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Biochemistry

C701 MSci (Hons) 4 years

Overview

Students will explore the captivating mechanisms of the living world in incredible detail with tuition from world-leading researchers in both biology and chemistry. You will study the ways in which both disciplines interact in living organisms, and learn how this underpins our understanding of biological and medical science.

The application of molecular concepts to complex biological systems is at the cutting edge of science in the twenty-first century. Students will be instructed on the key biochemical concepts and the chemistry that underpins them. You will also be taught the real-world applications of these principals in fields such as biotechnology and medicine. During this programme you will divide your time between chemistry and biology, although the balance can be adjusted to suit your interests. 

The first three years are similar to that of the BSc Biochemistry programme. Your fourth year will involve additional training in skills relevant to a career in research and an extensive research project. Our MSci Biochemistry is a four-year degree programme, which leads to the award of an MSci degree and equips students for a career in the biomolecular sciences. 

Students enrolling onto the MSci programme may choose to graduate after three years with the BSc degree in Biochemistry. If you decide you do not wish to study the fourth year of this programme you should speak with your personal academic advisor (every student is assigned an advisor once they start with us).

Research

By choosing to study at a Russell Group university, you will have access to excellent teaching and top class research. You will be taught by staff who are actively involved in research, who are enthusiastic about their subjects and sharing their knowledge with you.

You can find out more about our research interests on the chemistry and biochemistry department page.

Teaching facilities

  • Early in the twentieth century Queen Mary obtained the People’s Palace's Rotunda (now the Octagon) and rooms under the winter gardens and turned them into chemical laboratories.
  • The College suffered considerable bomb damage during World War II and had to rebuild the biology and chemistry buildings.
  • In 1964, we became the first UK University to build a nuclear reactor.

For decades, we have been committed to providing our staff and students with the best facilities for teaching and research. The Faculty of Science and Engineering has recently committed to an investment of over £25 million into its buildings, equipment and teaching practices to ensure that our students are taught using the most advanced teaching methods in first-class laboratories.

We have excellent facilities in our state-of-the-art Joseph Priestley Building, housing a range of analytical and spectroscopic facilities commensurate with contemporary research.

Entry requirements

  • A-levels: Typically ABB and above at A2 level from three subjects including Chemistry
  • International Baccalaureate: 34 points overall including grade 5 in Chemistry (Higher Level)
  • BTEC: We do not accept BTEC qualifications
  • Access to HE Diploma: We will consider applications from students with the Access to HE Diploma (60 credit in a Science discipline e.g. Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics). We take all aspects of your UCAS application into careful consideration; we look at the merits of your personal statement, academic reference, predicted grades and actual grades, and, due to the high volume of applications, we do not make offers purely on the basis of meeting the grade requirements. The minimum academic requirement is to achieve an overall Pass, with 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher.
    All applications are considered by our admissions tutors on a case-by-case basis, and this may mean we would request an interview.

Visit our frequently asked questions page for answers to our commonly received queries about entry requirements.

Non-UK students

Students from outside the United Kingdom must give evidence of their English language ability by producing an English language test score. The university provides guidelines for English requirements for all degree programmes.

Foundation programme

Students may enter this degree programme via admission to the QMUL Science and Engineering Foundation Programme. Students must complete the foundation year and meet the required progression criteria.

Other qualifications

If you have qualifications, which are not listed above, please contact us to check your eligibility: 
Email: admissions@qmul.ac.uk
Tel: +44(0) 207 882 5511

Learning and teaching

All our programmes involve a mixture of classroom activities and laboratory work. A variety of teaching styles are employed, which vary slightly among modules and programmes. Most material is delivered via lectures. These last around 50 minutes each and, typically, you would have two lectures per day.

Lectures are backed up with small-group tutorials and workshops, where you have the opportunity to ask, in a relatively relaxed and small group setting, about material in lectures that you did not understand, to go through problems and practise past exam papers. In general, lectures, tutorials and workshops take place in the mornings and laboratory classes in the afternoons.

A typical weekly workload would be:

  • 6-8 one-hour lectures
  • 4-5 hours of practical laboratories or workshops
  • 20-25 hours of private study/coursework

Independent study

For every hour spent at University you will be expected to complete additional hours of independent study. Your individual study time could be spent preparing for, or following up on formal study sessions; reading; assessing data from experiments; completing lab reports; and revising for examinations.

The direction of your individual study will be guided by the formal study and laboratory sessions you attend, along with your reading and assignments. However, we expect you to demonstrate an active role in your own learning by reading widely and expanding your own knowledge, understanding and critical ability.

Independent study will foster in you the ability to identify your own learning needs and determine which areas you need to focus on to become proficient in your subject area. This is an important transferable skill and will help to prepare you for the transition to working life.

Assessment:

For all programmes, you must take 120 credits (normally eight modules) in each academic year. Each module is assessed through a combination of theory examinations (typically accounting for 70-90 per cent of the final mark) and coursework (for example practical reports, problem sheets, online exercises and tests). Theory examinations are normally two and a half hours long.

Final year BSc students may undertake a research project worth 30 credits, while final year MSci students undertake a project worth 60 credits; these projects are generally assessed by a combination of detailed written report, a seminar presentation, a poster and an interview.

There are presently no mid-session exams and the main examination period is in May/June, with the additional possibility of deferred exams and resits in August for first and second year students. The format of undergraduate examinations varies from module to module and may include multiple choice questions (MCQ), short answer questions, problem solving or essays.

Fees and finance

Tuition fees for Home and EU students

2016 entry
Full-time £9,000

Tuition fees for International students

2016 entry
Full-time £16,950

You can either take out a Tuition Fee Loan (see Funding section below) to pay your fees or, if you are paying them yourself, you can pay in instalments.

Tuition fees for a year abroad or placement year on a full time undergraduate course will be a proportion of the full fee for the year in which you commence your time abroad or placement.

For information on field trip and other course related costs which are not included in your tuition fee, please contact the relevant Department/School.

See more general information about fees.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 7676
email: fees@qmul.ac.uk

Funding

Queen Mary has a substantial package of scholarships and bursaries which will benefit around 50 per cent of our undergraduate student body.

Scholarships and Bursaries available at Queen Mary for Home/EU Students

There are a number of scholarships and bursaries available each year for home students. Visit our Bursaries and Scholarships page for more information.

Visit our Advice and Counselling website for more information about financial support.

Scholarships available at Queen Mary for International Students

There are a number of Scholarships available each year for International Students including bursaries and scholarships in a range of subject areas.

Find out more about international scholarships.

Some International students may also be eligible for a fee reduction.

Loans and Grants available to help with tuition fees and living costs

Student Finance England administers all grant and loans for your studies if you normally live in England.

If you live in WalesScotland or Northern Ireland you have an equivalent Student Finance department for your region.

Through Student Finance England, you can apply for (figures relate to programmes starting from September 2016):

  • A Tuition Fee Loan of up to £9,000 to pay all or part of your fees
  • A Maintenance Loan of up to £10,702 to help pay your living costs like rent, food and travel
  • Extra grants if you have a disability or you have children or an adult dependant
  • You might get a grant to cover some travel expenses if you normally live in England but study away from home. If you’re a medical or dental student you might also qualify for help with the costs of attending clinical placements in the UK.

Visit Student Finance Information to find out more about:

  • How to apply for student finance
  • What eligibility rules apply, including if you already have a degree or previous higher education study
  • What the income thresholds are and how much you might personally get for each element of Student Finance
  • What to do if you have problems getting your Student Finance

Other financial help on offer at Queen Mary

We offer one to one specialist support on all financial and welfare issues through our Advice and Counselling Service, which you can access as soon as you have applied for a place at Queen Mary.

Our Advice and Counselling Service also has lots of Student Advice Guides on all aspects of finance including:

  • Additional sources of funding
  • Planning your budget and cutting costs
  • Part-time and vacation work
  • Money for lone parents

For more information visit the Advice and Counselling service website, or call +44 (0)20 7882 8717.

Graduate Employment

Employers specifically target Russell Group universities because of the calibre of these institutions' graduates and, as a result, over 90% of our 2013 graduates are employed or in further study.

Some of our graduates will continue with a career in research either:

  • Within a university, opting for postgraduate study at either Masters or PhD level;
  • In the laboratory of a commercial company developing products such as pharmaceuticals;
  • In a government-run laboratory;
  • In a hospital;
  • Or in the public health service.

Recent graduates of this programme have moved into a wide range of careers including:

  • Biochemist at the National Blood Service
  • Dispensing optician
  • Clinical project assistant
  • Medical scientist
  • Veterinary nurse
  • Hospital intern at Queen Elizabeth Hospital
  • Laboratory technician
  • Finance and investment analyst
  • Intern in a cardiac research department

Queen Mary’s specialist career service is on hand to offer you advice throughout and after your university studies. We are committed to helping our students achieve their career goals and were placed top 10 in the UK for student employability, according to the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2012.

Profiles

Tasqeen Ahmed

Biochemistry

"When applying to universities, I made sure that Queen Mary was my first choice. One of the major factors that attracted me to QMUL was its Russell Group status. This was crucially important as it meant that I would be taught by leading academics who are involved in groundbreaking research."


Irrum Afzal

Biochemistry

"I chose Queen Mary because it is a leading university with an excellent reputation worldwide. It excels in student satisfaction while also being a member of the Russell Group. The School of Biological and Chemical Sciences is a highly research-intensive school offering a vast number of opportunities to its students; it also has close links with hospitals such as The Royal London in Whitechapel.

I enjoy the modules biochemistry offers to its students as they are combination of both biology and chemistry. The practical sessions in biochemistry take place in modern laboratory facilities. Meeting new people from a variety of different backgrounds and making new friends has been a brilliant experience. The main campus has so much to offer to its students from learning new languages to playing new sports."


Silas Mellor

Biochemistry

"During my time at Queen Mary I had the chance to receive teaching from lecturers who were themselves deeply involved with the topics they were teaching. It is a source of inspiration and wonder to be on the very edge of our understanding of nature, and this was conveyed expertly on diverse topics such as protein structure, neuroscience and genetics.

The opportunity in the final year to delve into a real research project and try to plan and execute longer, coherent lab work was an amazing experience, and opens your eyes to what science is really about."


Student societies

Being at university is not just about studying (but let’s be honest that is a pretty important part of your time with us!) there are lots of other opportunities available to you as a Queen Mary student. One of the most popular ways to meet new friends, get involved in causes you care about and share knowledge is by joining a student society.

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