You will use your knowledge and skills to study key aspects of:
- DNA / RNA synthesis
- protein structure and function
- enzyme catalysis
- metabolism control
- biochemical disorders
- antibody and DNA technology
- the molecular genetics of human diseases.
This course provides an in-depth approach to Biochemistry and the molecular aspects of cells. You will examine the key aspects of macromolecule and cell structure and function, and inter-relationships in both practical and theoretical contexts.
Why choose this course?
We are very proud to be one of the top three universities in the whole of the UK for student satisfaction in BSc (Hons) Biochemistry (National Student Survey 2015).
You will have hands-on experience in fundamental techniques including:
- Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
- molecular cloning (DNA modification)
- protein analysis
- biochemical catalysis
- kinetic models as well as bioinformatics as applied to the analysis of gene databases and protein structure-function relationships.
You will also have the option to undertake a 12-month paid work placement in your third year. Our Placement Office and the School's excellent links with companies, including GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, facilitate this.
What you'll study
Who will teach me?
The biosciences team is, at once, widely interdisciplinary and strongly cohesive. This environment prepares our students well for careers in industry and academia and we continue to develop and welcome collaborations from universities and commercial organisations.
Visit our academic team pages to find out more about our approach to teaching, our partners and research interests.
What's included in the course fees?
You will need equipment to work in the laboratory classes, such as a lab coat and safety spectacles. These will be provided at your induction. All other requirements for the labs will be provided in the laboratory session. This will include simple equipment such as forceps through to tabletop tablets.
Learn a new language
Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have.
Learning a new language can:
- enhance your communication skills
- enrich your experience when travelling abroad
- boost your career prospects.
Find out more about the ULP.
Introduction to Biochemistry
Study the key aspects of macromolecules, cell structure and function, and interrelationships in both practical and theoretical contexts.
Introduces levels of biological organisation from molecules to cells and ecosystems, providing a platform of knowledge and skills upon which other modules are developed.
Molecular Principles for Biochemistry
This module will teach you the fundamental concepts of organic, physical, analytical and biological chemistry as applied to the biochemistry process.
Introduction to Pharmacology
Considers the principles of how drugs work, including factors that affect the magnitude of the response to drugs, specificity of drug action, drug interactions and side effects of drugs.
Practical Techniques for Biology
Considers the principles of experimental design, data collection and analysis, including techniques in centrifugation, chromatography, electrophoresis, microscopy and radiobiology.
Genetics and Immunology
Develops genetic concepts and introduces basic aspects of the immune system, including the molecules, cells and interactions involved.
Study the concepts of current biochemical techniques and their practical applications in science.
Molecular Genetics of Human Diseases
You will develop knowledge and understanding of gene therapy.
Metabolism and its Control
Explore the central pathways of oxidative catabolism and anabolism of carbohydrates and fats in eukaryotic cells. You'll also cover the biochemical basis of cellular signal transduction.
Molecular Biology and Protein Structure
Explore the functions of polymerases, binding proteins, helicases, ligases, topoisomerases and promosomes in DNA replication.
Study a variety of disorders and learn about their clinical symptoms, biochemical and molecular defects, detection, diagnosis and treatment.
Antibody and DNA Technology
Introduces extraction, purification, probing, manipulation, amplification and sequencing of DNA and RNA and the expression of genetic sequences via bacteriophages, plasmids, cosmids and functional proteins.
Year ThreePlacement year for sandwich students.
Comparative Developmental and Evolutionary Genetics
Introduction to developmental biology and concepts in speciation and evolution.
Current Trends in Biochemistry
An in-depth look at latest developments in the biochemistry field and their effects in current global issues.
Cell Signalling and Cancer
A range of exciting and up to date topics on cell proliferation and cell death. The cell cycle, the cytoskeleton and signal transduction will be presented, and we will discuss their implication in carcinogenesis.
Bioinformatics and Biotechnology Research
Use cutting edge bioinformatics methods to understand and identify the role that gene and protein biomarkers play in disease. Analyse real clinical data and model various scenarios that predict the clinical impact of the disease.
Project / Dissertation
You have the option of either completing a 40 credit point project / dissertation,
If your interests lie in a career in teaching or scientific journalism, you can take Communicating Science and Technology (which includes school placements) and a short dissertation.
View the full course specification
Please note that course specifications may be subject to change
Careers and employability
Your career development
Students on this course will be well placed to pursue entry level posts in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and the majority of biological science related disciplines.
Our graduate careers cover a wide range of industries and fields including:
- hospitals (clinical analysis)
- university research departments (laboratory technicians)
- agriculture (plant biotechnology)
- food institutes and companies
- industrial laboratories (quality control)
- government administration (adviser for science policies).
Recent graduates have gone onto work in the following roles and companies:
- Eurofins - sample registration technician
- Nottingham City Hospital - medical laboratory assistant
- Nova Laboratory - biochemist
- Severn Trent Services - laboratory echnician.
You will also have the option to undertake further study after you graduate. You could undertake one of our Masters-level courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees.
Our graduate salaries range from £16,000 - £30,000 per year.
Excellent placement opportunities
After the second year, you will have the opportunity to undertake a placement in industry, including overseas options. This will give you the chance to gain vital experience and put your knowledge into practice. Many students impress their employers on placement and are offered jobs at the end of their course.
Recent Biochemistry students have secured placements in the following companies:
- Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
- Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
- John van Geest Cancer Research Centre
- Health Protection Agency
- Centre de Biologie et de Pathologie
- Scott Bader
- British American Tobacco
- National Institute Medical Research.
Find out more about placements.