BSc Medical Biochemistry

Year of entry: 2020

Overview

Degree awarded
BSc (Hons)
Duration
3 years
Typical A-level offer

AAA-ABB (including specific subjects)

Typical contextual A-level offer (what is this?)
AAB-ABC (including specific subjects).
Typical International Baccalaureate offer
36-33 points overall with 6,6,6 to 6,5,5 at Higher Level including Chemistry and another science subject, normally Biology.

Full entry requirements

Number of places/applicants
650/4500 (Overall data for biological and biomedical sciences undergraduate courses at Manchester)
How to apply
Apply through UCAS .

Course overview

  • Learn how biochemistry can help us understand and treat diseases.
  • Be introduced to a wide range of biological sciences topics in Year 1, before choosing more specialist course units in later years.
  • Improve your employability by taking this course with an integrated master's or industrial/professional experience.

Open days

Attending an open day is a great way to find out what studying at Manchester is like. Find out about our  upcoming open days .

We also operate campus tours where a student ambassador will tell you all about life at the University. You may also meet with admissions staff, subject to staff availability. These tours run on most days and are open to anybody thinking of applying for any of our courses in the biological and biomedical sciences.

To book, please contact the Admissions Office on tel +44 (0)161 275 5032 or email  ug.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk

Fees

Tuition fees for home/EU students commencing their studies in September 2020 will be £9,250 per annum. Tuition fees for international students will be £24,000 per annum. For general information please see the undergraduate finance pages.

Policy on additional costs

All students should normally be able to complete their programme of study without incurring additional study costs over and above the tuition fee for that programme. Any unavoidable additional compulsory costs totalling more than 1% of the annual home undergraduate fee per annum, regardless of whether the programme in question is undergraduate or postgraduate taught, will be made clear to you at the point of application. Further information can be found in the University's Policy on additional costs incurred by students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes (PDF document, 91KB).

Contact details

School/Faculty
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Telephone
+44 (0)161 275 5032
Facsimile
+44 (0)161 275 5456
Email
Website
https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/biomedicine
School/Faculty overview
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Courses in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of courses in related subject areas.

Compare this course

Entry requirements

A-level

Practical skills are a crucial part of science education and therefore there will be a requirement to pass the practical element of any science A Level taken.

Where applicants are applying for science and related degrees, this is likely to be made explicit in the offers you will receive.

We require grades AAA-ABB, including Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics and Maths (the Hard Sciences). You must have a minimum of grades AB in at least two Hard Sciences and pass the practical assessments in these subjects.

If your grades are AAB or higher, we will accept a grade A in Geography, Psychology, Environmental Studies or PE in place of the second Hard Science. Subjects with overlapping content are not normally considered as separate A-levels, eg Further Maths is not considered alongside Maths and Human Biology is not considered alongside Biology.

General Studies is welcomed but not normally included as part of the offer.

AS-level

We normally require 3 full A-levels. We may exceptionally accept two AS-levels at grades AB or higher in place of the third non-science A-level. Applicants should contact the Admissions Office to discuss their particular circumstances.

Unit grade information

The University of Manchester welcomes the provision of unit grade information which, like all other available information, will inform the consideration of applications. Unit grades will not normally form part of offer conditions.

GCSE

We require a minimum of grade C (or 4 in the newly reformed GCSEs in England) in English Language and Mathematics.

Applied GCSE Mathematics courses (eg WJEC Mathematics - Numeracy) cannot be accepted as an alternative to GCSE Mathematics.

International Baccalaureate

36-33 points overall with 6,6,6 to 6,5,5 at Higher Level including Chemistry and another science subject, normally Biology.

Scottish requirements

We require grades AAB-BBB in three Scottish Advanced Highers including Chemistry and another science subject, normally Biology.

Scottish Highers (minimum BB required) can only be accepted in combination with two Advanced Highers in science subjects (at grades AA-BB). Students with Highers only may be considered for the Foundation Year.

Welsh Baccalaureate

We accept AA-AB in two science subjects including Chemistry at A-level, and a pass in the practical assessments, plus a pass in the core component at grade B or above.

European Baccalaureate

We accept an award of 75%-80% or above overall, with a minimum of 7.5-8 in three written subjects, including Chemistry and one other science subject.

In addition, all applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in English Language. We accept a score of 7.0 or 70% at Year 7 in English Language in the EB, or a separate English Language qualification.

AQA Baccalaureate

The University welcomes applications from students studying the AQA Baccalaureate qualification. As the qualification is not available to all applicants it is not currently an essential requirement of the University but, like all other available information, will inform the consideration of applications.

Other international entry requirements

For country-specific entry requirements for this course, please visit our international entry requirements  page. Alternatively, you can contact our undergraduate admissions office.

Foundation year

The University recognises a number of foundation programmes as suitable for entry to this undergraduate programme:

Applicants completing the INTO Manchester International Foundation Programme in partnership with The University of Manchester are required to achieve a minimum of AAB with grades AA in Chemistry and another science subject (preferably Biology), grade B in a 3rd subject (excluding EAP) and an EAP score of B in every component.

Applicants completing the NCUK International Foundation Year are required to achieve a minimum of AAB or 75% overall with grades AA or 75% in Chemistry and another science subject (preferably Biology), grade B or 65% in a 3rd subject (excluding EAP) and an EAP score of B or 65% in every component.

All applicants resident or studying in the UK are required to attend an interview.

Applicants studying other foundation programmes should contact ug.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk to check if their qualification is recognised for entry to this programme and for specific entry requirements.

Pearson BTEC qualifications

All level 3 BTEC qualifications at grade D or above, except the National Certificate, are accepted when taken with two science A-levels (minimum AB required) including Chemistry.

The reformed Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma in Applied Science at grades DDD is accepted when taken with Chemistry A-level at grade A.

The reformed Pearson BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science at grades DD is accepted when taken with two A-levels including grade A in Chemistry and a minimum of grade B in any other subject.

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

The following qualifications are only accepted when taken with two A-level sciences (minimum AB required):

  • Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate
  • Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma
  • Cambridge Technical Diploma
  • Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

The Cambridge Technical Certificate is not acceptable on its own or combined with A-levels.

Access to HE Diploma

Each application is considered individually. Applicants should contact the Admissions Office to discuss their particular circumstances.

In general, we require 60 credits overall, with 45 at level 3. The level 3 units must be made up of 15 credits in Biology with a Distinction grade, 15 credits in Chemistry with a Distinction grade and a further 15 credits with Distinction.

We will also consider applications from applicants whose course has allowed only 12 credits at Level 3 in Biology, with the remaining three credits at Level 3 with Distinction in Chemistry, Physics or Maths.

Cambridge Pre-U

We accept D3,D3,D3 to D3, M1, M1 in the Cambridge Pre-U, including Chemistry and one other science subject. You must have a D3 in one of the science subjects.

The University welcomes and recognises the value of the Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives and Research (GPR) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. The qualification can form part of your offer condition when taken in combination with two science A-levels or equivalent.

Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

The University recognises the benefits of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills. Although the Extended Project will not be included in the conditions of your offer, we strongly encourage you to provide information about the EPQ in your personal statement and at interview. A number of our academic Schools may also choose to take your performance in the EPQ into account should places be available in August for applicants who narrowly miss the entry grades for their chosen course.

Home-schooled applicants

If you have followed a non-standard educational route and have been, for example, educated at home, your application will be considered against the standard entry criteria of the course to which you applied. You will be required to demonstrate that you meet the academic entry requirements as specified for the course. We will also require a reference which should be written by somebody who knows you well enough, in an official capacity, to write about you and your suitability for higher education. Please refer to UCAS for further information: UCAS reference guidelines

Non-standard educational routes

We accept a wide range of qualifications from around the world. Such applications are considered on an individual basis.

English language

We require either:

  • GCSE grade C (or 4 in the newly reformed GCSEs in England) in English Language
  • IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.5 in any component)
  • an equivalent qualification.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS .

Advice to applicants

We would normally only consider applicants who obtained the relevant qualification within the three years prior to entry.

Applicants who have left education for more than three years would normally be recommended to take an Access course or exceptionally considered for the Foundation Year .

Applicants should contact the Admissions Office to discuss their particular circumstances.

You should not usually apply for more than one of the biological and biomedical sciences courses offered by The University of Manchester. Please contact us for advice if you are planning to do so.

How your application is considered

Applications from outside the UK are considered on the basis of the UCAS form; some candidates may be interviewed.

Interview requirements

All applicants who live in the EU are normally interviewed in person at the University.

Applicants who live outside the EU may be interviewed either in person at the University, by Skype or by telephone.

Deferrals

Applications for deferred entry are considered equally to other applications up to the point of confirmation. Deferred entry is granted on the discretion of admissions staff, and is normally granted for one year only and 2 years at the maximum. Some English Language test results, such as IELTS or TOEFL, are only valid for two years from the test date.

Policy for applicants who resit their qualifications

The University will consider applicants who have re-sat individual modules. If you have re-sat your final examinations we may consider your application in exceptional circumstances. Please contact us to discuss this before you apply.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course. If you are applying for a place for the same year of entry through UCAS Extra, you should provide additional evidence of your suitability for the course. If you are applying through clearing you are required to meet the clearing requirements. In both UCAS Extra and clearing the places will be subject to availability.

Course details

Course description

Our BSc Medical Biochemistry course looks at the functioning of normal and diseased organisms from a biochemical point of view.

You will receive a fundamental grounding in the principles of biochemistry, such as protein structure and function.

As you progress, optional course units may show you how biochemistry allows us to understand and treat diseases. Subject areas include the molecular biology of cancer, cell cycle control and genetic diseases.

This course is designed for biochemists considering a career in research into the biochemical basis of disease and therapeutic medicine.

Continuation onto the integrated master's or industrial/professional experience course is dependent on certain academic criteria.

Special features

A range of study options

You can extend your degree by a year to undertake an  integrated master's  or gain  industrial/professional experience .

It is possible to broaden your degree by taking units from the University College , Business and Management for all Programmes or the University Language Centre in exchange for a few units from your degree.

Foundation year available

You can prepare for the full degree course if you do not have the appropriate qualifications for direct entry by undertaking our  foundation course  first.

Flexibility to transfer between courses

You can transfer between most of our biological sciences degree courses at the end of your first year or, in some cases, later.

Teaching and learning

You will benefit from a wide range of teaching and learning methods that suit the content and aims of each course unit.

These range from lectures and tutorials to practical and research projects, including the  final year project .

Find out more about how you will learn and see a typical Year 1 timetable on our  teaching and learning  page.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment methods vary widely to suit the nature of the course unit and each level of study. 

  • Lecture units are usually assessed by written exam (multiple choice or essay-based), which are held at the end of an academic semester in either January or May/June.
  • Field courses are usually assessed via oral and written presentations, group work and/or projects.
  • Practical units are usually assessed by experimental report and/or short written assignment and/or written exam.
  • The proportion of independent study assignments increases during each year of study.

Year 1

Lecture units are usually assessed by e-learning activities during the unit and multiple choice exams at the end of the semester. 

Year 1 contributes 10% to your overall degree mark.

Year 2

Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam.

Year 2 contributes 30% to your overall degree mark.

Final year

Lecture units are usually assessed by essay-based exam. Students also take two 'honours' papers: degree programme-specific examinations comprising essays and data-handling problems.

A significant part of the year (accounting for one-quarter of the overall degree mark) is the project, which is assessed by literature review and a written report.

The final year contributes 60% to your overall degree mark.

Course unit details

This course is modular. You will study compulsory course units and choose some optional units.

Most units are assigned 10 credits and you will take 120 credits each year.

Course content for year 1

You will gain a broad introduction to biological sciences, covering key concepts such as:

  • biochemistry
  • genetics
  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • pharmacology
  • molecular biology.

You will also study chemistry topics relevant to biology.

Year 1 also provides an introduction to the essential data handling and laboratory skills required for all biological scientists.

Course units for year 1

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Academic Tutorials Year 1 BIOL10000 10 Mandatory
Biochemistry BIOL10212 10 Mandatory
Molecular Biology BIOL10221 10 Mandatory
From Molecules to Cells BIOL10232 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Laboratory Science BIOL10401 10 Mandatory
Introduction to Experimental Biology - Molecular & Cellular Biology BIOL10412 10 Mandatory
Writing and Referencing Skills (online unit) BIOL10741 0 Mandatory
Body Systems BIOL10811 10 Mandatory
Drugs: From Molecules to Man BIOL10822 10 Mandatory
Chemistry for Bioscientists 1 CHEM10021 10 Mandatory
Chemistry for Bioscientists 2 CHEM10022 10 Mandatory
A History of Biology in 20 Objects BIOL10381 10 Optional
Genes, Evolution and Development BIOL10521 10 Optional
Microbes, Man and the Environment BIOL10532 10 Optional
Excitable Cells: the Foundations of Neuroscience BIOL10832 10 Optional
Science & the Modern World HSTM10221 10 Optional
Bodies in History: An introduction to the History of Medicine HSTM10272 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 17 course units for year 1

Course content for year 2

You will continue your studies in greater depth and begin to specialise. You will also undertake a dissertation.

In the Research Skills unit, you have the opportunity to carry out techniques that are widely used in current biological science research.

Course units for year 2

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Academic Tutorials Year 2 BIOL20000 10 Mandatory
Molecular and Cellular Biology EDM BIOL21041 10 Mandatory
Dissertation BIOL21090 10 Mandatory
Genome Maintenance & Regulation BIOL21101 10 Mandatory
Proteins BIOL21111 10 Mandatory
Cell Metabolism & Metabolic Control BIOL21132 10 Mandatory
Molecules and Cells in Human Disease BIOL21351 10 Mandatory
Chemistry of Biomolecules CHEM21162 10 Mandatory
The Dynamic Cell BIOL21121 10 Optional
Cell Membrane Structure & Function BIOL21141 10 Optional
`Omic Technologies & Resources BIOL21152 10 Optional
Immunology BIOL21242 10 Optional
Endocrinology BIOL21261 10 Optional
Clinical Drug Development BIOL21302 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 14 course units for year 2

Course content for year 3

Final year topics reflect the current hotspots of bioscience endeavour and the research interests of our staff, and are constantly being updated.

You will undertake an independent in-depth  research project  that may involve supervised practical work in a laboratory, or you may choose to work on e-learning, educational, data analysis, bioinformatics or enterprise topics. 

Course units for year 3

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Academic Tutorials Year 3 BIOL30000 0 Mandatory
Projects BIOL30030 30 Mandatory
Project Literature Review BIOL30101 10 Mandatory
Biochemical Basis of Disease (E) BIOL31332 10 Mandatory
Post-Genome Biology (L) BIOL31301 10 Optional
Protein Assembly, Dynamics & Function (E) BIOL31311 10 Optional
Glycobiology: Glycan Function in Health & Disease (E) BIOL31321 10 Optional
Macromolecular Recognition in Biological Systems (L) BIOL31341 10 Optional
Advanced Immunology (E) BIOL31371 10 Optional
Gene Regulation & Disease (E) BIOL31381 10 Optional
Protein Sorting (L) BIOL31411 10 Optional
Cell Signalling (E) BIOL31441 10 Optional
Bioethics: Contemporary Issues in Science & Biomedicine (E) BIOL31522 10 Optional
Human Reproductive Biology (E) BIOL31561 10 Optional
Advanced Endocrinology (L) BIOL31571 10 Optional
Cardiovascular Systems (E) BIOL31582 10 Optional
Toxins, Toxicants & Toxicity (E) BIOL31602 10 Optional
Molecular Biology of Cancer (E) BIOL31742 10 Optional
Stem Cells (L) BIOL31751 10 Optional
Cell Adhesion (L) BIOL31771 10 Optional
Immune Response & Disease (E) BIOL31802 10 Optional
Chemistry of Biological Processes (E) CHEM31812 10 Optional
Displaying 10 of 22 course units for year 3

What our students say

The choice of units we get is astounding. These units all tend to have some sort of applicability towards a clinical setting and allow you to get a degree which is really finely honed in a certain field of biology.

I'm looking forward to taking the Molecular Biology of Cancer lecture unit, as I wrote my dissertation on this subject and found it interesting. I never thought I'd be able to enjoy writing a ten-page essay!

Dom Trewartha

I enjoyed the variety of modules we were able to take in Year 1, as it gave us a broad understanding in different fields of biology.

The tutorials were my favourite part of the course because the topic of discussion was very specific to my course and I enjoyed how it challenged me to think and learn in different ways.

Courtney Thwaites

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the  Biology, Medicine and Health Student Blog .

Facilities

Learning facilities

Our modern teaching labs are equipped for a range of biological and biomedical techniques. The following are just a few of the techniques you could undertake during your degree:

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • DNA sequencing
  • gel electrophoresis
  • spectrophotometry
  • dissection and histology
  • electroencephalography (EEG) and electrocardiography (ECG)
  • immunofluorescence microscopy.

Our computing facilities include access to over 200 PCs in dedicated clusters and e-learning tools including online lecture notes, discussion boards, lecture podcasts and quizzes.

You will also have access to the University's other  facilities for undergraduate students .

Research facilities

As a final year student, you have the opportunity to undertake a project in the labs of our world-class bioscience researchers.

To support our research, we have extensive  research facilities  equipped with high-quality technology.

Disability support

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

Careers

Career opportunities

Many pharmaceutical and healthcare companies require well-trained medical biochemists, making this area a promising one for our graduates' careers.

Our graduates become key employees in the efforts of such companies to develop new drugs targeted against specific enzymes, hormone receptors or other biologically important molecules. 

As an alternative to entering industry directly, many medical biochemistry graduates continue their careers via a PhD programme, or by taking a specialist master's course in, for example, bioinformatics.

Find out more about  how we help our students prepare for the workplace  and the careers our graduates go into within and outside the lab.