At the interface between chemistry, biology and medicine, biochemists seek to explore and understand the molecular underpinnings of living organisms and of disease. Biochemistry makes an impact on many fronts, offering graduates exciting and varied careers.
Our flexible degree programme offers you the opportunity to specialise in areas such as medical biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology and molecular cell biology. We put a particular emphasis on practical training and developing transferable skills that will be invaluable in a wide range of professional settings. We are also proud to have been awarded formal Accreditation by the Society of Biology for our four-year MSci Biochemistry course, the foundations of which are the same elements that are integral to our three-year BSc Biochemistry degree.
In the first year you will study key areas such as Cell Biology, Metabolism, Chemistry, Physiology and Genetics. In practical classes you will get hands on experience of a wide range of Biochemical techniques.
At this more advanced level, you complete the core of essential training in biochemistry and you begin to specialise. Students on the BSc Biochemistry with Professional Placement will prepare their placement year, while those on the Year in Europe version of the course will explore and apply to the European host university.
This is the year of specialisation as you devote most of your time to specialist modules. No matter which Biochemistry degree you choose there will always be a choice of exciting final-year modules. These modules integrate different aspects of biochemistry and illustrate the relationships between these and their applications to industry and medicine. In addition, all students hone their data analysis and experimental design skills in a core module taken by all final year biochemists.
Central to your final year studies is your research project, which makes up one-third of your final year. We offer you the opportunity to join one of our research groups, of which there are almost 60, providing the fascinating prospect to experience research first hand and to contribute to the current research projects in the department. Project work does not necessarily mean you are in the laboratory; some students will do computer-based projects, others carry out a detailed analysis of the research literature in a particular area.
Your final year project is one of the most exciting parts of your degree. You choose from a very broad range offered by the staff according to ongoing research activities. You may opt for a laboratory project, a literature review project or a computing project. Most students enjoy project work as a highlight of their academic training and experience.
In order to qualify for the specialist degree title BSc Biochemistry with Biotechnology, certain final year modules have to be part of your module choices. See the modules section below for details.
Which courses should I apply for?
Applicants may apply either for the main programme, Biochemistry BSc or for one of the specialist degree labels. The selection criteria are identical in either case. The design of our courses allows students to delay specialisation until the second year or to transfer between specialisations as interests develop or change.
Why study this course
We have a large and internationally recognised School of Biosciences offering expertise that is the foundation of our research-led teaching.
You will encounter a broad range of topics on our courses, ranging from studies on the three-dimensional structure of individual molecules through to the study of whole ecosystems. We pride ourselves in our ‘enquiry-based learning’ strategy that will equip you with the skills to achieve full potential in your future career.
We increasingly incorporate new areas of science relating to biology, such as bioinformatics, and the School has major high-technology facilities for research in genomics, structural biology and optical imaging.
2012 National Student Survey "100% of students said that overall they were satisfied with the quality of our Biochemistry courses"
For detailed descriptions of individual modules, download Biochemistry Module Descriptions (PDF 348KB)
First Year Modules
Cell Biology and Physiology
Enzymes and Metabolism
Skills for Biosciences
Nora Miroslavova, Biochemistry graduate "The modules were taught by expert members of staff involved in the research field, which I found very interesting and stimulating."
Choose optional modules that allow you to follow your own particular interests.
Proteins and Enzymes
Membranes, Energy and Metabolism
Molecular Biology and its Applications
Communication and skills in Biosciences
Optional modules - choose 2 from:
Cell and Developmental Biology
Topics in Medical Biosciences
Microbes and Man
Experimental design, analysis and interpretation of biochemical data
To be awarded the specialist degree title BSc Biochemistry with Biotechnology your choice of modules must cover the compulsory programme components above, and the two following modules.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Bacterial Gene Regulation
Optional modules - choose one from:
Structures of Destruction
Mechanisms of Toxicity and Human Disease Processes
Eukaryotic Gene Expression
Molecular and Cellular Immunology
Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection
Genetics III: Genetic Variation in Humans and other Eukaryotes
Fees and funding
Number of A levels required: 3
Typical offer: AAB-ABB
Required subjects and grades: Chemistry A level and one other from Biology/Human Biology, Computer Science, Environmental Studies, Geography, Geology, ICT, Maths, Physics, Psychology or Sports Studies/PE. Five GCSEs at grade C (minimum) in Double Award/Integrated Science, English and Mathematics.
General Studies: We do not accept General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies, Applied Science, Communication and Culture, Critical Studies, Global Perspectives, Science in Society and World Development.
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (Applied Science) is accepted only in combination with a science subject at GCE A2 level at grade B or better. Other qualifications are considered – learn more about entry requirements
International Baccalaureate Diploma: 35-36 points excluding bonus points from TOK and Extended Essay. 6, 6, 5 at HL to include Chemistry and one other science at HL. 5 points in each of SL English and Maths if not offered at GCSE or equivalent.
Standard English language requirements apply
Learn more about international entry requirements
Depending on your chosen course of study, you may also be interested in the Birmingham Foundation Academy, a specially structured programme for international students whose qualifications are not accepted for direct entry to UK universities. Further details can be found on the foundation academy web pages.
How to apply