Overview


From understanding diseases to revolutionising forensics, biochemistry sits at the heart of modern bioscience in society and has had a profound influence in the field of medicine.

Biochemistry is a practical laboratory science that applies the molecular approaches of chemistry to the vast variety of biological systems, providing an understanding of every aspect of the structure and function of living things at a molecular level.

You’ll learn from scientists at the forefront of this exciting area, and develop the practical skills and theoretical knowledge highly respected by employers.

This course will give you strong career options in an expanding industry. You’ll graduate with a valuable understanding of both the basic principles and latest developments in biochemistry.

Our integrated Masters option offers you an additional year of specialist training. You’ll develop tailored biochemistry skills, undertake an extended research project and study advanced biochemistry topics.


Accreditation

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Advanced degree accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders of the future. The advanced accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience.

Related courses

Biological Sciences BSc
Biological Sciences (Biotechnology with Enterprise) BSc
Medical Biochemistry BSc
Medical Microbiology BSc
Microbiology BSc


Student Profile

BSc Biochemistry

"Leeds also offers ample opportunities for their students to get involved in research, through internships and final year lab projects."
Read more

Gemma Swinscoe , BSc Biochemistry


Course content: Biochemistry BSc

Year one of the Biochemistry course 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 and you will attend lectures in “hot topics” given by Faculty experts and invited external speakers which will introduce you to cutting edge research.

In year two, you'll focus on more in-depth studies of the major areas that underpin modern biochemistry. Tutorials will emphasise data analysis, problem solving and the interpretation of research literature, whilst practicals will see you take more responsibility in experimental design.

Final year focuses on the development of specialist knowledge. A distinctive feature of studying with us in final year is the strong emphasis on “advanced topics”, which include directed evolution, gene therapy, and neurodegeneration. These topics are taught by leaders in their research fields and focus on an understanding of specialist subjects at the cutting edge of knowledge.

Course structure

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

Year 1

COMPULSORY MODULES

Introductory Integrated Biochemistry: the Molecules and Processes of Life 60 credits
Introductory Biochemistry: Practical Skills 20 credits
Introductory Biochemistry: Problem Solving and Data Handling 20 credits
OPTIONAL MODULES

How can Biological Sciences change the world 10 credits
Introduction to Genetics 10 credits
Biology of the Mind 10 credits
Introduction to Pharmacology 10 credits
Introduction to Microbiology 10 credits
Introduction to Immunology 10 credits

Year 2

COMPULSORY MODULES

Intermediate Integrated Biochemistry 60 credits
Intermediate Biochemistry: Practicals 20 credits
Intermediate Biochemistry: Skills 20 credits
OPTIONAL MODULES

Exercise Biochemistry 10 credits
Employment, Career planning and Professional Development for Life Scientists 10 credits
Chemotherapy 10 credits
Introduction to Toxicology 10 credits
Skills in Communicating Research beyond the University 10 credits
Medical Immunology 10 credits
Medical Virology 10 credits

Year 3

COMPULSORY MODULES

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

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

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. On this course you broaden your learning through core and/or optional modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

Our degrees are delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and practicals. The first and second year will see a focus on these three teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge for your final year research project, which will see independent research and learning complemented with the guidance of leading experts.

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

Year one includes ten to twelve hours of lectures, a tutorial and a six hour lab practical session, plus private study time.

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.

Independent study and research are also crucial to every year of the course. We have excellent library and computing facilities to support your learning, and the University Library offers training to help you make the most of them.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations.

Entry requirements, fees and applying: Biochemistry BSc

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA - AAB

Including Chemistry and another science subject. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.

We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics. Science-related subjects: PE, geography, use of mathematics, psychology, statistics, geology and computing.

Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.

GCSE:

Typically Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.

Alternative Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, graded at D45M0P0 to D39M6P0 including distinctions in Biology and Mathematics or Chemistry.

Accept Access courses in Applied Science. Will also consider (depending on subject content):

  • Biochemical Sciences
  • Biological and Envionmental Science
  • Biological and Health Science
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biosciences
  • Combined Sciences
  • Environmental Science
  • Life and Biological Science
  • Life Science
  • Medical and Health Science Professions
  • Natural Sciences
  • Physical & Natural Sciences.

BTEC

Applicants with BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma qualifications are required to have A2 level Chemistry, (although alternative science subjects will be considered). Applicants with BTEC Subsidiary Diploma qualifications must normally have at least 2 A2 levels and at least one of these should be chemistry. The preferred BTEC qualification subject is Applied Science. Offers would be grade A in the A2 level science subject and Distinctions in the BTEC qualification. An offer will be made dependent on the BTEC subject and module choices.

Cambridge Pre-U

D3/D3/D3-D3/D3/M1 including D3 Chemistry plus another science subject.

International Baccalaureate

35-34 (with 18-17 at higher level) including 6 in higher level Chemistry and another science at higher level.

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

H1,H1,H2,H2,H2,H2 - H1,H2,H2,H2,H2,H2 including H1-H2 Chemistry and another science at higher level.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AA-AB in 2 Advanced Highers including Biology and another science or science-related subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.

We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics. Science-related subjects: Science- related subjects: PE, geography, use of mathematics, psychology, statistics, geology and computing.

Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.

Welsh Baccalaureate

AAA-AAB including Chemistry and another science or science-related subject. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded
We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics. Science-related subjects: computing, environmental science, food science, geography, geology, PE, psychology, science in society, statistics, use of mathematics.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative Entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Policy

Fees

UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £21,500 (per year)

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.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

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

The Faculty of Biological Sciences offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students. Find out more about our scholarships

Career opportunities: Biochemistry BSc

Number 1 for employability – the Faculty of Biological Sciences is ranked highest for employability amongst Russell Group universities. Higher than Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Durham, Edinburgh, Kings College, Liverpool, Manchester, York.

In addition to providing subject-specific knowledge, we equip all our students with the best possible skills for future careers. All of our degrees have a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving. Throughout the degree, students gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. Supported by the Leeds for Life scheme and their academic and personal tutor, students are ideally placed to focus on their personal development and make the most of their time at university.

A Leeds biochemistry degree is much respected by employers from different walks of life, particularly given the analytical, technical and numeric properties of the programme. Our graduates have, for many years, experienced high employment rates and a high proportion quickly gain employment upon graduation. 96% of our graduates are employed or in further study six months after graduation. Our programmes enable graduates to obtain employment in scientific and non-scientific careers alike. We emphasise the development of 'transferable graduate skills' throughout our courses.

The majority of Leeds biochemistry graduates continue with postgraduate qualifications (higher than the national average), at Leeds or elsewhere; the large size of the department provides for 30 PhD positions each year. Others enter the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, paramedical, environmental and agrochemical sectors. Our graduates also progress into research institutes, academia, forensic science and hospital and public health laboratories.

Recent graduate destinations include:

  • Account Executive, Criteo.
  • Formulation Scientist, Acheson + Acheson.
  • Line Supervisor, Capita.
  • Account Manager, GlaxoSmithKline.

Careers support

Faculty Employability team

We have a dedicated Employability Officer in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who works closely with the University’s Careers Centre. We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. We also organise regular careers workshops designed specifically for sport sciences students to develop their career opportunities. These include our annual Bioscience Networking Event, which gives you the chance to meet bioscience employers, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.

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.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, you will spend the third year of the BSc studying abroad. This will extend your studies by 12 months.


Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Industrial placements are typically taken between your second and final year. If you choose to undertake a placement year, this will extend your studies by 12 months. For your work placement in industry, staff at Leeds will help you with your CV and application letters and provide a list of organisations which may offer industrial placements.

Placements abroad are possible. We work together with your industrial supervisors to make sure you get the most out of this year. A year working in industry gives you an excellent opportunity to get used to the demands of the world of work, to develop new skills and to augment your CV.