Biochemistry MBiochem Hons
The MBiochem (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.
The MBiochem allows you to combine undergraduate and postgraduate study into a single five-year programme, graduating with a Masters degree. The course is designed to enhance your research experience, preparing you for a career within the scientific sector.
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
- Organic Chemistry 2
- Research Methods in Biology
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, students typically undertake an independent 7 to 12-month research placement hosted by an external institute or company. The external placement gives students the opportunity to practice and learn a range of scientific and generic skills, including an element of independent working in a working environment outside of St Andrews.
Students will find out more about these placements once they have completed their first two years.
During fifth year, you will take advanced research-led modules in your chosen speciality. Advanced modules offered in the past include:
- Antimicrobials - Mode of Action and Resistance
- Maladaptive changes in the nervous system
- Metabolic and Clinical Biochemistry
- Molecular and cell biology of eukaryotic DNA replication
- Molecular Mechanisms of Membrane Trafficking.
In fifth year, you will also undertake an advanced laboratory research project to investigate a defined problem within biochemistry. The project will involve initiative and independence in experimental design and in pursuing the literature, excellent experimental and analytical techniques. Students will be allocated to a member of staff within the School of Biology who will guide and advise them in research activities throughout the academic year. The project will be presented in the form of a proposal, a research dissertation, an oral presentation and a viva.
Scholarships & funding
Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.
The MBiochem in Biochemistry is taught through a combination of:
- practical classes
- field work
- research projects.
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 modern biochemist. Alongside the development of practical biological skills, students are also given the opportunity to expand on their presentation and IT skills.
During fourth year, your project will be fully supervised at the host institute or company.
When not attending lectures, tutorials and practical 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 the library
- preparing coursework assignments and presentations
- preparing for examinations.
Graduates with a degree in a biology-related subject are in high demand and are keenly sought after by institutions including the government, universities, research centres and major companies. Those who take an Integrated Masters degree receive advanced research training and are prepared for a career within the scientific sector.
Biochemistry graduates have gone on to find success in a wide variety of careers including:
- researchers in academia and the pharmaceutical, biomedical industries
- researchers and advisers in government
- advisers, researchers and managers in the National Health Service
- forensic scientists
- management consultants
- marketing and advertising experts.
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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