Biochemistry BSc (Hons)

4 years including placement year, starting in September 2018

Gain a fundamental understanding of life processes at a molecular level. You’ll be prepared for a career examining the molecular basis of life.

Biochemistry involves solving biological problems through an understanding of the molecular basis of life. You will develop your knowledge, techniques and understanding at a fundamental level, preparing you for a wide range of academic, industrial and medically related careers.

In the first year, you’ll study a broad introduction to biosciences. This will give you a foundation from which you will have the option to specialise in specific areas, such as neuroscience, cellular molecular biology, genomics and biotechnology. You will also gain hands-on experience of practical scientific techniques in dedicated undergraduate laboratories, as well as access to specialist technology in research labs.

In the final year, you’ll undertake a research project, giving you first-hand experience as a researcher. Research areas include infection and immunity, industrial biotechnology, neuroscience and developmental biology. You'll learn from academics who are world-class researchers in their field.

You’ll graduate with a solid foundation for further study or graduate roles where a broader knowledge of molecular biosciences is needed. The academic and key skills you'll develop mean you will also be prepared for a wide range of alternative careers.

There are lots of reasons to study biosciences at Bath. Read our top 5.


You’ll learn from researchers who specialise in different areas of the biosciences, including cell and developmental biology, evolution and biodiversity, infection and immunity, and medical and industrial biotechnology. Their international collaborations and interdisciplinary research activities feed directly into undergraduate teaching and contribute to your learning experience.


You will undertake practical classes in our well-equipped teaching laboratories, and will have access to specialist technology in a dedicated computer laboratory for bioinformatics. You’ll be supported during your studies by regular small group tutorials and one-to-one meetings with a Personal Tutor. 91% of biosciences students agreed they were able to contact staff when they needed to (National Student Survey 2017).


Our graduates are highly sought after. We’re ranked top ten for graduate prospects in the Complete University Guide 2018.

You will develop the knowledge and skills enabling you to work in a variety of fields. These could include industries such as pharmaceutical, education, environment and biotechnology. You’ll also be well suited to roles in agricultural, medical and chemical laboratories. Many of our graduates choose to go on to postgraduate study in preparation for academic or industry-based research careers.

The range of skills developed whilst taking a biosciences degree equips you for many other graduate careers, for example, business management and science teaching.

Find out more about what our graduates go on to do.

Course structure

This course lasts 4 years. It starts in September 2018 and ends in 2022. Induction week starts on 24 September 2018.

Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Placement
  • Year 4


As part of your course, you will take compulsory units covering key concepts. You may also be able to take optional units which assist you in developing your own interests.

You need to take 60 credits in each year of your course (usually split equally into 30 credits for each semester), so the number of optional units you can take depends on the number of compulsory units in each year of the course.

Six credits are the equivalent of at least 120 hours of study, including contact time with staff and independent study.

Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.


You can gain a competitive edge in the graduate job market by taking a placement year. You’ll work full-time in a role that might be undertaken by a graduate, where you’ll broaden your experience and transferable skills. 97% of biosciences students agreed their placement was valuable in helping their learning (National Student Survey 2017).

You can choose from a wide range of roles to match your interests, from working in marketing for a pharmaceutical company to a lab-based role at a research institute. We have links with some leading employers including Cancer Research UK, GlaxoSmithKline, Public Health England, Lonza and the Science Technology and Facilities Council (STFC).

Placement opportunities can't be guaranteed but you will receive tailored support from our specialist team to help you secure a placement.

Read more about placements.

Learning and assessment


  • Laboratory sessions
  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Workshops


  • Coursework
  • Essay
  • Multiple choice examination
  • Practical work
  • Seminar
  • Written examination
  • Other

Typical assessment breakdown

This average assessment breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Your specific unit choices will determine the actual breakdown of assessment methods that you will experience.

% written exam % practical exam % coursework
Year Written Exam Practical Exam Coursework
Year 1 78% 14% 8%
Year 2 68% 8% 24%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 44% 2% 54%

Typical contact time breakdown

This average contact time breakdown is based on a typical choice of optional units. Scheduled learning and teaching may include: lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. Your optional unit choices will determine your actual personal contact hours.

% time in scheduled learning and teaching % time in independent study % time in placement/year abroad
Year Scheduled Independent Placement
Year 1 27% 73% 0%
Year 2 30% 70% 0%
Year 3 0% 0% 100%
Year 4 26% 74% 0%
Charlotte Shilton
“I knew straight away that Biochemistry was for me. Using chemistry to understand the fundamentals of life has given me the perfect balance of my favourite school subjects.”
Charlotte Shilton

BSc Biochemistry with placement year (2017)

Entry requirements

Your application, especially your personal statement, should demonstrate your enthusiasm for studying biochemistry. This might include relevant reading, voluntary or work experience, areas of interest from your current studies or other relevant extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. When describing your experiences you should reflect on what you have learnt from them, how they have influenced your development or how they are relevant to your future studies.

You will need a strong performance in both Biology and Chemistry as part of your entry qualifications.

If you are taking A levels, we may be unable to consider an A level in your own language (unless it is English or Welsh). We do not accept A levels in General Studies. If you are taking a GCE A level in a science subject, you will need to pass any separate science practical endorsement.


Select the country where your qualification comes from.

United Kingdom qualifications

Typical offer A level


AAA or A*AB including A in Biology and Chemistry

A level subjects that will not be considered in your application

A level General Studies will not be considered. We may be unable to consider an A level in your own language (unless it is English or Welsh).

Alternative offer A level


AAB including grade A in Biology and Chemistry plus one of the following:

  • Grade A in an EPQ
  • Grade B in the Welsh Bacc Skills Challenge Certificate
  • Grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives

Students presenting with one of the above project qualifications should receive both the typical offer and the alternative.

A level subjects that will not be considered in your application

A level General Studies will not be considered. We may be unable to consider an A level in your own language (unless it is English or Welsh).

Typical offers for other qualifications

International Baccalaureate

36 points overall and 6, 6, 6 or 7, 6, 5 in three Higher Level subjects including 6 in Higher Level Biology and Chemistry.

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer:
Pass the Access to HE Diploma (in Science or Science and Engineering), with at least 36 credits achieved at Distinction and 3 credits achieved at Merit or above. This must include at least 30 credits achieved at Distinction from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) units, of which at least 9 credits must be from Biology units and 9 credits must be from Chemistry units.


Typical offer:
D*DD in the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (QCF)/ BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF).

We are able to consider the above qualifications in Applied Science. It is important that you are covering enough of our essential and preferred optional units to make sure that you have sufficient Biology and Chemistry preparation for our course. Please contact us to discuss the suitability of your optional units before making an application.  

You must also have achieved a grade B or 6 in GCSE Mathematics. If you are taking ‘Unit 7: Mathematical Calculations for Science’ as part of your BTEC (QCF) qualification, then we can consider you with a grade C in GCSE Mathematics.

See the ‘Combinations of qualifications’ section for information about combinations of A level and BTEC qualifications that we can consider.

Cambridge Pre-U

Typical offer:
D3, D3, D3 or D2, D3, M1 including grade D3 in Biology and Chemistry.

Alternative offer:
D3, D3, M1 including grade D3 in Biology and Chemistry plus one of the following:

  • grade A in an EPQ
  • grade B in the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate
  • grade M1 in Cambridge Pre-U Global Perspectives

Students presenting with one of the above project qualifications should receive both the typical offer and the alternative.

Open University Credits

Typically, we would be looking for you to have studied units worth at least 120 credits, including at least 30 credits at Level 2. We would ideally be looking for you to be taking units including:

  • S104: Exploring Science
  • S215: Chemistry: Essential Concepts and Level 2 unit/s in Biology

This information is a guide and all students applying with Open University Credits will be considered on a case-by-case basis. We will consider your application carefully and take note of any previous qualifications or relevant work experience. We may be able to consider alternative units to those listed above: please contact us to discuss your profile.

Typical offer:
Pass units worth 120 credits, including a minimum of a Pass 2 with 75% in a relevant Level 2 Chemistry and Biology unit.

Please note that taking OU credits may be counted as degree-level study by the Student Loans Company and therefore may be counted as previous study and have an impact on your ability to access student loans/grants for the entirety of your chosen degree. We recommend that you discuss this in detail with the SLC before following this progression route to the University of Bath.

Scottish Highers

AA in Advanced Highers including Biology and Chemistry plus AAAAB in Scottish Highers.

Combinations of qualifications

Your application will be considered individually based on the particular combination of qualifications and subjects that you are taking.

We can consider combinations of accepted qualifications, such as A levels and a BTEC:

  • AA in A level Biology and Chemistry plus D in the BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF)/National Extended Certificate (RQF) OR the Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma (QCF)/Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate (RQF). We cannot consider BTEC qualifications in Applied Science alongside Biology and Chemistry A levels
  • AA at A level plus D3 in a Pre-U Principal Subject including Biology and Chemistry
  • AA at A level plus 6 in an IB HL Certificate including Biology and Chemistry. While we do not consider the IB Careers Programme for entry, we are able to consider the combinations of components that are typically offered by this route, such as BTEC and IB HL Certificate combinations
  • AA in A level Biology and Chemistry plus A in the IFS Diploma in Financial Studies

We can also consider combinations that are not listed and that do not include A levels. You should read the information about essential and preferred subjects and subject combinations. We cannot consider different qualifications in the same subject area.

Ireland qualifications

Irish Leaving Certificate

H1, H1, H2, H2, H3, H3 in 6 Irish Leaving Certificates with H1, H2 in Biology and Chemistry .

Hong Kong qualifications

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education

555 in Biology, Chemistry and a third elective subject OR 5*5 in Biology and Chemistry plus 5 in any Mathematics extended paper.

France qualifications

French Baccalaureate

15 overall with 15 in Physics/Chemistry and 15 in Biology (Life and Earth Sciences).

Option Internationale Baccalaureate (OIB)

14 overall with 15 in Physics/Chemistry and 15 in Biology (Life and Earth Sciences).

European Baccalaureate qualifications

European Baccalaureate

82% overall with 8.5 in Biology (4 periods) and Chemistry (4 periods).

India qualifications

Higher Secondary School Certificate (12th Standard)

Average of 80% across 4 subjects with 85% in Biology and Chemistry.

We do not accept Physical Education as one of these 4 subjects.

These requirements are for the CBSE, HSSC and ISC boards. Please contact us if you are taking this qualification with a different board.

United States of America qualifications

Advanced Placement Tests

5, 5, 5 in 3 APs including Biology and Chemistry.

You will also need to pass your High School Diploma and achieve an ACT score of 30 or SATR scores of 720 in both Mathematics and Evidence based Reading and Writing.

SAT Subject Tests

We do not accept SAT Subject Tests for direct entry to our degrees.

Singapore qualifications

Singapore A levels

AAA in 3 H2 level subjects including Biology and Chemistry.

Polytechnic Diploma (3 years)

3.4 overall in either Biotechnology or Biomedical Science with a minimum B+ in Biology and Chemistry.

We are unable to consider applications for entry into year 2 with a Polytechnic Diploma for this degree.

Turkey qualifications

Lise Bitirme Diplomasi

CGPA of 80% with 85% in Biology and Chemistry from the final year.

Greece qualifications


19 in the Apolytirion plus AA in A level Biology and Chemistry.

We cannot accept the Apolytirion unless it is studied alongside A levels. We do not accept Pan Hellenic examinations in place of an A level.

Cyprus qualifications


19 in the Apolytirion plus AA in A level Biology and Chemistry.

We cannot accept the Apolytirion unless it is studied alongside A levels.

Spain qualifications

Titulo de Bachiller

A score of 9 overall with 9 in Biology and Chemistry.

Germany qualifications


1.4 overall with 13 in Biology and Chemistry.

The required grades in Biology and Chemistry must be achieved in your final examinations if you take them. If you do not take one of these subjects in your final examinations, you will need an average grade across 4 semesters in it.

Fees and funding

Payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card, cheque, bank transfer or cash. You may also be eligible for a student loan to help you pay your fees.

Read more about your payment options


Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home, EU, Island or Overseas student.

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees

See the most recent fees for undergraduate courses.

Placement fees

Placement fees vary

You will normally pay a reduced tuition fee while on a placement period or studying abroad. Find out more about placement fees and study abroad fees.


You will need to budget at least £100 for the cost of photocopying, printing and binding. You will also need to budget for the cost of text books.

Some courses involve visits away from campus and you may be required to pay some or all of the costs of travel, accommodation and food and drink.

If you’re on a placement, you’re responsible for your own travel, accommodation and living costs. You should also consider the financial implications if you go on an unpaid or overseas placement.

Application information

  • Course title
  • Final award
    BSc (Hons)
  • Mode of study
  • Course code
  • Institution code
  • UK/EU application deadline
    30 June 2018
  • Overseas deadline
    30 June 2018
  • Application eligibility
    UK and Overseas students are eligible to apply
  • Regulator

Course enquiries

Undergraduate Selection

Apply for this course through UCAS.

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