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Biochemistry MSc

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Course description

Biochemistry is the study of the chemical properties of biologically important molecules and processes in cells and tissues. It deals with the structure and function of cellular components, such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, and other biomolecules. Biochemical understanding is fundamental to all biological disciplines. While much of modern biochemistry aims to provide an understanding of fundamental biological processes at a molecular level, it also contributes to the solving of medical problems and the discovery of safe and effective drugs. This programme allows students to gain research experience in contemporary biochemistry, which may be a different area to their first degree, and professional skills, before deciding on a future career in industry or academic research.

This is a research focused Masters course. We do not teach Biochemistry using a traditional lecture-based format; instead we use an interactive approach where you learn through seminars, workshops, small group tutorials and during your research placements. For students who have had little hands on laboratory experience in their undergraduate degree we offer the Research Skills Summer School   which takes place for four weeks prior to the start of the main course and offers intensive research skills training.

Teaching and learning

The programme comprises four compulsory components:

Research projects: Your two projects will provide experience in carrying through a substantive research project including the planning, execution and communication of original scientific research. They are assessed by written report.

Tutorials and Workshop Unit : Tutorials give you the opportunity to learn about research being carried out in the Faculty of Life Sciences and thereby to acquire a broad knowledge of biological sciences.The Bioethics Workshop gives you experience of exploring and debating some of the ethical issues that surround current scientific research. Activities for the Tutorials and Bioethics unit include preparative directed reading, private study and preparation of oral presentations. This unit is assessed by members of staff for the tutorial session and staff assessment of oral presentation during the tutorial and written reports.

Science Communication Unit: This unit allows you to acquire the ability to listen to a presentation, understand the key concepts and record important details, and then summarise its contents in a brief written report. Activities include private study and preparation of written assignment. For each of 5 seminar presentations, a 500 word précis has to written. You are assessed on these assignments plus a poster and an oral presentation.

Experimental Design and Statistics Unit: This unit aims to introduce you to the procedures and tools used in the design of experiments and the methods and tools used in statistical data analysis. Activities include lectures, workshops, group discussions and e-learning. Assessment is through multiple choice exam, critical assessment of literature and online statistics exercises.

Course unit details

This is a research focused Masters course. We do not teach using a traditional lecture-based format; instead we use an interactive approach where you learn through seminars, workshops, small group tutorials and during your research placements.

The programme starts in September and runs for 12 months. You require 180 credits to complete the programme, of which:

  • 135 credits are from research projects
  • 45 credits are from transferable skills units
Research Projects

Your projects each run for 18-weeks starting in October and April.

Transferable Skills

45 credits are achieved through completion of activities that develop your transferable skills in essential areas such as experimental design, statistics, bioethics (included in the tutorial and workshop unit) and science communication. Experimental Design and Statistics runs at the start of the year to prepare you for your research projects. Elements of the other units run throughout the year alongside your research projects.

Disclaimer: Our modules teach the current trends in life sciences. Consequently, details of our modules may vary over time. The University therefore reserves the right to make such alterations to modules as are found to be necessary. Before accepting your offer of a course, it is essential that you are aware of the current terms on which the offer is based. This includes the modules available to you. If in doubt, please contact us

Additional fee information

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Support Office. Email: disability@manchester.ac.uk