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.
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.
- This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. It is also subject to the University's disclaimer notice
Marianne Hardy, BSc Biochemistry student
“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.”
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
AAA-ABB. 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.
For exceptional students with a single science A level plus two additional non-science subjects, applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will require an interview.
36-32 points, 18-16 points at higher level, including 6 points in Chemistry at higher level along with one other higher level science subject.
Applicants with alternative UK or EU qualifications, international applicants and those interested in part-time study should first refer to the general entry requirements.
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.
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.
In addition to this, our Curriculum Innovation Programme offers our students the chance to take optional modules outside their core disciplines. This allows you to personalise your education, to develop new skills and knowledge for your future.
In addition to the compulsory modules, you will take four optional modules from the choices below, including two free electives from any discipline.
- Exploring proteins
In addition to the modules listed below, in Year 3 you will also take one of the following compulsory combinations:
In addition to optional modules you may choose a free elective from any other discipline.
- Molecular cell biology
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide).
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: Professor Vincent O’Connor
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
- Forensic science
- Legal profession
- Business management