Biochemistry MSci

London, Bloomsbury

Biochemical research underpins a great deal of the core knowledge in life sciences. In particular, the discipline has helped illuminate many of the problems that have fascinated and perplexed molecular bioscientists. The Biochemistry MSci - premised on research - provides an invaluable foundation for postgraduate study or a dynamic career within this area.

UK students International students
Study mode
4 academic years
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme starts
September 2025
Application deadline
29 Jan 2025
UCAS course code

Entry requirements

Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics required.
English Language and Mathematics at grade B or 6.

Contextual offer information

Contextual offers are typically one to two grades lower than the standard offer. Grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

A total of 18 points in three higher level subjects to include Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematic, with no higher level score below 5. The programme will accept either 'Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches' or 'Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation' at higher level.

Contextual offer

Contextual offers are typically one to two grade boundaries (equivalent to A levels) lower than the standard offer. IB Diploma grade and subject requirements for contextual offers for this programme will be published in Summer 2024.

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). 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.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.

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

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Access and widening participation

UCL is committed to widening access to higher education. If you are eligible for Access UCL you do not need to do anything in addition to the standard UCAS application. Your application will be automatically flagged when we receive it.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPC) prepare international students for a UCL undergraduate degree who don’t have the qualifications to enter directly. These intensive one-year foundation courses are taught on our central London campus.

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:

English language requirements

The English language level for this programme is: Level 4

Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Course overview

Year one provides a broad foundation in biosciences, and all modules are compulsory.

Year two comprises a mixture of compulsory and optional modules. This allows choice in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and immunology, with one additional 15 credit module being chosen from a wider range of subjects.

Year three includes a literature review and a specialist group research project in either protein biochemistry or metagenomics. You will present your literature project investigations as part of the undergraduate research symposium. You can chose from optional modules for half of the credits required in third year.

Year four focuses on research and there are no didactic lectures as in the earlier years. Instead, you will attend seminars and practice research methods of investigation, analysis and communication. You will conduct an individual research project as part of an established departmental research group and present your findings in written formats as well as poster and oral presentations.

What this course will give you

You will be challenged and stimulated in a research-intensive environment, and receive research-based teaching that will prepare you for postgraduate research, or a career at the cutting-edge of advances in molecular biosciences and health and disease research.

The Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology promotes multi-disciplinary research at the interface of structural, cell and chemical biology. Our excellent resources include the Darwin Research Facility, which provides state-of-the-art centrifugation, cell culture, imaging and biomolecular structural analysis facilities.

Our strong links with members of the bioscience community in the Francis Crick Institute, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, UCL Cancer Institute and Cancer Research UK enhance the range of research opportunities for students.

Teaching and learning

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).

Upon successful completion of 480 credits, you will be awarded a MSci (Hons) in Biochemistry.


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. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

In the first year of the degree you will take compulsory modules similar to those taken in the first year of other biosciences programmes. This will provide a firm interdisciplinary foundation for your studies.

In year two of the programme you will take a number of compulsory modules in subject areas such as molecular biology, biomolecular structure and function, metabolism and physical chemistry, with an optional module also.

Year three will build an integrated, research-based platform for the discovery of research skills and advanced molecular biosciences. It involves advanced techniques modules and a compulsory investigative project, which will prepare you for your final year at UCL.

The final year of your degree (year four) will focus principally on an extended research project. It will be supplemented by a compulsory research techniques module and a grant writing exercise.

Your learning

This programme is research-focused and as such you can expect to spend much 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. In year 4 you will join a research group and work full time in the laboratory, taking part in research seminars, lab meetings and journal clubs.

You may transfer to MSci Biochemistry with a year in industry on securing and completing a placement year in an industrial setting. These are optional competitive placements that are dependent on successful application to a placement provider. Further information on this option is provided during your degree.

Contact time is estimated at 300 hours per year for the first three years, to include lectures, practicals, tutorials and workshops. Accompanying study time per year is estimated to be 900 hours. These values will vary according to the year of study and modules chosen, and are intended as a rough guide since individual choice will result in variation.

The final year is research intense. You will be part of a lab group working on your own research project full time.


Your assessment will include a combination of examinations, coursework, practical work, tutorial work and presentations. You will also produce laboratory and research reports, posters and dissertations. Many modules have in-course tests (web-based or written) and most (but not all) modules have an unseen final examination.


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


Undergraduate In-person Open Days

Visit UCL in person to explore the programmes we offer, chat with students and staff, learn about student life at UCL and ask any questions you may have. At this year’s event, you will get the chance to explore UCL’s rich and radical history at both our historical Bloomsbury and the new East campuses. You only need to attend one of the two dates, but you are welcome to visit us at both locations. Book your place and start planning your visit on our Undergraduate Open Days page.

The foundation of your career

The degree prepares you for a diverse range of careers in areas such as cancer research, clinical biochemistry, drug and food research, industrial biotechnology, virus research, toxicology and agricultural research.

MSci graduates have similar opportunities to those students graduating from the BSc. However, the main focus of this degree is to produce first-class research scientists able to progress to a PhD, or partake in cutting-edge biosciences research.


Throughout your degree you will acquire a range of specific and transferable skills, including time management and planning, technical laboratory competencies such as manual dexterity and analysis of data, as well as skills in teamwork and critical reasoning. Research skills are highlighted in years three and four. According to the Graduate Outcomes Survey for students graduating in 2020-2021, 85% of students were in work or study 15 months after finishing the course.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £9,250
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2024/25 academic year. The UK 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 2024/25 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.

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

Students will need to purchase a lab coat, estimated at between £10-20.

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 your studies

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.

Next steps

Your application

A genuine and personal interest and curiosity in the field of biochemistry and molecular biology should be evidenced in your application.

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.


For further information on UCL's selection process see: How we assess your application.

You will have the chance to talk to current students and staff and ask 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. If we have made you an offer, you will be invited to attend an offer-holder event. This may include talks from staff about the programme and the department. It could also include a research presentation, tours of UCL and the department, and a visit to a laboratory facility.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.