Biochemistry

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.

MBiol, BSc Biochemistry (Integrated Masters) has received interim accreditation by the Society of Biology. Find out more about MBiol BSc Accreditation (pdf download). 

See also: Medical Biochemistry

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. The table below offers a brief insight into the types of modules on offer:

BSc Year 1 BSc Year 2 BSc Year 3

Core module

Introductory Integrated Biochemistry: the Molecules and Processes of Life

Topics include

  • Structure and function of proteins and nucleic acids
  • Copying, processing and regulation of genetic information
  • Essential metabolism and its relation to disease

Introductory Biochemistry:
Practical Skills
Weekly laboratory classes will introduce key experimental techniques and the skills required for effective experimental design and execution.


Introductory Biochemistry:
Problem solving and data handling tutorials
Weekly tutorials will develop skills in
solving biochemical problems through interpretation of experimental data. Additional, regular tutorials develop scientific writing skills.

Programme modules

Intermediate Integrated Biochemistry

Topics include

  • 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

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

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

Programme module

Project chosen from

  • Laboratory
  • Literature
  • Computing

Advanced topics, 1, 2 and 3

  • 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

Optional modules including

  • Pharmacology
  • Introduction to Genetics
  • Introduction to Microbiology
  • Introduction to Immunology

 

Optional modules including

  • Exercise Biochemistry
  • Introduction to Toxicology
  • Chemotherapy
  • Medical Immunology
  • Medical Virology
  • Human Genetics
  • Language modules

Advanced Biochemistry 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.

Total Credits: 120 Total Credits: 120 Total Credits: 120

Course changes may occur given the fast-moving nature of the field and above is an indicative list only.

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.

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.

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:

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

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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Key Information Set (KIS)

Biochemistry

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