BSc (Hons)


Discover the molecules of life and their interactions

C700UCAS code 3yrsfull time

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

Have you ever marvelled at life on a small scale? Are you interested in the fascinating world of molecules, genes and cells?

A degree in biochemistry will introduce you to these and other topics, deepening your knowledge and understanding of the topical and ever evolving subject of modern molecular biology.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Study cell functionality and look at the crucial roles of DNA, RNA and proteins in a variety of biological systems
  • Discover the advances in genomic and proteomic research that are revolutionising life sciences research
  • Work alongside research-active lecturers and experience their contribution to the field of gene expression, protein structure, neural development, blood formation, bioactive molecules and more


What opportunities might it lead to?

We strongly believe that research and teaching go hand-in-hand, and with many different areas of ongoing research, there is a wealth of research opportunities open to you upon graduating. This course is recognised by the Royal Society of Biology.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

  • academic and industrial research
  • biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
  • science teaching
  • work in the health service
  • scientific writing and the media

Learn more about career opportunities.

Transfer to the MBiol courses
You can apply to transfer onto the MBiol courses in your second year if you decide that you would like to continue with your studies after the third year. In order to be able to do this, you must satisfy the criteria for progression stated in the MBiol course handbook.

Georgina Dawes, BSc (Hons) Biochemistry student 2013

There is a lot of practical work which helps me to learn, as you can put into practice what you have learnt in your lectures and see it first hand.

Georgina Dawes, BSc (Hons) Biochemistry student 2013

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Key Facts

UCAS Course Code:
3 years full time
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score A LEVELS
112 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, including Biology and Chemistry, with 40 points from either A level Biology or Chemistry. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

112 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, including Biology and Chemistry, with 40 points from either A level Biology or Chemistry. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications


UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2017/18 entry: full time: £9,250 p/a*

International students
2017/18/ entry: full time: £14,400 p/a**

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

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BSc (Hons) Biochemistry

Find out more about what it's like to study biochemistry here at Portsmouth.

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Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Year one

The first year has a core of units which provide you with a complete overview of biology, from the large to the small.

Core units in this year include:

  • Introduction to Cell Biology and Biochemistry
  • Biodiversity and Evolution
  • Molecular and Microbiology
  • Perspectives in Biochemistry
  • Experimental Biology
  • Graduate Skills

Year two

In this year you will continue to develop your practical lab skills and begin to hone your research techniques, ready for your project in the final year. You will also have the option to study a foreign language. One of the highlights will be a week long intensive laboratory course in genetic engineering.

Core units in this year include:

  • Cell Biology
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Macromolecules
  • Biochemistry

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Development: Form and Function
  • Microbiology
  • A Foreign Language

Year three

Alongside the more specialist topics below, you’ll undertake a novel research project or dissertation in an area of biochemistry or genome science that interests and excites you.

Core units in this year include:

  • Honours Project
  • Gene Organisation and Expression
  • Genes and Development
  • Biomolecular Science

Options to choose from in this year include:

  • Genomics in Molecular Medicine
  • Biotechnology

Teaching and Assessment

You will experience excellent teaching and learning support. There is a very hands-on practical element to this course and teaching takes a variety of formats. You will participate in workshops, computer classes, seminars and practicals in the teaching labs. Our personal tutorial system ensures that you have someone to provide help with any academic or pastoral problems.

How are you assessed?

When it comes to assessment, you will have written exams at the end of every year. We will also assess you through coursework. Here’s how:

  • coursework in the form of essays and practical write-ups
  • presentations
  • online multiple choice questions
  • data analysis problems
  • research project in the final year

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Specialist Scientific Equipment

We have state-of-the-art facilities for biochemical research, including the internationally regarded Biophysics Laboratories and the closely associated European Xenopus Resource Centre. Biochemistry at Portsmouth has a long history going back over 50 years and many successful biochemists have trained here. We aim to introduce you to research at the highest level and in addition to our extensive teaching labs you will also have access to advanced equipment such as:

  • instrumentation for protein purification
  • X-ray diffractometer and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers for determining molecular structures
  • confocal-laser and electron microscopes
  • the latest equipment for genetic modification


We are well equipped for teaching and research in the diverse areas of modern biochemistry. We have:

  • microbiology and embryology laboratories (with high-tech imaging and gene analysis equipment)
  • ancient DNA preparation and analysis laboratories
  • high-tech imaging suites
  • the European Xenopus Resource Centre


Biochemistry within the School of Biological Sciences has a well-established reputation for both fundamental and applied research. Attracting funding from many sources including industry, Research Councils, The Wellcome Trust, Leverhulme Trust, and the European Union. Our research activities cover a wide range of interests from genetic engineering to biofuels. Research in the biochemistry section falls into the following themes:

  • biodiversity and evolution
  • epigenetics and development biology
  • ecotoxicology and environmental monitoring
  • marine resource management
  • environmental microbiology and biotechnology
  • molecular biophysics

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online e-journals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Jack Phillips, BSc (Hons) Biochemistry student 2013

For my project I had all the specialist equipment I needed to complete my research and learnt skills that I can use in my PhD studies.

Jack Phillips, BSc (Hons) Biochemistry student 2013

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

General costs:
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.

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Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

We give career development a high priority, with many of our graduates continuing with studies at postgraduate level. Alternatively as a newly qualified biochemist, you may find employment in diverse areas from biotechnology or public health to companies specialising in medical diagnostics, scientific equipment, laboratory supplies and forensic science.

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • academic or industrial research scientist
  • clinical scientist
  • scientific writer
  • postgraduate study leading to PhD

Work experience

Employment boosting opportunities
Employment boosting opportunities

Jump at the chance to study in Europe under the EU funded Erasmus scheme. We have strong links with many European universities and institutes, particularly in France, Spain and Italy. The scheme runs during the second year summer break and gives an opportunity to complete your research project at the host institution.

Living abroad is the best way to learn a new language or improve existing skills. You will gain confidence, language skills, the ability to adapt to new environments and communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds. Make yourself more attractive to employers in a global market and prove you’re not afraid to take on a new challenge.

Learn more about career opportunities

Career planning

Career planning
Career planning
6.04 minutes

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Richard Martin, BSc (Hons) Biochemistry graduate

A lot of employers are looking for people with analytical degree-based pathways whether you are staying in research or not – personally I want to stay in research and the biochemistry degree here has set me up very well to do that.

Richard Martin, BSc (Hons) Biochemistry graduate

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