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Enrich your study of biochemistry with an integrated year conducting research overseas.

Key information

Award

BSc

Duration

4 years

full-time

Typical offer

Three A-level offer: AAA–A*AA

See full entry requirements

Applications : admissions ratio

6 : 1

Based on 2015 application data

  • UCAS course code: n/a*
  • ECTS: 240
  • Start date: October 2018

* Apply initially for BSc Biochemistry (C700)

Apply on the UCAS website

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 course offers you the opportunity to spend your third year conducting research overseas.

Study programme

All Biotechnology and Biochemistry students follow the same core modules for the first two years, including biological chemistry, molecular biology, integrative cell biology and genes and genomics. This gives you a solid grounding in the fundamental topics, and prepares you for advanced study.

You spend your third year conducting research in a medical, industrial or other relevant biochemical setting overseas, and the Department has links with various partner universities in Europe.

You will need to develop proficiency in the language of your host country before the placement, and free classes are available at the College to help you prepare.

Obtaining a placement is competitive, and students normally need to be on track for at least a 2:1 in order to be eligible.

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.

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.

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

Life Sciences studentThe 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.

If you are an international student, transferring to a different course could have an impact on your Tier 4 visa. Please visit our International Student Support webpage for further information.

Structure

Please note that the curriculum of this course is currently being reviewed as part of a College-wide process to introduce a standardised modular structure. As a result, the content and assessment structures of this course may change for 2018 entry. We therefore recommend that you check this course page before finalising your application and after submitting it as we will aim to update this page as soon as any changes are ratified by the College.

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.

Year 1

Core modules

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

Year 2

Core modules

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

Optional modules

You choose one module from each list below.

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

Research Abroad

The third year is spent conducting independent research abroad, with the options of:

  • France: Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Paris, Strasbourg or Toulouse
  • Germany: Heidelberg
  • Spain: Madrid or Valencia
  • Austria: Vienna
  • Denmark: Copenhagen
  • The Netherlands: Leiden
  • Sweden: Stockholm
  • Switzerland: Zurich

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 in certain locations 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 Communication
  • Laboratory-based research project or literature-based dissertation

Optional modules

You 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

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 similar 296 (20%) 266 (18%) 507 (34%)
Independent study 1,204 (80%) 1,234 (82%) 994 (66%)
Placement 1,500 (100%)
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number
 

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
Coursework 9% 26% 100% 44%
Practical 16% 12% 7%
Written 75% 62% 49%
Based on the typical pathway through the course; percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number
 

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 using the Unistats information below.

The Unistats website uses official data which we provide about all of our undergraduate courses that have a UCAS code. This information is published by the Higher Education Funding Council on the Unistats website to help you compare similar courses at different institutions.

Because acceptance onto this course is via in-course transfer, it does not have its own Unistats page. However, there is a high degree of overlap with the main degree in this Department so we encourage you to use the Unistats data for that degree.

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

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made in 2016 to at least 85% of applicants studying A-levels was AAA–A*AA.

Subject and grade requirements (2018 entry)

We expect applicants for 2018 entry to meet the following grade requirements in these subjects:

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

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted.

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.

Language requirement

Applicants must have a relevant language GCSE grade B.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer range

As a guide, the typical offer made in 2016 to at least 85% of applicants studying IB was 39 points overall.

Subject and grade requirements (2018 entry)

We expect applicants for 2018 entry to meet the following grade requirements in these subjects:

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

Language requirement

A pass in the relevant language (SL) is required.

Advanced Placements

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

  • 5 in Chemistry
  • 5 in Biology
  • 5 in another subject (Physics or Calculus (AB/BC) are preferred)

Language requirement

You must also achieve at least grade 3 in the relevant language.

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. It is the College’s policy to not make offers below three A’s at A-level in relevant subjects, 38 IB points with at least a grade 6 at higher level in relevant subjects, or their equivalent.

A typical range of offers made by this Department in 2016 (encompassing at least 85% of applicants who studied A-level or IB) is shown above.

Post-application open day

If your UCAS application indicates that you are likely to satisfy our requirements and you live within reasonable travelling distance of the College you will be invited for one of our post-application open days. These 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

Generally, we do not hold interviews.

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.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

Tuition fees (Home and EU students)

2018 entryYear abroad
£9,250 per year 15% of the relevant fee for that year

Read more about funding for year abroad placements.

The above fee applies to the academic year 2018–19 only.

The fee for Home/EU students is controlled by the UK government.

Please note that the fee you pay may increase annually by an amount linked to inflation and approved by Parliament under the Student Fees (Inflation Index) Regulations 2006 – currently the measure of inflation used is the RPIX.

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.

EU students

The UK government has confirmed that funding arrangements for EU students starting a course in 2018 means they will continue to pay the Home rate of tuition and have access to the Tuition Fee Loan for the duration of their course.

This will remain the case even if their course finishes after the UK's exit from the European Union.

Tuition fees (Overseas and Islands students)

2018 entryYear abroad
£28,650 15% of the relevant fee for that year

Read more about funding for year abroad placements.

The tuition fees for Overseas and Islands students are set by Imperial College London.

You should expect and budget for your tuition fee increasing each year by an inflationary amount. The measure of inflation used will be the Retail Price Index (RPI) value in the April of the calendar year in which the academic session starts e.g. the RPI value in April 2019 will apply to fees for the academic year 2019–2020.

Additional course costs

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

Please note that the figures provided are usually based on the cost in the most recent academic year. These are likely to change from 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 approximate cost to help you budget for student life at Imperial.

This section indicates whether any additional costs that apply are mandatory or optional. 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 will be free to 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.

Over 90 per cent of Imperial undergraduates choose to live in our halls of residence in their first year. You can compare costs across our different accommodation options on our Accommodation website.

A rough guide to what you might expect to spend to live in reasonable comfort in London is available on our Fees and Funding website.

Careers

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

How to apply

UCAS key information

  • UCAS course code: n/a*
  • UCAS institution code: I50
Apply on the UCAS website

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).

* Apply initially for BSc Biochemistry (C700)

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 2018 for entry in October 2018.

The deadline for medicine courses at Imperial starting in 2018 is 18.00 (UK time) on 15 October 2017.

Tracking your application

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

See our How to apply section for further guidance.

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

Contact us

Life Sciences

Got a question?

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

Read more on the Department of Life Sciences website.

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