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Biological Chemistry (Taught)

Cardiff University
1-3 Years
Full time/part time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

Program description

Biological Chemistry (Taught)

Biological Chemistry is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms.

On this course, you will learn to recognise and solve current problems in bio-molecular design, engineering, and analysis. You’ll develop an understanding of biological processes at a molecular level, as well as techniques in the discovery and development of safe and effective drugs. Topics include biosynthesis, retrosynthetic analysis and molecular biology. Our students also have the unique opportunity to apply biological chemistry in catalysts, synthetic methods and spectroscopy.

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Admission requirements

We invite applications from graduates in chemistry or a related discipline, such as chemical engineering, physics, pharmacy, pharmacology and biochemistry, with a minimum 2:2 degree or equivalent. Applicants with a degree in a subject other than chemistry will be required to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of key chemical topics prior to an offer being made.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

Core Modules

  • Structure and Mechanism in Organic Chemistry
  • Biocatalysis I: Modern Approaches to Biocatalysts
  • Biocatalysis II: Industrial Applications of Biocatalysis
  • Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • Key Skills for Postgraduate Chemists
  • Engineering Biosynthesis
  • Research Project
  • Colloquium
  • Bioinorganic Chemistry
  • Advanced Techniques in Organic and Biological Chemistry
  • Practical Chemical Biology
  • Research Project

Optional Modules

  • Asymmetric Synthesis of Pharmaceuticals and Natural Products
  • Analytical and Structural Techniques in Chemical Biology
  • Molecular Modelling
  • Molecular Modelling for Postgraduate Chemists
  • Techniques in Drug Discovery
  • Drug Discovery Chemistry
  • Drug Targets
  • Drug Development from Laboratory to Clinic
  • Trends in Drug Discovery

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the university website.

Tuition fees

  • Full time tuition fee for Students from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £10,500
  • Part time tuition fee for Students from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £5,250

Please visit the website for information about tuition fees


What skills will I practise and develop?

On completing the course you will have developed key skills which can be applied to a variety of industrial and academic working environments. You will have gained learning skills including:

  • Knowledge of the fundamental molecules of living systems, proteins, nucleic acids, lipids and carbohydrates and their importance.
  • Mechanistic aspects of biological catalysis.
  • Methods and techniques involved in the preparation and purification of biological macromolecules.
  • Modern techniques for the assay of biocatalysed reactions and measuring protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid interaction.
  • Application of biological catalysts to industrial problems.
  • Molecular biology, synthesis and handling of DNA, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), insertion into vectors and mutation of DNA using site directed mutagenesis, error prone PCR and directed evolution.
  • Practical techniques in various areas of biological chemistry including a wide variety of analytical techniques, e.g. NMR spectroscopy, UV-vis and CD spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, electophoresis.
  • Computational modelling of biological systems including enzyme active sites.
  • A broad knowledge of medicinal chemistry from the lab to the marketplace.
  • Information handling, report preparation and presentation skills.

Continuing studies

This course is also particularly suitable for those wishing to pursue further study at PhD level at Cardiff University and other top universities.

Career opportunities

This course will give you research experience and professional skills in contemporary biological chemistry, opening a future career in industry or academic research.

Our students go on to work in a wide range of positions within the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Typical career paths include product development, production and quality control, intellectual property and patents, consulting and public administration.

After completing this course there are usually two career streams open to graduates, research or industry. Within these two fields there are a variety of career options. For example, many of our graduates choose to follow up their MSc and decide to complete a PhD research degree with us. Those who have chosen not to continue in academia or teaching have gone on to a wide range of employment in private industries such as Kimberley-Clark group, Thales group, and Imanova Ltd.

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About this institute

Cardiff University

Founded in 1883, Cardiff University combines a prestigious heritage with impressive modern facilities, on one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. As part of the Russell Group, our students benefit from our outstanding research quality and reputation, while...

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Contact info

Cardiff University

CF10 3AT Cardiff

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