2019
2020

Biochemistry BSc (Hons) 2019

This course is currently available through Clearing

Call 0800 917 5923 or apply online

*Please contact us for more information about BTEC entry requirements.

  • Entry Requirements:
    A Level: CCC (including Biology or Chemistry). | BTEC * | GCSE: C/4 English and C/4 Maths

Course overview

  • Course level
    Undergraduate
  • Course type
    Full-time
  • Duration
    4 years
  • Course options
    Placement year (UK/abroad)
  • UCAS code(s)
    C700
  • School

Entry requirements

  • A Level (2019 entry)
    ABB-BBB (must include Biology and Chemistry)
  • BTEC
    Are considered with the relevant A Level subjects, please see below for further details
  • International baccalaureate diploma
    32 – 31 Overall (HL 5, 5, 5 must include Biology and Chemistry)
  • GCSEs
    Five GCSEs all at grade C/4 and must include Mathematics and English Language
More information

Key dates

85% Student Satisfaction (School of Life & Health Sciences, NSS, 2018)

Access to extensive and modern laboratory facilities

Work at the interface of biological and physical sciences, gaining key laboratory, analytical, computational and communication skills

Integrated placement year designed to set your studies in a real world context

Course summary

This course is for you if you wish to study life at the molecular level. Biochemistry lies at the interface of the life and physical sciences and is therefore applicable to a wide range of fields such as medicine, pharmaceutics and biotechnology.

Entry requirements for 2019

Duration: 4 years full-time with integrated placement year

 

UCAS Code: C700

Admissions Review Process

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and the whole application is reviewed which includes previous and predicted qualifications, any experience, references and motivation. Whilst the grades listed here are our entry requirements, we understand that predicted grades are only an estimate. We will therefore consider applicants with lower predicted grades if the application is of a high standard which includes a strong personal statement and academic reference. However, any offer made will not be lower than stated below. If you have already achieved your A level grades you may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme - this means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course may be reduced. Whilst we normally look for evidence of recent study (which we define as the past 3 years), we also welcome applications from mature students who have achieved grades up to 10 years old, which will be considered on a case by case scenario. You will be required to make a full UCAS application which lists your education and work history up to the time of application along with sufficient references. Find out more about our admissions policy.

Applicant Visit Days

Once you have received an offer, you will be invited to an Applicant Visit Day to discover more about the course and Aston University.

Typical offers

GCSEs:

Five GCSEs which must include Mathematics and English Language all at grade C/4. Please note we do not accept Key skills or Functional skills in place of these.

A Levels

ABB - BBB in three A level subjects which must include Biology and Chemistry

Excluded Subjects: We welcome the following subjects as an additional A level, but not as one of the core three A levels - General Studies, Critical Thinking, Citizenship Studies.

A Level applicants who select this course as their Firm UCAS choice may be eligible for our lowered offer scheme. This means that the grades that you will need in order to be accepted on to the course will be reduced.

We welcome applications from students who have tried to improve their examination grades by taking resits and only your latest grades will be accepted. We treat these applications in exactly the same way as other applications.

BTEC:

We consider BTEC qualifications in any subject which are taken with the relevant A Level subjects as listed below:

BTEC qualification name BTEC grades required A Level requirements
Extended Diploma (QCF/National) Distinction, Distinction, Distinction (DDD)

With this BTEC you must also achieve a grade BB in both Biology AND Chemistry.

If this BTEC is being taken in Applied Science you must achieve a grade B in A Level Chemistry.

Diploma (QCF)

National Diploma

Distinction, Distinction (DD)

With this BTEC you must also achieve a grade BB in both Biology AND Chemistry.

If this BTEC is being taken in Applied Science you must achieve a grade B in A Level Chemistry.

Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)

National Extended Certificate

Distinction (D)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in both A Level Biology AND Chemistry.

90 Credit Diploma (QCF) Distinction, Distinction (DD)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in both A Level Biology AND Chemistry.

National Foundation Diploma Distinction (D)

With this BTEC you must also achieve grades BB in both A Level Biology AND Chemistry.

 

Access to Higher Education:

We accept the QAA-recognised Access Diploma which must consist of 45 credits at Level 3. You must obtain a minimum of 30 distinction and the rest must be at merit or distinction. Please note that we do not accept the English and Maths components within the Access qualification and you must meet the GCSE entry requirement.

Subjects Accepted: Applied Science, Biology combined with Chemistry, Biomedical Science, Biosciences, Combined Sciences, Health Sciences, Health Sciences Professions, Life Sciences and Sciences.

International Baccalaureate Diploma:

32 - 31 points overall and must include grades 6, 5, 5 – 5, 5, 5 in Higher Level subjects which must include Biology and Chemistry. You must also have Standard Level grade 5 in both Mathematics and English Language.

International Students

International qualifications: International students can discover more about the qualifications we accept on our international pages

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of an English language qualification. Find out more about our English language requirements.

For more information about qualifications view our Aston in your country webpage.

Foundation Programme route

International Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): We also welcome international students with equivalent qualifications to apply for our courses. For international students without equivalent qualifications, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing an International Foundation Programme at Aston University, although please note the progression requirements and the entry requirements to our courses. 

International applicants expected to gain foundation diplomas from other providers are welcomed and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Foundation Programme in Science (Aston University): For students with good A-level (or equivalent) grades, but who narrowly miss our standard requirements, it is also possible to gain entry to this course by completing the Foundation Programme in Science at Aston University, however, please note there are specific entry requirements which must be checked:  Foundation Entry Requirements.

Non-standard qualifications

Degree: 

Year 1 entry: We consider applicants for year 1 entry who are undertaking a degree in a related field elsewhere. You must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 60% overall and 120 credits with no fails at another recognised university. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.

Year 2 entry: Please note that second year transfers are not part of the standard admissions process and is up the discretion of the admissions team and tutor. Applications are only considered if there is space on that year of the programme. Typically, applicants for second year entry must meet the GCSEs and A level (or equivalent) requirements as listed. Alongside this you must have gained (or be expected to gain) 60% overall and 120 credits with no fails on an equivalent programme at another recognised university. The equivalency of the programme is reviewed by the Admissions Tutor and you will be required to provide an official copy of the programme specification of this. It is also expected that you have not previously attempted the second year of a programme elsewhere. In order to be considered you will need to submit a UCAS application as we do not accept direct applications and this must include an academic reference.

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

External Foundation Programmes from another University:

We consider external foundation programmes for entry into our year 1 programmes on a case-by-case basis. We will always require applicants to have met the following criteria prior to application:

  • 5 GCSE’s at grade C/4 or above including Maths and English.
  • CCC at A-Level

If you meet the above pre-requisite qualifications, we will be required to review the programme specification of your foundation programme. After we have reviewed the programme specification a decision will be made. Any conditional offers made will be based on meeting a specific grade in your foundation programme.

 

Fees for 2019

For 2019 entry: 

  • UK / EU students: £9,250 (£1,250 during placement year)
  • International students: £18,500 (£2,500 during placement year)

Explore the costs involved in university and the financial support that may be available to you.

Course outline

Biochemistry is the study of life at the molecular level. You will explore the way that molecules are synthesised, regulated and interact to give rise to highly complex organisms. Biochemistry lies at the interface of the life and physical sciences and is therefore applicable to a wide range of fields such as medicine, pharmaceutics and biotechnology.

This course is designed to equip you with the key laboratory, analytical, computational and communication skills necessary to succeed in this field. You will study through a mixture of lectures, seminars and practical sessions with a compulsory integrated placement year designed to give you further experience and enhance your employability. This course has been designed to meet the rising demand for qualified biochemists within the UK and across the world.

What you will study

2019 entry

Year 1

You will develop a thorough understanding of the molecules and processes that underpin areas of Biochemistry including microbiology, cell biology, genetics, biological chemistry, metabolism and biomolecules. You will also receive training in key skills through our personal tutoring system. 

Modules*:

  • Biochemistry Key Skills I: this module comprises a series of academic tutorials with a personal tutor and a series of workshops and lectures on Biochemistry and career management.  
  • Biological Chemistry: this provides a grounding in chemistry and analytical techniques that are core to biochemistry.
  • Biomolecules: this provides an overview of the key biological molecules including how they are synthesised and degraded.
  • Cells to Systems: this provides a basic introduction to life at a range of scales from single cells and their components to organ systems.
  • Genetics: provides an introduction to genetics at both the molecular and population levels.
  • Metabolism: introduces the major metabolic pathways demonstrating their integration and regulation.
  • Microbiology: provides an introduction to bacteria, viruses and fungi and their pathogenicity and applications within modern biochemistry.

Year 2

You will further your knowledge of topics that you studied in Year 1 and continue to build on your key skills and integrate the knowledge you gain across modules.

Modules*:

  • Analytical Biochemistry: provides in-depth knowledge across a range of analytical techniques that are applied throughout biochemistry.
  • Applied and Industrial Biochemistry: focusses on the application of biochemistry in the real world from pharmaceutics to biotechnology.
  • Biochemistry Key Skills II: provides tutorial-based support to enhance transferable skills as well as developing core mathematical and statistical techniques.
  • Cell Membranes and Energy Generation: develops an understanding of the importance of the cell membrane both in terms of defining a cell and for the generation of energy.
  • Immunology: introduces both the cellular and molecular components of the immune system and their applications within biochemistry.
  • Molecular Biology: describes the properties of nucleic acids and the tools and techniques used to study them.
  • Protein Structure and Function: relates the structure of proteins from the amino acid level upwards with their function and describes the techniques available to study proteins.

*Details provided are intended to give an overview of the proposed aims and content in modules, they are not a complete exhaustive and definitive description of module content. 

Placement year

The placement year is an opportunity for you to set your studies in context and gain experience by taking a placement in the UK or abroad. 

Final year

You will apply your fundamental knowledge to a range of advanced topics and undertake an individual original research project.

Modules:

  • Advanced Biotechnology: explores the application of biochemistry to industrial processes and how these interact with the environment.
  • Advanced Cell Signalling: develops an advanced understanding of how signal transduction cascades are initiated and regulated.
  • Biochemistry Project: allows you to undertake a substantial piece of independent research from across the spectrum of biochemistry.
  • Bioethics: explores the ethical and moral implications of a range of research topics and how research is regulated.
  • Biological Membranes: provides an opportunity to explore and analyse a range of biochemical data connected to the topic of biological membranes.
  • Molecular Medicine: examines the molecular and biochemical processes essential for life and how perturbations of these can lead to disease.
  • Redox Biochemistry: covers how biomolecules are involved in reduction and oxidation reactions and the impact of these on the cell and organism.
  • Research Skills: includes a series of workshops exploring advanced biochemical techniques as well as providing a literature-based introduction to your final year project.

2020 entry

In order to offer you the best possible experience and keep our courses up to date and relevant, the University is going through a transition period. The new University-wide 15/30 credit scheme will come into effect for the 2020/21 entry to the BSc Biochemistry programme – all modules on this programme will be in the new structure for this cohort.  For the 2019/20 intake, this will alter the final year to provide more optionality with the topics studied.

Modules

Year 1:

  • Biomolecules: Learn how the essential building blocks of life are made and regulated.
  • Cells to Systems: Study how cells are made and how they assemble into tissues and organs.
  • Microbiology and Genetics: Understand how microbes function and how genetic information is transmitted.
  • Molecular Metabolism: Use chemistry to explain how metabolism occurs and is regulated.

Year 2:

  • Cell Membranes: Apply your knowledge to explain the structure and function of cell membranes and their involvement in essential cellular processes.
  • Mechanisms of Pathology: Explain the underlying causes of diseases using immunology, microbiology, genetics and oncology.
  • Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: Integrate your knowledge to see how biochemistry can be applied in the lab and the wider world.
  • Protein Structure and Function: Build on your fundamental knowledge to explain how proteins work and how they can be studied.

Placement year:

The placement year is an opportunity for you to set your studies in context and gain experience by taking a placement in the UK or abroad. 

Final year:

Students are required to choose modules from the following options:

  • Molecular and Applied Microbiology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Advanced Cell Membranes.

You will also undertake a substantial independent research project and hone your professional and transferrable skills.

 

Placement year

The year involves a twelve-month professional work placement between the second and final years of the degree.  This offers you the opportunity to gain valuable experience and set your studies in the context of a working environment. By obtaining relevant work experience you will also boost your future employment prospects.

Students undertake placements in laboratory settings such as hospital, industrial or research laboratories, as well as non-laboratory settings.

Find out more about placement years in Life & Health Sciences.

Learning, teaching & assessment

You will encounter a variety of learning opportunities, including

  • Lectures
  • Practical sessions
  • Interactive workshops and tutorials
  • Group work
  • Self-study courses.

You will be continuously assessed throughout the course. A wide range of assessments linked to learning outcomes are used, including

  • Examinations (unseen essay, short answer or multiple choice questions)
  • Essays
  • Presentations
  • Laboratory reports 
  • Project work
  • Computer based assessment.
Your future career prospects

Biochemistry graduates are equipped for a wide range of professional careers in both the public and private sectors including research and development, scientific communication, patent law, sales and management. Many graduates will undertake further postgraduate study. 

Personal development 

Our course helps you develop the knowledge and skills needed to maximise your career prospects. This course will enable you to develop key skills including: 

  • Fundamental laboratory techniques
  • Record keeping
  • Project development
  • Time management
  • Critical analysis
  • Communication (written/oral)
  • Presentation
  • Team working
  • Report development
  • IT
  • Problem solving.
Facilities

You will benefit from:

  • Extensive and well equipped laboratories, with up-to-date equipment and projection facilities for demonstration purposes;
  • Refurbished lecture theatres and seminar rooms with modern audio-visual equipment;
  • A large computer laboratory;
  • A virtual learning environment used for general study, revision and assessment. This platform allows you to access a comprehensive range of study materials, scientific journals, e-journals, databases and much more.
  • Course texts and relevant journals are available from the library either electronically or in book form;
  • A newly refurbished and extended Aston University Library. The Library is open 7 days a week all year round, and at key times of the academic year, it is open 24 hours a day on 6 days a week.
Staff

Programme Director: Dr Alan Goddard

Alan is the Programme Director for this course. He joined the University in 2016 as a lecturer in Biochemistry, having previously worked and studied at the universities of Lincoln, Oxford and Warwick. His research interests focus around membrane proteins and the lipid membranes in which they reside. 

Senior Lecturer: Dr James Brown

James is the Senior Lecturer for the undergraduate Biomedical & Biological Sciences and Biochemistry programmes. He has been at Aston since 2009. His research interests include the regulation of cellular ageing by obesity and metabolic disorders, frailty in older adults with diabetes and the role of aquaporins in breast cancer.

Find out more

Discover more in the following ways:

Please note that this course has not yet been running long enough to produce National Student Survey data, so the unistats data shown below are for a different course within the school. 

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