Learn about the molecular foundations of life itself.
Molecules are at the centre of all life from the smallest virus to the largest animal. Biochemists seek to understand how molecular processes control life at various levels; how do molecules make cells work, how do these cells coordinate in an organ and finally, how do these organs signal and work together for life to function? Biochemistry is at the forefront of understanding how molecules control and affect life, and an appreciation of these concepts allows biochemists to answer life’s fundamental questions and contribute to resolving critical biological problems such as designing drugs to treat cancer or even bacteria that can clean up an oil spill.
Through your lectures at Reading you will explore and discuss these biochemical concepts accumulating in an in-depth understanding of the subject. You will have the opportunity to study your subject in a layered approach where you will focus on the molecular and cellular concepts of biochemistry in Year 1, followed by discussions of the organ and organism effects of these biochemical processes in Year 2. You will carry out a year-long industrial placement between your second and final year. Students in previous years have worked at Diamond Light Source (the UK’s national synchrotron), Public Health England, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Covance. You can also choose to spend a year abroad, typically carrying out research in an academic laboratory. Finally, in Year 4 you will study topics at the forefront of biochemistry from cutting-edge research to human disease and structural biology.
Placement - You will have the opportunity to carry out a year-long industrial placement between your second and final year. There is also the opportunity to undertake a 3-8 week summer placement between either Part 1 and 2 or Part 2 and 3. Students in previous years have worked on industrial and summer placements at Diamond Light Source (the UK’s national synchrotron), Public Health England, GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and Covance. You can also choose to spend a year abroad. You will also have the opportunity to undertake paid vacation studentships funded by external organisations such as the Wellcome Trust and the Biochemical Society. Additionally, the University of Reading offers the UROP scheme (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme) that also offers paid studentships at the University. These studentships take place over a period of 6-10 weeks during the summer break. During studentships you will normally work on a set project and benefit from valuable training in techniques, experimental design and the interpretation of data. Our Department has a dedicated member of staff in charge of placements, who can provide you with advice and support.