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Combine your study of biochemistry with the chance to develop your French language skills in a science context.

Key information

Award

BSc

Duration

4 years

full-time

Minimum entry

Three A-level offer: A A A

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

9 : 1

Based on 2020 entry data

  • UCAS course code: C7R1
  • ECTS: 270
  • Start date: October 2022

Overview

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

This degree allows you to combine your training in biochemistry with study of the French language. These classes, taught in French by the Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication, focus on the use and presentation of written and oral scientific and technical material in French.

You will also receive an introduction to the theory and practice of translation, alongside further studies in the history, politics, science and technology of French-speaking countries.

In the first two years you will cover core biochemistry modules alongside these classes, including biological chemistry, molecular biology, integrative cell biology and genes and genomics.

Our teaching is enriched by the Department’s internationally leading research programme, so you’ll be learning at the very cutting edge of the subject. You will also benefit from access to our outstanding facilities, including for genomic and cell biology studies, tissue culture suites and the most modern microscopes.

You spend your third year studying in a French-speaking university, where you will attend lectures and conduct a research project.

In your final year you have increased freedom to follow your own interests by choosing from a wide range of optional modules on topics such as synthetic biology, cancer and bioinformatics. You will also complete a substantial project or dissertation.

Please note: this course is not suitable for native or near-native French speakers.

Normally only students who are on track for at least a 2:1 by the end of their second year, will be eligible to spend their third year abroad.

Transfer between courses

A student using zebrafish larvae to investigate inflammatory immune responses.The structure of the Department's courses means that transfer between different Biotechnology and Biochemistry degrees is usually possible up until the end of the second year. 

  • Transfer onto Language for Science courses must be completed at the very start of the first year.
  • Transfer onto Year in Industry/Research courses should be completed at the start of the second year to allow time to arrange a suitable placement.
  • It is not possible to transfer onto one of the Biological Sciences degrees from a Biochemistry or Biotechnology degree.
  • Transfer onto the Management Year is subject to approval from the Imperial College Business School; and academic performance in the first two years of the degree (students should be working to a 2:1 standard by the end of their second year).

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your student visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Structure

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 them.

Year 1

Core modules

  • Biological Chemistry and Microbiology
  • Cell Biology and Genetics
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Evolution and Diversity

Language modules

  • French History and Politics
  • French Language for Science (Level 4)

Year 2

Core modules

  • Applied Molecular Biology
  • Bioinformatics, Statistics and Programming
  • Genetics
  • Tutored Dissertation

Language modules

  • French History of Science
  • French Language for Science (Level 4)

Optional modules

You will choose three optional modules, one from each group below.

Group 1
  • Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Essentials of Ecology
  • Molecular Microbiology
Group 2
  • Behavioural Ecology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Immunology
Group 3
  • Computational 'Omics
  • Ecological Field Skills
  • Molecular and Cell Biology Skills
  • Vertebrate Form and Evolution

Year Abroad

You spend this year studying at a leading university in Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Paris, Strasbourg or Toulouse.

Partnerships with universities are subject to continuous review and individual partnerships may or may not be renewed.

There may be limitations placed upon your ability to live and study abroad. If applicable you will need to successfully apply for the relevant visa. This applies to all students, including Home students, in light of the vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

Year 4

Core modules

  • Science Communications plus Dissertation
  • Research Project - laboratory, data or field-based

Language Modules

  • French Scientific and Technical Translation

Optional modules

You choose one module from each group below.

Group 1
  • Medical Microbiology
  • Metabolic and Network Engineering
  • Plant Biotechnology and Development
  • Principles of Development
  • Stem Cells, Regeneration and Ageing
  • Structural Biology and Drug Design
Group 2
  • Advanced Bacterial and Eukaryotic Cell Biology
  • Advanced Topics in Infection and Immunity
  • Advanced Topics in Parasitology and Vector Biology
  • Cancer
  • Integrative Systems Biology
  • Mechanisms of Gene Expression
  • Symbiosis, Plant Immunity and Disease
Group 3
  • Advanced Immunology
  • Biodiversity Genomics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Disease Ecology and Epidemiology
  • Medical Glycobiology
  • Molecular Basis of Bacterial Infection
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Systems Neuroscience

Download the programme specification‌‌ [PDF] – this is the most up-to-date version available for this course. It may change for your year of entry. If/when changes to this course are approved by the College, we will update this document and the information on this course page.


I-Explore

Through I-Explore, you'll have the chance to deepen your knowledge in a brand new subject area, chosen from a huge range of for-credit modules.

All of our undergraduate courses include one module from I-Explore's wide selection. The module you choose will be fully integrated into your course's curriculum and count as credit towards your degree.

Find out more about I-Explore

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

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 the understanding of real world application.

Teaching, independent study and placement hours

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Lectures, seminars and similar386 hours292 hours263 hours
Independent study1,414 hours1,183 hours1,560 hours
Placement1,750 hours
Based on the typical pathway through the course 
 

Assessment

You will be assessed by a combination of:

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

Assessment types

 Year 1Year 2Year 3Year 4
Coursework18%30%100%37%
Practical13%11%16%
Written69%59%47%
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number 

* Dependent on the syllabus at the partner university during your year abroad.

Language for Science

Read more about how our language for science degrees are taught on the Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication website.

Staff expertise

At Imperial, you will be taught by a range of teachers of all levels from Professors to PhD students, including some who undertake groundbreaking research and are regarded as experts in their field.

You may also experience peer teaching and be taught by specialists external to the College.

Associateship

As well as your main Imperial degree, you will also receive the award of the Associateship of the Royal College of Science (ARCS) on completion of this course.

The Royal College of Science is one of three historic Colleges that came together to form Imperial College London in 1907.

Find out more about our Associateships.

Compare this course

See how this course compares with similar courses at different institutions.

Discover Uni compares things like student satisfaction and what graduates do after they finish the course.

Entry requirements

We welcome students from all over the world and consider all applicants on an individual basis – see selection process below.

For advice on the requirements for the qualifications listed here please contact the Department (see Contact us).

We also accept a wide range of international qualifications. If the requirements for your qualifications are not listed here, please see our academic requirements by country page for guidance on which qualifications we accept.

A-levels

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2022 entry is AAA overall, to include:

  • A in Chemistry
  • A in Biology, Mathematics or Physics
  • A in another subject

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.


Typical offer range

As a guide, here are the typical offers made to at least 80% of A-level applicants for 2020 entry:

  • Three A-level offer: AAA-A*AA

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.

The practical endorsement is part of the reformed English linear A-levels.


Language requirement

Minimum grade B at AS level in the relevant language.


Additional Mathematics support

Our A-level Mathematics online course covers a range of key topic areas to help you gain a deeper understanding of the skills and techniques required to succeed in your A-level Mathematics exams.

This optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus with the aim of developing your thinking skills, fluency and confidence.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is available free of charge via the EdX website. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

International Baccalaureate

Minimum entry standards

Our minimum entry standard for 2022 entry is 38 points overall, to include:

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

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made to at least 80% of IB applicants for 2020 entry was 39 points.


Language requirement

A score of 5 higher level in the relevant language is required.


Mathematics Higher Level for award in 2022

For entry in 2022, the Mathematics Analysis and Approaches or the Applications and Interpretation syllabi will be accepted at higher level with no preference.


Additional Mathematics support

Our A-level Mathematics online course is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Advanced Placements

The grades detailed below are the minimum requirements for students offering only Advanced Placements as their exams for entry to Imperial.

If you are studying a High School Diploma that is accepted by Imperial alongside Advanced Placements, requirements may apply to both your Diploma and Advanced Placements.

Please consult our country index to check whether we accept your High School Diploma programme for admission.

Our minimum requirement for this course is grades 5, 5, 5 to include:

  • 5 in Chemistry
  • 5 in Biology, Physics (1 or 2 or C) or Calculus (AB or BC)
  • 5 in another subject (excluding Art, Music and languages other than English)

Language requirement

You must also achieve at least grade 4 in the relevant language.


Additional Mathematics support

We have launched an A-level Mathematics online course, which is available free of charge via the EdX website.

Although this optional course has been built around the A-level syllabus, it is relevant to your curriculum too.

Please note: this course is not compulsory and does not form part of the entry requirements for this course. It is self-paced so you can start it at any time.

Selection process

Assessing your application

Admissions Tutors consider all the evidence available during our rigorous selection process and the College flags key information providing assessors with a more complete picture of the educational and social circumstances relevant to the applicant. Some applicants may be set lower offers and some more challenging ones.


Interviews

Generally, the department does not hold interviews. 


Pilot admissions schemes (Home students)

From 2020 entry, we will be using information about our applicants in a number of new pilot admissions schemes, to consider the wider context of Home students from groups underrepresented at the College.

More about pilot admissions schemes

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.

Foundation programmes

A foundation course is a one-year preparation course, designed for international students, which leads to undergraduate programmes in the UK. Foundation programmes are normally for school-leavers who have studied a non-British curriculum but wish to pursue a degree at a UK university.

Foundation programmes are offered by many UK universities, but only two would be considered for entry to Imperial: 

  1. UCL’s Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate for Science and Engineering (UPCSE), and 
  2. Warwick’s International Foundation Programme (IFP) in Science & Engineering

UCL UPCSE

A year-long programme for international students whose school leaving qualifications do not allow them direct entry to UK universities. Students must complete four modules across the year – two compulsory and two elective modules:

ModuleStatus
Research and Academic Skills: Science and Society Compulsory
Academic English Compulsory
Biology Elective
Chemistry Elective
Mathematics Elective
Physics Elective
Information correct at time of publishing, but subject to change
Summary of the table's contents

To be considered for admission to Biochemistry/Biotechnology, international students studying UCL UPCSE must achieve:

  • 70% overall
  • 80% Chemistry 
  • 80% Biology, Mathematics or Physics

Warwick IFP Science and Engineering

A year-long programme for international students whose school leaving qualifications do not allow them direct entry to UK universities. 

To be considered for admission to Biochemistry/Biotechnology, international students studying Warwick IFP Science and Engineering must achieve:

  • 70% overall
  • 80% Chemistry 
  • 80% Biology, Mathematics or Physics

To meet these requirements, students should choose from the following IFP pathways:

  • Life Sciences
  • Physical Sciences

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.

Important information (all Life Sciences 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.

English language requirement (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.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

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

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

View our terms and conditions on visas.

Competence standards

Our competence standards highlight the core skills students should be able to demonstrate by the end of this course.

View the Department of Life Sciences' competence standards [PDF]

We believe in providing the widest practicable access to all of our degree programmes and will make reasonable adjustments wherever possible to support your study. For more information, please contact the Department using the contact details below.

Department of Life Sciences

T: +44 (0)20 7594 5398
E: lifesciences.admissions@imperial.ac.uk

Tuition fees and funding

We charge tuition fees for every year that your course lasts. The fee you will be charged is based on your fee status, which is determined by government regulations.

Home rate of tuition

2022 entry

The fee for Home students is controlled by the UK government. It has not been confirmed for the 2022-23 academic year.

As a guide, the Home rate of tuition for the 2021-22 academic year was £9,250.

Year abroad

For the 2021-22 year abroad, the fee was £1,385 for that year.

Read more about funding for year abroad placements.

For each subsequent year, you should expect and budget for your tuition fee to increase by an amount in line with inflation. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPIX) value, taken from April in the calendar year in which the academic session starts.

For example, the RPIX value in April 2022 will apply to fees for the academic year 2022–2023.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Home fee depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 July 2021 will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

EU/EEA/Swiss students starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication). 

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021.

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Government funding

If you're a Home student, you can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the UK government to cover the entire cost of tuition for every year of your course.

You can also apply for a means-tested Maintenance Loan to help towards your living costs.

 

Overseas rate of tuition

2022 entry

The fee for Overseas students is controlled by the College. It has not been confirmed for the 2022–23 academic year.

As a guide, the Overseas rate of tuition for the 2021–22 academic year was £34,500.

Year abroad

For the 2021-22 year abroad, the fee was 15% of the relevant fee for that year.

Read more about funding for year abroad placements.

For each subsequent year, you should expect and budget for your tuition fee to increase by an amount in line with inflation. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPIX) value, taken from April in the calendar year in which the academic session starts. For example, the RPIX value in April 2022 will apply to fees for the academic year 2022–2023.

Fee status

Whether you pay the Overseas fee depends on your fee status.

Your fee status is assessed based on UK Government legislation and includes things like where you live and your nationality or residency status.

Find out more about how we assess your fee status.

EU/EEA/Swiss students

The Government has confirmed that EU/EEA/Swiss students who begin a course before the 31 July 2021 will be eligible to pay the same fee as Home students and have access to student finance for the duration of their course, as long as they meet certain requirements which are unchanged from previous years. This includes students who begin the course remotely.

EU/EEA/Swiss students starting a course on or after 1 August 2021 will no longer be eligible for the Home fee rate and so will be charged the Overseas fee. Please note we do not expect this to apply to Irish students or students benefitting from Citizens' rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. However, we are currently awaiting the formal publication of the amended Fees and Awards regulations.

The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) website has useful information on the conditions you currently need to meet to be entitled to pay tuition fees at the Home rate for study on a higher education course in England and reflect the regulations as they currently stand (not the amended regulations which are subject to publication). 

UKCISA has also provided some information in response to Questions for students starting their course from the 1 August 2021.

For regular updates for EU students, please see our Imperial and the EU webpages.

Additional course costs

This section outlines additional costs relevant to this course. These are not included in your tuition fees. It's possible that all, or only some, of these will be relevant to you.

Figures are approximated, usually based on costs in the most recent academic year. They are likely to change each year but it's useful for you to be aware of the things you may have to pay for. This can help you budget for life at Imperial.

Mandatory costs are those that you will need to pay to fully participate in and complete your studies. Optional costs are not essential to your studies so you can opt-out of these.


Summary
DescriptionMandatory/optionalGuide to cost
Personal Protective Equipment Mandatory Provided
Please review the information below for more information on the costs listed in the table.

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

Accommodation and living costs

Living costs, including accommodation, are not included in your tuition fees.

Most Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across different accommodation options.

Read our rough guide to university spending in London.

Careers

Life sciences graduates enjoy excellent career opportunities. Many of our graduates go on to study for a higher degree in the field, typically starting with a Master’s degree, followed by a PhD and a career in academic research or industry. Other opportunities for Life Sciences graduates include government and industrial research, public health, and careers in business.

Recent graduates of the Department have become:

  • Bioinformatics Data Analyst, Multinational healthcare company
  • Senior Associate, Management consulting firm
  • Co-founder, Biochemical startup
  • Pharmacy Technical Officer, NHS
  • Senior Analyst, Medical communications and health economics agency

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: C7R1
  • UCAS institution code: I50

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).

You can view this course on the UCAS website.

Application deadlines

All applications, other than those which include choices for medicine at Imperial, must be submitted to UCAS by 18.00 (UK time) on 15 January 2022 for entry in October 2022.

The deadline for applications including medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2022 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2021.

Track your application

Once you’ve submitted your application you can use UCAS Track to follow its progress and manage your choices.

Read more about how to apply

Further questions?

Find answers to your questions about admissions. Answers cover COVID-19, English language requirements, Visas and more.

Visit the FAQs

You may also be interested in the following related departments and the courses they offer:

Contact us

Life Sciences lab

Got a question?

T: +44 (0)20 7594 5398
E: lifesciences.admissions@imperial.ac.uk

Department of Life Sciences

Undergraduate prospectus

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For more information about Imperial and the courses we offer, you can download a PDF of our prospectus or request a printed copy.

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Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to universities. We've put together this information in a dedicated section of our website.Makerspace

Read our terms and conditions for these areas: