Medical Biochemistry BSc(Hons)

2019-20 (also available for 2020-21)

Places available in clearing. Find out more.
Places available in clearing. Find out more.

Start date

23 September 2019

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

UCAS Code

C741

About the course

If you’re considering a biological sciences degree and you like the idea of focusing on a field that has made major contributions to the development of new drugs and the treatment of diseases, then our Medical Biochemistry BSc(Hons) course could be ideal. Study with us and you could open up all kinds of opportunities in medical research, the pharmaceutical industry and wider areas of healthcare.

When it comes to our understanding of the molecular processes that cause degenerative disease and cancer, biochemistry has played a truly vital role. It is groundbreaking work in this field that has led to our knowledge of the structure of DNA, RNA and proteins and that holds the promise of further breakthroughs in treatment in the future.

During this course you’ll be able to build your own knowledge and skills to develop a firm foundation in the molecular and cellular aspects of biology and the principles of drug action. As your studies with us progress, you’ll begin to focus on disease processes in modules such as epidemiology and pharmacology, paving the way for investigating more advanced topics such as molecular medicine and metabolic disease in your final year.

You will focus not only on theory, but will also gain practical, hands-on experience. In the lab sessions you’ll be able to get to grips with industry-standard equipment and in your third year you can choose to try out your skills for real during a supervised work placement. It’s all designed to help get you ready for a successful career beyond graduation. And as a further boost for your CV, studying on this course means you can become a student undergraduate Associate Membership of the Biochemical Society and the Physiological Society (UK).

Course scholarships available – up to £3000. More details.

Being on the Medical Biochemistry BSc(Hons) course at the University of Huddersfield has grown my confidence, made me more mature and ready to go into the real world. 

Student Profile About the Course quote image

Hannah Woodworth, Medical Biochemistry BSc(Hons)

Course detail

Core modules:

Molecular and Cellular Biology

The module is designed to give a basic introduction to cellular biology and genetics. You’ll have the opportunity to study the cellular basis of life, comparing the simple prokaryotes with much more complex eukaryotic cells - looking at the structure and function of many of the sub-cellular organelles. You’ll also be introduced to simple Mendelian genetics, together with more complex linkage analysis and its use in identifying genes. You will be assessed by coursework and exam.

Biochemistry 1

​Biochemistry 1 gives a basic account of the structure and function of biological macromolecules, particularly proteins and is illustrated by reference to such molecules as haemoglobin. A firm grounding in enzyme action is provided and this is supported by a number of practical classes. The relationship between genes and proteins and the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology are emphasised. A foundation in the study of metabolism is provided, directing you towards an understanding of the underlying principles rather than rote learning of metabolic courses. The subject provides the basis for further studies in subjects such as Cell Structure and Pharmacology. The subject is delivered by formal lectures and in laboratory classes. However your learning is supported by tutorial classes, the provision of web-based material and, where necessary, a limited amount of individual tuition.

Physiology 1: Structure and Function

The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to normal and abnormal human bodily functions. The module introduces basic physiological concepts and the clinical relevance of these will be highlighted using clinical examples. This insight into human physiology is designed to enhance your understanding of related subject areas such as pharmacology . A variety of teaching activities will be used on this module including lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes. The laboratory sessions help you to gain basic laboratory skills in physiological measurement through assessed written practical reports. You’ll also be assessed by a final examination.

Analytical Science 1

In this module you’ll be introduced to analytical science. In the first half of the module you’ll have the opportunity to learn about the basic statistical concepts important in analytical science before going on to an introduction to a series of physical and spectroscopic analytical techniques. The second half of the module focuses on the use of various spectroscopic methods for the characterisation of known compounds and for the identification of unknown compounds. You will be assessed by coursework and exam.

Research Skills

This module enables you to develop the requisite background skills for successful completion of an Honours degree in which understanding of scientific research methods plays an important part. The type of skills that you’ll be encouraged to develop during the year can be divided into two areas, numerical skills and information and communication skills. The numerical skills component begins with some basic mathematical skills such as rearranging equations and working with logarithms and exponential data. You’ll then be introduced to a variety of statistical methods during lectures and tutorials. Assessment is by a series of coursework.

Organic Chemistry 1

In organic chemistry, the focus is on the element carbon. The chemistry of carbon compounds is central to all living organisms. However, thousands of nonliving things (such as drugs, plastics and dyes) are also carbon compounds. This module focuses on the fundamental principles of organic chemistry including structure, bonding, functional groups and the basic language of chemical change. You'll have the opportunity to enhance your learning in a designated block of practical exercises (this element of the coursework is worth 20% of the module mark), which also helps you to develop your hands-on practical skills. Assessment is by coursework and exam.

The first year enables you to develop a firm foundation in the molecular and cellular aspects of biology in addition to the principles of drug action. Year 2 develops these areas of study with an emphasis on disease processes in modules such as epidemiology and pharmacology. There is an optional placement in Year 3. In the final year you’ll have the opportunity to investigate advanced topics such as molecular medicine and metabolic disease.

35.3% of the study time on this course is spent in lectures, tutorials, laboratory sessions etc. You will be taught through a series of lectures, tutorials and laboratory work. Assessment will include written exams, multiple choice questions, problem solving exercises, oral presentations and assessment of laboratory skills. The final year research project contributes to your degree classification.

Your module specification/course handbook will provide full details of the assessment criteria applying to your course.

Feedback (usually written) is normally provided on all coursework submissions within three term time weeks – unless the submission was made towards the end of the session in which case feedback would be available on request after the formal publication of results.Feedback on exam performance/final coursework is available on request after the publication of results.

Huddersfield is the UK’s only university where 100% of the permanent teaching staff are fellows of the Higher Education Academy.*

*permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching

Entry requirements

To find out if you are eligible for this course, please call our Clearing helpline on 0330 123 227701484 472777.

Meet our students


Hannah is studying Medical Biochemistry BSc(Hons). Watch her film to find out what she finds most interesting about her course, the skills she's gained and the opportunity that arose from her placement, and how University has prepared her for the real world.

Placements


In the third year of this course, you’ll get the chance to step out of the classroom and into the real world on an optional placement year working for an organisation related to your areas of interest. This is when you’ll really be able to see your knowledge in action, pick up invaluable skills for your future career and boost your employability to help you hit the ground running after graduation.

You could stay do your placement in the UK or experience a new culture and work abroad for one year. Where could this year take you?

Well, previous students in the Biological Sciences subject area have undertaken placements with the Edinburgh Cancer Research Centre, Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, Chalmers University (Sweden), The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Germany), Monash University (Australia) or Sooam Biotech Research Foundation (South Korea).

My placement year has been one of the best years during my course. I tested cattle blood samples for Tuberculosis (TB) and gained valuable experience to enhance my employment prospects. It also enabled me to manage my time better during my final year and improve my grades from previous years.

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Avin Hurry, Medical Biochemistry Bsc(Hons), placement with the Civil Service, Loughborough

Teaching excellence

  1. Huddersfield is a TEF gold-rated institution delivering consistently outstanding teaching and learning of the highest quality found in the UK (Teaching Excellence Framework, 2017).
  2. We won the first Global Teaching Excellence Award recognising the University’s commitment to world-class teaching and its success in developing students as independent learners and critical thinkers (HEA, 2017).
  3. Here at Huddersfield, you’ll be taught by some of the best lecturers in the country. We’ve been the English university with the highest proportion of professionally-qualified teaching staff for the past four years*.
  4. For the past ten years, we’ve been the UK’s leading university for National Teaching Fellowships too, which rate Britain’s best lecturers. It’s all part of our ongoing drive for teaching excellence, which helps our students to achieve great things too.
  5. We’re unique in the fact that all our permanent teaching staff** have, or are completing, doctorates. This expertise, together with our teaching credentials, means that students here learn from knowledgeable and well-qualified teachers and academics who are at the forefront of their subject area.

*HESA - First awarded in 2016, maintained in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

**Permanent staff, after probation: some recently appointed colleagues will only obtain recognition in the months after their arrival in Huddersfield, once they have started teaching; research degrees applies to those on contracts of more than half-time.

Your career


Graduates from our Biological Sciences courses can consider a wide range of career options in areas such as medical research, the NHS, molecular sciences, medical genetics and counselling, pharmaceuticals, developing scientific patents, medical sales or marketing, medical writing and teaching.

Previous graduates have gone on to work in roles such as Microbiologist at CREH Analytical Ltd, Biomedical Scientist at Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Research Assistant at Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine, Laboratory Analyst at ALS Environmental Ltd and Healthcare Scientist at Public Health England.**

*Percentage of graduates from this course who go on to work and/or further study within six months of graduating (Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2016/17).

**Graduate Employment Market Statistics (GEMS).

85% Graduates employed*

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

Changes to a course you have applied for

If we propose to make a major change to a course that you are holding an offer for, then we will tell you as soon as possible so that you can decide whether to withdraw your application prior to enrolment.

Changes to your course after you enrol as a student

We will always try to deliver your course and other services as described. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below:

Changes to option modules

Where your course allows you to choose modules from a range of options, we will review these each year and change them to reflect the expertise of our staff, current trends in research and as a result of student feedback or demand for certain modules. We will always ensure that you have a range of options to choose from and we will let you know in good time the options available for you to choose for the following year.

Major changes

We will only make major changes to the core curriculum of a course or to our services if it is necessary for us to do so and provided such changes are reasonable. A major change in this context is a change that materially changes the services available to you; or the outcomes, or a significant part, of your course, such as the nature of the award or a substantial change to module content, teaching days (part time provision), classes, type of delivery or assessment of the core curriculum.

For example, it may be necessary to make a major change to reflect changes in the law or the requirements of the University’s regulators; to meet the latest requirements of a commissioning or accrediting body; to improve the quality of educational provision; in response to student, examiners’ or other course evaluators’ feedback; and/or to reflect academic or professional changes within subject areas. Major changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, such as a key member of staff leaving the University or being unable to teach, where they have a particular specialism that can’t be adequately covered by other members of staff; or due to damage or interruption to buildings, facilities or equipment.

Major changes would usually be made with effect from the next academic year, but this may not always be the case. We will notify you as soon as possible should we need to make a major change and will carry out suitable consultation with affected students. If you reasonably believe that the proposed change will cause you detriment or hardship we will, if appropriate, work with you to try to reduce the adverse effect on you or find an appropriate solution. Where an appropriate solution cannot be found and you contact us in writing before the change takes effect you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the University without liability to the University for future tuition fees. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

Termination of course

In exceptional circumstances, we may, for reasons outside of our control, be forced to discontinue or suspend your course. Where this is the case, a formal exit strategy will be followed and we will notify you as soon as possible about what your options are, which may include transferring to a suitable replacement course for which you are qualified, being provided with individual teaching to complete the award for which you were registered, or claiming an interim award and exiting the University. If you do not wish to take up any of the options that are made available to you, then you can cancel your registration and withdraw from the course without liability to the University for future tuition fees and you will be entitled to a refund of all course fees paid to date. We will provide reasonable support to assist you with transferring to another university if you wish to do so.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. These include regulations regarding the assessment of your course, academic integrity, your conduct (including attendance) and disciplinary procedure, fees and finance and compliance with visa requirements (where relevant). It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.

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