Since its emergence as a discipline, biochemistry has worked to illuminate many of the problems that have fascinated and perplexed molecular bioscientists for generations. The Biochemistry BSc aims to equip students with the essential knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology that is at the heart of much of modern life sciences research. As such, it is a valuable entry point to a range of different careers.
- UCAS code
- Full-time: 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2018
- London, Bloomsbury
- Applications per place
- 8 (2015 entry)*
- Total intake
- 97 (2018 entry)*
- Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Mathematics or Physics.
- English Language and Mathematics at grade B. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
- A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects including Chemistry at grade 6, and one subject from Biology, Mathematics or Physics, with no score below 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects. Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics
A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher). Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics at Advanced Higher.
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA. Chemistry required plus one from Biology, Physics or Mathematics.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
UCL is one of the world's largest academic centres for research in biochemistry, with three major research units based here: the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology, the Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology and the interdisciplinary Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering.
Our strong links with the bioscience community in London (including the Francis Crick Institute, the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, the UCL Cancer Institute and Cancer Research UK) enhance the range of research opportunities available to our students.
You will have the opportunity to take out a one-year placement in industry before your final year of study (working in a suitable industrial or research laboratory), or to transfer to the research intensive MSci programme.
Our excellent resources include the Darwin Research Facility, which provides state of the art centrifugation, cell culture, imaging and biomolecular structural analysis facilities and a drug discovery facility.
Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Division of Biosciences.
- 82% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
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In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
In the first year of the programme you will take compulsory core modules that are similar to those taken in the first year of other biosciences programmes. In year two, you take a number of compulsory modules, but with some optional flexibility. This flexibility to select your own modules increases in year three.
You may also choose to transfer to the Molecular Biology BSc after your first year, which deals more specifically with the way genetic information is stored in nucleic acids and with the controlled expression of this information and its implications for health and disease. It is also possible after your first year to transfer to the Biotechnology BSc.
You may elect to spend an additional year (after year two) gaining invaluable experience in an industrial or research laboratory. Or, after year two, you may transfer to the research intensive MSci programme for a degree programme totalling four years. The final year of the BSc will focus principally on areas of the molecular biosciences selected by you and include the opportunity to carry out an investigative data-analysis project.
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Cells and Development
Chemistry for Biologists
Introduction to Genetics
Introduction to Microbiology
Principles and Practice of Experimental Biochemistry
All first year modules are compulsory.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Biomolecular Structure and Function
Metabolism and its Regulation
Physical Chemistry for Life Science Students
Either The Principles of Cellular Control or The Chemistry of Biologically Important Molecules
You will select 0.5 credits from a wide range of modules.
Core or compulsory module(s)
An investigative project including significant data analysis (1.0 credit) or an Advanced Research Techniques module to provide hands on experience of metagenomics, molecular bology, illumina sequencing and data analysis.
You will select modules from a wide range of options to suit your interest (3.0 credits).
Biochemistry is a practical science. You can expect to spend a significant portion of your time either in wet laboratories, where you will handle chemicals and biological materials, or in dry laboratories, where computer simulations and exercises are carried out.
You will also take part in seminars, presentations, lectures and group tutorials. You will use an online virtual learning environment (Moodle) to support your studies.
Your assessment will include a combination of examinations, coursework, practical work, tutorial work and presentations. Many modules have in-course tests (web-based or written) and most modules have an unseen final examination.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Biochemistry BSc.
Throughout your degree you will acquire a range of specific and transferable key skills, including time management and planning, technical laboratory competencies such as manual dexterity and analysis of data, and skills in teamwork, negotiation and decision-making.
Our graduates have found themselves roles in diverse fields such as toxicology, clinical biochemistry, drug and food research, industrial biotechnology, virus research and agricultural research. Some students have used their degrees to become school science teachers; others have entered other fields such as science journalism, business management, accountancy and business computing.
First career destinations of recent graduates (2013-2015) of this programme include:
- Laboratory Technician, Allergan
- MRes in Biochemical Engineering, UCL
- MSc in Management, LSE (The London School of Economics and Political Science)
- PhD in Genetics and Molecular Medicine, King's College London
- Equity Trader, J.P. Morgan
Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2017/18 academic year and are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for 2018 entry will appear here as soon as they are available.
- UK/EU students
- £9,250 (2017/18 - see below)
- Overseas students
- £21,960 (2017/18)
The UK/EU fee quoted above may be subject to increase for the 2018/19 academic year and for each year of study thereafter and UCL reserves the right to increase its fees in line with UK government policy (including on an annual basis for each year of study during a programme). Fees for overseas students may be subject to an annual increase in subsequent years of study by up to 5%.
Please see the full details of UCL's fees and possible changes on the UCL Current Students website.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.
Application and next steps
We use your predicted or achieved academic qualifications, your personal statement and reference to decide whether to offer you a place. Evidence of sustained interest in science, such as involvement in a science debating society, and of activities that demonstrate your self-motivation and organisational skills, will be considered favourably.
How to apply
Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.
Application deadline: 15 January 2018
If you live in the UK and we have made you an offer, you will be invited to attend an offer-holder open day. This will involve talks from staff about the programme and the department, a research presentation, tours of UCL and the department and a visit to a laboratory facility.
You will have the chance to talk to current students and staff about any questions you might have about studying biochemistry.
As this degree programme is very challenging, it is vital to have a deep interest in the programme to succeed, and to convey this on your application.
For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.