BSc, 4 years, UCAS: C701
Typical A level offer: BCC
Biochemistry seeks to understand and explain living systems at the molecular level and underpins the biotechnology revolution, the amazing rate of development of which makes it an exciting and challenging subject to study.
Biochemists answer questions that are fundamental to life. What are the molecules that constitute living organisms? How are they made and how is their synthesis regulated? What is the molecular structure of cells and how do cells communicate with each other in whole organisms? How are genomes organised and what are the molecular mechanisms that control gene expression? What is the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules and how do these structures enable function? What are the chemical and thermodynamic principles underlying biological reactions?
Biochemistry is central to genetics, development, ageing and disease. Practical applications range from genetic fingerprinting and the genetic manipulation of organisms to the use of enzymes in biological detergents, the development of personalised medicine, and drug discovery. Biochemistry is one of the best preparations for a scientific career in biomedical and life sciences.
Why biochemistry at Sussex?
Sussex was ranked 16th for biological sciences in The Times Good University Guide 2012.
Rated 8th in the UK for ‘Pre-clinical and Human Biological Sciences’ research in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). 85 per cent of our research was rated as recognised internationally or higher, and over half rated as internationally excellent or higher.
You are taught by active researchers using state-of-the-art equipment, and have the opportunity to undertake an independent project in one of our research teams in your final year.
The Biochemistry degrees offer a range of options with a strong strand of chemistry, enabling you to pursue the subject in different ways according to your particular interests and preferences.
The optional industrial placement year provides you with a year’s experience of working in industry, equipping you with a wide range of transferable and laboratory skills, enhancing your employability.
In Year 1, the flexible structure of our Biochemistry and Biomedical Science courses makes it possible to transfer from one to the other.
The foundation year is taught at Chichester College.
This four-year course is designed for those who want to study the biological sciences at a top-rated university but lack the qualifications necessary for direct entry to one of our other degree courses. Typical entrants include those with non-science A levels, mature students, overseas applicants and students whose science A level performance fell below expectations.
The foundation year is specifically designed for the needs of students who will subsequently transfer to one of the degree courses offered by the School of Life Sciences at the University of Sussex. Introductory modules in biology and chemistry each make up 40 per cent of the study content. Practical work is an important element of these modules. The remaining 20 per cent of time is split between mathematics and study skills, including IT.
Teaching is by means of lectures, tutorials, classroom discussions and exercise classes. Small-group teaching is emphasised throughout. All modules run in parallel throughout the year and assessment is by coursework and exams.
After successful completion of the foundation year you are guaranteed a place on one of the following BSc courses at the University of Sussex: Biochemistry, Biology, Biomedical Science, Ecology and Environment, or Neuroscience. Other BSc courses may also be available. Your final overall pass mark will determine which BSc course you can progress to.
You gain a thorough grounding in cell and molecular biology, gene structure, metabolism, pharmacology, chemistry and biological chemistry, physiology, histology, and data analysis and presentation skills. Practical work is an integral part of many of our modules.
You study the molecular mechanisms by which cells communicate with each other within organisms and the organisation of genes and genomes. You also study clinical chemistry and metabolism, and the molecular structure of important biomolecules. Disease-related teaching continues with immunology, metabolic diseases, cancer and pharmacology. The power of computational biology is applied to genomes, proteomes and the three-dimensional structure of biochemically relevant molecules. Practical training and data analysis in biochemical and biophysical techniques continue throughout Year 2.
Industrial placement year (optional)
If you select the industrial placement year course, you spend your third year on an industrial training placement before returning to Sussex for your final year. The placement is either in an industrial laboratory (typically in a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company) or a research institute. You are paid by the host laboratory during the placement year.
You have a range of advanced modules to choose from. You also join a research team and undertake a project.
Sussex welcomes applications from students of all ages who show evidence of the academic maturity and broad educational background that suggests readiness to study at degree level. For most students, this will mean formal public examinations; details of some of the most common qualifications we accept are shown below. If you are an overseas student, refer to Applicants from outside the UK.
All teaching at Sussex is in the English language. If your first language is not English, you will also need to demonstrate that you meet our English language requirements.
Typical offer: BCC
Specific entry requirements: Some science is desirable, but good grades in non-science subjects will be considered. GCSE (or equivalent) in both Mathematics and English, with at least grade C in each, are also required.
Typical offer: 28 points overall
For more information refer to International Baccalaureate.
Access to HE Diploma
Typical offer: Pass the Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher.
Specific entry requirements: Access applicants welcomed (although the foundation is itself an alternative to taking an Access to HE Diploma in Science). The foundation may be suited to applicants who took an Access to HE Diploma which lacked sufficient Level 3 credit in science or was in a non-science area, where the applicant now wishes to change discipline. GCSE (or equivalent) in both Mathematics and English, grade C, also required.
For more information refer to Access to HE Diploma.
Typical offer: Pass with grade B or C in the Diploma and C in the Additional and Specialist Learning
Specific entry requirements: Ideally the Additional and Specialist Learning would be a science A-level. GCSE (or equivalent) in both Mathematics and English, with at least grade C in each, are also required.
For more information refer to Advanced Diploma.
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma
Typical offer: DMM
Specific entry requirements: GCSE (or equivalent) in both Mathematics and English, with at least grade C in each, are also required.
For more information refer to BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma.
Typical offer: 70% overall
For more information refer to European Baccalaureate.
Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher level)
Typical offer: BBCCCC
Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers
Typical offer: BBBCC
Specific entry requirements: Applicants will also need Maths and English at Standard Grade, grade 1 or 2.
For more information refer to Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with not less than 6.0 in each section. Internet-based TOEFL with 88 overall, with at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking and 23 in Writing.
For more information, refer to alternative English language requirements.
Fees and funding
Home/EU students: £9,0001
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £9,0002
Overseas students: £13,0003,4
1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2013.
4The foundation year only is charged at the lower fee rate of £13,000. Subsequent years are charged at the higher rate of £16,200.
The funding sources listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual funding source to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree. For general information, refer to Funding. Also refer to Part-time work.
Application deadline: 13 June 2014
The scheme is targeted to help students from relatively low income families – ie those whose family income is up to £42,611.
Region: Europe (Non UK)
Application deadline: 13 June 2014
£3,000 fee waiver for UG EU students whose family income is below £25,000
Application deadline: 24 July 2014
If you get the full maintenance grant (£2984) - you will get a Sussex Bursary of £1000 per year
Application deadline: 31 July 2014
For students have been in council care before starting at Sussex.
Careers and profiles
Our courses prepare you for research, administration and management within government, universities, the NHS, and for the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries.
Recent graduates have taken up a wide range of posts with employers including:
- lab assistant at GlaxoSmithKlein
- scientific officer at the Institute of Cancer Research
- technical sales executive at Scientifica
- research assistant at the University of Sussex
Specific employer destinations listed are taken from recent Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education surveys, which are produced annually by the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
Careers and employability
For employers, it’s not so much what you know, but what you can do with your knowledge that counts. The experience and skills you’ll acquire during and beyond your studies will make you an attractive prospect. Initiatives such as SussexPlus, delivered by the Careers and Employability Centre, help you turn your skills to your career advantage. It’s good to know that 94 per cent of our graduates are in work or further study (Which? University).
For more information on the full range of initiatives that make up our career and employability plan for students, visit Careers and alumni.
Contact our School
School of Life Sciences
The School of Life Sciences provides an exciting and attractive environment for learning and research, with a thriving international community of students and academics.
How do I find out more?
For more information, contact:
For more information about the admissions process at Sussex:
University of Sussex, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 678416
F +44 (0)1273 678545
We offer weekly guided campus tours.
Mature students at Sussex: information sessions
If you are 21 or over, and thinking about starting an undergraduate degree at Sussex, you may want to attend one of our mature student information sessions. Running between October and December, they include guidance on how to approach your application, finance and welfare advice, plus a guided campus tour with one of our current mature students.
If you are unable to make any of the visit opportunities listed, drop in Monday to Friday year round and collect a self-guided tour pack from Sussex House reception.
Go to Visit us and Open Days to book onto one of our tours.
'Studying at Sussex gave me so many opportunities to really throw myself into university life, and being taught by enthusiastic academic staff who are involved in ground-breaking research meant that the education I received was second to none.
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Graduate Intern, Student Recruitment Services
'Leaving home to study at Sussex was an exciting new experience, and settling in came naturally with all the different activities on campus throughout the year. There are loads of facilities available on your doorstep, both the Library and the gym are only ever a short walk away.
'My experience at Sussex has been amazing. It's a really friendly campus, the academics are helpful, and Brighton is just around the corner. I now work as a student ambassador, and help out at Open Days, sharing all the things I've grown to love about Sussex!'
BSc in Mathematics