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From understanding diseases to revolutionising forensics, biochemistry sits at the heart of modern bioscience in society and has had a profound influence in the field of medicine. Biochemistry is a practical laboratory science that applies the molecular approaches of chemistry to the vast variety of biological systems, providing an understanding of every aspect of the structure and function of living things at a molecular level.
You’ll learn from scientists at the forefront of this exciting area, and develop the practical skills and theoretical knowledge highly respected by employers. This course will give you strong career options in an expanding industry. You’ll graduate with a valuable understanding of both the basic principles and latest developments in biochemistry. Our integrated Masters offers you an additional year of specialist training. You’ll develop tailored biochemistry skills, undertake an extended research project and study advanced biochemistry topics.
- Comprehensive learning: You’ll gain an up-to-date knowledge of biochemistry and molecular technologies.
- Valuable skills: You’ll develop the ability to think rationally and scientifically, to analyse and understand biochemical data, and solve problems.
- Choice: A distinctive feature of our courses is that we give you the chance to shape your degree to your interests. You’ll be able to choose from a selection of advanced topics in the final year of the BSc.
- Flexibility: Common core modules in the first year of many of our courses mean you might have the opportunity to transfer onto a related degree course as your interests develop.
- Research-based teaching: You’ll become part of a community of bioscientists, learning from experts whose research directly influences their teaching. You’ll also get the chance to carry out your own independent research project in your third year.
- Employability: A Leeds Biochemistry degree is highly respected by employers, particularly owing to the analytical, technical and quantitative content of the course.
- Accreditation: BSc with Industrial Placement courses have received advanced degree accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology.
In Year 1 you’re provided with an integrated foundation to the subject, including the key elements of biochemistry, which introduces molecular and chemical aspects of life sciences. Weekly academic small-group tutorials are central to our courses and provide you with an opportunity to discuss the subject and develop your scientific understanding.
In Year 2 the focus is on in-depth study of the major areas that underpin modern biochemistry, which covers biological membranes and cell signalling, molecular genetics, theory and application of modern biochemical techniques, and molecular pathologies of human diseases, protein folding and genetic engineering. You will further develop your laboratory skills and take greater responsibility for your experimental design. The degree offers the opportunity to apply for an industrial or study abroad year at the end of Year 2.
In Year 3, you will develop specialist knowledge that will enable you to better understand current research in biochemistry and molecular biology. This is accompanied by lectures based on advanced topics which enable students to study subjects most relevant to their interests. These topics range from molecular basis of innate immunity, oncogenes and tumour suppressors to directed evolution and molecular motors.
You will undertake an independent or group research project, which further develops your analytical skills, and study advanced biochemistry topics that allow you to follow your specialised interests.
- Introductory Integrated Biochemistry: the Molecules and Processes of Life
- Introductory Biochemistry: Practical Skills
- Introductory Biochemistry: Problem Solving and Data Handling
- Compulsory modules
- Intermediate Integrated Biochemistry
- Intermediate Biochemistry: Practicals
- Intermediate Biochemistry: Skills
- Compulsory modules
- Research Tools and Applications
- Research Project
Learning and teaching
You’ll have access to the very best learning resources and academic support during your studies. We’ve been awarded a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF, 2017), demonstrating our commitment to delivering consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for our students.
You’ll experience a wide range of teaching methods including lectures, tutorials and practicals. Your first and second years will focus on these three teaching methods, building your skills, understanding and knowledge in preparation for your final year research project, which will see you take on independent research and learning with the guidance of leading experts.
Across all years, additional workshop and seminar sessions will complement your lectures and lab practicals, and you will also undertake private study.
As a guide, a typical week in your first year includes nine to twelve hours of lectures, three to six hours of practical sessions in the laboratory, tutorials, workshop and seminar sessions, plus private study.
Independent study and research are also crucial to every year of the course. We have excellent library and computing facilities to support your learning, and the University Library offers training to help you make the most of them.
We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations.
A Level AAA - AAB
Including Chemistry and another science subject. Critical Thinking and General Studies excluded.
We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.
Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.
We welcome students from around the world and consider a range of qualifications. If your qualification or country does not appear on our entry requirements page, please contact our admissions team. To find out more about qualifications visit the page "Equivalent qualifications" on the Faculty of Biological Sciences website.
International foundation year
If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:
- University of Leeds International Foundation Year (IFY)
- Northern Consortium of UK Universities (NCUK)
- Study Group Leeds International Study Centre (LISC)
International year one
Taught at the Leeds International Study Centre, this two-semester course is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree. It aims to help you develop the skills you need to join the second year of a Biological Sciences related degree.
If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.
Acceptable minimum qualifications include:
- IELTS (International English Language Testing System) an overall band of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each component skill
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) of 87 (with no less than 20 in listening, 20 in reading, 22 in speaking and 21 in writing)
- Pearson (Academic) of 60 overall with no less than 56 in any component
- Cambridge Advanced English (CAE), or C1 Advanced, of 169 overall with no less than 162 in any component
- Trinity College Integrated Skills in English of a Pass in ISE II or above (if taken in the UK)
- GCSE English Language or Cambridge IGCSE English as a First or Second Language at grade C
How to apply
Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
We welcome applications from mature students. We welcome applications from mature students from all backgrounds onto both full-time and part-time students.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
As well as providing you with subject-specific knowledge, we aim to equip you with the best possible skills for a variety of future careers. All of our degrees have a strong emphasis on practical based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem solving.
Throughout the degree, you’ll gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. Supported by the Leeds for Life scheme and your academic and personal tutor, you’ll be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your time at university.
A Leeds biochemistry degree is respected by employers from many different walks of life, particularly given the analytical, technical and numeric properties of the course. Our graduates have, for many years, experienced high employment rates and a high proportion quickly gain employment upon graduation. Our courses enable graduates to obtain employment in scientific and non-scientific careers alike. We emphasise the development of transferable graduate skills throughout our courses.
The majority of Leeds biochemistry graduates continue with postgraduate qualifications (higher than the national average), at Leeds or elsewhere; the large size of the department provides for 30 PhD positions each year. Others enter the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, paramedical, environmental and agrochemical sectors. Our graduates also progress into research institutes, academia, forensic science and hospital and public health laboratories.
Recent graduate destinations include:
- Account Executive, Criteo
- Formulation Scientist, Acheson + Acheson
- Line Supervisor, Capita
- Account Manager, GlaxoSmithKline.