Medical Biochemistry BSc(Hons)

2022-23 (also available for 2021-22)

Start date

19 September 2022

Duration

3 years full-time
4 years inc. placement year

Entry requirements

A Level - BBC

BTEC - DMM

See full entry requirements

Places available (subject to change)

20

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.

  • This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.
  • 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 modern, scientific 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.
  • As a student on this course you’ll be able to apply for undergraduate membership of the Biochemical Society and The Physiological Society (UK). You’ll also be eligible for student affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Biology and upon successful graduation be eligible to apply for one year associate membership, this can help open up networks at a crucial time when applying for jobs.

I really enjoyed carrying out hands-on research as part of my degree. This and the course structure have refined my interests and prepared me for employment and entrepreneurship.

None

Annie Omoregie, Medical Biology with Research Placement BSc(Hons)

Course detail

Core modules:

Molecular and Cellular Biology

This module starts with an introduction to basic cytology, the cellular basis of life is considered and a comparison between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells performed. The concept of 'compartmentalisation' is dealt with and the lecture course follows a 'walk through the cell' theme where each organelle is dealt with individually, both in terms of structure and function. Cell culture techniques are introduced, in particular the use of mutants and complementation to analyse biological processes is considered. The problems of packaging DNA in a eukaryotic chromosome is also discussed. The module extends to consider genetic analysis in a number of systems. Simple Mendelian genetics is considered together with more complex linkage analysis and its uses in identifying genes. The special genetic systems of bacteria and fungi are introduced with examples of the strategies employed to make use of these systems.

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

This module covers all the major organs of the body together with models of normal and abnormal bodily function. Emphasis will be directed to the concept of homeostasis and the integration of dynamic processes involved in the maintenance of health.

Analytical Science 1

This module aims to introduce students from diverse backgrounds to the range of skills required in modern analytical science and illustrate how analytical methodology underpins scientific investigation across the conventional discipline boundaries. The module will build on and develop your prior knowledge of analysis whilst not assuming any particular area of expertise and will also endeavour to improve your numerical, IT and communication skills by illustrating analytical methodology in the context of these key skill areas. This module also aims to develop your ability to obtain and interpret a wide range of spectroscopic data in a systematic and logical fashion. In this way you'll be taught to apply your knowledge to a wide range of new problems and in so doing develop your general problem solving skills. The module will be taught primarily by lectures and tutorials with illustrative practical work to highlight salient points from the lecture material.

Research Skills

Research in science ranges from finding out what is already known to carrying out investigations to add to our store of knowledge. This module provides the requisite background skills for successful completion of an Honours Degree in Biology. Basic generic skills involving literacy, numeracy and use of IT are applied to summarising, understanding, interpreting and presenting data generated by laboratory investigations. Throughout the module the emphasis is on learning the skills that will be used in various parts of the degree course. Acquisition of learning skills takes precedence over memorising facts. Learning about current topics in science involves finding peer-reviewed scientific literature (using library facilities and database searches), and summarising it with source attribution as a report using correct scientific style. Basic statistics is taught using spreadsheet and statistics programs. You'll also have the opportunity to build up a portfolio of evidence relating to your skills for Personal Development Planning.

Organic Chemistry 1

This module teaches you to recognise a range of functional groups and to name systematically compounds that contain them. Structure and bonding in organic compounds are discussed, as are the concepts of the octet rule, orbital hybridisation, formal charge, bond polarisation and resonance. The importance of molecular geometry is introduced and the basic principles of molecular conformation and of stereochemistry are covered. In preparation for the chemistry to follow, an integrated treatment of the 'language of chemical change' is presented. The ideas of mechanism and reaction intermediates are met, together with the curly arrow symbolism which chemists use to represent the electron movement inherent in chemical reactions. In the second half of the module, the chemistry of the principal functional groups is considered, using the ideas developed earlier. The lecture programme is reinforced by regular tutorials in which problems are worked. Running parallel to the lecture programme is a continuously assessed practical course that introduces you to the basic techniques of preparative organic chemistry.

Entry requirements

BBCat A Level including a grade B in Chemistry, plus C in another relevant Science subject. The endorsement for practical work is an essential part of Science A Level study, and is a requirement for entry to our degree course.

112 UCAS tariff points from a combination of Level 3 qualifications including a grade B in Chemistry at A Level, plus C in another relevant Science subject.

DMM in BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science. Alternatively a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care is acceptable but must be accompanied by another Science A Level at grade C or above.

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma with 45 Level 3 credits at Merit or above to include modules in relevant science subjects.
  • 112 UCAS tariff points from International Baccalaureate qualifications which should include relevant science subjects.

If you do not have the appropriate qualifications for direct entry to this degree you may be able to apply to our Science Extended Degree (BCF0).

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5, or equivalent will be considered acceptable. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

Other suitable experience or qualifications will be considered. For further information please see the University's minimum entry requirements.

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

Previous students in the Biological Sciences subject area have undertaken placements with LICAMN Light Laboratories, Lonza, Public Health England, University of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire Analytical Service and Yorkshire and Humber Scientific Support.

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.

None

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

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, pharmaceuticals, developing scientific patents, medical sales or marketing, medical writing and teaching.

Previous graduates have gone on to work in roles such as Clinical Study Co-ordinator in Ophthalmology at NHS, Laboratory Technician at ALS, Microbiology Medical Laboratory Technician at IDEXX Laboratories and PhD Researcher at the University of Huddersfield.**

*Percentage of graduates from this subject who are in work and/or further study fifteen months after graduating (HESA Graduate Outcomes 17/18, UK domiciled graduates).

**LinkedIn

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, along with the Student Protection Plan, 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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