Biochemistry BSc Hons
The BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry entails the study of the biochemical mechanisms involved in all life processes covering a broad spectrum of fields, from viral replication to neurobiology. You will investigate the biochemical aspects of cell and organismal function and regulation including protein function, molecular genetics, membranes and cell communication, bioenergetics and pharmacology as well as a final-year laboratory project with one of the relevant research groups in the Biomedical Sciences Research Complex.
Students interested in this course may also be interested in the Biochemistry Integrated Masters course, which allows you to graduate with a Master in Biochemistry.
These grades are the overall standards required to consider you for entry. Find out more about Standard, Minimum and Gateway entry requirements using academic entry explained and see which entry requirements you need to look at using the entry requirements indicator.
- SQA Highers
- GCE A-Levels
- IB points
If English is not your first language you will need an overall IELTS score of 7.0, with a minimum score of 6.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English language qualification.
For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.
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In first year, modules introduce you to core subject material relevant to all biology degree programs.You will also take two introductory Chemistry modules. The following modules are compulsory.
- Biology 1
- Biology 2
- Introductory Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
- Organic and Biological Chemistry 1
In second year, modules are chosen which will best prepare you for your intended degree (or group of possible degrees), and new topics are introduced in some second-year modules such as evolutionary biology and ecology. Students intending to study Biochemistry at Honours level must take the following compulsory modules:
- Applied Molecular Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Research Methods in Biology
- Organic Chemistry 2
In third year, you will continue to specialise in Biochemistry via a wide range of modules covering core topics. Modules that have been offered in previous years include:
- Advanced Biochemistry
- Infection and Disease
- Gene Regulation
- Membranes and Cell Communication
- Protein Structure and Function.
In fourth year, you will study your chosen subject area at a deeper scientific level and will also have the opportunity to select from a wide range of small, group-specialised modules. These modules are taught by academics at the forefront of their discipline.
In this year, students also undertake a substantial final year research project. This research project is designed to develop skills in experimental design and problem-solving, the evaluation and interpretation of data, and communication skills. The project is selected and supervised by a member of academic staff. This project occupies half of the year.
Scholarships & funding
Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.
The BSc in Biochemistry is taught through a combination of:
- practical classes
- field work
- research projects.
Typical class sizes include:
- First year: lectures 250 to 330, practicals 80 to 100 students
- Second year: lectures 80 to 150, practicals 40 to 60 students
- Third year: lectures 20 to 70, practicals 20 to 60 students
- Fourth year: 5 to 25 students
The practical elements of the course taught in the laboratory and in the field enable you to learn the wide range of skills required of a biochemist. Alongside the development of practical biological skills, students are also given the opportunity to expand on their presentation and IT skills.
Fourth year teaching differs from the typical lecture, seminar and tutorial format which students will experience from years one to three. Fourth year allows you to focus on a major project which occupies half of the year. Working on this project will enable you to develop key research skills which are desired by both prospective employers and by graduate schools offering postgraduate degrees. The project can also lead to your first publication in a scientific journal.
When not attending lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve:
- working on individual and group projects
- undertaking research in a laboratory
- undertaking research in the library
- preparing coursework assignments and presentations
- preparing for examinations.
Graduates from the School of Biology have a wide range of skills sought by employers:
- laboratory and field data collection
- data handling and presentation
- organisation and communication skills.
Biology graduates have secured employment as:
- clinical scientists
- consultant ecologists
- marine mammal scientists
- museum curators
- school teachers.
About this institute
University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews is Scotland’s first University. As a 600 year-old institution, we are known across the globe for our world leading quality and depth of research. For six centuries some of the world’s brightest and most promising...
Why study at University of St Andrews
The University of St Andrews is situated in a truly beautiful location. Part of a seaside town it is a picturesque and inspirational location to pursue your studies, where you will have the thinking space needed to be your very best. As a smaller university our size is one of our greatest strengths with class sizes allowing for a close and individual learning experience and giving great access and support from your teachers.
Graduates of St Andrews are highly sought after by employers around the world due to our reputation for excellence. A qualification from St Andrews will help you reach your ambitions and kickstart your career.
Consistently ranked as the best student academic experience in the UK by students in the National Student Survey, your time as a student in St Andrews will be unique and rewarding, leaving you with a prestigious qualification, but also memories and connections to treasure for years to come.
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