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Undergraduate prospectus 2021

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Biochemistry BSc

As one of the world’s largest academic centres for research in biochemistry, UCL understands the most important skills needed for the next generation of experts in this critical area. In addition to equipping our students with the essential knowledge of biochemistry and molecular biology, we provide you with a uniquely real world research experience to ensure you gain experience of best practice practical application in an intellectually stimulating environment.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2021
UCAS code
C700
Duration
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
15 January 2021
Location
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

Grades
AAA
Subjects
Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics required.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 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.

Contextual offer

Grades
ABB (more about contextual offers)
Subjects
Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics required with grade A in Chemistry.
GCSEs
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 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.

IB Diploma

Points
38
Subjects
A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects to include Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematic, with no score below 5.

Contextual offer

Points
34 (more about contextual offers)
Subjects
A total of 16 points in three higher level subjects including Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics with a score of 6 in Chemistry and no score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

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, Biology and Mathematics required.

A,A,A at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and A,A,A at Higher to include Maths). Chemistry required at Advanced Higher and either Biology and Mathematics at Advanced Higher or Biology and Mathematics with one at Advanced Higher and the other at Higher.

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA. Chemistry required plus one from Biology or Mathematics.

International applications

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

UCL 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.

Degree benefits

  • At UCL we offer our students the opportunity to undertake two research projects in their third year – an advanced investigation and a lab based group project where students generate their own unique data. This process reflects how real world labs operate and better prepares our students for success in this arena.

  • Students benefit from a strong focus on computational analysis using super computers and have the opportunity to compare some of their research findings to similar studies from around the world. This reflects our focus on preparing our students for successful research careers.

  • You will have the opportunity to learn from the leading experts at partner institutes including the UCL Cancer Institute, the Francis Crick Institute, the Sainsburys Wellcome Centre, Cancer Research UK and the Darwin Research Facility.

  • The Darwin Research Facility provides state of the art centrifugation, cell culture, imaging and biomolecular structural analysis facilities and a drug discovery facility.

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 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 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

In the first year of the programme you will take compulsory 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 so you can focus your studies on your prefered area of interest within the discipline.

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.

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry.

Modules

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Compulsory module(s)

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Cells and Development
Chemistry for Biologists
Introduction to Genetics
Introduction to Microbiology
Experimental Biochemistry

Optional modules

All first year modules are compulsory.

Compulsory module(s)

Biomolecular Structure and Function
Metabolism and its Regulation
Molecular Biology
Physical Chemistry for Life Science Students

Either The Principles of Cellular Control or The Chemistry of Biologically Important Molecules

*modules listed for 2019/20 but organisation of delivery may change in subsequent years

Optional modules

You will select 15 credits from a wide range of modules.

Compulsory module(s)

A specialist reserach project module provides hands on experience in metagenomics or protein biochemistry and a literature project where you will write a review of a specific area of interest.

Optional modules

You will select modules from a wide range of options to suit your interest (60 credits).


Your learning

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.

Assessment

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.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Careers

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 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 fields such as science journalism, business management, accountancy and business computing.

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.

Student view
I chose Biochemistry because it gives me a strong base to go into many different sectors after university - from research to business. I like the programme because it gives you some freedom in what you would like to learn more about. Marc Vangerven - Biochemistry BSc Second Year

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2020/21 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2020/21 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

UK/EU students
£9,250 (2020/21)
Overseas students
£26,490 (2020/21)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.

Additional costs

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).

Funding

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.

Departmental scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

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

Your application

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 2021



Selection

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.


UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.


Page last modified on 2 July 2020