BSc Medical Biochemistry

Year of entry: 2023

Overview

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

A*AA-ABB (including specific subjects)

Typical contextual A-level offer
AAB-ABC (including specific subjects).
Find out more about contextual admissions.
Refugee/care-experienced offer
Applicants who have been in local authority care for more than three months or have refugee status may be eligible for an offer two grades below the standard requirements.
Find out more about contextual admissions.
Typical International Baccalaureate offer
36-34 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
650/7000 (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, entrepreneurship 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 biosciences.

To book, please contact the Admissions Office at ug.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk  

Fees

Fees for entry in 2023 have not yet been set. For entry in 2022 the tuition fees were £9,250 per annum for home students, and are expected to increase slightly for 2023 entry.

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)161 543 4694
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.

Entry requirements

A-level

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 A*AA-ABB, including Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics and Mathematics (the Core Sciences). You must have a minimum of grades AB in at least two Core Sciences.

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

Your offer will generally at least match your predicted grades within the criteria and range specified above, unless a contextual offer applies.

We believe that practical skills in the sciences are integral to a candidate s understanding and appreciation of these subjects. Therefore we encourage all applicants to undertake any practical skills assessment if it is available in their qualification.

In recognition of the significant disruption to studies this year, applicants offers conditions will not state a requirement to obtain a Pass in the practical element of any science A-levels for 2022. This requirement is waived, including those sitting International A-levels.

Contextual offer

Contextual offer: AAB-ABC (including specific subjects).

Typical WP++ Contextual offer: ABB-ABD (including specific subjects).

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 information where available. Like all other information provided by applicants this may be taken into consideration when assessing your application. Unit grades will not normally form part of an offer conditions.

GCSE

Applicants must demonstrate a broad general education including acceptable levels of Literacy and Numeracy, equivalent to at least Grade 4 or C in GCSE/IGCSE English Language and Mathematics. GCSE/IGCSE English Literature will not be accepted in lieu of GCSE/IGCSE English Language.

Please note that if you hold English as a Second Language IGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your IGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact ug.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk for clarification.

International Baccalaureate

36-34 points overall with 6, 6, 6 to 6, 5, 5 at Higher Level including Chemistry and another science subject, normally Biology.

Other international entry requirements

We welcome applications from overseas students. Please see our international entry requirements page for individual country requirements.

Scottish requirements

Scottish Advanced Highers are normally required in one of the following combinations: 

  • three Advanced Highers with grades AAA-BBB including Chemistry and another science subject, normally Biology or
  • two Advanced Highers with grades AA-BB in Chemistry and another science subject, normally Biology, plus two additional Highers with grades AA-BB.

Students with Highers only with grades AAAAA-AABBB may be considered for the Foundation Year.

English Language and Mathematics not taken at Higher/Advanced Higher must have been achieved at SCQF level 5 (minimum National 5 grade C/Intermediate 2 grade C/Standard Grade Credit level grade 3).

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact ug.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk  

Welsh Baccalaureate

The University welcomes and recognises the value of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma/Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate and would consider this at grade B or above when taken with two science A-levels, including Chemistry (minimum AB required).

For further details, please contact ug.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk .

 

European Baccalaureate

The University of Manchester welcomes applicants with the European Baccalaureate. Acceptable on its own or in combination with other qualifications, applications from students studying for this qualification are welcome and all applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

We normally require: an award at 75%-80% or above overall, with a minimum of 7.5-8 in three written subjects including Chemistry and another 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 such as IELTS 6.5 in each component.

AQA Baccalaureate

The University recognises the benefits of the AQA Baccalaureate and the opportunities it provides for applicants to develop independent study and research skills.

In making offers, the University will focus on the three A-levels taken within the AQA Baccalaureate. Students need to check the standard A Level requirements for their chosen course.

The units of broader study, enrichment activities and the Extended Project are considered to be valuable elements of the AQA Baccalaureate and we would therefore strongly encourage students to draw upon these experiences within their personal statement.

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

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

We consider the National Extended Diploma in Applied Science with grades DDD for entry when it is taken with Chemistry A-level with grade A.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma

We consider the National Diploma in Applied Science with grades DD for entry when it is taken with two A-levels including grade A in Chemistry and a minimum of grade B in any other subject.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma

We consider the National Foundation Diploma in any subject with grade D for entry when it is taken with two science A-levels (minimum AB required) including Chemistry.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate

We consider the National Extended Certificate in any subject with grade D for entry when it is taken with two science A-levels (minimum AB required) including Chemistry.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate

We do not consider the National Certificate for entry to this course.

Legacy BTEC qualifications

The University of Manchester welcomes applications from students who have achieved legacy BTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the BTEC Extended Diploma, BTEC Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (with grade D or above) and two science A-levels (minimum AB required) including Chemistry.

We do not consider the BTEC Certificate for entry to this course.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact ug.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk

OCR Cambridge Technical qualifications

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Diploma (CTEC)

We consider all the Cambridge Level 3 Technicals (except the Cambridge Level 3 Technical Certificate) with grade D or above for entry when it is taken with two science A-levels (minimum AB required) including Chemistry.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Diploma (CTEC)

We consider all the Cambridge Level 3 Technicals (except the Cambridge Level 3 Technical Certificate) with grade D or above for entry when it is taken with two science A-levels (minimum AB required) including Chemistry.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Foundation Diploma (CTEC)

We consider all the Cambridge Level 3 Technicals (except the Cambridge Level 3 Technical Certificate) with grade D or above for entry when it is taken with two science A-levels (minimum AB required) including Chemistry.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Extended Certificate (CTEC)

We consider all the Cambridge Level 3 Technicals (except the Cambridge Level 3 Technical Certificate) with grade D or above for entry when it is taken with two science A-levels (minimum AB required) including Chemistry.

Cambridge Level 3 Technical Certificate (CTEC)

We do not accept the Cambridge Level 3 Technical Certificate (CTEC) for entry to this course.

Legacy CTEC qualifications

The University of Manchester welcomes applications from students who have achieved legacy CTEC qualifications (pre-2016) such as the CTEC Extended Diploma, CTEC Diploma and CTEC Subsidiary Diploma (with grade D or above) and two science A-levels (minimum AB required) including Chemistry.

We do not consider the CETC Certificate for entry to this course.

If you require further clarification about the acceptability of this qualification please contact ug.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk

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 graded credits at Level 3, which must include a minimum of 15 credits in Biology and 15 credits in Chemistry. All 45 graded credits must be at Distinction grade.

We may 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 Mathematics.

Cambridge Pre-U

We consider applicants offering Pre-U Principal Subjects, or a mix of Pre-U and A-level subjects, provided a minimum of three distinct subjects overall is taken.

We require D2, D3, D3 to D3, M1, M1 in the Cambridge Pre-U, including Chemistry and one of Biology, Physics and Mathematics (the Core Sciences). You must have a D2 or D3 in one of the Core Science subjects.

We will accept D3 in Geography, Psychology, Environmental Studies or Physical Education in place of the second Core Science, provided Chemistry is at D2 or D3.

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. However, the qualification will not form part of your offer conditions.

For further details, please contact ug.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk  

T Level

We consider the following T levels for the Foundation Year: 

  • Level 3 T Level Technical Qualification in Science (Delivered By NCFE) 
  • Level 3 T Level Technical Qualification in Healthcare Science (Delivered By NCFE) 
  • Level 3 T Level Technical Qualification in Health (Delivered By NCFE) 

For the Foundation Year, we require Distinction overall in one of these T levels with a minimum of grade A in the core component and Distinction in the occupational specialism.

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 (if applicable). 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

All applicants to the University (from the UK and Overseas) are required to show evidence of English Language proficiency. The minimum English Language requirement for this course is either:

  • GCSE/IGCSE English Language grade 4 or C;
  • IELTS 6.5 (with no less than 6.5 in any component);
  • an acceptable equivalent qualification.

Please note that if you hold English as a Second Language IGCSE qualification, we may also require you to offer one of our acceptable equivalent English Language qualifications or achieve a higher grade in your IGCSE than the one stated above. Please contact the academic School for clarification.

The UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requires that every student from outside the UK and the EU must show evidence of a minimum level of English Language in order to be granted a UK visa (Student Route Visa) to study at undergraduate or postgraduate level. This level is often referred to as the B2 level.

Additionally, our individual Schools may ask for specific English Language proficiency levels that are necessary for their academic programmes. In most cases these requirements are likely to be higher than the B2 level. Further information about our English Language policy, including a list of some of the English Language qualifications we accept, can be found here .

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 bioscience 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 are considered on the basis of the UCAS form. Candidates may be interviewed online or by telephone, or asked to complete an alternative admissions statement.

Deferrals

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

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.

Special features

Excellent career prospects

90% of our graduates go into work or further study within six months of achieving their BSc.

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 may also be 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 bioscience degree courses at the end of your first year or, in some cases, later. You can only transfer onto this course if you have completed the required chemistry units in Year 1.

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.
  • 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, and some units also include a coursework element. 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 through a presentation 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
Health & Safety online course BIOL12000 0 Mandatory
Chemistry for Bioscientists 1 CHEM10021 10 Mandatory
Chemistry for Bioscientists 2 CHEM10022 10 Mandatory
History of Biology BIOL10381 10 Optional
Genes, Evolution and Development BIOL10521 10 Optional
Microbes, Humankind 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 18 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 Science Communication unit.

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
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
Science Communication BIOL21392 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
Clinical Drug Development BIOL21302 10 Optional
Introduction to Cancer BIOL21742 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 40 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
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 20 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.