BSc Biochemistry

The information on this page relates to September 2016 entry. For 2017 information, including grade requirements, please check our prospectus.

BSc Biochemistry students in a practical session

In choosing to study a Biochemistry Degree at Aberystwyth University you will be taught in a world-class award-winning research and teaching centre, the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS). As a Biochemistry (C700) student, you will study the exciting advances in medicine, nutrition, pharmaceuticals and genetics over the last few decades. You will learn the techniques that have revolutionised studies in medicine and pharmaceuticals and now underpin much research throughout the biological sciences. On graduating with your  Biochemistry Degree you will be qualified for career-paths specifically related to the discipline. In addition, your Biochemistry Degree will have taught you a broad range of skills such as observation, research, analysis and reflection which are demanded by employers in every field. Expand the sections below and find out more...

Overview

This BSc Biochemistry programme will give you a solid foundation in the study of cellular, molecular and chemical biology, and will nurture both your intellectual curiosity and your general scientific practice. As you study, you will receive expert tuition in scientific protocol and hands-on lab work. This course will also enable you to fine-tune your scientific approach and tailor your degree towards your future career or research specialism.

Why study Biochemistry at Aberystwyth?

This course is delivered by our Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), which is an internationally-recognised centre of excellence and an award-winning research and teaching centre. It is also one of the largest and most well-resourced institutions in the country with over 300 research, teaching and technical staff conducting biological research from the molecular level right up to global level.

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences won the ''Outstanding Contribution to Innovation and Technology'' category award at the Times Higher Education Awards 2013.

The Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences also won one of the first ever Excellence with Impact Awards from the BBSRC, the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The award recognises those university departments which aremost active in embedding a culture that promotes and values the achievement of impact alongside excellent research. In a joint entry to the Research Excellence Framework (2014) with Bangor University, the institute was placed in the top 10 in the UK for research intensity. It also found that 78% of research is world-leading or internationally excellent. 

The Institute has excellent facilities for biochemists including the Biological Service Unit, Mass Spectrometry and Analytical Unit, the Modeling laboratory for spatial and temporal integration of biological data, the Computational Biological laboratory with a custom-built robotic workstation, and the Advanced Microscopy and Bio-imaging Laboratory.

The Department offers a number of modules taught through the medium of Welsh. Further details may be obtained from the department. .

Our Staff

The majority of teaching staff at the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences are qualified to PhD level and are research active. Vocational courses also have staff whose background lies within industry.  The Institute has a large number of research only staff with whom students may have contact.

Course Content

Welsh medium modules available

Please note: The modules listed below are those currently intended for delivery during the next academic year and may be subject to change. They are included here to give an indication of how the course is structured.

Year 1 Core (80 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 1

Biology Of The Cell BR10310

Chemical Basis Of Biology BR10510

Genetics BR11310

Animal Diversity BR11500

Biological Molecules And Methods BR11710

Semester 2

Animal Diversity BR11520

Metabolism BR12010

Molecular Laboratory Skills BR12210

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Sgiliau Astudio A Chyfathrebu BG12410

Study And Communication Skills BR12410

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 2

Llystyfiant Ac Ecosystemau BG12920

Vegetation And Ecosystems BR12920

Year 1 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 2

Amrywiaeth Microbau BG12110

Microbial Diversity BR12110

Year 2 Core (70 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 1

Applied Molecular Biology And Bioinformatics BR20620

Molecular Cell And Cancer Biology BR22720

Proteins And Enzymes BR23210

Semester 2

Practical Skills For Biochemists BR22920

Year 2 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Profiad Gwaith BG24200

Work Experience BR24200

Semester 2

Profiad Gwaith BG24210

Work Experience BR24210

Year 2 Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Dulliau Ymchwil BG23400

Research Methods BR23400

Semester 2

Dulliau Ymchwil BG23420

Research Methods BR23420

Year 2 Options Choose 20 credits

Semester 2

Evolution And Molecular Systematics BR21720

Chromosome Dynamics BR21820

Immunology BR22220

Final Year Core (70 Credits) You must take the following modules

Semester 1

Bioinformatics And Functional Genomics BR31420

Data-handling For Biochemists BR32110

Microbes In Industry And Research BR33620

Semester 2

Biochemistry And Pharmacology BR31220

Final Year Options This CORE MODULE is offered bilingually: choose your preferred language

Semester 1

Traethawd Estynedig BG32300

Dissertation BR32300

Semester 2

Traethawd Estynedig BG32330

Dissertation BR32330

Final Year Options Choose 20 credits

Semester 2

Gene Expression And Developmental Genetics BR33320

Microbial Pathogenesis BR33720

Employability

You will be fully supported with developing your employability skills throughout the degree scheme. The degree will allow you to develop specialist skills such as using bioinformatics tools to analyse and interpret data. You will join a department that has excellent facilities to support your studies; £55 million pounds has been invested over the last five years in IBERS infrastructure. Many students as part of their supervised final year project have access to highly specialised facilities for example The Genomics Facility which has the largest DNA sequencing capacity in Wales. These facilities enable students to develop their specialist skills and knowledge preparing them for a successful transition into the workplace. IBERS staff have close links with many learned societies such as the Biochemical Society which provide a route for students to network with others in their discipline and explore funding opportunities and recognition of their work. Guest lecturers and expert external teachers also contribute to the curriculum to pass on their expertise and knowledge.

The department has resources on the virtual learning environment, Aberlearn Blackboard to support your development and has a dedicated Twitter feed to keep students informed of developmental opportunities and work experience. 

The department has a close working relationship with the Careers Service who can help and support you sourcing work experience opportunities locally and nationally. You can also participate in the Year in Employment Scheme (YES) to gain graduate level work experience and IBERS students have successfully gained placements with a number of employers including GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca.

On graduating with your Biochemistry Degree you will be qualified for career-paths specifically related to the discipline. In addition, your Biochemistry Degree will have taught you a broad range of skills such as observation, research, analysis and reflection which are demanded by employers in every field.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

What will I learn?

In the first year you will develop your knowledge and understanding of the diversity of biological disciplines with modules covering the structure and function of plants, animals and microbes at the organismal, cellular and molecular (genetic and biochemical) levels. You will look at the major animal vertebrate and invertebrate groups, focusing on the physiology of these animals with respect to sensing the environment, muscle and locomotion, nutrition, endocrinology, cardiovascular respiratory systems, and homeostasis. You will be introduced to the diversity of microbial life, vegetation and ecosystems. You will also undertake a series of linked experiments that will develop the basic practical skills required for research in microbiology, biochemistry or genetics.

In the second year you will have the opportunity to select modules from a range covering the major areas of biology, including cell biology, immunology, chromosomes and molecular biology. Through a series of laboratory practicals you will acquire the necessary skills to devise and implement experimental protocols and report your research findings in appropriate formats. You will become acquainted with the principles and practice of a range of basic quantitative and qualitative procedures of data analysis, coupled with an understanding of good research design and planning. 

In the third year you will be able to specialise further in your chosen area, with optional modules ranging from bioinformatics and genomics to pharmacology and microbes. A compulsory dissertation will allow you to perform in-depth research under the guidance of a supervisor. Your project may be based on laboratory experiments or fieldwork exercises, comprise a computer modelling exercise, or involve a critical review of published scientific literature. Among many skills, you will learn to: synthesize information from scientific literature; understand and explain the implications of developments like genome sequencing; scrutinise data in terms of quality and quantity; and respond to new data through laboratory investigation.

How will I be taught?

The course will be delivered through a balanced programme of lectures, workshops, tutorials, and practicals. Some aspects of the course will rely on student-centred e-learning, supported by computer workshops. You will receive thorough training in biological concepts and practical scientific methods.

You will be assessed through numerous methods including essays, practical exercises, oral presentations, worksheets, reports, statistical exercises, dossiers, posters, portfolios, wikis, reflective diaries, literature reviews, magazine articles, field notebooks and exams.

The University's scientific community and the Department's supportive staff will greatly assist you in your biochemical  training. You must assume responsibility for your learning and engage fully with the fascinating but demanding subject of Biochemistry. You will also benefit from the many opportunities within the department and the university to develop your theoretical and practical expertise so that, upon graduation, you are perfectly positioned for the next stage of your career.

You will be assigned a personal tutor throughout your degree course, who will help you with any problems or queries, whether these are academic-related or personal issues. You should feel free to contact them at any time for help and advice.

You will also have the opportunity to complete a Personal Development Plan (PDP) at Aberystwyth. This is a structured process of self-appraisal, reflection, and planning, which will enable you to chart your personal, academic and professional development throughout your time at university. By recording your academic performance, and highlighting the skills you already have and those you will need for future employability, the PDP portfolio will equip you with the necessary tools to plan effectively, develop successful approaches to study, and consider your future career options and aspirations.

Student Views

The Genetic and Biochemistry course improved my professional performance and influenced my future achievements.  Understanding of the sciences process helped me to develop a scientific point of view on life. I was fully satisfied with my course and I would highly recommend it to anyone who is passionate about science and plans to start a career in a science-related environment.Zofia Slowik

The course curriculum of Biochemistry managed to get the balance between studying wider concepts key to the bigger picture of life science and the much more exact details of specific areas of molecular biology perfectly. It was great to be learning about very specialised topics of biology, whilst also studying an approach to research that has wider applications. Studying Biochemistry was thoroughly enjoyable, and gave a range of module choices whilst always keeping the core subjects and concepts at the heart of the course.  Alex Pike

My course offers a range of module options allowing me to follow my interests as well as a large amount of practical work to reinforce the theory. Carwyn John Evans

Biochemistry is a very interesting and competitive course which helps me to develop my knowledge and understanding of science and the medical field. Throughout the Biochemistry course I have developed my practical skills because I have spent a lot of time in the laboratories, taking part in many experiments during the academic year. Madalina Dragomir

My degree in Genetics and Biochemistry gave me a good grounding that prepared me very well for my PhD. In fact, one of the courses, Gene Expression and Developmental Genetics inspired me to work in the area of Developmental Biology, which is what I work at today. I will be eternally grateful for the chance I was given and the teaching I received. Roger – Professor of Neuroscience, University of Copenhagen

Key Information Set

Places available in Clearing

0800 121 40 80 (Freephone)

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Key Facts

UCAS Code: C700

Please note that the tariff below may not apply during Clearing. Contact us on 0800 121 40 80 or fill in the form above for more information.

Tariff Required: 290 - 330

Entry Requirements: GCSE: grade C in English or Welsh and Mathematics and a science subject. A level: grade B in Chemistry required. Lower tariff points offers will be given to students studying more science subjects at A level, in addition to Chemistry.

Course Length: 3 Years

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