Medical biochemistry looks at the structure and function of living things in relation to their application to medicine, covering biochemistry topics but with a focus on areas relating to human health and diseases.

Through modules in protein folding disease, oncology and immunology, you’ll develop a strong understanding of the implications of biochemistry within medicine alongside research and experimental skills.

This course will give you a breadth of knowledge, from basic principles to the latest cutting edge developments in biochemistry, and develop analysis skills to understand biochemical data.

You’ll learn from leading scientists through a combination of practicals, tutorials and lectures, giving you comprehensive training for a medicine or medically related career.

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

Course highlights

  • Comprehensive learning: You’ll gain an up-to-date knowledge of biochemistry and molecular technologies.
  • Valuable skills: You’ll develop the ability to think rationally and scientifically, to analyse and understand biochemical data, and solve problems.
  • Choice: A distinctive feature of our courses is that we give you the chance to shape your degree to your interests. You’ll be able to choose from a selection of advanced topics in the final year of the BSc.
  • Flexibility: Common core modules in the first year of many of our courses mean you’ll have the opportunity to transfer onto a related degree course if your interests develop.
  • Research experience: You’ll become part of a community of bioscientists, learning from experts whose research directly influences their teaching. You’ll also get the chance to carry out your own independent research project in your third year.
  • Employability: A Leeds biochemistry degree is highly respected by employers, particularly owing to the analytical, technical and quantitative content of the course.
  • Accreditation: MBiol and BSc with Industrial Placement courses have received advanced degree accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology.


Our BSc with Industrial Placement Year and MBiol courses have 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 MBiol, BSc
Biological Sciences (Biotechnology with Enterprise) MBiol, BSc
Biological Sciences MBiol, BSc
Medical Biochemistry MBiol, BSc
Microbiology MBiol, BSc

Course content

In Year 1 you’ll be provided with a foundation in the key elements of biochemistry that can be applied to the medical specialisation that will come later in your 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 the following years.

With an in-depth focus on topics that underpin modern biochemistry, such as the molecular pathologies of human health and disease, Year 2 offers a chance to build on the foundations of Year 1 and begin to develop your expertise in the subject. You will further advance your laboratory skills and take greater responsibility for your experimental design.

In Year 3 you’ll develop the specialist knowledge that will enable you to understand 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 once genes and tumour suppressors, you’ll also undertake an independent research project that will see you take ownership of your own research, under the supervision of a field leading expert.

Integrated Masters (MBiol)

Years 1 and 2 are the same as for the BSc, and provide foundation knowledge and skills.

In Year 3, you’ll undertake a practical project which aims to introduce you to increasingly sophisticated techniques and research facilities in preparation for your research project. You’ll also carry out a literature review of your proposed project area, with the support of your supervisor. Alongside this, you will undertake an advanced skills module and study current topics aligned with your choice of theme that will further develop your skills and give you the edge in the graduate job market.

In Year 4, you’ll undertake an extended research project in the research laboratories under the supervision of one of our academics, alongside studying specialist research topics and a skills module which aims to prepare you for life as a professional scientist.

Find out more about choosing between an integrated Masters and a BSc degree

Course structure

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

Year 1

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

Year 2

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

Year 3

Advanced Topics in Medical Biochemistry I 20 credits
Advanced Topics in Medical Biochemistry 2 20 credits
Advanced Topics in Medical Biochemistry 3 20 credits
Advanced Biochemistry: Skills 20 credits
Research Tools and Applications 20 credits
Extended Research Project Preparation 20 credits

Year 4

Extended Research Project 90 credits
Specialised Research Topics and Skills 30 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Medical Biochemistry MBiol, 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

You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.

You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and practicals. Your first and second years will focus on these three teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge in preparation for your final year research project, which will see you take on independent research and learning with the guidance of leading experts.

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

As a guide, a typical week in your first year includes nine to twelve hours of lectures, three to six hours of practical sessions in the laboratory, tutorials, workshop and seminar sessions, plus 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.


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

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA - AAB


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.


A-level: AAA

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.


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.


We do not accept Access to HE.



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.


We do not accept BTEC qualification.

Cambridge Pre-U


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


D3/D3/D3 including D3 in 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.


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

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)


H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H2 - H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3 including H2 in Chemistry and another science at higher level.


H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H2 including H2 in 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 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.


Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AA in 2 Advanced Highers 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.


AAA 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.


We welcome students from around the world and consider a range of qualifications. If your qualification or country does not appear on our entry requirements page, please contact our admissions team.

International year one
Taught at the Leeds International Study Centre, this two-semester course is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree. It aims to help you develop the skills you need to join the second year of a Biological Sciences related degree.

If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

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.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

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


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.

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

As well as providing you with subject-specific knowledge, we aim to equip you with the best possible skills for a variety of 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, you’ll gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. Supported by the Leeds for Life scheme and your academic and personal tutor, you’ll be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your time at university.

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.

A Leeds Biochemistry degree is respected by employers from many different walks of life, particularly given the analytical, technical and numeric properties of the course. Our courses enable graduates to obtain employment in scientific and non-scientific careers alike. We emphasise the development of transferable graduate skills throughout our courses.

Recent graduate destinations include:

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

Careers support

Dedicated employability team

We have a dedicated employability team in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who work closely with the University’s Careers Centre.

We offer a host of additional opportunities beyond core course content, including volunteering and placements. These include our annual Faculty Graduate Panel, where graduates are invited back to talk about their work and network with our students, and our STEM Careers Fair, which gives you the chance to meet bioscience employers, such as AstraZeneca, Covance, GSK, Nuffield Health, 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 your course 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 after your third 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.