Our biochemistry programmes benefit from having world-leading researchers in both biology and chemistry together in one department. 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.
Initially, you will study organic and physical chemistry, as well as genetics and cell biology; you will then go onto study topics such as macromolecular protein assemblies and cell-signalling, as well as the biochemistry of disease, cell biology and differentiation.
The application of molecular concepts to complex biological systems is at the cutting edge of science in the 21st century. You will learn about the key biochemical concepts and the chemistry that underpins them, as well as the real-world applications of these principles in fields such as biotechnology and medicine. You will divide your time between chemistry and biology, although the balance can be adjusted to suit your interests.
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 and 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. We have excellent teaching and research facilities in our state-of-the-art Joseph Priestley Building, housing a range of analytical and spectroscopic facilities commensurate with contemporary research.
The programme structure outlined below is indicative of what you will study. It may change slightly from year to year as new topics are introduced and after we have listened to current student feedback on teaching.
- Practical Molecular and Cellular Biology
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Genetics
- Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
- Practical Biochemistry
- Basic Biochemistry
- Techniques for Biological and Chemical Sciences
- Genes and Bioinformatics
- Structure and Reactivity in Organic Chemistry
- Biochemistry Communication
- Membrane and Cellular Biochemistry
- Metabolic Pathways
- Comparative and Integrative Physiology
- Cell Biology and Developmental Genetics
- Pharmaceutical Chemistry
- Microbial Physiology and Growth
- Transmission Genetics
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Biochemistry Communication
- Membrane Proteins
- Molecular Basis of Disease
- Enzyme Catalysis
- Protein structure, folding and assemblies
- Endocrine Physiology and Biochemistry
- Human Genetics and Genomics
- Organic Synthesis
- Neuroscience: from molecules to behaviour
- Functional Genomics and Epigenetics
- Bioorganic Chemistry
All third year students must complete one of the following:
Progression onto MSci Biochemistry
It may be possible for students on our Biochemistry BSc to progress onto the four year Biochemistry MSci. This can only happen during semester A or B of your 2nd or 3rd year of study. The criteria for promotion are typically as follows:
- Transfer during 2nd year: Student must achieve a mean of at least 60% overall in their first year and pass 105 module credits, out of 120 credits
- Transfer during 3rd year: Student must achieve a mean of at least 60% overall in their first year and pass 210 module credits out of 240 credits
If you are interested in progressing onto the MSci option, you should speak with your personal academic advisor for further advice.
- A-levels: Typically ABB and above at A2 level from three subjects including chemistry, however, we consider applications with BBB in chemistry and two other subjects of biology, maths, further maths or physics
- 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.
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.
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.
If you have qualifications, which are not listed above, please contact us to check your eligibility:
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.
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.
For all programmes you must take 120 credits (normally eight modules) in each academic year. Each module is assessed through theory examinations (typically accounting for 75-80 per cent of the final mark) and coursework (for example, practical reports, field course reports, essays, problem sheets, online exercises and tests). Examinations normally last two and a half hours for first and second years and three hours for final-year papers.
Final-year students undertake a research project/investigative project worth 15 or 30 credits; these are assessed with a detailed written report, oral presentation, poster and an interview. The main examination period is in May/June, with deferred exams and resits in August for first- and second-year students. The format of undergraduate examinations varies among programmes and may include multiple choice questions (MCQ), extended matching questions (EMQ), short answer questions, problem solving or case-based exercises, and essays.
Fees and finance
Fees are charged at a Home/EU rate for UK and EU nationals, and an overseas rate for International students - find out more about how your tuition fee status is assessed.
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
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.
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.
Our graduates progress into a range of sectors, including clinical and laboratory work, as well as postgraduate research and study and science communication. Others transfer their skills into sectors such as marketing and finance. The latest data show that 94 per cent* of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of graduation.
Graduate destinations - employment
Recent graduates of our biochemistry programmes have gone onto the following roles:
- Clinical Biochemist in the NHS
- Biochemist at NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT)
- Finance and Investment Analyst
- Data Analyst
- Technician at Apple
- Research Consultant
- Intern in the Cardiac Research Department at the London Chest Hospital
- Clinical Project Assistant at ClinTech International
- Research Assistant
- Communications and Engagement Assistant – Genomics England
Graduate destinations - further study
Recent graduates on our biochemistry programmes have gone onto study the following:
- Drug Discovery and Pharma Management MSc
- Medicine MBBS
- Dentistry BDS
- Biomedical and Molecular Science Research MSc
- Toxicology MSc
- Human Molecular Genetics MSc
- Ontology MSc
- Pharmaceutical Analysis and Quality Control MSc
- Clinical Neuroscience MSc
As a QMUL student, you will have access to our specialist Careers and Enterprise team who can help prepare you for internships and graduate employment. Their services include CV checking and mock interviews, tailored workshops and employer-led events. You will also have access to a dedicated Careers Consultant for your School who has expert knowledge of recruitment and connections to employers in the field.
QMUL is part of the prestigious Russell Group and our graduates are consistently in the top ten graduate starting salaries in the UK (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2016). QMUL graduates have a strong earning power, with an average salary of £23,580.*
*Source: Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey, 2013/14
Giulia Oluwabunmi Olayemi, Biochemistry BSc, class of 2017
- What do you enjoy most about your course?
"I love the wide variety of topics the degree covers and the combination of biology and chemistry modules. It allows you to explore your subject in depth and to delve into science at a molecular level."
- What's it like being a student in London?
"Life in London is buzzing 24/7! Due to the location of QMUL, there are many activities to do and lots of places to see, including the world-renowned Olympic Park, which is only one stop away on the tube."
- What do you think of the facilities at QMUL?
"The facilities available are of a high standard within the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences. As well as the huge collection of books in the libraries and good quality labs, the lecturers, professors and tutors are incredibly helpful and attentive to all their students.
But the Students Union is what really makes QMUL stand out from the other universities. With hundreds of societies to get involved in, many opportunities are available to QMUL students. I even had the chance to be part of the backing choir on Britain's Got Talent in the season just gone! More importantly, meeting so loads of new people of different cultures and backgrounds has been truly amazing so far."
- How do you think your QMUL qualification will help your future career?
"My aim is to pursue medicine, so studying biochemistry will give a scientific foundation for understanding medicine at a molecular level. It's exciting to understand how a simple change at the genetic level could potentially have a drastic effect on the outcome."
Tasqeen Ahmed, Biochemistry BSc, class of 2015
"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 BSc, class of 2015
"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."