Biochemistry
BSc (Hons)

Industrial Placement
Part-time study available
Work placement opportunity
International Students can apply

3 good reasons to study Biochemistry at Salford

1.

Outstanding 100% student satisfaction rate for this course (NSS 2016)

2.

4 year Royal Society of Biology accredited option, with research-lead placement year

3.

Newly refurbished and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories for practical work

Course Summary

Biochemistry has become the foundation for understanding all biological processes. The knowledge and methods developed by biochemists are applied to all fields of medicine, in agriculture and in many chemical and health related industries. Biochemistry is also unique in providing teaching and research in both protein structure and function, and genetic engineering, the two basic components of the rapidly expanding field of biotechnology.

The BSc Pharmaceutical Science and BSc Biochemistry programmes with 1 year placement are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology. Accreditation is dependent upon successful completion of this placement.

Research areas in which you can participate in include: nanotechnology, drug design and repurposing, cancer and antimicrobial research, natural products, biomarkers, analytical detection of volatiles, mass spectrometry, computational studies, skin modelling, lung diseases, biotechnology, toxicology and much more.

We are bringing the industry to you by integrating contributions and perspectives from industry experts, meaning that you will be well prepared for life after university as well as being more employable.

Watch our video

Student May Rajab talks about BSc (Hons) Biochemistry at Salford.

Watch our video

Dr Carole Mead talks about her career since graduating from the University of Salford

Course Details

This course will provide you with a sound training and equip you with many of the personal and practical skills you will need for your future career. It is a flexible course designed to offer you plenty of choice so that you can either study a broad range of topics or specialise in particular areas of biochemistry.

Course Structure

Year 1    

The Biological Chemistry module introduces the basics of molecular structure and spectroscopy, structure and function of nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids.
This module will help you develop an understanding of genes and genetics, and their influence on evolution and development, and looks at the basic principles of molecular genetics, and the function and evolution of genes in organisms.
This module will look at the multi-disciplinary nature of cell biology and the basic structure of cells, focusing on animal cells. It will help you develop a theoretical knowledge of the fundamental physiological and biochemical functions carried out by cells.
The aim of this module is to introduce organic chemistry through structure and mechanism. You will study organic reactions of key functional groups such as alkenes, carbonyl and aromatic compounds.
This module is designed to help you facilitate and develop effective use of laboratory apparatus in the performance of basic techniques, and to develop practical laboratory skills relevant to biochemistry.
The aim of this module is to introduce principles of biochemistry. You will study biochemical pathways and organelles, relevant to cell biology.

Year 2    

The aim of this module is to introduce basic concepts in molecular biology, to explain the control of gene expression in pro- and eukaryotes and how dysfunction in these processes can lead to human genetic disorders. You will also develop an understanding of theoretical and practical knowledge in the        application of clinical laboratory techniques used for diagnosis.
The aim of this module is to encourage an awareness of the physiological nature of life in humans and develop an understanding of form, function and adaptation in organ systems central to the maintenance of life and interaction with the environment.
The aim of this module is to present a detailed account of molecular aspects of nucleic acid and amino acid metabolism, energy metabolism, cell signalling, enzyme activity and membrane structure and function, and to develop your understanding of biochemical processes and their relevance to living systems.
This module introduces you to the concepts of chemical and biochemical tests and their relevance to clinical diagnostics. It develops your knowledge and understanding about biochemical changes in disease, and you will learn practical techniques in clinical biochemistry.
The aim of this module is to help you understand how to conduct scientific research from basic principles including: critical searching, citation and evaluation of research-based literature, data interpretation, analysis and presentation, report writing and communication.
This module provides an appreciation of topics in molecular biology with an emphasis on genomics, proteomics and their underlying structural aspects.

Year 3    

This module offers the opportunity to work with a research group and contribute to original research in a relevant area of biochemistry. The module also focuses on key professional skills, aimed at improving employability.
Gain an awareness of the importance of biotechnology in industry, and develop your knowledge of a variety of biochemical processes in a range of important industrial applications.
Through this module you will develop an understanding of the physical and chemical principles underlying biological activity of selected chemotherapeutic agents and other drugs. You will investigate currently active research areas and present a coherent analysis of up to date knowledge.
This module focuses on key areas of the scientific industry such as marketing, health and safety and legal issues. External contributions from industry experts will enhance your learning on this module. It is aimed at improving your skills and enhancing your employability.

Choose one module from the following:

This module will introduce you to historical and current developments in cancer biology. You will examine critical signaling pathways that govern neoplastic transformation and how some of these pathways hold promise as therapeutic targets for cancer treatment.
The aim of this module is to develop an understanding of selected human physiological systems including the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and the methodology used to monitor and assess cardiovascular and respiratory function.
This module looks at mammalian immunological mechanisms, and the roles played by T and B cells/Lymphokines in generating an immune response. It helps you develop an understanding of the genetics of antibody diversity, HIV pathogenesis and the current immunodiagnostic assays for infectious and non-infectious diseases.

Part-time structure    

If you are studying part-time you select two to four modules from each year of study, completing the rest of the modules for the year in the following year. This leads to a maximum six-year duration for a part-time degree. If studying part-time you do not have the placement option.

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
European Baccalaureate Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject
GCSE English Language and Maths at grade C or above
UCAS tariff points 104-120 points
GCE A level 104-120 points including a biological discipline and Chemistry at A2 or equivalent. A Pass in the Practical Element of Science A levels must be achieved.
BTEC National Diploma DMM in a suitable science subject
BTEC Higher National Diploma Possible entry to year 3
Foundation Degree Possible entry to year 3
Scottish Highers 104-120 points from Higher Level including appropriate science subjects (Biology and Chemistry)
Irish Leaving Certificate 104-120 points from Higher Level including a science subject (Biology and Chemistry)
International Baccalaureate 28 points with at least one science subject from Group 4

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please note that you should discuss the possibility of being considered for the scheme with the Admissions Tutor for this course before making an application. Please contact the Environment and Life Sciences School Office on: +44 (0)161 295 4656

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

We are looking for applicants with a strong interest in both the chemical and biological sciences, and a desire to operate in a cutting-edge research field.

Teaching

Teaching, learning and assessment are inclusive, balanced and progressive to facilitate and encourage student independence and self-responsibility for learning during advancement through the programme.

A variety of approaches to teaching, learning and assessment are combined to fit with the intended learning outcomes and level of study, such as:

  • An extended project provides opportunities to demonstrate depth of learning
  • Project-based learning provides the chance to manage your time and learning
  • Site visits will help increase your awareness of the industrial world
  • Workshops and seminars give you the opportunity to improve your presentation and communication skills
  • Group activities give you the chance to practice problem solving and the applications
  • Contributions from industrial partners and external experts
  • Individual and small-group oral and poster presentations to reflect on professional practice
  • Laboratory activities - one of the key elements in science, to gain competencies in different methods
  • Portfolio development allows you to develop professional skills
  • Lectures provide you with core knowledge, problem solving and discussion of applications. Material is made available through different formats, prior to classes, flipped-classroom approaches help you to develop critical thinking
  • Small-group tutorials for pastoral support but also to develop those important scientific skills

Assessment

Assessment throughout the course is by a combination of different forms of coursework and examination with coursework accounting for around 65% throughout the course. 

  • In year 1, you are expected to have over 300 contact hours, with generally 15-20 hours per week, of which a third would be in the laboratories and around 700 hours of independent study; coursework accounts for 60%.
  • Progressing to year 2, you are expected to have over 260 contact hours, with generally 15 hours per week, of which over a third would be in the laboratories and around 700 hours of independent study; coursework (including poster and project presentation) accounts for 60%.
  • In your final year 3, you are expected to have over 430 contact hours, with generally 25 hours per week, of which half would be in the laboratories especially towards your dissertation and around 700 hours of independent study; coursework (including poster and project presentation) accounts for 65%.

Continuous formative and summative assessments include:

  • research project  
  • laboratory reports 
  • essays 
  • data analysis 
  • presentations (poster, project, talk)
  • literature reviews
  • exams (both closed and open book)

Employability

Career Prospects

This course is ideal if you are interested in a career in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, food or brewing industries, as well as in clinical or other biomedical areas such as forensic science and analytical biochemistry. Our graduates are either employed in bioscience with companies which include AstraZeneca and the Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, or carry on to further study.

Physiologists with knowledge of biochemistry are in demand in sports science, in healthcare and hospitals and in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as in research establishments and other areas of bioscience.

Alumni Profile

Ian Nesbitt - Graduate

All the modules in biochemistry are really interesting and at the cutting-edge of research. The University has a great reputation in drug design and cancer research.

This course has given me a great insight into various aspects of cell biology, cell signalling pathways that regulate biological systems, metabolism and bio-informatical analysis of genomes. I am particularly interested in genetics and developmental biology.

The lecturers are very approachable and knowledgeable in their field; this has enabled me to get as much out of the course as possible.

One of the highlights of being at Salford was mixing with a good diversity of students and as a mature student, Salford allowed me to fulfill ambitions I had only dreamed about.

Links with Industry

We encourage all of our students to take up an additional industrial placement year, which you arrange with our support, between years 2 and 3 of the full-time course, making a four year course overall. In many cases this can be a salaried position with a major company or have financial support linked to a public health laboratory or hospital (such as the Respiratory Physiology Unit at the Royal Aintree Hospital in Liverpool). In our experience, final degree results and employability are enhanced for students who undertake a placement year. The placement also counts towards the final degree classification as part of the year 2 mark.

Placement Opportunities

Recent biochemistry placement students have been based at AstraZeneca in Cheshire, Patterson Institute for Cancer Research in Manchester and the Hochschule in Bremen, North Germany. You arrange placements with our support.

Further Study

Fees and Funding

Fees 2017-18

Type of StudyFee
Full-time£9250 per year
Part-timeYour annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International£14,400

Additional costs

  • Field courses - a non refundable deposit of £25 is charged for all residential field courses 
  • Field trips - students will not be charged for field (day) trips but are expected to provide their own refreshments.

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Funding

A range of scholarships and bursaries are available to Home/EU and International students.

Further information is available at:

Facilities

We have newly refurbished and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories for practical work in biochemistry. State-of-the-art instrumentation includes MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, FTIR and FTNMR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.