This course provides you with a thorough, modern training in both biochemistry and genetics, emphasising common areas such as molecular biology, genetic engineering and biotechnology.
You will study fundamental aspects of cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, cellular control and experimental design and data handling, together with essential chemistry, including molecular structure, bonding and reactivity of organic molecules. This course is supported by practical studies in cell biology, biochemistry and genetics, with optional courses in biology, microbiology and physiology.
Your studies continue at greater depth covering protein and gene structure and function, genomes and chromosomes, molecular evolution, extracellular signals, metabolic regulation, and oxidative phosphorylation. The course also includes laboratory classes in analysis of proteins and enzymes, and practical gene cloning plus optional courses including medical molecular genetics, molecular embryology or a dissertation.
A major feature is an individual project which may be lab-, bioinformatics- or literature- based. You will take courses in gene control, advanced gene cloning, cancer and other diseases and protein life cycles along with a course developing transferable skills of presentation, interpretation and criticism of scientific data. Optional courses in developmental biology, cancer genetics, ageing, sex and DNA repair and evolution are available.
You will take a set of modules which will expose you to the latest developments in biochemistry and genetics and equip you with the tools to plan and carry out research and present your findings effectively. The learning style will be strongly student-centred, culminating in a substantial research project where you will work alongside experts, receive one-to-one supervision and benefit from state-of-the-art facilities.
See also the Centre for Genetics and Genomics
A levels: AAB, including chemistry and at least one other science subject at A level (maths and biology preferred); also GCSE maths grade C
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
TOEFL iBT 87 (minimum 19 with 20 in speaking)
Pearson Test of English Academic 62 (minimum 55)
For details please see alternative qualifications page
Foundation year - a foundation year is available for some of our courses
Flexible admissions policy
We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances.
You will have a thorough understanding of the fundamental aspects of cell biology, biochemistry and genetics. You will have undertaken practical studies in cell biology, classical and molecular genetics, analysis of proteins and enzymes, and gene cloning. Through a major individual project, which may be lab-, bioinformatics- or literature- based, you will have carried out your own research and developed transferable skills in presentation, interpretation and criticism of scientific data. Your research skills will have developed to a level that allows you to compete for the best postgraduate positions.
Average starting salary
The average starting salary for 2010/11 full time graduates of the School of Biomedical Sciences was £17,912.*
*Average starting salary from known destinations of first-degree leavers who studied full-time, 2010/11.
Biochemistry graduates are very employable and national figures show that shortly after graduation only 2.8% are without employment. This is half the number of biology graduates and graduates generally without employment. There are many opportunities for Biochemistry graduates; below are some of them:
A third, or more, of our graduates carry on their training to complete a higher degree by research (a “Doctor of Philosophy” or PhD) at Nottingham or at other universities. The fact that many of our graduates are able to find PhD studentships elsewhere shows how well thought of our courses are by other universities. After completing their PhD studies many of these students will carry on with a research career in universities, research institutes and industry.
An increasing number of our graduates obtain places on Graduate Entry Medical (GEM) courses. These courses are becoming an increasingly popular route to attain a medical degree and enter the medical profession. Nottingham University offers a Graduate Entry Medicine course at Derby . If you are currently unsure that medicine is a career that you wish to pursue, or if you are looking at alternative ways to enter the medical profession, then an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry will place you in a strong position to achieve this. Of course Biochemistry graduates can also apply for places on undergraduate medical courses.
Biochemistry graduates enter many professions including research in industry (especially the pharmaceutical industry), clinical science in hospitals, forensic science, bioinformatics , information science and technical writing, patenting, marketing, and teaching. In addition, some of our graduates choose to enter very different careers such as banking, accountancy and management.
Here are some success stories from our Biochemistry graduates which illustrate the careers opportunities that are possible with a Biochemistry degree from Nottingham University:
Recent PhD graduate
"My time as a Biochemistry undergraduate at Nottingham was extremely enjoyable. I found the biochemistry modules I studied, taught by researchers in the respective fields, to be varied, interesting and above all up to date. This gave a first hand feel to the course material and was a strong influence on me to pursue a career in research."
Biochemistry & Genetics graduate (2003) now completed a PhD in tissue engineering
"I found the Biochemistry & Biological Chemistry course immensely rewarding in its diversity and applicability, building my confidence and knowledge in areas I found interesting and exciting. This encouraged me to pursue a career in science. I completed a PhD in Protein Chemistry at Nottingham and then moved to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, following the Human Genome Project, to work in the rapidly expanding field of Bioinformatics. Still building on my time in Nottingham, I am thoroughly enjoying my work as a Project Leader in RNA informatics."
Biochemistry & Biological Chemistry graduate (1997)
Chief Technology Officer
"The Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry course provided the foundation and stimulation to go on to a PhD in Biochemistry at Nottingham. Together these convinced me that my career should be built on developing techniques in Molecular Biology, combining the personal pleasure of making techniques work with seeing how this enabled others to do great science. The experimental skills and scientific judgement gained at Nottingham have been key to my success. My career has involved 20 years at Amersham plc., culminating in the role of Vice President for R & D in the UK, and Director-level positions at two start-up companies. I am currently Chief Technology Officer at Solexa Ltd where we are seeking to revolutionize sequencing of the human genome".
Biochemistry & Biological Chemistry graduate 1976
Careers Support and Advice
Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.
Have a look at our Careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.