The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

C700 BSc Biochemistry (3 years)

Investigate the building blocks of life and delve deeply into drug discovery and design as you learn at the cutting edge of biochemical research with Southampton’s BSc Biochemistry course.

Based in our multi-million pound Life Sciences building, you will explore how modern molecular bioscience approaches can solve key challenges in cell biology, pathology, pharmacology, physiology and genetics.

Introducing your course

Modern biochemistry is at the forefront of breakthroughs in drug discoveries, biotechnology and forensic science.

Our three-year Biochemistry programme explores the chemical and molecular mechanisms that underpin biological sciences. You will gain the skills required to play an integral part in future scientific development.

This flexible course system offers a broad variety of options, with a year out in employment for those who want to gain experience in an industrial setting, and a final year project which gives you an opportunity to engage with science in either a laboratory or alternative areas such as business or communication.

Our graduates are well prepared for successful careers in areas including the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, forensic science, food technology, agriculture, and further study.

BSc Biochemistry


What is this? (More Information) This information is based on historical data and may have been aggregated. Find out more.

From DNA to proteins, from single molecules to cells, biochemistry answers the ultimate questions about how living organisms work. Our BSc Biochemistry degree programme provides in depth training in biochemistry, with core subjects in your first and second year and opportunities to specialise in year three. Our flexible course system offers a wide range of options, with a year out in industry for those who want to gain experience in an industrial setting. Our teaching staff are actively engaged in research into the molecular basis of disease, genetics and the control of gene transcription, oncology, structural biology, DNA recognition and cell signalling.

View the programme specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the How to Apply tab of the navigation menu for detailed information on how to apply and further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.

Key Facts

The National Student Survey 2017 (NSS)

100% of BSc Biochemistry students were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of their course.

Thumbnail photo of Angus Haynes

“I’ve really enjoyed myself here not just in terms of my degree but also living here, Southampton as a place, the options I’ve had and the friends I’ve made. ”

Angus Haynes - BSc Biochemistry, 2015
Thumbnail photo of Isabel King

“The many transferable skills I have gained from studying Biochemistry at Southampton have enabled me to secure a graduate position at the professional services organisation PWC.”

Isabel King - BSc Biochemistry, 2016
Thumbnail photo of Alex Simpson

“Throughout my time with GSK I was exposed to doctors, scientists and statisticians who were very supportive and helped shape my career goals”

Alex Simpson - MBiochem Biochemistry

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEGrades A*-C in English, mathematics and science. If you lack these formal qualifications, your aptitude for the course will be assessed at interview. International students whose first language is not English must have already attained the necessary standard in English, such as 6.5 in IELTS
A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAB. For biochemistry degrees, chemistry must be offered at A level (minimum grade B) with at least one other A level science subject. A level science subjects considered include biology, human biology, physics, mathematics, psychology, environmental studies, geology.

Applicants only offering A Level Chemistry will be considered on a case by case basis. 

International Baccalaureate34 points, 17 at higher level, including 6 points in Chemistry at higher level along with one other higher level science subject.
Other applicants:

Applicants with alternative UK or EU qualifications and international applicants should first refer to the general entry requirements.

English Language

For details of our English Language entry requirements please see here

Selection process:
Average applications per place:

Selection for this BSc Biochemistry degree is normally based on actual or predicted grades plus the reference and personal statement on your UCAS application. Exceptionally we may ask you to come for an interview before making an offer.

Contextual Offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students flagged in this way will be given additional consideration and not be rejected solely on the basis of their predicted (or actual) grades.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Science Foundation Year

Science Foundation Year

Don't have the right qualifications to meet our entry requirements? You could still get a place by doing a foundation year.

Find out more


Typical course content

To be able to take certain optional modules in years 2 or 3, you may need to have passed specified modules previously.

Year 1

Semester Two
Metabolism & Metabolic Disorders
Integrative Mammalian Physiology
Cell Biology & Genetics
Behaviour of Biomolecules

Please select either:-
Behaviour of Biomolecules and Biological Chemistry
Please note Behaviour of Biomolecules has a pre-requisite of A Level Chemistry.

If you wish to study Chemistry at an advanced level. Please speak to your tutor before choosing these modules.Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I for non-chemists and Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry II for non-chemists AND Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry I for non-chemists and Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry II for non-chemists OR Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I for non-chemists and Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry II for non-chemists AND Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry I for non-chemists and Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry II for non-chemists.

Please note Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I for non-chemists, Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry I for non-chemists and Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry I for non-chemists have a prerequisite of A Level Chemistry.

Please note you must choose either Behaviour of Biomolecules & Biological Chemistry or one of the Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I for non-chemists and Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry II for non-chemists AND Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry I for non-chemists and Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry II for non-chemists or Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I for non-chemists, Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry II for non-chemists AND Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry I for non-chemists and Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry II for non-chemists combinations

Cell and Tissue Histology

Year 2

In addition to the compulsory modules, you will take four optional modules from the choices below, including two free electives from any discipline.

Semester One
Flow of Genetic Information
Exploring Proteins: Structure and Function
Pharmacology A
Cell Biology
Biotechnology and the Living Cell
Quantitative Methods in Biological and Environmental Science
Animal Behaviour

Please note if you choose to take Animal Behaviour it is preferred that you have previously studied ALevel Biology or Zoology.

Semester Two
Molecular & Cellular Biochemistry
Bioinformatics & DNA Technology
Animal Reproduction and Development
Plant Development and Function
Pharmacology B
Adaptive Physiology
Immunology, Infection and Inflammation
Environmental Microbiology
Neural Basis of Behaviour
Behavioural Neuroscience
Business Skills for Employability
Ethics in Science, Engineering, and Technology: Jekyll and Hyde
Engineering Replacement Body Parts

Please note if you choose to take Neural Basis of Behaviour it is preferred that you have previously studied Animal Behaviour, Quantitative Methods in Biological and Environmental Science and Neuroscience.

Year 3

In addition to the modules listed below, in Year 3 you will also take one of the following compulsory combinations:

A combination of two 7.5 ECTS modules, taken from Literature research project(BIOL3031/32),Short research project(BIOL3050), Science Communication(BIOL3060/BIOL3066)

Semester One

In addition to optional modules you may choose a free elective from any other discipline.

Molecular Cell Biology
Current Topics of Cell Biology
Plant Cell Biology
Applied Ecology
Cell Membranes
Regulation of Gene Expression
Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
Neuropharmacology of CNS Disorders
Pathophysiology of the Lung
Selective Toxicity
Cellular and Molecular Pathology
Nutrition in Health & Desease: Part1
Bioinformatics and Systems Biology
Cancer & Chromosome Biology
Evolution and Development
Fluxes, Cycles, and Microbial Communities
Developmental Psychology
Global Challenges
Sustainability in the Local and Global Environment
Body and Society

Please note, if you wish to take Applied Ecology it is preferred that you have previously studied Pure and Applied Population Ecology.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternationalChannel Islands
BSc Biochemistry2018Full-time£9,250£20,320£9,250
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this programme typically also have to pay for:

Printing and copyingCoursework such as essays, projects and dissertations may be submitted on line. In the majority of cases, though, students will be asked to provide a printed copy. The University printing costs are currently: A4 - 5p per side (black and white) or 25p per side (colour) A3 - 10p per side (black and white) or 50p per side (colour) Please note: Paper sizes not recognised by the printing devices will prompt you to select the size and then charge a minimum of 50p per black and white copy and a maximum of £1 per colour copy. You can pay for your printing by using the money loaders or by using print copy payment service by going to Please remember that we are unable to refund any credit that has not been used by the end of your course, so please consider this when topping up your printing/copy account. Students entering year 1 2015/16 will be given a printing allowance of £3 per 7.5 ECTS BIOL towards the costs of printing lecture handouts. Practical handouts and module guides will be provided by the university. The University Print Centre also offers a printing and copying service as well as a dissertation/binding service. Current printing and copying costs can be found here: They also provide a large format printing service, e.g. Academic posters. Details of current costs can be found here:£0.05-1.00

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentLaboratory equipment and materials: All materials required for laboratory work are provided. Where necessary, suitable specialist safety equipment will be provided.
EquipmentIT: Computer discs or USB drives - Students are expected to provide their own portable data storage device.
EquipmentIT: Software licenses - All software is provided.
EquipmentIT: Hardware - It is advisable that students provide their own laptop or personal computer, although shared facilities are available across the University campus.
ClothingLab coats and safety spectacles: One laboratory coat and a pair of safety spectacles are provided at the start of the programme to each student. If these are lost the student must replace them at their own expense. The Students Union Shop stock these items.
ClothingField course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
PlacementsStudents who choose to go on an industrial placement at the end of Part 2 can expect to cover costs for health and travel insurance, accommodation and living expenses, travel costs and visa costs. This will vary depending on which country you are travelling to.
OtherParking costs: There may be a requirement to undertake work at Southampton General Hospital (SGH), for example during a final year research project. Students may need to cover costs for transport to travel to SGH or for car parking.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

With a BSc Biochemistry degree you could be expected to find work in the following areas:

  • Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry
  • Postgraduate research training
  • Scientific officer in medical laboratories
  • Teaching
  • Forensic science
  • Legal profession
  • Business management

Learning & Assessment

The academic year

Eight modular units are taken each academic year, four in semester one and four in semester two. A unit normally consists of two lectures a week plus a three-hour practical on alternate weeks. Practicals and other components of in-course assessment make up 25% of your final mark for the year. We also provide workshops and pastoral tutorials in which you can get specific help on the content of your lectures. Each week students therefore attend eight 45-minute lectures, an average of two 2 to 3 hour practical classes and may also attend a small group tutorial, which should take up to two hours to prepare.
Examinations are held in the two weeks after each semester, in January and June. The marks for the first year do not count towards the final degree classification, but you do have to gain an overall pass in your first year. Currently the second year counts one third towards the degree and the third year counts two thirds.

The tutorial system

Every student on this BSc Biochemistry degree is assigned a personal tutor when they start their university degree. Your course tutor changes every semester, but your personal tutor will stay the same throughout your time here. Your personal tutor will meet you when you enrol, and you will see him/her three or four times a term in the first year, for academic as well as pastoral support. He or she is accessible throughout your time in Southampton.


Our research is relevant to your undergraduate course because you will be taught by people who are experts in the subjects that they teach. This is especially important for science subjects, where knowledge is advancing rapidly. This is particularly relevant for your final year.

In your third year, you have the opportunity to do an individual research project in one of our research laboratories, in which you will make new discoveries alongside other researchers. You will use up-to-date equipment and gain important experimental skills.


We have our own team of administrators who act as a point of contact for day-to-day advice and information for undergraduate students. They are also responsible for collecting assignments and issuing the documents and forms which are required during your period of study.

Programme leader: Dr P.T. Williamson

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Scheduled learning & teaching study21%23%20%
Independent study79%77%80%
Placement study0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage123
Written exam assessment71%74%75%
Practical exam assessment6%0%6%
Coursework assessment23%26%19%

Study Locations

The Life Sciences Building

Biological Sciences Building, Highfield Campus

The Life Sciences building is a £50 million state-of-the-art laborator...Find out more

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