Overview


Medical biochemistry looks at the structure and function of living things in relation to their application to medicine. Here at Leeds, we offer it for those students who wish to specialise more in areas relating to human health and diseases.

If Biochemistry is where your passion lies but you would also like to pursue an interest in medicine and medically related careers, then medical biochemistry at Leeds is an ideal choice. Through modules in neurodegeneration, cardiovascular disease and immunology, you will develop a strong understanding of the implications of biochemistry within medicine alongside the research and experimental skills all our students are equipped with.


Our exciting Medical Biochemistry programme integrates practical, tutorial and lecture courses to deliver a course that will develop your knowledge from basic principles to the latest cutting edge developments in biochemistry.

Develop the ability to think rationally and scientifically, to analyse and understand biochemical data.

This course offers you the opportunity to undertake an industrial placement and study year abroad.

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

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



Course content: Medical Biochemistry BSc

Year one offers a foundation in the key elements of biochemistry that can be applied to the medical specialisation that will come later in the degree. Alongside practicals and lectures, there will be weekly academic small group tutorials that will give you a chance to discuss the key concepts of biochemistry and develop your scientific skills in preparation for years two and three.

With an in-depth focus on topics that underpin modern biochemistry, such as the molecular pathologies of human health and disease, year two offers a chance to build on the foundations of year one and begin to become a true expert in your subject. By taking on more responsibility for your experimental design, you will learn more advanced laboratory techniques and further develop your research skills.

In year three you will develop the specialist knowledge that will enable an understanding of the current research within biochemistry and how it relates to the development of medical treatment for disease. Alongside studying modules in advanced topics in medical biochemistry such as oncegenes and tumour suppressors, you will also undertake an independent research project that will see you take ownership of your own research, under the supervision of a field leading expert.


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 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 Medical 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 in the field.

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.

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

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: Medical 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: 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 B or above at GCSE Maths and Grade C or above at GCSE English.

Alternative Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Overall pass with 60 credits and a minimum of 45 credits at level 3, with distinctions in at least 30 graded level 3 credits including Biology and Chemistry units (15 units in each), and a merit in all the remaining graded credits.
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/M2 including Pre-U Chemistry plus another science subject.

International Baccalaureate

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

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

AAAAAB-AAAABB including an A in higher level Chemistry and another science at higher level.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Advanced Higher: AAA-AAB including Chemistry and another science subject. Science subjects include: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.

Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.

Welsh Baccalaureate

AAA-AAB including Chemistry and another science subject. Science subjects include: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. General Studies and Critical Thinking excluded.

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: To be confirmed

International: To be confirmed

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2017, the fee for 2017/18 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2018 will be confirmed in September 2017.

The fee is likely to increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% for 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 starting in 2017 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans for the duration of their course. Read the full government statement

The UK government has also 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: Medical 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.

Similar to Biochemistry graduates, Medical Biochemistry graduates find employment in the pharmaceutical and fine chemicals industries, where the development of new, green biocatalysts and the continuing expansion in nanotechnology, synthetic biology and tissue engineering promises excellent and exciting opportunities for many years to come. Our graduates provide attributes that are sought after in many other professional settings such as cancer research, vaccine and drug development, tackling infectious diseases, biotechnology and crop improvement.

Medical Biochemistry graduates find themselves with excellent graduate prospects. 96% of our graduates are employed or in further study six months after graduation.This makes for an attractive course for those pursuing a career in the ever developing field of biochemistry.

Recent graduate destinations include:

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

Careers support

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.

Some of the places Medical Biochemistry students have been placed are:

  • GlaxoSmithKline, Ware
  • Astra Zeneca, Sweden
  • Oxford Immunotec
  • Covance, Harrogate