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Biochemistry with Studies in the USA

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Chemistry and Biochemistry

UCAS Code: C702

Start Dates(s): September

Duration:

Three years full-time
Four years full-time with placement year

Fees:

UK - £9250 per year

International - £14,400

In Brief:

  • Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology if successfully completed with a placement year
  • Opportunities for work placements and overseas study, including a year in the USA
  • Newly refurbished and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories for practical work
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

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.

You can opt to take this course with a year of study in the USA; an exchange programme with the University of Toledo in Ohio which has been running for over 30 years. The University of Toledo is considered to be a top global player when it comes to taking research from the laboratory to the world, and  has  been  recognised  by the American Society of Landscape Architects as one of the 22 most beautiful landscaped campuses in the United States.

At the University of Salford we pride ourselves on our research and have recently invested extensively in our facilities to ensure that our students are able to complete research projects that are exciting and inspiring, contributing useful findings to the field. Examples of research areas that you  can  explore  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.

Biochemistry is at the cutting-edge of research and is an exceptionally versatile scientific discipline with opportunities in the field continuing to grow and develop. This provides graduates of this course with some excellent prospective career paths and our programme will ensure that you are fully  equipped  to  take  advantage  of them.

Between years two and three of this course we encourage students to complete a placement year, which is arranged with our support. Recent students have completed placement years at AstraZeneca, Kidscan and the Cancer Research UK Manchester institute. In our experience, final degree results and employability are enhanced for  students who undertake a placement year. Additionally, this degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology for those that successfully complete a research-led placement year, positioning you well to develop your career in the field.

https://vimeo.com/176738047

Awards and Accreditation

Course Structure


In Year 1 you will study a range of topics in six modules covering both theory and practice.

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  

In year 2 at the University of Toledo, you will study a range of modules similar to those offered in year 2 of the degree at Salford. You will be supported by a tutor based in Salford whom you will have had as your 1st year tutor. You will also be supported by a local tutor in Toledo.

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 to 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.

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 a science subject (Biology and Chemistry)
Irish Leaving Certificate 104-120 points from Higher Level including a science subject (Biology and Chemistry)
International Baccalaureate 30-31 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.

Fees and Funding

Fees

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9250 per year
Full-time International £14,400

Additional costs

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

The major additional costs (as of 10th Feb 2016) for the year in Toledo are as follows:

(i) Flight – in recent years has been between £900 and £1000 return (travel is during the August peak period and the ticket is a flexi return)
(ii) Visa – currently $340 (approx. £240); in addition all applicants must attend a visa interview in London so travel costs incurred
(iii) Health insurance – will vary from one individual to another but probably averages about £500 if purchased in advance.

Housing expenses whilst students are in the USA is approximately the same as the new apartments on campus at Salford.

Most students are able to claim back a reasonable proportion of i-iii above from Student Finance England as a grant: “You must pay the first £303 of your travel costs - and your travel grant will be reduced by £1 for each £9.27 of household income over £39,796.” See
https://www.gov.uk/travel-grants-students-england/overview

Almost all the general fees that Toledo students have to pay are waived. However, there is a small admin fee (approx. £50) that our students have to pay to Toledo upon arrival.

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 its 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%.

Assessment methods include:

  • Research project  
  • Laboratory reports 
  • Essays 
  • Data analysis 
  • Presentations (poster, project, talk)
  • Literature reviews
  • Exams (both closed and open book)

Employability

Nicole Dodd

Biochemistry with Studies in the USA graduate 

I participated in the Toledo/Salford exchange programme mainly to experience living and studying in the USA, but also to enhance my prospects by adding something different to my degree. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and met some fantastic people along the way. The way of studying and indeed the way of life over there is more different than I could have possibly imagined and I am so glad I had the opportunity to experience it. Still, to date, the exchange year has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding years of my life. I would definitely recommend it.

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 employed across bioscience by companies such as AstraZeneca and the Cancer Research UK Manchester institute, or many carry on to further study. Additionally, biochemists with knowledge of physiology 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. Furthermore, many who spend their second year in the US return stateside to complete higher degrees at Toledo or other institutions.

Placement Opportunities

We encourage all of our students to take up an additional industrial placement year, which you arrange with our support, between years two and three 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). Recent biochemistry placement students have been based at AstraZeneca in Cheshire, the Cancer Research UK Manchester institute and the Hochschule in Bremen, North Germany.

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 two mark.

Further Study

Facilities

We have newly refurbished and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories for practical work in biochemistry.

Wolfe Hall, at Toledo, provides dedicated equipment and computer software necessary to perform advanced genomic screens, microscopic imaging studies and quantitative gene expression analyses, to name a few. Also located within this facility is a phosphor imager that allows quantitative detection of radioactively labelled samples, and a fast-performance liquid chromatography (FPLC) for specific protein purification approaches.

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