Biochemistry 2016/17

Study AbroadYear in IndustryIntegrated Masters
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Our Biochemistry degree course is ranked 2nd in the UK out of Russell Group Universities scoring 95% overall satisfaction.

What is Biochemistry?

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.

Why study Biochemistry?

If you choose to study biochemistry, not only will you graduate with strong career options in an expanding industry, you will also develop an expanding knowledge in a subject that has an enormous impact on modern life. From understanding diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, to revolutionising forensics through the development of DNA-fingerprinting, biochemistry sits at the heart of modern bioscience in society.

Advanced Accredited Degree

Both our Integrated Masters (MBiol) programme and BSc with Industrial Placement Year programme has been awarded advanced accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology for the purpose of meeting in part the academic and experience requirement for the Membership and Chartered Biologist (CBiol).

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Course Overview

Our 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.

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

Our courses have a modular structure where you will be required to study 120 credits per year.


BSc Year 1 BSc Year 2 BSc Year 3

Core module

Core module

Project chosen from

Introductory Integrated Biochemistry: the Molecules and Processes of Life

Intermediate Integrated Biochemistry

  • Laboratory
  • Literature
  • Computing

Topics include

Topics include

Advanced topics, 1, 2 and 3

  • Structure and function of proteins and nucleic acids
  • Copying, processing and regulation of genetic information
  • Essential metabolism and its relation to disease
  • Biological membranes and cell signalling
  • Molecular genetics
  • Theory and application of modern, biochemical techniques
  • Biochemical basis of health and disease
  • Weekly laboratory classes with greater emphasis on experimental and project design.
  • Critical interpretation of research literature and presentation skills
  • The molecular basis of innate immunity
  • Oncogenes and tumour suppressors
  • The world of viruses
  • Neurodegeneration: from genes to therapy
  • How to create better proteins by directed evolution
  • Molecular motors

Introductory Biochemistry:
Practical Skills

Intermediate Biochemistry:


Weekly laboratory classes will introduce key experimental techniques and the skills required for effective experimental design and execution.

Students continue to develop their practical skills and the weekly laboratory classes will have greater emphasis on experimental and project design.


Introductory Biochemistry Problem solving and data handling tutorials

Intermediate Biochemistry: Skills

Advanced Biochemistry: Skills

Weekly tutorials will develop skills in solving biochemical problems through interpretation of experimental data. Additional, regular tutorials develop scientific writing skills.

Students continue to develop quantitative and analytical skills; critical interpretation of research literature and presentation skills.

Students continue to develop their analytical and research skills, together with their transferable skills, to prepare for a wide range of careers upon graduation.

Optional modules including

Optional modules including

  • Pharmacology
  • Introduction to Genetics
  • Introduction to Microbiology
  • Introduction to Immunology
  • Exercise Biochemistry
  • Introduction to Toxicology
  • Chemotherapy
  • Medical Immunology
  • Medical Virology
  • Human Genetics
  • Language modules
Total Credits: 120 Total Credits: 120 Total Credits: 120

BSc Year One

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

BSc Year Two

In year two, the programme focuses 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.

BSc Year Three

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.

MBiol year three and four

With a greater focus on research, the MBiol will offer research preparation modules in third year as well as Masters level modules and an extended research project in your fourth year.

Please note that years one and two are the same as the BSc for the MBiol.

To find out more about this MBiol degree programme download our guide and our overview on MBiol programmes.


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.

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

  • 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.

Discover more about our teaching.

The structure of your course will depend on the pathway that you choose:


Course Title




3 years


Biochemistry with industrial placement year

4 years


Biochemistry with a study year abroad

4 years

MBiol, BSc


4 years

MBiol, BSc

Biochemistry with industrial placement year

5 years

MBiol, BSc

Biochemistry with a study year abroad

5 years

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.

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Graduate Employment

Over the past 100 years, biochemists have been responsible for the huge number of important scientific breakthroughs that have helped to develop our understanding of living organisms. These dicoveries have had a big impact on many areas of science, including biotechnology, agriculture, veterinary science and medicine. Discover more about biochemistry at: 

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.

Biochemistry graduates find themselves with excellent graduate prospects. 97% of our graduates are employed or in further study six months after graduation (DLHE 2013/14). 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 take personal development and career opportunities very seriously and the Faculty has a dedicated Employability Officer who works closely with the careers centre. We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placement opportunities.

We organise regular careers workshops designed especially for biological sciences students to help develop their career opportunities, including the annual Bioscience Careers Networking Event, offering a chance to meet bioscience employers, speak to alumni, attend workshops and get masses of information.

Careers Centre

The Faculty works closely with the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country. The centre provides high-quality professional support and advice for all our students and access to thousands of opportunities for graduate employment, placements and internships.