Biochemistry BSc (Hons)

biochemistry equipment in lab
UCAS Code
C700
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2019
Accredited
Yes

Overview

Are you a budding scientist, ready to expand your knowledge and learn how to use biological chemistry to revolutionise research and explore the fascinating world of molecules, genes and cells?

On this BSc (Hons) Biochemistry degree course, you'll explore life at its most fundamental level. You’ll examine the way cells and molecules work and discover how this knowledge can help fight disease, develop new sources of fuel and biofuels, and explain human and animal development.

Fully accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, this course can lead to career paths in academic and industrial research, teaching, forensic science, the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, and the health service. On completion you can apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology.

Accredited by

This course is fully accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. This means it's recognised in the industry and assures future employers that you have the knowledge and skills needed for a successful career in biochemistry.

92% Graduates in work or further study (DLHE, 2017)

100% Overall student satisfaction (NSS, 2018)

What you'll experience

On this degree course, you'll:

  • Learn to become a professional scientist with the latest theory backed up by lab training
  • Study genes and cells, and how they work at molecular level
  • Understand the role of biochemistry in developing fuel and biofuels, fighting disease, and researching animal and human development
  • Learn from academic staff who are doing trailblazing research into epigenetics, developmental biology, molecular biology, microbiology and molecular biophysics
  • Get involved with the European Xenopus Resource Centre, one of the largest frog resource facilities in the world
  • Access our molecular biology research labs, globally regarded as some of the best available at a university
  • Use the latest tech such as X-ray diffractometers, nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers and instrumentation for protein purification

Careers and opportunities

There are many career paths a BSc (Hons) Biochemistry degree can lead you to. Previous students have gone on to do valuable work in fields such as:

  • industrial research
  • academic research leading to a PhD
  • biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
  • science teaching
  • the health service
  • scientific writing and the media

There is a lot of practical work which helps me to learn, as you can put into practice what you have learnt in your lectures and see it first hand.

Georgina Dawes, BSc (Hons) Biochemistry

​What you'll study

Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits, usually 20 or 40.

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this year include:

  • Introduction to Cell Biology and Biochemistry
  • Biodiversity and Evolution
  • Microbiology and Molecular Biology
  • Perspectives in Biochemistry
  • Experimental Biology
  • Graduate Skills 1

There are no optional units in this year.

Core units in this year include:

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Macromolecules
  • Enzymes and Metabolism

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Development: How Form and Function Changes
  • Microbiology
  • Business for Bioscience
  • A Foreign Language

Core units in this year include:

  • Honours Project
  • Gene Organisation and Expression
  • Genes and Development
  • Biomolecular Science

Optional units in this year currently include:

  • Genomics in Molecular Medicine
  • Biotechnology

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great role when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course.

We can help you identify placements, internships and voluntary roles that will complement your studies.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • workshops
  • lectures
  • computer classes
  • seminars
  • practical lab work
  • one-on-one tutorials

How you'll spend your time

Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:

  • Autumn teaching block – September to December
  • Spring teaching block – January to Easter
  • Assessment period – Easter to June

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

There’s no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

You can also use many of the facilities and get support from Faculty staff in the evenings and weekends.

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Your working hours may be different when you're on work placement.

You may need to go to work placements and other course events in the evenings and at weekends. When on placement you'll work 37.5 hours a week.

You're encouraged to attend weekly seminars on Thursdays to see what other scientists are working on and the relevance of their work to your studies and future career.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • coursework, essays and write-ups
  • presentations
  • online exams
  • data analysis problems
  • research project
  • written exams
  • multiple choice tests

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 53% by written exams, 7% by practical exams and 40% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 65% by written exams, 3% by practical exams and 32% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 42% by written exams, 3% by practical exams and 55% by coursework
  • Entry requirements​

    Entry Requirements

    • 112 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, including Biology and Chemistry, with 40 points from either A level Biology or Chemistry.
    • Applicants will normally need to pass the separate Science Practical Endorsement.

      See the other qualifications we accept

    ​Course costs

    Tuition fees (2019 start)

    • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year per year (may be subject to annual increase)
    • International students – £15,900 per year (subject to annual increase)

    Additional course costs

    These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

    Additional costs

    Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

    You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

    You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

    We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

    If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

    Apply

    How to apply

    To start in 2019 you need to apply through UCAS. You’ll need:

    • the UCAS course code – C700
    • our institution code – P80

    You can start your application now and submit it later if you want.

    Not quite ready to apply?

    Come to an Open Day to explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

    If you’re new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

    How to apply from outside the UK

    If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

    To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

    Admissions terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.