Biochemistry BSc (Hons) – 2018 entry
Why choose this course
The University of Surrey is one of the UK's leading universities for biological sciences, with our programmes ranked 6th in the Complete University Guide 2018 and in the top 10 in the Guardian University Guide 2018.
As a BSc Biochemistry student, you will benefit from the vibrant research community and innovative teaching and learning environment in the School of Biosciences and Medicine.
You will gain extensive practical skills in our internationally renowned, research-oriented environment, preparing you to work at the forefront of developments in this exciting field.
What you will study
Biochemistry is the study of the fundamental processes of life at the cellular level that deals with fascinating subjects such as metabolism, molecular biology, neuroscience, pharmacology and sleep.
As a biochemistry degree student, you will develop a very sound and broad background in biochemistry. You will also gain an insight into different scientific fields including pharmacology, molecular biology and genetics, which will help you to discover where your individual biochemistry interests lie.
You will have opportunities to familiarise yourself with state-of-the-art biochemical methodology and sample some of its most intriguing applications.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||C700||View KIS data set|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||C702||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
The majority of our students choose to undertake a Professional Training placement to gain vital work experience and develop professional skills required by employers.
Most of our Professional Training placements are salaried roles, with opportunities in the UK including pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and research institutes.
Recent placements have taken place at international institutions including Cornell University, Washington State University, Harvard Medical School (USA), the University of Turku (Finland) and several other European universities.
Our experienced Professional Training tutors will help you apply to, and choose between, a selection of excellent placements in industry, hospitals and academia.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Careers and graduate prospects
Our Biochemistry graduates are found in academic and industrial research laboratories throughout the world. You will also find them in the city, in schools, hospitals, cockpits, submarines and boardrooms.
The majority of our graduates go immediately into the job market, but further study comes a close second. This includes taught Masters programmes, PhD studentships and fast-track medical degree programmes.
Our recent Biochemistry graduates have gone on to roles such as:
- AstraZeneca, Analytical Chemist
- GlaxoSmithKline, Bioanalyst
- Public Health England, Medical Technical Officer
- Procter & Gamble, Researcher
- Cancer Research UK, Junior Clinical Research Associate
- Fasttrack Medical School graduate entry
- ICON, Clinical Project Administrator
- Aventis Pasteur MSD, Pharmacovigilance Coordinator
- Wockhardt UK, Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance Executive
- Gloucester Hospital, Medical Laboratory Assistant
- PhD studies
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
Our international exchange programme offers you the opportunity to study abroad at a partner university for either one semester or a full academic year as part of your degree. For biosciences students, this might be possible for one or two semesters during your second year at one of our partner institutions in the US (for example Texas or Florida) or in Singapore.
The exchange programme enables you to study and live in another country, and earn credits that contribute towards your Surrey degree, without paying additional tuition fees.
It gives you the chance to broaden your horizons, meet other students from around the world and experience student life in some of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Studying abroad also enables you to become more independent, teaching you how to adapt and adjust to the culture and climate of another country.
In addition, or alternatively, you may wish to consider spending your Professional Training placement working in another country. Students have travelled to the US, Canada, Australia and many European countries, and typically work in a research laboratory at a partner institution.
Recent placements have taken place at international institutions including Cornell University, Washington State University, Harvard Medical School (US), the University of Turku (Finland) and several other European universities.
If you work in another part of Europe in a foreign university laboratory you may be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant, as well as your full student loan if undertaking an unpaid research placement in an overseas university.
This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience but also to improve or learn another language.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Optional modules for Year 1 - FHEQ Level 4
1 from the 2 listed optional modules in each semester
Optional modules for Year 2 - FHEQ Level 5
2 from the 4 listed optional modules
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
5 from the 12 listed optional modules. Students must take either BMS3092 or BMS3093 or both in addition to the compulsory modules.
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators.
We offer a modular degree based on a structured programme of advanced study. During your first year, a significant part of teaching time is spent in laboratory practicals, whereas in your final year you will be performing your own scientific research project, usually in one of our research laboratories.
On average you will have approximately 20 hours of contact time each week (lectures, practicals and tutorials) and you will also be expected to undertake private study such as laboratory write-ups, essays and other coursework.
Watch a video of a biochemistry laboratory session.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the School of Biosciences and Medicine.
THUMSER AE Dr (Biosc & Med)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
- Academic progress
- Pastoral/welfare issues
- Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Policies and regulations
Learning and disability support
We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Student Personal Learning and Study Hub
SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Additional Learning Support
ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.
The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees||Professional Training fees|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||£9,250||£20,500||Not applicable|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||£9,250||£20,500||£1,800|
The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.
There are associated costs with this programme:
- Safety equipment and/or uniform: £20 - The equipment pack includes a laboratory coat, laboratory glasses, laboratory book, pen and padlock. Students are responsible for the costs associated with maintaining/washing/replacing any equipment
Grand total: £20
Professional Training placement fees
Programmes marked with a tick in the table above include a Professional Training placement.
A reduced fee is charged for Professional Training placements.
Fees will not have to be paid up front for those eligible students who decide to take up the Government's loan for higher education fees. The Professional Training placement is a key factor in the high employability rates achieved by students with Surrey degrees.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.
Scholarship for Pioneers of Tomorrow 2018 entry
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The Full Surrey Award 2018 entry
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Surrey Prestige Scholarship 2018 entry
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Rowan Softley, Biochemistry graduate, talks about his placement at Lund University in Sweden and how this led to a joint research publication in the Journal Science Advances.
Jane M Bainbridge
"I do believe work experience is invaluable - I learnt about work and life and it was helpful to know in which direction I didn't want to go."