Biochemistry BSc

Biochemistry

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
AAB-ABB
UCAS code:
C700
Start date:
September 2017

In the School of Life Sciences at Sussex, you'll learn from some of the world’s leading biochemists.

This means you can choose from a range of modules – based on the latest research – in topics such as molecular biology and drug discovery.

I really like the lab work. I’ve been able to make aspirin and other well-known compounds  not every student can say that!”Rosanne Bruggink
Biochemistry BSc

MSci or BSc?

We also offer this course with an industrial placement year, as a four-year MSci, or as a four-year MSci with research placements. Find out about the benefits of an integrated Masters year.

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

AAB-ABB

Subjects

A-levels must include both Biology (or Human Biology) and Chemistry. You will also normally need to pass the separate science practical assessment in at least one of Biology or Chemistry. If you are not able to take the science practical assessment, applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 24 at Distinction.

Subjects

You will need substantial amounts of Level 3 credit in both Biology and Chemistry or will need to have taken A-levels in these subjects in addition to the Access to HE Diploma.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

Advanced Diploma

Typical offer

Pass with grade B in the Diploma and A in the Additional and Specialist Learning.

Subjects

The Additional and Specialist Learning must be an A level in either Biology (or Human Biology) or Chemistry; with the other subject taken as an additional A level.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

Typical offer

DDD

Subjects

The BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma will need to be in Applied Science and you will need to have opted for substantial numbers of modules in both Biology and Chemistry related topics (such as 'Biochemistry and Biomedical Techniques' and 'Industrial Applications of Organic Chemistry'). Contact the Admissions Office for advice on 01273 678416.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

34 points overall.

Subjects

You will need Higher Level in both Biology and Chemistry, with at least grade 5 in each.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

AABBB

Additional requirements

Highers must include both Biology and Chemistry, with at least grade B in each. Ideally, you will also have both these sciences as Advanced Highers. You will also need Mathematics and English at Standard Grade, grade 1 or 2.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma

Typical offer

Grade B and AB in two A-levels.

Subjects

A-levels must include both Biology (or Human Biology) and Chemistry.

GCSEs

You will also need GCSE (or equivalent) English, Mathematics and two Science subjects with grade B in each (or grade 5 in the new grading scale).

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

34 points overall.

Subjects

You will need Higher Level in both Biology and Chemistry, with at least grade 5 in each.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 77%

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually don’t accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses.

However, we do accept one of the following qualifications for our International Foundation Years:  

  • Senior High 2 at an average grade of 75% with a minimum of five academic subjects including key subjects
  • Senior High 3 at an average of 70% or above in a minimum of four academic subjects including key subjects.

If you successfully complete the International Foundation Year you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. 

Check which qualifications we accept for the International Foundation Year.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.0.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 13/20.

Additional requirements

You will need to be taking the science strand within the French Baccalauréat with good results (12/20) in the key areas (Biology/Chemistry).

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.0 or better.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results (12/15) are essential.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at AABBBB.

Additional requirements

Highers will need to include both Biology and Chemistry, at least grade B in each.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 81/100.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole - Pass with an overall average of at least 4.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 8.0.

Additional requirements

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Subject-specific knowledge

Evidence of academic studies to a high level in both Biology and Chemistry with good results are essential.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language. 

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

 

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% or Grade 3

 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

InterviewNo
Transfers into Year 2

Yes. Find out more about transferring into Year 2 of this course. We don’t accept transfers into the third or final year.

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • Ranked 8th the UK for Biological Sciences (The Complete University Guide 2018).
  • 94% for overall satisfaction (National Student Survey 2016).
  • Understand the theory, practise your skills in laboratory sessions and get ready for your own research project.

Course information

How will I study?

You gain a solid grounding in key areas that underpin cellular function, such as:

  • cell and molecular biology
  • metabolism
  • enzymology.

We introduce you to organic chemistry, preparing you for modules in bio-organic and medicinal chemistry.

You learn through lectures, laboratory sessions, tutorials and workshops. These reinforce concepts and develop your critical thinking, data analysis and presentation skills.

There is support from your academic adviser and a student-led mentoring scheme. Assessment is by unseen exams and coursework – reports, essays and problem sets.

Modules

Core modules

How will I study?

You build on Year 1 material, increasing your knowledge of cellular biochemistry, genetics and the molecular structure of important biomolecules.

We introduce you to clinical biochemistry, medicinal chemistry, neuroscience and cancer. You start to appreciate the molecular basis of disease and the principles of drug action.

Data analysis and practical training continue throughout the year. You develop skills in the design and execution of biochemical experiments.

Modules

Core modules

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

Industrial placement year (optional)

You can apply to spend your third year in an industrial laboratory (typically a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company) or a research institute before returning to Sussex for your final year.

Recent students have gone on placements at:

  • Oroboros Instruments
  • GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
  • Pfizer.

Find out more about placements and internships.

“I’ve learnt a range of new techniques, working alongside experienced scientists with access to incredible resources.” Zofiya BetkerBiochemistry BSc
Intern at Janssen R&D

Please note

If you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of this program with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

How will I study?

You move beyond standard textbook material to engage with and critically evaluate current research.

You can tailor your degree by choosing from a wide range of modules taught by internationally recognised experts in areas such as:

  • genomics and structural biology
  • neuroscience and pharmacology
  • cancer biology and cell signalling.

You also have the chance to carry out a research project taking up a quarter of your time, which allows you to experience research at the forefront of the biochemical sciences.

Modules

Options

My research tackles the problem of protein misfolding and feeds directly in to my teaching.”Professor Louise Serpell
Professor of Biochemistry (Dementia Research Group) 

Fees

UK/EU students:
£9,250 per year
Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
£9,250 per year
International students:
£18,750 per year
Study abroad:
Find out about grants and funding, tuition fees and insurance costs for studying abroad
Placement:
Find out about tuition fees for placements

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Our focus is personal development and social mobility. To help you meet your ambitions to study at Sussex, we deliver one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university.

Careers

Graduate destinations

93% of Biochemistry BSc students were in work or further study six months after graduation. Recent Life Sciences graduates have taken up a range of jobs, including:

  • intern, Cancer Research UK
  • laboratory chemist, ALcontrol
  • scientific copy editor, Spandidos Publications.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

Studying Biochemistry at Sussex prepares you for a range of careers – not just in science.

You’ll become skilled in numerical and data analysis, problem-solving and laboratory work. Transferable skills such as time management, communication and analytical skills are embedded in the modules throughout your course.

You can use your Biochemistry degree to work in areas including:

  • energy, environment and health
  • research and universities
  • the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

Academic Skills in Life Sciences

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Students will learn about the range of research done in the School of Life Sciences, how to read and evaluate the primary research literature, how to write scientific essays, referencing scientific misconduct and also some of the quantitative skills needed in life sciences. This module is taught by lectures, workshops and tutorials, which are normally taken with the Academic advisor. A class will be run on careers.

Module learning outcomes

  • To understand and interpret a primary research paper in Life Sciences, especially the main research objectives, outcomes and how the conclusions are justified by the evidence.
  • To demonstrate the ability to understand and explain quantitative data especially the graphical presentation, and do basic calculations relevant to life sciences, including an understanding of units.
  • To develop communication skills and explain scientific concepts orally and in writing, using suitable organisation and use of graphics.
  • To search databases and online resources for information, understand plagiarism and use a conventional referencing system to build a bibliography.

Human Physiology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

An introduction to homeostasis, physiological mechanisms and control in humans and other mammals. This module deals with circulatory and respiratory systems, fluid balance and kidney function, digestion and feeding. The approach to regulation and control uses hormonal signalling as a unifying principle, with several negative feedback examples. Furthermore, some case studies are explored such as exercise related cardiovascular and respiratory changes, diabetes as a break-down of control and regulation, and satiety mechanisms and obesity.

Introduction to Organic Chemistry

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

The aim of the module is to introduce you to organic chemistry and develop the ground-work needed for further study.

This includes the structures of organic molecules, bonding and an introduction to chemical transformations

Molecular Biology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Despite the diversity of life, the molecular mechanisms that ensure the flow of genetic information from one generation to the next, and the expression of genes from DNA to protein via an RNA intermediate, are remarkably conserved.

This module aims to teach fundamental mechanisms such as DNA replication, transcription and translation.

You will also learn about how the structures of nucleic acids and proteins relate to their functions. Finally, you will find out how the tools of molecular biology, such as cloning and PCR, allow us to manipulate and understand genes and proteins.

Biological Chemistry

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Biological Chemistry is a module that addresses the central chemical concepts in Biology. It is not a chemistry module, but does require some chemistry knowledge. The topics covered in the module include understanding enzymes and the mechanism by which they catalyse biological reactions as well as carbohydrate and lipid structures. Protein structure discussed in the Molecular Biology module in autumn term will be built upon and discussed in terms of the structure and mechanisms of action of haemoglobin.

The module includes practical sessions as well as tutorial problems and lectures.

Cell Biology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

In this module, you cover the fundamentals of cell structure and function.

You begin with a comparison of procaryotic and eucaryotic cells, and then proceed with a systematic dissection of a eucaryotic cell - attending lectures on:

  • the nucleus
  • membrane architecture and permeability
  • the secretory apparatus
  • origin and function of mitochondria and chloroplasts and their role in metabolism
  • the cytoskeleton
  • the cell cycle
  • the extracellular matrix and cell adhesion.

Emphasis is placed on the role of key proteins in regulating specific cellular functions and on experimental techniques used to study cellular processes.

Introduction to Metabolism and Pharmacology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

This module aims to introduce you to the general principles of metabolism and pharmacology. The initial lectures cover ATP, substrate-level phosphorylation, Chemiosmosis and oxidative phosphorylation, glycolysis, and the the Krebs cycle. This is complemented by lectures covering glycogen, nucleotide and lipid metabolism, introducing metabolic flux with exercise as an example. Anti-metabolites, anti-cancer drugs and G protein agonist and antagonists will be discussed as examples of therapeutic intervention. The pharmacology aspects of the module will cover how drugs act at receptors, ion channels and specific enzymes, their molecular targets and the underlying cellular mechanisms of action. It will cover methods and measurement in pharmacology and the absorption and distribution of drugs, their elimination and pharmacokinetics.

Research Methods in Biochemistry

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

The aim of this module is to give students a deeper understanding of important techniques which underlie modern biochemistry.

These include methods for separation and purification, such as centrifugation, column chromatography; methods for detecting and measuring molecules, such as gel electrophoresis and scintillation counting, and methods for studying molecules, such as spectroscopy including NMR, redox potential measurement, crystallography and mass spectrometry.

Theory in lectures is closely linked to practical classes and computer simulations.

Cell Regulation and Cancer

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module aims to introduce you to the mechanisms by which cell metabolism and growth is regulated in normal and diseased states, focussing on cancer.

You cover cell regulation at the level of single cells and the body as a whole and will discuss the major signal transduction pathways used by hormones, neurotransmitters and growth factors to control cell growth and metabolism in the normal state and also the use of pharmacological agents to discriminate between receptor subtypes.

This will lead to a discussion of how loss of control of these signalling pathways by the generation of oncogenes or changes in tumour suppressor genes leads to alterations in the cell cycle and the development of cancer.

You review the difference between normal and transformed cells, the altered signal transduction mechanisms and the epidemiology, incidence and mortality in different cancers.

Genetics and Genomics

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module covers aspects of both classical and molecular genetics. Starting from the basic principles of Mendelian inheritance and meiosis, the concepts of genetic linkage, recombination and mapping will then be introduced. We discuss, in detail, how the understanding of these processes can be used in the analysis of human disease traits.

You then move on to looking at the structure of genomes – again with an emphasis on the human genome and how changes to this structure can relate to human disease. Finally, we build on basic molecular genetics (covered in the Level 4 molecular biology module) to describe the advanced techniques now being used to analyse and manipulate genomes.

Principles of Neuroscience

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system from its structure, molecular and cellular biology and function through to the consequences of its operation, namely behaviour. The aim of this module is to provide you with your first real insight into the detailed workings of the brain and its development through consideration of the fundamental principles of nervous system operation. The module is also an important grounding for those wishing to take its sister module, Neural Circuits.

Topics covered include:

  • Signalling and transmission by nerves and synapses
  • Neurotransmission and neuromodulation
  • Plasticity in the nervous system
  • Cellular and molecular basis of learning and memory
  • Fundamental disease mechanisms
  • Development of the nervous system
  • The role of early experience in the development of the visual system
  • Methodological approaches to studying fundamental brain processes.

Structural Basis of Biological Function

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module builds on the topics of protein structure and function relationships introduced by first year modules Fundamentals of Cell and Molecular Biology and Biological Chemistry. Topics covered will include:

  • an introduction to protein structure and folding
  • the methods used to determine high-resolution protein structures
  • protein superfamilies
  • the functional properties of enzymes
  • the methods of analysis for exploring enzyme mechanism
  • how enzyme properties can be modified by protein engineering techniques to produce new enzymes with desirable properties, illustrated using a case study of subtilisin
  • the specificity of small molecule enzyme interactions, illustrated using an example of rationale drug design
  • the role of proteins as transducers of mechanical energy, explored by considering the role of actin and myosin in muscle contraction.

Applications of Organic and Bioinorganic Chemistry

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The aim of this module is to give you an overview of medicinal chemistry and metal ions in biochemistry.

You learn about the basic principles of medicinal chemistry, from the shape of biomolecules and target complexes, to the development of new drugs - exploring two case studies.

You also explore the importance of metal ions in biological systems, the transport of metals and the biosynthesis of metal binding sites - looking at a few metal-containing proteins and enzymes in detail.

Clinical Biochemistry

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module outlines the biochemical mechanisms for controlling the pathways of lipid, carbohydrate, and amino acid metabolism under different physiological and nutritional conditions and will discuss the importance of diseases arising from defects in these pathways.

Particular emphasis is placed upon the aetiology, symptoms and treatment of diseases such as:

  • Type I and II diabetes mellitus
  • the obesity epidemic and metabolic syndrome
  • hypertension
  • atherosclerosis and other lipid disorders
  • inborn errors of carbohydrate and amino metabolism.

You discuss a variety of routine biochemical tests, together with their importance for the diagnosis, prognosis, monitoring and screening for disease.

This module consists of lectures, including visiting lecturers with direct experience of the clinical field, online quizzes, a problem class and practicals.

Combating Disease

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you cover the basic concepts that are essential for a first understanding of contemporary aspects of cellular and molecular immunology, at the same time expanding on the modes of action of a range of common therapeutic agents, in terms of their modes of action, receptor/drug targets and associated physiological responses.

You discuss the role of innate and adaptive immunity in defence mechanisms, explaining how the innate immunity is able to recognise non-self-antigens and the meaning of inflammation.

Emphasis is given to how the structures of the antibody classes are related to their function and how antibody diversity and T-cell receptor diversity are generated. You review the structure and function of T-cells receptor and major histocompatibility complex. In order to understand T-cell activation, you cover antigens processing & presentation and the function of cytokines networks. Particular emphasis is given to how cell mediated and humoral immune responses are coordinated.

You also cover:

  • antibiotics and their mode of action
  • adrenergic transmission and the use of sympathomimetic agonist and antagonists
  • the cardiovascular system and the regulation of blood pressure by the renin angiotensin-aldosterone system.

Experimental Biochemistry

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The aim of this module is to familiarise you with the theory and practice of key experimental techniques used in biochemistry and develop your key skills, such as experimental design, laboratory competence, data analysis and scientific report writing.

The module will be taught using a combination of weekly lectures/prelabs to introduce theory behind experimental techniques, laboratory practicals (including a three week mini-project), and workshops where you will develop skills in experimental design, critical analysis of data, and evaluation of primary research.

Cell Signalling and its Applications in Therapeutics and Disease

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module discusses the major signalling pathways in cells and how perturbations of these can result in disease processes such as hypertension, cancer, gigantism, cholera, secretory diarrhea, polycystic kidney disease and septic shock.

You learn how a knowledge of these pathways has led to the design and use of specific pharmacological agents to target these pathways for therapeutic intervention. The signalling pathways covered will include Ca2+, cyclic nucleotides, nitric oxide and guanylate cyclase, MAPK kinase pathways, PI-3-kinase and PKB, Jak/Stat pathways and integrins.

Immunology in Health and Disease

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, there will be an emphasis on the experimental applications of immunology, important for clinical procedures and for basic research. For example, the module will outline methods for the analysis of antigen expression on cells, for the study of hypersensitivity reactions, for cell-mediated cytotoxicity, for vaccine production and clinical analysis of their effects. Also, the development of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies against cancer, graft rejection and autoimmune diseases will be discussed.

Life Sciences Final Year Research Project

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This is an individual research project involving the investigation of a biological problem or phenomenon using experimental procedures, or the investigation and evaluation of a medical condition, intervention or treatment using literature-based methods, in addition to patient feedback where possible. You will obtain data and information from either laboratory or field-based experiments; from work performed in silico, or from literature-based research.

Literature Project in Life Sciences

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Molecular Genetics

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The module will cover the application of molecular genetics to the study of processes in model systems and higher eukaryotes.

Particular topics will include cell cycle and checkpoint control, recombination and mating type switching in lower eukaryotes, gene mapping and cloning disease genes in higher eukaryotes and the production of transgenic plants and animals.

Regulating the Transcriptome

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module takes an up-to-the-minute look at the molecular mechanisms controlling RNA expression in prokaryotes and eukaryotes, focusing largely on gene transcription but also examining RNA processing events in eukaryotes.

We will examine the way in which bacteria control gene expression in response to different environmental cues through precisely coordinated transcription regulatory networks, and investigate the way in which eukaryotic transcriptional regulators control RNA polymerase recruitment and retention and modulate chromatin structure during transcriptional activation and repression.

Understanding these processes and mechanisms is fundamental for the study of health and disease, for example to aid the development of new antibiotics and decipher how gene regulatory networks are perturbed during cancer development.

Bio-organic Chemistry

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The aim of this module is to describe the unifying biosynthetic principles which underlay the diverse structures of natural products and to show the relevance for the primary structures of proteins to their shape and to the catalytic properties of enzymes.

You are introduced to a basic set of chemical transformations applied in the chemical synthesis of the major classes of biomolecules such as nucleic acids,
peptides and glycans.

Genome Stability, Genetic Diseases and Cancer

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The design of new therapies for cancer depends on first understanding the molecular events that cause the disease. Genomic DNA is damaged spontaneously, by chemical carcinogens and by radiation. If unrepaired, this damage leads to mutations, cancer and other developmental disorders. All cells have evolved a sophisticated array of repair and response mechanisms to deal with DNA damage.

In this module, you aim to understand the molecular mechanisms that control DNA repair and to appreciate how defects in genes involved in these repair processes are associated with different, in many cases cancer-prone, genetic disorders.

Emphasis will be placed on the review and critical evaluation of recently published experimental evidence, as advances in this area rely on a combination of biochemical analysis, genetic approaches and bioinformatics.

Genomics and Bioinformatics

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module will introduce the common types of genomic and proteomic data available in biological databases; including DNA and protein sequences, motifs, gene structure, protein interactions and expression profiles. The aims and methods of DNA and protein sequence analysis will be covered, including analysis of homology, identification of motifs and domains, pair-wise and multiple alignments and prediction of gene structure.

The practical sessions will include the analysis of DNA and protein sequence data from biological databases. In these sessions you will learn how to integrate data to find the functional links between disease related genes and proteins.

Innovation in Bioscience and Medicine

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The purpose of this module is to provide you with an overview of how research in the Life Sciences can lead to innovation in society, and the factors that shape, boost or inhibit such innovation.

The module explores the applications of bioscience, particularly in medicine, its products and processes, and their patterns of development. It examines the mechanisms through which products and services are commercialised, such as university-industry links, spin-off firms and corporate alliances.

Wider regulatory and ethical debates and the role they play in the development of biotechnology are also explored.

Molecular Pharmacology

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you examine the actions of drugs at the molecular level. And you analyse the methods employed to study these interactions. These methods include molecular cloning, receptor binding and cell-based functional assays.

The focus of your studies is receptor binding theory and the effects of drugs on intracellular signalling pathways.

In the module, you study a variety of drug targets in detail, including examples of the G-Protein couple receptor (GPCR), ligand-gated ion channel, neurotransmitter transporter and enzyme facilities.

You use GPCRs to exemplify the effects of drugs on second messenger systems (e.g. cyclic AMP, inositol trisphosphate) and related signalling cascades - and the GABAA receptor is highlighted as a prototypic ligand-gated ion channel.

Neuronal Plasticity and Gene Regulation

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module will consider how cellular and molecular mechanisms interact in the regulation of neuronal plasticity, the ability of the nervous system to adapt its structural-functional organisation to new situations emerging from changes in intrinsic and extrinsic inputs. During the module particular emphasis will be placed on mechanisms underlying the acquisition, processing and storage of information by the nervous system. You will also discuss recently discovered phenomena such as epigenetic regulation and natural antisense transcripts (NATs) in the context of their importance for the regulation of neural functions.

Post Transcriptional Control of Gene Expression

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module investigates what happens to a mRNA from the time it is synthesised, its subsequent processing, remodelling, export into the cytoplasm and ultimate use to make protein. Whilst the processing of mRNA molecules is highly regulated particularly at the levels of transcription and splicing (in eukaryotes), it is the translational machinery that allows the cell to:

  • select whether to use the mRNA to make protein at all
  • decide which proteins to make
  • decide how much protein to make and at what time in the cell cycle.

This regulation is crucial to enable gene expression to be finely tuned with growth and allow cells to respond to environmental cues derived from hormones and nutrients.

This module takes an in-depth look at the molecular mechanisms controlling mRNA utilisation and degradation in eukaryotes focussing largely on translational control and what happens if the cell gets it wrong.

Those teaching on the module are active researchers in these subject areas. They provide an up-to-date interpretation of an active and interesting research area relevant to the fundamental understanding of growth control and cancer.

Protein Form and Function

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Protein Form and Function provides a sense of how protein structures are related to each other and of how these structures relate to protein function. On this module you will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to learn about and appreciate this class of molecule. This module covers aspects of protein structure in detail and introduces computational and experimental techniques that are essential for studying proteins, and provides the basis for the in depth discussion of more topical issues such as protein engineering and design, protein folding, chaperones and protein folding diseases.

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