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Medical Biochemistry BSc Honours

Be at the forefront of biomedical research and practise your skills in our cutting-edge lab environment.
BSc: C74A
October 2023
BSC: 3 years full-time, 4 years with placement, 6 years part-time
£9,250 (UK) *
£15,100 (EU / INT) *
Course leader
Dirk Wildeboer

We are no longer accepting applications for this course. Have a look at our Biochemistry BSc for an alternative route

Develop your knowledge with us

Studying BSc Medical Biochemistry with us will introduce you to new ideas and products that are applied to some of the biggest health problems of today. You’ll study the subject with a focus on human biology and medicine. Core themes will include chemistry, immunology, and molecular biology.

We’ll teach you how to think like a biochemist. You’ll develop essential research, diagnostic, and laboratory skills. The wide range of academic and professional skills gained on this course will prepare you for different career paths within the field. You can choose from working within a hospital or private labs in the health sector, research institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotech industries. You’ll have the chance to pursue your interests with optional modules and individual assignments.

You’ll study in some of the UK’s best laboratories, equipped with cutting-edge technology. Our £36 million Hatchcroft Building houses the bioscience suite, the cell and tissue culture lab, the mass spectrometry and medical engineering labs, to name just a few. You’ll have access to all the latest equipment you need to develop your skills and launch a career. Access to the labs is dependent upon any restrictions resultant from the ongoing Covid 19 outbreak.

How you’ll practise your skills

Our course is unique among other medical biochemistry degrees because we focus on getting you work experience throughout your time with us. You’ll have the option of taking a year-long industry placement that’ll help you develop your transferable skills. We also have a work experience module that’ll allow you to increase your chances of employment and practice working in the scientific field. Workplace learning is under the control of our employer partners who may need to restrict access to placement learning in light of the ongoing Covid 19 outbreak.

You’ll learn through a series of computer-based sessions, practically focused learnings, and workshops. This mixed learning style will ensure you’re practising your skills in hypothesis formation, data collection, analysis, and interpretation as you learn. In addition, you’ll get the chance to become a member of the Middlesex Biochemical Society and gain experience as part of different research groups.

Get the support you need

You'll get all the support you need to succeed. From your Personal Tutor to your Graduate Academic Assistant, each one has studied your subject and will provide the support you need based on their own experience. If you need a little help with writing, numeracy or library skills, we can help with that too.

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What will you study on the BSc Medical Biochemistry?

This course covers the field of biochemistry with a focus on human biology and medicine and includes core themes from a wide range of science subjects including chemistry, molecular biology and immunology. Laboratory, research and diagnostic methods will be developed throughout the course. You will learn practical skills in analytical and diagnostic techniques applicable in a wide range of fields including industry and research.

What will you gain?

As well as in-depth knowledge on the subject, you will also gain a wide range of skills relating to some of the biggest current issues in public health as well as the key techniques required in the human health and medicine industries. You will have the knowledge and skills in n medical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and public health education and the ability to undertake biochemical research related to human health. You will also gain numeracy, research, collaborative and presentation skills.


BSc Medical Biochemistry modules

  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Biological Techniques (15 credits)

      The analysis and communication of scientific knowledge is an integral component of biochemistry and this module aims to provide you with a number of key skills used widely by biochemists. These include: i) mathematics, ii) communication skills and iii) employability skills.

      The mathematics component of the module provides you with applied mathematical techniques needed to support your studies in biochemistry. In addition to providing the necessary tools to solving quantitative problems it also helps you present data effectively and interpret the meaning of analyses.

      The communication and employability skills component of the module aims to develop you communicational, organisational and writing skills and promote career awareness and opportunities for personal and professional development within and outside your course.

    • Physiology and Anatomy (15 credits)

      This module aims to provide you with a knowledge of human anatomy and its hierarchical organisation from cell to organ system. An understanding of how the main body systems and mechanisms involved maintaining a "state of health" will be developed along with an introduction to how these systems can malfunction. Grounding in practical anatomy will be provided which includes “hands on” and laboratory exercises to support identification and recognition of the main anatomical features of organs and structures of the body.

    • Introduction to Chemistry (30 credits)

      This module provides you with the skills and knowledge of chemistry that will underpin your future studies. You will build your knowledge around key academic concepts in chemistry using examples from health and the environment to reinforce ideas. You will acquire a range of laboratory practical skills and learn how to analyse and interpret experimental results and put these into context with theoretical concepts.

    • Genetics (15 credits)

      This module teaches key concepts in prokaryote, eukaryote and virus genetics. It will provide you with a detailed understanding of the genetic processes that are operating at molecular, organism, population and species levels, processes that ultimately underlie adaptive change.

    • Cell Biology (15 credits)

      This module explores the structure and physiology of eukaryote, prokaryote, and archael cells, function and methods of replication of these cells as well as acellular units (viruses). You will also be introduced to core theory and experimental techniques used to investigate physiology, growth and death of cells.

    • Metabolic Biochemistry (30 credits)

      The main aim of this module is to introduce and familiarise you with the key metabolic pathways of energy metabolism. You will acquire the skills and underpinning knowledge to pursue further studies in biochemistry.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Research Methods and Project Planning (30 credits)

      The module aims to provide you with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work with focus on preparation for the final year project module. The module also develops core research skills fundamental to a scientific research design, irrespective of discipline. Specific research skills will be explored to meet individual programme requirements.

    • Molecular Biology (15 credits)

      This module aims to extend your knowledge and appreciation of the molecular basis of life, the structure and function of genomes and the processes that drive evolutionary change at the molecular level.

      In addition, you will gain experience in the principles, quality assurance and application of commonly employed molecular (genetic) tools and techniques.

    • Medical Diagnostic Techniques (15 credits)

      Providing you with an understanding of the medical diagnostics techniques used in diagnosis of hereditary disorders, infectious diseases, blood disorders and oncology. A comprehensive range of current techniques that are used is covered. You will be given an overview of the future potential of genomics, metabolomics and proteomics. This module will have a strong practical component.

    • Pharmaceutical Chemistry (15 credits)

      This module provides an introduction into pharmaceutical chemistry. It examines the essential biochemistry on which understanding of medicinal chemistry is built and discusses strategies involved in developing an effective drug.

    • Immunology and Endocrinology (15 credits)

      This module aims to introduce the concepts and language of immunology that are, or may be, applied clinically. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the different cellular and molecular mechanisms underpinning the development of a range of different immunopathologies.  Regulation of the human endocrine system will also be introduced and explored by developing an understanding of what happens when regulation is lost leading to the onset of common endocrine pathologies. Knowledge of laboratory skills and analysis of data will be developed using immunological and endocrinological techniques.

    • Functional Biochemistry (30 credits)

      This module provides you with the knowledge of biochemical molecules and their physiological functions. Particular emphasis is placed on the molecular structure and its relationship with the biological function. Reaction mechanisms and kinetics of biochemical reactions will be explored with a particular emphasis on enzyme kinetics.

  • Sandwich Year (Optional)

    • Biology Placement (120 credits)

      The year-long placement is an opportunity for you to work in an industrial, field or laboratory-based setting, gaining necessary and relevant skills related to your biology degree programme.

      The module aims to enhance your employability skills, embed transferable and graduate skills and enable you to reflect on how the knowledge gained is relevant to their degree programme and the field of biology.

      Through the work placement, you will gain experience working in a team, facilitate their understanding of the workplace and enhance your skills of self-reliance and communication.

      The placement experience provides you with the opportunity to enhance your skills of self-reliance, communication, self-expression and cooperation.

  • Year 3 - Compulsory

    • Biochemistry of Human Disease (15 credits)

      The module will develop key concepts in specialist areas of biochemistry in relation to human diseases. Advanced topics on molecular basis of disease will be delivered, based primarily around the research specialisations of staff within the biochemistry teaching group.

    • Pharmacology and Toxicology (15 credits)

      This module discusses pharmacology, from a cellular and molecular perspective, with particular emphasis on the mechanisms of drug action, clinical application, toxicology and pharmacokinetics.

      At the end of this module, you will be able to:

      1. Evaluate the theoretical basis of drug action analysis and drug properties.
      2. Critically explain the role of pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and drug metabolism in drug action.
      3. Critically appraise the problems of drug distribution, elimination, toxicity and diagnosis.
      4. Demonstrate an appreciation of the effect of pharmacokinetics and drug development on the clinical application of drugs.
    • Dissertation (30 credits)

      This module fosters academic curiosity, an inquiry-based approach, and the employment and application of research skills, thus facilitating the development of a higher level of theorising.

      You will select a topic of personal interest that they wish to study in-depth and manage their learning with the support of an academic supervisor.

      On completion of the module, you will be able to:

      • Demonstrate the systematic searching, organisation, handling, critical selection, analysis and synthesis of a wide variety of different data and information sources.
      • Articulate research questions or hypothesis/es, select and justify the choice or research methodology and methods appropriate to conduct a such inquiry.
      • Exhibit critical insight into ethical concerns which may arise when planning, conducting and disseminating research.
      • Construct a critical and reasoned argument that analyses, evaluates and challenges research findings, justifies propositions, and elucidates alternatives.
      • Draw meaningful, logical and informative conclusions with emergent recommendations for further research.
    • Gene Expression and Control (15 credits)

      This module aims to understand processes involved in regulating gene expression and current methods available for investigation.

      It also aims to explain how gene expression may be modulated according to changes in the cellular environment, how environmental conditions can trigger changes in these processes and how aberrations in gene expression can lead to disease.

      Upon the completion of the module, you will be able to:

      • Explain the structure and the role of gene regulatory regions in gene expression in eukaryotes.
      • Recognise how gene expression may be altered by environmental stimuli and disease.
      • Assess recent advances in gene expression analysis and identify suitable current techniques for biological/biomedical research.
      • Critically analyse bio(medical) research questions using gene expression data sets.
    • Clinical Biochemistry and Diagnostics (15 credits)

      This module aims to provide you with detailed knowledge and understanding of the clinical disorders of primary organ function, along with the biochemical laboratory methods used in diagnosis and management.

      They will gain experience in the interpretation of patient results in a variety of clinical settings and in the evaluation of novel methodologies for use in a clinical setting.

      On completion of the module, you will be able to:

      1. Evaluate the disruption of major organs in various pathological conditions.
      2. Critically analyse the role clinical biochemistry plays in screening, diagnosis and treatment.
      3. Identify causes and consequences of abnormal results to confirm the diagnosis.
      4. Evaluate new laboratory techniques for diagnostic or research use.
  • Year 3 - Optional

    • Gene Technology (15 credits)

      The module considers current approaches to genetic manipulation and the widening fields of application.

      You will learn how to use vectors and tools for DNA/RNA manipulation to modify prokaryotes and eukaryotes organisms for biotechnology, research and detection.

      Ethical issues and regulations in the field of gene technology will be explored.

      On completion of this module, you will be able to:

      1. Apply methods, principles and practice of genetic engineering techniques to produce biotechnological products or services.
      2. Compare, contrast and judge the appropriateness of the primary tools used in gene technology.
      3. Evaluate potential benefits and risks of genome projects.
      4. Critically evaluate the impact of, and the ethical and legal issues related to, the development and production of genetically modified organisms/products and human genome technology.
    • Work Experience (30 credits)

      This module lets you formalise and integrate the professional experience into their programme. It aims to link academic learning to professional work-based skills.

      The module provides opportunities for you to gain hands-on experience from the process of applying for work in relevant organisations and enhance your skills of self-expression, communication and self-reliance.

      At the end of this module, you will be able to:

      1. Develop a plan of learning outcomes and personal development.
      2. Explore how subject theoretical knowledge may be integrated into the placement environment relating their work experience to the context and aims of their degree programme.
      3. Critically examine the operational aspects of a professional setting.
      4. Critically reflect upon personal growth, development and learning during the placement.
      5. Critically reflect upon the practical/competency skills required and how placement enabled the negotiated development of employability and transferable skills.
      6. Demonstrate effectiveness in a work environment.
    • Bioinformatics (15 credits)

      This module will provide an introduction to bioinformatics and aims to give an overview of the computational tools that are commonly used. The module will follow a hands-on approach.

      Data will be retrieved from public repositories and analysed for biological patterns using command line and graphical user interface tools.

      On completion of the module, you will be able to:

      • Select and retrieve relevant data from an external server.
      • Create and evaluate assembled genome data and construct phylogenetic trees.
      • Analyse genome data for protein structure prediction and relate to biological processes.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU / International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BSc Medical Biochemistry support your career?

The course will provide you with a range of academic and professional skills to prepare you for a wide range of relevant careers including working in hospitals or private laboratories in the health sector, research institutions or the pharmaceutical or biotech industry. Optional modules and individual assignments will allow you to design your course to focus on your career aspirations.

You could also choose to continue your studies at postgraduate or PhD level.

Industry links will be available through individual tutors and the placement office, excursions may be offered and you will have the option to go on an industrial placement. You will also be encouraged to become student members of the Biochemical Society during your studies.

Previous graduates have gone into careers in the following sectors:

  • Hospital and University labs
  • Biomedical Research facilities
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Sales, marketing and technical support
  • Science education
  • Publishing and law
  • Marium Reshum Chaudhrey

    BSc/MSci Clinical Biochemistry, 1st year student

    I applied for this course because I didn’t just want to study Biology; I wanted to combine this with Chemistry as I am really interested in both. This is a five year course so I’m just at the beginning. I’m particularly looking forward to the placement year where ideally I’d like to go abroad to Dubai.

    The environment here is very friendly, there are so many places to eat across campus and I like the surrounding area of Hendon. Academically speaking, there has always been someone to go to if I’ve needed help and revision sessions are available before exams. The facilities here are so good and hands on learning has been invaluable to me.

    To anyone who is considering this course, I would say go for it! It is a truly unique course, very unique in the UK.  It is fantastic for anyone who is interested in both strands of science and is looking for both a practical and theoretical insight.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

Other courses

Biochemistry BSc Honours

Start: October 2023

Duration: 3 years full-time, 4 years with placement, 5-6 years part-time

Code: C79A

Biomedical Science BSc/DipHE

Start: September 2023, September 2023: EU/INT induction

Duration: 3 years full-time

Code: BSc: C700, DipHE: B904

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