Biochemistry - BSc (Hons)

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Why study this course?

This course will give you the practical skills you need to pursue a career in biochemistry, as well an excellent working knowledge of biological molecules, metabolic processes, and information transfer and processing in living systems. There is also an opportunity to take part in a 15-week work placement as part of the course.

In the most recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey, 100% of all 2017 graduates from this course were in work or further study within six months.

 
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More about this course

Encompassing the study of the molecular, cellular and physiological bases of life, biochemistry provides insights into many of the problems that have fascinated and perplexed biologists for generations.

This degree course has been designed to meet the growing need for qualified biochemists. We'll give you the practical skills you need to pursue a career in the field, including laboratory, research and analysis skills. You’ll also develop a solid understanding of applied biology and medicinal chemistry, and have the chance to put this knowledge to the test.

Teaching will take place in our state-of-the-art Science Centre, which is equipped with 280 workstations and a number of specialised laboratories, such as tissue culture research and microbiology. You’ll get the chance to gain hands-on experience in a lab setting under the guidance of expert researchers and academics.

Assessment

We assess your skills through essays, group reports, poster presentations, seminar presentations, data analysis and interpretation exercises, and we help you to produce and maintain a personal profile and curriculum vitae.

Professional accreditation

On graduation, you'll be eligible to apply for Graduate or Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology, depending on your degree classification.

Fees and key information

Course type Undergraduate
UCAS code C700
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grade C in Biology and Chemistry at A level (or a minimum of 96 UCAS points, or an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science with MMM)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent ie Key Skills Level 3)

Entry from appropriate Foundation/Access courses will also be considered.

If you don't have traditional qualifications or can't meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the BSc Biochemistry Extended Degree.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Accelerated study

If you have relevant qualifications or credit from a similar course it may be possible to enter this course at an advanced stage rather than beginning in the first year. Please note, advanced entry is only available for September start. See our information for students applying for advanced entry.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    This module introduces students to the theoretical and practical aspects of human anatomy and physiology in health and disease. It is designed for life-science students with an interest in human biology, but particularly for those wishing to pursue advanced studies in the Biosciences or Forensic Science.
    This module aims to provide students, through lectures, tutorials and practical classes, with a sound knowledge of human body structure using appropriate anatomical nomenclature and an in-depth understanding of the physiology of selected body systems. The module will also aim to introduce basic concepts in immunology and pathology.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    The module is concerned with biochemistry focusing on the properties of key biochemical molecules and their role in biochemical function.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module is concerned with biochemistry focusing on the properties of key biochemical molecules and their role in biochemical function. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    This is a module which provides students with an understanding of basic cell structures and an awareness of different cell types and relates the structure and activities of cell components to their functions and to cellular activities as a whole. An overview of the organisation, expression, and replication of genetic information will be provided and the principles of Mendelian inheritance will be investigated. The consequences of mutation on gene expression are examined together with an introduction to techniques of gene analysis and manipulation.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualification. This module aims to expose students to some of the key questions of cell biology concerning cell structure and intracellular activities; provide students with practical experience in a range of laboratory-based biological techniques; enhance students' ability to manage themselves and to develop organisational and analytical skills which are applicable to the workplace; provide an overview of the organisation, expression, and replication of genetic information in prokaryotes and eukaryotes together with principles of Mendelian inheritance; examine the consequences of mutation on gene expression together with an introduction to techniques of gene analysis and manipulation. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    Description: The module provides an introduction to core aspects of chemistry - concepts of naming and drawing chemical formulae, isomerism, moles, reaction processes, and interactions between particles are enumerated.

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module aims to introduce students to core aspects of chemistry - concepts of chemical formulae, reaction processes, and interactions between particles are enumerated. The fundamentals of organic chemistry are expounded, with emphasis on bonding, molecular structure, and simple reaction mechanisms. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module will introduce students to safe contemporary (GLP) practice in the laboratory environment, practical bioscience techniques, simple chemical techniques and the discipline of accurate laboratory record keeping. Professional issues, study skills and data analysis will be integrated in the module. In some practical sessions the techniques are related more specifically to the degree area the student is studying.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility. More specifically the module aims to give students an introduction to the laboratory environment by exposing them to simple bioscience (including microbiological) and fundamental chemical procedures. Further it aims to: introduce and familiarise the student with/to the laboratory environment, including its capacity to harness cutting edge technology (e.g. laboratory informatics systems, deployment of software for use in virtual experiments). These aspects are intended to enhance both the student experience and pedagogic quality of the provision. The module also aims to develop basic lab practice: personal safety (as expedited by COSHH and Risk Assessments), awareness of others and where appropriate to consider ethical issues that can have an impact on the execution of a given experiment. It is intended that students will become competent in writing laboratory records and scientific reports where emphasis is placed on: contemporary scientific record keeping, style, recording data, interpreting data and drawing a conclusion from results. Students will be introduced to basic lab procedures such as: handling of scientific apparatus, handling, purification and analysis of biological and chemical agents, including their safe handling and an introduction to microbiological and biomedical techniques. The development of study skills and the analysis of data will be a core component of the module. This will be fostered by integrating statistical analysis within practical sessions allowing students to analyse generated data and link theory to practice. Professional issues (such as those highlighted by the IBMS) will also be integrated into the module. The transferable skills that will be developed will not only enable students to derive maximum benefit from their chosen courses of study, but to also allow them to consolidate and inculcate these in preparation for employment and employability.

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Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This module will develop problem solving and report writing skills in qualitative analytical chemistry and will enable students to identify analytical substrates on the basis of combined analytical results from a variety of sources.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday morning

    The module provides experience, knowledge and understanding of the principles and practices of medicinal chemistry. Explores the rational for biochemical principles that are fundamental to the study of medicine and related healthcare areas. The module will cover general and applied biochemistry, focusing on the structure and function of important drug targets such as receptors, enzymes, and nucleic acids. Material will review biochemistry knowledge and expand in preparation for areas such as the general principles and strategies involved in discovering and designing new drugs.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    This module provides an introduction to physiological, cellular and molecular fundamentals of human immunology. It includes consideration of innate and acquired immune defences, genetic variation and immune defence, and immune responses or involvement in a range of pathological conditions. The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    The module integrates the knowledge and skills acquired from other modules, and encourages independent learning through the access of information using appropriate laboratory, primary and secondary sources, and informatics resources. It develops competence in laboratory skills through practical work, and in scientific writing. It aims to develop students’ qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment including developing ability to solve problems, and gather and interpret data to inform a focussed theme and writing reports. Moreover students have an opportunity to develop self-management employability skills by engaging fully with the learning material and opportunities made available to them, and by continually reflecting on their progress through the module using the regular feedback opportunities available to them.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday morning

    This module focuses on understanding key principles of metabolism. These principles are illustrated through study of the major metabolic pathways. How metabolism interacts with the nutritional environment is discussed throughout the module.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications This module aims to provide an understanding of the principles of metabolism encourage an appreciation of the diversity and interconnection of metabolic pathways, and to stimulate an understanding of the applicability of metabolism in a broad range of biological context. This module will also provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility and decision making

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    Description: This module investigates the key metabolic pathways in eukaryotes and prokaryotes and investigates how these pathways, in different organisms, satisfy energy requirements for growth and reproduction using the nutrients in their surroundings. This module also examines the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulate microbial growth and development. Pre-requisite BC4001
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the QAA’s the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. It provides students with the opportunity to study the nutritional requirements for microbial growth and the intrinsic and extrinsic factors which regulate microbial growth and development. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making. Students will be encouraged to engage meaningfully with personal development planning (PDP) through the curriculum, to enable them to reflect on, plan and review their own personal and academic skills. PDP will enable students to develop well supported claims to their achievements and be able to articulate these to others. The University will facilitate students in the recognition and recording of their achievements.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    This module will enable students to extend their understanding of the principles of molecular biology in eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms, with emphasis on understanding mechanisms of gene expression, genome structure, variation and replication, and genetic inheritance and genetic causes of disease. The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    The module integrates the knowledge and skills acquired from other modules and encourages independent learning through the access of information using appropriate laboratory, primary and secondary sources, and informatics resources. It develops competence in laboratory skills through practical work, and in scientific writing. It aims to develop students’ qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment including developing ability to solve problems and gather and interpret data to inform a focussed theme and writing reports. Moreover students have an opportunity to develop self-management employability skills by engaging fully with the learning material and opportunities made available to them, and by continually reflecting on their progress through the module using the regular feedback opportunities available to them.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday afternoon

    This module introduces different normative philosophical bases for ethical decision-making, and gives opportunities for critically applying these principles and approaches to a range of contemporary moral issues in the human sciences.
    This module aims to introduce underlying concepts of normative ethics and processes of ethical decision-making, and to offer the opportunity for in-depth critical examination of specific ethical issues and dilemmas in the human sciences. It will enable the exploration of different approaches to ethical issues in scientific research and practice, and will provide students with an awareness of the scope of the field of bioethics. In addition, it aims to facilitate the development of moral reasoning skills that may be applied in practical contexts, and to provide a supportive environment for the development of competence in written and oral presentation. Finally, the module will introduce students to professional ethics and codes of conduct in the human sciences.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module fosters an understanding of the principles of infection control in the management of infectious disease. It uses paradigms of sources and transmission routes of infection to apply theory to practice. This module uses the identification methods to underpin principles of investigating infection control
    The aim of this module is to enhance the understanding of infection and routes of infection. The module will help students appreciate the concepts of pathogens, contaminants, the host and their inter-relatedness in the chain of infection. Raising students awareness of methods used to control and prevent infections will be explored.
    This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester
    • autumn semester

    Description: This module focuses on extending students' learning experience by providing them with an opportunity to tackle real-life problems, appropriate to their academic level, by undertaking a short period of professional activity in the workplace. The placement needs to be approved prior to being undertaken, by the work placement coordinator. It is expected that the student should work for 140 hours, for which they will be required to provide evidence (completed in the summer or part-time over the Autumn or Spring semester). The suitability of the opportunities will be assessed on an individual basis. Where required, students will be supported in finding suitable opportunities and with all aspects of their job search and applications. However, it is the students’ responsibility to obtain suitable employment, and roles cannot be guaranteed. DBS checks and or Hep B vaccination may be required for some placements (NHS or School-based).
    This module aims to provide the student with an opportunity to: Increase their personal and professional development and gain experience of the culture and structure of a working environment; evaluate, and critically reflect on, the workplace as well as the student's role and contribution to it; and to apply previously-learnt academic knowledge to the task in hand. Explore employment options and consider future career plans. It will also ensure that suitable health and safety requirements are in place and the work activity will be approved by the module team in advance.

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Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module will enable students to extend their understanding of disease and toxicity. They will study the influences of endogenous and foreign compound metabolism on pathology. Students will learn how these pathological processes can be modulated in the treatment of disease and poisonings.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to understand the principles and practices of biochemical pathology . This will be by expanding a student's knowledge and understanding of human biotransformations (metabolism) particularly as they influence the nature of disease(pathology) and toxic states (toxicology). Students will engage with problems in toxicology and pathology and study a range of topics including forensic, regulatory and environmental toxicology and metabolic pathology. They will be provided with an understanding of the key role of foreign compound (xenobiotic) metabolism in biochemical toxicology and given the opportunity to study the aetiology and treatment of disease and poisonings.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday afternoon

    The module uses online public databases and software to extract, analyse and interpret nucleic acid and protein sequences and to model the structures of RNA and protein sequences. Genomics, in particular, with an emphasis on pharmacogenomics and phylogeny are covered.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. The module aims to provide familiarity with the primary and secondary databases used to analyse DNA, RNA and protein sequence, expression and structure, within and across genomes. Students will be given the opportunity to develop informatics skills for extracting, analysing and presenting data to extract biological knowledge. The principles of macromolecular, and in particular protein structure will be applied to the building of molecular models using modelling and graphics software. Applications of modelling will emphasise the importance of protein-protein interactions and protein-drug interactions. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday morning

    The module covers an advanced combination of the interrelationship between Clinical Biochemistry, Haematology, and Transfusion Science as reflected in the practice of a multidisciplinary pathology department and is an expansion from BC5057. More in-depth focus on disease screening, diagnosis, treatment and monitoring in clinical biochemistry, the principles and application of common methods used in the clinical setting and point of care testing, therapeutic drug monitoring and the investigation of substances of abuse.Quality control and quality assurance, sample quality and regulatory issues within clinical biochemistry.
    Students’ clinical biochemistry skills will be developed in the laboratory in practical sessions. Theoretical and practical problems will be employed to assist students in the development of their analytical and problem solving capabilities. Case studies will be examined to give students practice in diagnosis.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning
    No module details available
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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    This module will enable students to demonstrate the skills necessary to carry out a scientific programme requiring significant research. It will allow students to demonstrate the final development of their subject knowledge, skills and understanding through extended research based on laboratory, literature/meta-analysis of databases or bioinformatics research. This research will lead to the presentation of a detailed written report.
    The research project and laboratory skills sessions will enable students to carry out at least 35 hrs on directed competency skills-based activities and an equal amount of time on independent work-related learning activities on various themes approved in conjuction with the School Employer Liasion Board. In addition students will spend 230 hours on project-related activities

    This module aims to encourage the student to reflect and build upon their subject knowledge and expertise by means of a specific investigation requiring significant research; develop the skills necessary to plan, carry out, analyse and report upon the results of an experimental or analytical programme on a scientific topic; allow the student to demonstrate that s/he has achieved a high level of personal development through working independently with the minimum necessary supervision; allow the student to demonstrate their understanding and application of safe and considerate working practices, particularly within the laboratory.
    In addition the module will also encourage students to develop professional work-related learning skills through the competencies skills sessions which have been developed to map to and are responsive to employers requirements.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday afternoon

    The module focuses on the development and operation of the immune system in both health and disease and explores current research in immunopathology, stem cells and immunotherapy. The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    Understand the mechanisms of the mammalian immune system in defence against disease; using an understanding of the basic mechanisms of the immune system, understand the consequences of inappropriate responses of the immune system; examine the applications of immune products in the areas of diagnostics and immunotherapy.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday morning

    This module aims to integrate the biochemical and physiological aspects of energy balance and how energy homeostasis may be regulated with reference to clinical metabolic disorders and obesity. This module will also provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility; decision making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday afternoon

    Description: This module will focus on the structure, genome and replication strategy of viruses, their role in disease, epidemiological factors that facilitate transmission and their control with antiviral drugs and vaccines.
    This module aims to provide students the opportunity to study the genome classification, structure, function, and replication strategy of viruses using specific examples where appropriate. Students will explore virus-host interactions and will need to appreciate some of the epidemiological factors facilitating transmission and strategies for disease control. These control measures will include some consideration of human behaviour and animal husbandry, vaccination/immunisation and the use of antiviral drugs. Finally the applications of recombinant viruses in medicine and biotechnology will be introduced.

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Modules for this course are to be confirmed. Please check back at a later date or call our course enquiries team on +44 (0)20 7133 4200 for details.

After the course

You'll complete the course equipped for a career in medical and biological research, in hospital and public health laboratories or in the pharmaceutical, food, water and agricultural industries.

You'll also develop analytical, numerical and communication skills that are in demand in other careers such as accountancy, journalism, marketing and teaching.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats - key information set

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How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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