Centre for Biological Sciences

C700 BSc Biochemistry (3 yrs)

Advances in biotechnology and medicine, new drug discoveries and modern techniques in forensic science – biochemistry, the study of the fundamental components of biological systems, helps to make these possible and is an integral part of scientific research today.

Modern biochemistry uses chemical and molecular approaches to address biological questions and to solve biomedical problems. It provides the foundation for many techniques that are used in a wide range of biological subjects including pathology, pharmacology, physiology and genetics.

Programme Overview

From DNA to proteins, from single molecules to cells, biochemistry answers the ultimate questions about how living organisms work. Our BSc Biochemistry degree programme provides in depth training in biochemistry, with core subjects in your first and second year and opportunities to specialise in year three. Our flexible course system offers a wide range of options, with a year out in industry for those who want to gain experience in an industrial setting. Our teaching staff are actively engaged in research into the molecular basis of disease, genetics and the control of gene transcription, oncology, structural biology, DNA recognition and cell signalling.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the How to Apply tab of the navigation menu for detailed information on how to apply and further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.

Key facts

    • Flexible, interdisciplinary programme, with opportunity to study modules from other disciplines
    • Option of working in pharmaceutical industry for a year
    • Year three project undertaken as part of a research team working at the cutting edge of biochemistry
    • Taught by staff actively engaged in research
    • 100 per cent of our research has been rated world leading or internationally excellent for it's impact on society (REF 2014)

    The National Student Survey 2015

    • BSc Biochemistry scored an overall satisfaction of 100%
    • 97% of our BSc Biochemistry students were satisfied or very satisfied with the teaching on their course
    • 100% of our BSc Biochemistry students were satisfied or very satisfied that staff were good at explaining things on their course
    • 95% of our BSc Biochemistry students were satisfied or very satisfied that staff made the subject interesting
    • 100% of our BSc Biochemistry students were satisfied or very satisfied that the course was intellectually stimulating
    • 95% of our BSc Biochemistry students were satisfied or very satisfied that their communications skills have improved
    • 100% of our BSc Biochemistry students were satisfied or very satisfied that as a result of the course, they felt confident in tackling unfamiliar problems


“I loved the campus, and everyone I met at an Open Day seemed really passionate about the place, especially the people I talked to in Biological Sciences. I saw the huge variety of research that went on and found it inspiring. I liked the fact that by choosing so many of your modules in the second and third year you could almost tailor-make your own degree.”

Marianne Hardy, BSc Biochemistry student

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements


Grades A*-C in English, mathematics and science. If you lack these formal qualifications, your aptitude for the course will be assessed at interview. International students whose first language is not English must have already attained the necessary standard in English, such as 6.5 in IELTS

A Levels:

AAB. For biochemistry degrees, chemistry must be offered at A level (minimum grade B) with at least one other A level science subject. A level science subjects considered include biology, human biology, physics, mathematics, psychology, environmental studies, geology.

Applicants only offering A Level Chemistry will be considered on a case by case basis. 


34 points, 17 at higher level, including 6 points in Chemistry at higher level along with one other higher level science subject.

Other applicants:

Applicants with alternative UK or EU qualifications and international applicants should first refer to the general entry requirements.

English Language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:

Intake: 40
Average applicants per place: 8

Selection for this BSc Biochemistry degree is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

To be able to take certain optional modules in years 2 or 3, you may need to have passed specified modules previously.

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers you the chance to take optional modules outside of your chosen subject area. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future. Modules range from "Living and working on the web" to "Business skills for employability".

View the Curriculum Innovation modules for this course

Learn a language

Some of our courses also give you the option of taking a language module, which can count towards your degree. These modules cover ten languages and range from absolute beginner to near-native speaker level.

View the language modules on offer for this course

Year 1

Semester One


CHEM1039 Biological Chemistry

Year 2

In addition to the compulsory modules, you will take four optional modules from the choices below, including two free electives from any discipline.

Semester One


Year 3

In addition to the modules listed below, in Year 3 you will also take one of the following compulsory combinations:

A combination of two 7.5 ECTS modules, taken from Literature research project(BIOL3031/32),Short research project(BIOL3050), Bioscience Communication(BIOL3060/BIOL3066)

Semester One

In addition to optional modules you may choose a free elective from any other discipline.


Learning and assessment

The academic year

Eight modular units are taken each academic year, four in semester one and four in semester two. A unit normally consists of two lectures a week plus a three-hour practical on alternate weeks. Practicals and other components of in-course assessment make up 25% of your final mark for the year. We also provide workshops and pastoral tutorials in which you can get specific help on the content of your lectures. Each week students therefore attend eight 45-minute lectures, an average of two 2 to 3 hour practical classes and may also attend a small group tutorial, which should take up to two hours to prepare.
Examinations are held in the two weeks after each semester, in January and June. The marks for the first year do not count towards the final degree classification, but you do have to gain an overall pass in your first year. Currently the second year counts one third towards the degree and the third year counts two thirds.

The tutorial system

Every student on this BSc Biochemistry degree is assigned a personal tutor when they start their university degree. Your course tutor changes every semester, but your personal tutor will stay the same throughout your time here. Your personal tutor will meet you when you enrol, and you will see him/her three or four times a term in the first year, for academic as well as pastoral support. He or she is accessible throughout your time in Southampton.


Our research is relevant to your undergraduate course because you will be taught by people who are experts in the subjects that they teach. This is especially important for science subjects, where knowledge is advancing rapidly. This is particularly relevant for your final year.

In your third year, you have the opportunity to do an individual research project in one of our research laboratories, in which you will make new discoveries alongside other researchers. You will use up-to-date equipment and gain important experimental skills.


We have our own team of administrators who act as a point of contact for day-to-day advice and information for undergraduate students. They are also responsible for collecting assignments and issuing the documents and forms which are required during your period of study.

Programme leader: Dr P.T. Williamson

Career Opportunities

With a BSc Biochemistry degree you could be expected to find work in the following areas:

  • Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry
  • Postgraduate research training
  • Scientific officer in medical laboratories
  • Teaching
  • Forensic science
  • Legal profession
  • Business management