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BSc (Honours)/MSci Biochemistry

Gain the knowledge, practical skills and experience you need for a career as a biochemist.

Course length 3-4 Year(s)
Location City Campus
UCAS C700 Course code

Course description

What you study

On this course, you gain knowledge of the fundamentals of biochemistry before specialising in areas that reflect your career interests. For example, you may choose modules in analytical biochemistry or tailor your course for a career as a cellular molecular biochemist. You will cover a variety of topics and develop skills essential to your career as a biochemist. As well as studying the traditional areas of biochemistry, you study • human physiology and anatomy • cell biology and microbiology • molecular biology • plant biotechnology • pharmacology • bioremediation • human genetics • advanced analytical chemistry and applied biochemistry.

The optional transfer to the MSci qualification is aimed at students wanting to pursue a career in research and is suitable for students who achieve good results during years one and two.

Placements and work experience

You can apply your knowledge and skills in the workplace by applying for a work placement in year three. This is a great opportunity to gain experience and professional skills that can give you a significant advantage at the start of your career.

If you are unable to commit to a year, it is also possible to work for a shorter amount of time on placement, such as during summer. This shorter placement can still contribute to your degree.

By securing a placement with one of our industry partners, you ensure that you enter the jobs market with a CV that attracts employer attention. You can apply for placements in companies such as • Reckitt Benckiser • GlaxoSmithKline • AstraZeneca • the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute or in research laboratories, universities and hospitals. If you are doing your work placement in another European country there may be funding available through the Erasmus programme.

Our laboratories

At least 20% of your time is spent in our well-equipped laboratories learning the latest skills and techniques. You learn the latest techniques in cellular, molecular and analytical science using equipment which replicates that found in industry.

Our laboratories are equipped with industry-standard equipment. You have access to

• a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrophotometer

• state of the art mass spectrometry equipment

• cell culture suites consisting of laminar flow hoods and incubators

• an extensive range of analytical equipment, such as HPLC and GC

• real-time PCR equipment for quantitative analysis of nucleic acids

• high-powered fluorescent and confocal microscopes for cell and tissue analysis

Our cell culture suite won an S-lab award for the best refurbished laboratory in 2011. The S-lab scheme is sponsored by highly regarded scientific organisations including the national HE-STEM programme, the Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Teaching informed by research

You benefit from the research expertise of the course lecturers who are active in our internationally recognised Biomolecular Sciences Research Centre. This enables us to constantly update the course and lab programme, so you stay up to date with the latest scientific developments.

We ensure you have dedicated time with our expert teaching staff by carrying out lab work and tutorials in small groups. You are also assigned a personal academic tutor who supports your development for the duration of your course.

The quality of our teaching is recognised by the fact that three of the course lecturers have won the University's Inspirational Teaching Awards multiple times for their outstanding contributions.

Research projects

You can combine the skills and knowledge that you have gained by completing a research project with staff in an area related to their research. This is usually completed in our laboratories at the University. However it may be possible to undertake your project back at your placement organisation.

Previous project titles include • characterisation of eIF2B bodies in breast cancer cells • MALDI-MS analysis of combretastatin treated mouse fibrosarcoma tumours • synthesis of the tail-anchored protein Toc 33 to study post-translational protein targeting.

Professional recognition

Graduates of MSci Biochemistry

This programme has been awarded Advanced Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology. Advanced Degree Accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders and innovators of the future. The Advanced Accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

Normally five GCSEs at grade C or grade 4 or above, including mathematics, English language or literature and a science subject or equivalent*

*GCSE maths, English & Science equivalents accepted:
•equivalency test from www.equivalencytesting.co.uk

plus one of the following

112 UCAS points from at least two A levels (including Biology and Chemistry with at least 32 points from one of these subjects) or equivalent BTEC National qualifications (including suitable Chemistry and Biology modules.) We accept AS Levels. We do not accept General Studies.


96 UCAS points from three A levels (including Biology and Chemistry with at least 32 points from one of these subjects) or equivalent BTEC National qualifications (including suitable Chemistry and Biology modules.) . We do not accept General Studies.

New UCAS tariff points system for courses starting from September 2017. This is significantly different to the current points system and uses an alternative method of calculation. You can find information about these changes on the UCAS website and use the UCAS tariff calculator to work out your points.

• successful completion of our Extended Degree in Biosciences or equivalent

• Access – an Access to HE Diploma from a relevant QAA-recognised Access to HE course which has mainly biology and chemistry related modules, or an equivalent Access to HE certificate. Normally we require 15 credits at level 2 and 45 at level 3 of which at least 15 level 3 credits should be graded at distinction level.

You also need to demonstrate an ability to
• study academic subjects at degree level
• debate topics and issues
• draw on conclusions from written material
• study independently as well as a member of a group
• use computers and technology associated with contemporary teaching, learning and assessment methods
• successfully complete a range of assignments including researched essays and practical examinations

These are normally achieved through completing academic study at level three or above in the last four years.

If English is not your first language you must have an IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in all skills or equivalent. If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 6.0 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

We strongly recommend that you tell us about any long term health conditions or disabilities you may have. This is so we can assess whether we can deliver the course in such a way that you can meet the course requirements and take part without disadvantage. You can contact our University student support staff on 0114 225 3964 (voice and Minicom) and explore any issues you may have.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Four years full-time (including one year work placement) or three years full-time, plus one year to MSci (optional)

Typical modules may include

Year one modules

• cellular biology, biochemistry with microbiology • human physiology and anatomy • fundamentals of organic chemistry • principles of chemistry and analytical science • professional and scientific practice 1.

Year two modules

• biochemistry and molecular biology • topics in biochemistry • advanced cell biology • organic and biological chemistry • analytical and bioanalytical science • professional and scientific practice 2

Year three

• optional work placement - leading to academic assessment via final year professional and scientific practice 3 module.

Final year core modules

• applied biochemistry • advanced analytical science • professional and scientific practice 3 • research project

Final year options

• pharmacology • bioethics • bioinformatics • human genetics • medicinal chemistry and drug development • organic and biological chemistry

MSci year (optional)

• research methods and statistics • research projects

  • examinations
  • coursework
  • written assignments
  • tests
  • group work
  • practical work


This course can lead to careers in a wide variety of areas including research positions and analysts in pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries or in universities or hospital laboratories.

Recent graduates have found jobs as • senior study scientist in the Biological Immunoassay Department at Huntington Life Science, Cambridge • graduate scientific role at Future Health - a stem cell production company • food biochemist at Marks & Spencer and Analytical Scientists at Covance and Reckitt Benkiser. A high proportion of our graduates progress onto specialist masters courses or carry out a PhD.


Home / EU student

We do not charge course fees during a placement year.

Course fees may be subject to annual inflationary increase<strong><strong>.<br> </strong></strong><br> <br>

For the course fee and further information on scholarships and bursaries please visit our fees and funding pages.

International student

We do not charge course fees during a placement year.

2016/17 academic year

Typically £12,500 a year

2017/18 academic year

Typically £12,750 a year

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS.

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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