plus private study time.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods including:

  • multiple-choice testing
  • practical work,
  • data handling and problem-solving exercises
  • group work
  • discussion groups (physical and online)
  • computer-based simulation
  • essays
  • posters
  • oral presentations.

Current assessment details for each module can be accessed via the programme catalogue.

You are here http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/admissions/biochem/tab_careers.htm

Careers

A Leeds Biochemistry degree is much respected by employers from all walks of life, and fosters the development of transferable skills highly valued by employers throughout the world.

Chloe Stanton"After graduating, I moved to California to work in a Molecular Genetics lab at the University of California in San Diego. Having a good degree from a great university like Leeds definitely helped me to obtain this position, and stood me in excellent stead for the challenging array of new techniques I would learn during my year in San Diego."

Chloe Stanton, BSc Biochemistry 2005, now working at the MRC Human Genetics Unit at Edinburgh University

Biochemistry Careers

View scientific careers

  • Research careers in academia, and the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food, brewing, environmental and agrochemical sectors.
  • Other careers in the scientific industry in areas such as clinical trials, marketing, sales and administration.
  • Medically-related employment including hospital laboratories, public health laboratories and medical research institutes.
  • Teaching at all levels, including further and higher education.
  • Advances in the biosciences are impacting on engineering, computer science, mathematics, counselling, sociology, ethics, religion, law, agriculture, education, pharmaceuticals, instrumentation, medicine, forensics, bioremediation and biofuels.

View non-scientific professions

Employers in fields such as business or the media, which traditionally did not require staff with life sciences training, are increasingly finding they need staff with a working knowledge of the principles of biochemistry in careers such as sales and marketing, accountancy, finance, patent work and journalism.

View further study

Many Biochemistry graduates take postgraduate qualifications including MSc or PhD. Some progress on to postgraduate medicine, dentistry and optometry.

Careers Support

Faculty careers events

We organise regular careers workshops especially for biological sciences students. We also organise an annual Bioscience Careers Networking Event, offering a chance to meet bioscience employers, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information. Browse the careers fair photo gallery.

University Careers Service

Our on-campus Careers Centre is one of the largest in the country, with experienced advisers and strong relationships with graduate recruiters. The Careers Centre will help you to find out how to develop your employability right from the start and provide support after you graduate. Find out what the Careers Centre has to offer. .

Gaining work experience

Work experience is increasingly important in a competitive job market and Leeds offers many opportunities to gain experience and develop skills valuable to employers, including our industrial placement and year abroad schemes, laboratory placement schemes, and volunteering via Leeds for Life.

Industrial Advisory Board

Our Industrial Advisory Board gives employers the chance to input directly into programme and module content. This ensures that our programmes include appropriate training and skills so that our students and graduates are desirable to a broad range of graduate employers.

Join a global network of Leeds graduates

A remarkable variety of opportunities result from our relationships with our graduates, including access to the Leeds Graduate Careers Network.

biochemistry image
Recent graduate jobs include: Recent graduate employers include:
  • Bioscientist
  • Laboratory Steward
  • Phlebotomist
  • Research Scientist
  • NHS
  • Pfizer
  • 3M Healthcare

Read about more BSc Biochemistry graduates...

See more Biochemistry graduate profiles

Careers resources

For more information on our approach to graduate employability, please see: www.leeds.ac.uk/employability

tab_studentprofiles

You are here http://www.fbs.leeds.ac.uk/admissions/biochem/tab_studentprofiles.htm

Students' Experiences

Callum Sharp

Callum SharpCallum did a Summer Studentship with Dr Arwen Pearson.

"I chose to come to Leeds University to study Biochemistry because of its status as a research-led university. I wanted to be lectured by people who were still working at the forefront of science, and still actively giving to the scientific community."


Kevin Tipping

Kevin Tipping with Professor BlairKevin did his final year research project on protein interactions with Professor Eric Blair.

"I think the most important thing I gained from my project was self-confidence. It helped to show me that I have the ability to carry out scientific research should I choose to do so in the future."


See more student profiles

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