Life Sciences classUCAS code: C7NG
ECTS: 240
Start date: October 2017
Duration: 4 years full-time

LocationSouth Kensington

Biochemistry aims to understand biology while primarily focusing on the molecular and cellular level. You will examine and analyse the chemical processes within a wide range of living organisms.

You will cover the fundamentals of the discipline in the first and second years, before selecting specialised modules and completing a laboratory-based research project in the third year. In your fourth year you will focus on business, marketing and management

About the course

Overview

Our biochemistry courses cover all aspects of the applied biochemistry and the biotechnology industry, such as intellectual property and patents, commercialising technology, and entrepreneurship, with lectures and case studies from biotechnology business leaders and academics.

You will develop your knowledge and understanding of biological chemistry, molecular biology, cell biology and enzyme structure and function at the beginning of your degree.

In the second year you will focus on genes and genomics, macromolecular structure and function and integrative cell biology.

The third year allows you to select modules in areas you would like to specialise in, suited to your interests and future career plans. You will also complete a laboratory-based research project or literature-based dissertation.

You will turn your focus to business, marketing and management skills in the fourth year, aimed at linking your subject knowledge with real world application.

The course is both theoretical and practical and will equip you with skills in analysing and solving biochemistry-based problems, integrating and evaluating information, practical study design, and business, marketing and management.

You have the option of completing the whole BSc Biochemistry degree and then the management year as a fourth year through this degree, or following the three-year course where the management year is in place of the third year of BSc Biochemistry.

Structure

Modules shown are for the current academic year, and are subject to change depending on your year of entry.


Year 1

You will take the following core modules, run in parallel, which provide the fundamental building blocks of biochemistry:

  • Biological Chemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Proteins and Enzymes

Year 2

In the second year you will take five core modules and two optional modules.

Core modules
  • Fundamentals of Molecular Biochemistry
  • Genes and Genomics
  • Integrative Cell Biology
  • Protein Science
  • Tutored Dissertation
Optional modules

You will choose one optional module from each group below:

Biochemistry
  • Applied Molecular Biochemistry
  • Challenges in Cell Biology
  • Topics in Biotechnology
Business and Humanities

Year 3

The third year is the time for you to specialise, by selecting modules and a research topic that fit your interests and future career intentions.

Core modules
  • Science Communication
  • Laboratory-based research project or a literature-based dissertation
Optional modules

You will choose one module from each group below.

Group 1
  • Damage and Repair in Biological Systems
  • Macromolecules in Three Dimensions
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Neuroscience Research
  • Plant Biotechnology and Development
  • Stem Cells, Regeneration and Ageing
Group 2
  • Advanced Topics in Immunity and Infection
  • Advanced Topics in Parasitology and Vector Biology
  • Cancer
  • Integrative Systems Biology
  • Mechanisms of Gene Expression
  • Metabolic and Network Engineering
  • Symbiosis, Plant Immunity and Disease
Group 3
  • Biodiversity Genomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biotechnology Applications of Proteins
  • Medical Glycobiology
  • Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Systems Neuroscience

Year 4

In the fourth year you will take 11 core modules which emphasise the importance of business acumen.

  • Accounting
  • Business Economics
  • Business Strategy
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance and Financial Management
  • Global Business Management
  • Group Project
  • Innovation Management
  • Marketing
  • Organisational Behaviour and Human Resource Management
  • Sustainable Business Development
ADDITIONAL MODULES

As well as the core modules, you will complete the below modules which are useful to your study, but do not count toward your final degree classification.

  • Accounting Primer
  • Plagiarism Awareness
  • Pre-Programme Maths
  • Study Skills

Teaching and assessment

Our biochemistry course incorporates a variety of teaching methods and assessment types.

You will spend time in the laboratory, lectures, tutorials and seminars, as well as undertake site visits, a group project and a research project to aid your understanding of real world application.

You will be assessed by a combination of:

  • Written examinations
  • Coursework
  • Laboratory write-ups
  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Presentations
  • Individual research

You must annually reach criteria in order to progress from one year to the next, and to complete your degree. You must achieve 40% in each module, with at least 35% in the coursework component and 35% in each examination component. To graduate with an honours degree you must pass all modules (40%).

Key Information Set (KIS)

Additional details about how this course is taught and assessed are provided in the KIS (Key Information Set).

The KIS is a set of statistics which all universities use to describe how their courses are taught and assessed. This allows students to compare similar courses at different institutions.

The KIS describes the percentage of time which students typically spend in timetabled activity and in independent study for each year of their course as well the percentage of assessment which is exams, coursework or practical. An overview of the KIS is shown in the widget at the bottom of the page and further detail (including a year-by-year breakdown) is available via Unistats.

Entry requirements

A-levels

AAA overall, to include:

  • A in Chemistry
  • A in another science subject (Biology is preferred but not mandatory) or Mathematics

The ideal combinations would be Chemistry and two further science subjects or Chemistry and one further science subject and Mathematics, but other combinations are considered.

Other qualifications, such as General Studies, Key Skills or Critical Thinking, while useful, will not count towards an offer.

Two AS levels may be acceptable in place of a third A level. Applicants must have Grade B or above in GCSE English Language, or achieve the higher College requirement in an appropriate English language qualification (please see English language qualifications for details).

Practical endorsement (practical science assessment)

If you are made an offer you will be required to achieve a pass in the practical endorsement in all science subjects that form part of the offer.

International Baccalaureate

An overall score of 38 points, including:

  • 6 in Chemistry at higher level
  • 6 in Biology or Mathematics at higher level

Applicants must have a score of 5 in English at standard level, or achieve the higher College requirement in an appropriate English language qualification (please see English language qualifications for details).

English language qualifications (all applicants)

All candidates must demonstrate a minimum level of English language proficiency for admission to the College.

For admission to this course, you must achieve the higher College requirement in the appropriate English language qualification. For details of the minimum grades required to achieve this requirement, please see the English language requirements for undergraduate applicants.

Other qualifications

Applicants are normally required to have three A-levels, but we also welcome applications from applicants with other qualifications of equivalent standard and from students with other competencies.

If you have any questions about whether specific qualifications or subject combinations are acceptable, please contact the Admissions Team.

International qualifications

We welcome students from all over the world and accept a wide variety of international qualifications, including European, French and International Baccalaureates, German Abitur, various maturas, Scottish Advanced Highers, Irish Leaving Certificate, and Advanced Placements (USA), amongst many others.

If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page, which gives the minimum entry requirements for a range of international qualifications.

Even if you cannot find your particular qualification we may still accept it. Please supply full details direct to the Admissions Team.

Supplementary information should not be sent to UCAS.

Selection process

Offers are made based on information supplied on the UCAS form. Generally, we do not hold interviews.

Successful applicants are invited to one of our open days which comprise:

  • a tour with current undergraduates of the South Kensington Campus, the Department's facilities and a laboratory.
  • a selection of talks about life at Imperial, the course structure, and our current research
  • opportunities to meet and discuss your application with the admissions team

Deferred entry

Applications from school leavers who wish to take a gap year are welcome. Applicants must state in their UCAS personal statement how they propose to spend their time.

Important information (all applicants)

Applicants who are unsuccessful cannot be reconsidered for entry within the same cycle but may reapply the following year without prejudice with a new application. We consider resit students in open competition with all other applicants.

We do not accept Access courses, Foundation years or OU courses.

General studies will not be accepted at any level. Other qualifications, such as Key Skills or Critical Thinking, while useful, will not count towards an offer.

Second year entry

For Biological Sciences, Biochemistry and Biotechnology, we sometimes accept transfers from other institutions into the second year. Students should provide us with a transcript of their first year grades and details of their Pre-University Qualifications and the grades attained in them.

Offers are based on the number of places available (if any), the relevance of the modules covered in the first year elsewhere and the grades achieved. If we feel direct entry to the second year wouldn't be possible we may offer you first year entry instead.

We do not accept any transfers into the third year of any of our courses.

Tuition fees and funding

Home and EU students

2017 entry:

£9,250 per year

The UK government has confirmed that universities that have achieved a ‘meet expectations’ award – which includes Imperial – will, under the first year of the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), be able to raise their fees in 2017. The rise is an inflationary amount of 2.8% to a maximum of £9,250. The measure of inflation used is RPI-X (the retail price index, excluding mortgage interest payments). You should expect the fee to increase beyond 2017 for each year that your course lasts, subject to UK government regulations on fee increases.

The UK government has also confirmed that EU students starting or continuing their studies in the 2017–18 academic year will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition fees for the duration of their course. EU students will also remain eligible for the same government funding support as they are now, including the Tuition Fee Loan. This access to government funding will continue throughout your course, even if the UK exits the EU during this time. 

Islands and overseas students

2017 entry:

£27,500 per year

Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase each year.

Government funding

The level of tuition fees you pay is based on your fee status, which we assess based on UK government legislation. Find out more about fee status assessments.

Home and EU students (with the exception of Graduate Medicine students) can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of their fees each year.

Home students may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan to help with their living costs.

Additional costs

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study which have to be budgeted for in addition to tuition fees and living expenses. This section provides examples of these and it is possible that all, or some, of these will be relevant to you.

Please note that the cost figures given are based on what such costs were in previous academic years and these are likely to change year to year. However, it is useful for you to be aware of the types of things you may have to pay for and their cost in previous years.

This section details whether the additional costs are essential or optional. Essential costs are highlighted as costs that you will need to pay to fully participate and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies and you will be free to opt out of these.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wearing personal protective equipment is compulsory for some activities on this course. Where this applies, the Department of Life Sciences will provide you with the necessary PPE free of charge to ensure you can undertake lab work safely. This includes:

  • Lab coat
  • Goggles

Bursaries and scholarships

Imperial Bursary

The Imperial Bursary is available to any Imperial Home undergraduate student (except Graduate Medicine students) whose household income falls below £60,000 per year.

It is designed to ease the cost of London living by providing support on a sliding scale, from £2,000 up to £5,000 per year.

As long as your household income remains below £60,000 you will automatically qualify for a bursary for every year of undergraduate study.

The bursary is paid on top of any government loans to which you are entitled and does not need to be paid back. Find out more about the Imperial Bursary.

Scholarships

Our President’s Undergraduate scholarships are available to all undergraduate applicants studying an undergraduate degree for the first time who have applied to the College by 15 October.

They’re worth £1,000 for each undergraduate year of study. There are up to 112 awards available for students starting their studies in 2017–18.

A wide range of other scholarships is also available. Find out which scholarships you may be eligible for by using our scholarships search tool.

To find out more about the range of financial support available please see our Fees and Funding website.

How to apply

UCAS Apply system

To apply to study at Imperial you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

The UCAS code for Imperial College London is I50.

Application deadlines

All applications which include choices for medicine at Imperial must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2016 for entry in October 2017. 

The deadline for other courses at Imperial starting in 2017 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2017.

Students at a school/college registered with UCAS

All UK schools and colleges and a small number of EU and international institutions are registered with UCAS.

To make it clear which school or college you are applying from you will need to ask one of your teachers or advisers for the UCAS buzzword. You will need to enter this in UCAS’s Apply system when you register.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Independent applicants and students at schools/colleges not registered with UCAS

If you’re applying independently or from a school/college not registered with UCAS you will still need to use UCAS’s Apply system. You will not need a UCAS buzzword.

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

For more information about the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS), please see the International Student Support website.

Tracking your application

Once you’ve completed your application and it’s been submitted through UCAS’s Apply system, you can use UCAS’ Track system to follow its progress and manage your choices.

Professional accreditation and associateship

All of the Department's degrees lead to the additional award of the Associateship of the Royal College of Science (ARCS).

What our graduates do

Life sciences graduates enjoy excellent career opportunities. Most of our graduates study for a higher degree in life sciences and many follow careers in the field, particularly in the research and management areas of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, biomedical science, food technology, agrisciences, and pest, disease and environmental management.

Similar opportunities exist for life scientists in government and independent laboratories involved in medical research, public health, forensic investigation, disease research, conservation, and pollution. Some of our graduates also go on to work in medical careers, become teachers, or even work in the media.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Research Officer, A*STAR, Singapore
  • Television Researcher, BBC
  • Fungicide Biochemist, Syngenta
  • Analyst, Deutsche Bank
  • PhD student, Cambridge University

Information for offer holders for 2017

This section lists the changes that have been made to information about this course on this page since the UCAS application process opened on 1 September 2016.

All core modules are displayed on this page; the optional modules represent an indicative list of those that are likely to be available rather than all optional modules that will be offered every year. As a result, the changes recorded here only apply to the modules displayed on this page rather than all available on this course.

Find out more about the limited circumstances in which we may need to make changes to or in relation to our courses, the type of changes we may make and how we will tell you about changes we have made.

There are currently no changes to record for this course. Keep checking back for future updates.