Media Biochemistry

This course provides:

  • in-depth study of the medical aspects of biochemistry, one of the key biosciences upon which medical science is based
  • a choice of topics, relevant to medical biochemistry, for study within some modules
  • an individual supervised research project with an emphasis on medical aspects of biochemistry
  • teaching that draws on the combined expertise of a large and highly rated research-active department
  • study at the 'cutting edge' of research developments and subject applications in medical areas of biochemistry
  • opportunities to develop the skills to use scientific literature

Course content

The Intercalated BSc in Biochemistry in Relation to Medicine course provides an extended and more detailed study of biochemistry and molecular biology in order to understand the molecular basis of modern day medicine and its future advances in a rapidly changing world. The course aims to introduce you to 'molecular medicine', providing a sound training in research methods and appreciation of the scientific literature in a biochemical context.

The emphasis of the course is on mammalian biochemistry and features medically-relevant topics such as:

  • Techniques and applications of molecular biology
  • Control of gene expression
  • Combating viral diseases and drug resistance
  • Diabetes and heart disease
  • Genetic diseases
  • Molecular oncology – oncogenes & tumour supressors
  • Gene therapies
  • Cell communication
  • Biochemistry of the nervous system and neurodegeneration
  • Gene regulation during mammalian development

Tutorials on a variety of medically relevant topics are held and students are encouraged to attend the weekly research seminars presented by members of the School or visiting speakers. Background reading on each of the selected topics is provided by the individual lecturers on the course.

Research Project

A major component of the course is a medically-related research project. You'll be offered a choice of project from a wide range of laboratory, literature and computer-based topics. Recent laboratory research projects have included:

  • Control of regulated protein secretion in human gut tumours
  • Signal transduction pathways involved in the response of cells to stress
  • The mechanism of antigen presentation in tumour cells
  • The molecular basis of Alzheimer's disease
  • Function and regulation of med family tumour suppressor genes
  • Characterisation of a novel photosensitising drug and determination of its potential for the photodynamic treatment of cancer.

Literature projects have included reviews of:

  • p53 in cancer therapy
  • Gingivitis and cardiovascular diseases
  • The roles of the vacuolar ATPase in disease states
  • Trinucleotide expansions in neurodegenerative disease
  • Development of an artificial kidney

Some of the techniques used in these projects include use of cloned DNA probes and synthetic oligonucleotides, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridisation, protein purification, chromatographic and electrophoretic techniques and electron microscopy.

In the case of laboratory projects, you'll work in the research laboratory of your supervisor. Advice and assistance are usually available from experienced research workers in the research groups as well as your supervisor. Projects of all formats involve weekly one-to-one supervision meetings with the project supervisor at which progress is reviewed and plans agreed.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1


Advanced Topics in Medical Biochemistry I 20 credits
Laboratory/Literature/Computing Research Project 40 credits
Advanced Topics in Medical Biochemistry 2 20 credits
Advanced Topics in Medical Biochemistry 3 20 credits
Advanced Biochemistry: Skills 20 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Biochemistry in Relation to Medicine BSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching


Assessment is based on assessed in-course work (approximately 20%), formal written examinations of the lecture courses (approximately 55%) and the research project (approximately 25%).

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

Other course specific tests:

Successful completion of the first two years of an MBChB programme at UK Universities or international equivalent. For international students proof of English Language proficiency will be required. In line with undergraduate medicine we require a minimum of English GCSE grade B or IELTS 7.5.

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

How to apply

Read about applying for intercalation on the School of Medicine website.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Policy


UK/EU: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Career opportunities

The course is designed to give you a challenging, enjoyable and rewarding year which will add significantly to your skills, knowledge, and enhance your career opportunities on graduation.

The course allows full integration with existing science based BSc courses and the chance of a substantive research project.

In addition to providing subject-specific knowledge, we equip you with the best possible skills for future careers. There is a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving. You will gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. You will be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your intercalating year.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.