Modern urban wastewater treatment plant. BSc (Hons) Biochemistry.
UCAS Code
C700
Mode of Study
Full-time, Full-time sandwich with work placement
Duration
3 years Full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022
Accredited
Yes

Overview

Discover life at its most fundamental level.

On this BSc (Hons) Biochemistry degree, accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), you’ll learn how biochemists fight disease, edit genomes, develop new fuels, and understand human and animal development.

By exploring the latest scientific theory through lab training, you'll gain the skills and expertise to become a professional biochemist and apply for Associate Membership of the RSB on graduation.

Course highlights

  • Experiment with the latest biochemistry techniques, such as protein purification and real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), both vital processes in the development of vaccines and medical testing
  • Study genes and clone DNA in our molecular biology research labs, globally regarded as some of the best available at a university
  • Learn from academics involved in trailblazing research at our Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences and Centre for Enzyme Innovation
  • Get involved with the European Xenopus Resource Centre, one of the largest frog resource facilities in the world
  • Have the opportunity to study abroad on a summer research placement at a European university
  • Be eligible to apply for Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology when you graduate, which includes access to exclusive grants and awards
TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

No. 4 in the UK for Biosciences (The Guardian University Guide, 2021)

Royal Society of Biology logo

Accredited by:

This programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology following an independent and rigorous assessment. Accredited degree programmes contain a solid academic foundation in biological knowledge and key skills, and prepare graduates to address the needs of employers. The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from accredited programmes meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including subject knowledge, technical ability and transferable skills.

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – ABB–BBB
  • UCAS points – 120–128 points to include 3 A levels, or equivalent, including Biology and Chemistry, with 40 points from either A level Biology or Chemistry Applicants will normally need to pass the separate Science Practical Endorsement (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM
  • International Baccalaureate – 27

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Your facilities

Female student  on computer in biology lab

Biophysical laboratories

Use professional-standard equipment to explore how the structures and functions of molecules change under different conditions. 

Learn more about the labs

A pair of hands pouring solution into Petri dishes

IBBS

Get involved in research that seeks to develop our knowledge of health and disease at our Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences, including epigenetics and molecular biophysics.

Discover our research

Empty marine tanks in a lab

European Xenopus Resource Centre

Discover more about developmental biology and human disease modelling at one of the largest model organism research facilities in the world.

Explore the centre

Explore BSc (Hons) Biochemistry at Portsmouth
Discover the course

Find out more about the facilities, lab equipment, research opportunities and career paths you could experience when you study BSc (Hons) Biochemistry at Portsmouth.

Careers and opportunities

Biochemistry is the study of the chemistry within living things – everything from humans and animals, to plants and cells. It combines biology, chemistry and physiology to develop new approaches within many scientific fields, including healthcare and medicine, agriculture, biotechnology and the environment. 

This means there is a huge range of sectors you can go into with a biochemistry degree, and there will always be a high demand for your skills.

Once you complete your BSc (Hons) Biochemistry, you’ll be ready for a career in scientific research, forensic science or pharmaceuticals. With specialist modules like Business for Biosciences and Genes and Development, you’ll have many opportunities to discover your niche.

In the UK in 2021, you could expect to earn an average of £26,500 as a newly-graduated biochemist and an average of up to £60,000 with more experience.

What I loved the most about this course was being able to work among senior scientists and assist in investigations addressing global issues and human diseases.

Rebecca Cimaroli, BSc (Hons) Biochemistry

What can you do with a biochemistry degree?

There are many career paths a BSc (Hons) Biochemistry degree can lead you to.

Previous students have gone on to do valuable work in fields such as:

  • industrial research
  • academic research leading to a PhD
  • biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries
  • science teaching
  • the health service
  • scientific writing and the media

Graduates have gone on to work in roles including:

  • research scientist
  • sequencing and validation scientist
  • research and development leadership programme scientist
  • pharmaceutical data analyst
  • site intelligence specialist
  • phlebotomist

Graduate destinations

Organisations our graduates have gone on to work in include:

  • Pall Europe
  • Oxford Nanopore Technologies
  • MedPharm
  • Celgene

Placement year (optional)

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in the industry. Placements give you the opportunity to apply what you've learnt so far in a real workplace, boosting your employability and making you attractive to employers after graduation.

You can work for a company or organisation here in the UK or overseas, or you could go independent by setting up and running your own business with other students. 

Whichever route you choose, you'll receive support and guidance. Our specialist team of Science and Health Careers advisors can help you with finding a work placement and improving your employability skills. They'll provide you with a database of placement vacancies, support with your job search – including help with applications and interviews – and support throughout your placement year.

Summer research placement

You'll also have the opportunity to apply to a study exchange scheme, which involves a summer research placement at a European university.

Ongoing careers support

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability Service as you advance in your career.

There is a lot of practical work which helps me to learn, as you can put into practice what you have learnt in your lectures and see it first hand.

Georgina Dawes, BSc (Hons) Biochemistry

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Biochemistry degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits, usually 20 or 40.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 modules worth 20 credits and 1 module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Year 1

Core modules

What you'll do

You’ll explore the diversity of life and how it's classified, using taxonomic groups of organisms as examples to understand core principles.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Outline the mechanisms underlying the process of evolution
  • Recall how biodiversity has evolved over earth’s history
  • Outline the Tree of Life and how phylogenetic relationships can be reconstructed
  • Summarise the characteristics and evolution of archaea, bacteria, fungi, algae and protists
  • Define the evolutionary relationships between and within major metazoan phyla and list their features
  • Summarise the evolution of land plants and list the features of major groups
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures and practical classes, and take part in guided independent study.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 141 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1-hour set exercise examination (50% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour written examination (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll get an introduction to key laboratory equipment and methods, developing skills you'll build on over the course your degree. You'll learn about good laboratory practice (GLP), as well as collect, analyse and interpret data in hands-on experiments.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Use core laboratory practical skills and safety procedures that must be complied with in the lab, as well as identify and implement good laboratory practice (GLP)
  • Understand and use statistical methods including: mean, mode, median, standard deviation, data management, statistics programs, regression correlation, Chi-squared, T-test and ANOVA methods
  • Communicate experimental findings in written form and appropriately place them within the wider context of relevant scientific literature
Teaching activities
  • 17 x 1-hour lectures
  • 24 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 15 hours of independent learning
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 144 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a practical skills assessment (pass/fail)
  • a 1,500-word report (50% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour exam (50% of final exam)

What you'll do

You’ll learn how cells do what they need to do, from a molecular level right through to whole cells, tissues, and organs.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe and explain the origins of eukaryotic cells
  • Describe the biochemistry and cellular function of lipids, nucleic acids and proteins
  • Describe and explain the endomembrane system and its role in the synthesis of secreted protein
  • Describe and understand the basic laboratory techniques used to analyse specialised cells in multicellular eukaryots
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 133 hour studying independently. This is around 

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1-hour written examination (40% of final mark)
  • a 1-hour written examination (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll get comprehensive training of practical skills in microbiology including sound technique and lab practices for the safe handling of category 2 microorganisms. In your lab experience, you’ll develop knowledge of the nutrition and growth of bacteria, fungi and viruses that can be used to culture and control microorganisms.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Define the main types of culture media and identify the main methods of sterilisation and decontamination
  • Use specialist microbiology lab skills such as aseptic technique, gram stain, as well as the  preparation and maintenance of pure cultures
  • Describe and understand microbial diversity, their growth requirements and the different lifestyles of viruses
  • Recall and understand the structure and organisation of genetic material and explain the mechanisms of inheritance
  • Describe and understand the processes of transcription, replication of DNA and translation
  • Recall and understand the control of cellular processes at the molecular level and the nature of genetic damage and its repair
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops, and take part in guided independent study.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 151 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 60-minute written exam (60% of final mark)
  • a project portfolio (20% of final mark)
  • a 2-hour practical skills assessment (20% of final mark)

What you'll do

While covering concepts and ideas from pre-twentieth century biochemical thought, you’ll focus on the field's rapid development in the twentieth century including current topical issues in modern biology. You'll develop skills in critical thinking and teamwork, and an awareness of ‘big data’ and its analysis using computational methods.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe key experimental approaches that have been used to understand the roles of various biological molecules
  • Demonstrate appreciation of the scientific method as displayed by Nobel prize-winning research
  • Demonstrate familiarity with important biochemical terms and ideas
  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic chemical concepts and application of data analysis
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops, and take part in guided independent study.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 148 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word report (40% of final mark)
  • a 90-minute written examination (60% of final mark)

Year 2

Core modules

What you'll do

From a series of workshops, you’ll gain critical knowledge in cellular aspects of biology. You'll study areas such as cell cycle, apoptosis and cell signalling, and immunology, with a particular focus on differentiation and cancer.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the theory of tissue staining, observation and description, and Western blotting using antibodies
  • Explain the mechanisms involved in cell communication
  • Understand the cellular and genetic mechanisms of cell-cycle regulation, differentiation, and cancer
  • Explain the cellular mechanisms of immunity
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend:

  • 20 hours of lectures
  • 29 hours of guided independent study
  • 4 hours of practical classes and workshops

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 159 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • 2 x 45-minute set exercises (25% of final mark each)
  • a 20-minute oral assessment and presentation (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll examine the fundamental characteristics of enzymes and the part they play in cellular metabolism. You'll then be introduced to the pathways of intermediary metabolism.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Develop a critical understanding of the structure and function of enzymes
  • Analyse enzyme kinetics from practical sessions and workshops
  • Develop a wide and deep understanding of key metabolic processes
  • Build practice and experience of finding, interpreting and communicating information on enzymes
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops, and take part in guided independent study.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,000-word coursework project (50% of final mark)
  • a 90-minute written exam (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll develop a critical understanding of genetics and explore the origins of genetic engineering. Underpinning the module, you'll develop your independent thinking skills to engage with emerging areas of research around this field.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of genetics, chromosome structure and abnormalities
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the theory behind the main steps involved in a typical gene cloning and protein expression experiment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the theory behind the methods for generating transgenic organisms and their application
  • Demonstrate knowledge of synthetic biology and the applications
  • Demonstrate practical skills in gene cloning and protein expression, presenting the data obtained in a poster presentation
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops, and take part in guided independent study.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 134 hours studying independently. This is around 8 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 15-minute poster presentation (50% of final mark)
  • a 90-minute set exercise (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

Theoretical knowledge will be underpinned by practical classes which demonstrate the practical aspects of protein purification and function, encouraging teamwork and the critical analysis of experimental data involved in generating written reports.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Discuss the principles of protein structure and discuss the relationship between structure and function
  • Apply experimental techniques involved in protein analysis and protein purification
  • Discuss the principles and practice of macromolecular purification
  • Discuss the principles and practice of protein characterisation
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops, and take part in guided independent study.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 160 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a set exercise (25% of final mark)
  • a report (25% of final mark)
  • a 90-minute written examination (50% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to generate and integrate a variety of business information in an oral presentation
  • Demonstrate the ability to generate and integrate a variety of business information in written form
  • Interpret business information in the preparation of convincing argument for the success of a small business venture
  • Demonstrate successful collaborative working using enhanced communication, problem solving and team working skills
  • Constructively reflect on your own and others' performance to make "Smart Actions" for the future
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars and project supervision meetings.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 154 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (50% of final mark)
  • a 3,000-word coursework exercise (30% of mark)
  • a 1,000-word written assignment including essay (20% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll explore how functional organs and the adult body form emerges in the embryo, and discuss how deviations from developmental processes may result in major birth defects. You’ll also investigate how stem cells repair organs in the adult.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Describe the phases of vertebrate/human development from fertilisation to organogenesis and explain differences between vertebrates
  • Discuss key concepts and molecular control mechanisms in developmental biology
  • Independently study a current problem in developmental biology
  • Design a team presentation on experimental approaches and suitable models
  • Apply basic laboratory skills in tissue preparation, observation and description
  • Discuss the application of developmental biology in understanding birth defects and in regenerative medicine
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 155 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a practical skills assessment (15% of final mark)
  • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (35% of final mark)
  • a 90-minute written examination (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll develop fundamental skills needed to be a teacher, and the capability to structure and deliver a short lesson.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse the expectations of a professional teacher in terms of skills, knowledge and conduct
  • Discuss the importance of safeguarding students
  • Apply fundamental concepts of teaching and learning theory to plan an effective, peer-assessed lesson
  • Deliver lesson plans with clear objectives, student-centred learning and assessment of learning
  • Reflect on the use of active learning methods within subject specialism
Teaching activities
  • 10 x 2-hour seminars
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 10 x 1-hour lectures
  • 4 x 1-hour practical classes and workshops
Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 20-minute practical skills assessment (50% of final mark)
  • a 1,500-word written assignment (50% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll perform an in-depth analysis of microbial physiology, growth, metabolism and microbial ecology. You’ll also determine the identification of unknown microbes while developing experience and skills in specialised microbiology lab techniques. 

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Display safe and effective handling of microorganisms in the laboratory
  • Be able to independently obtain, analyse and evaluate data
  • Understand the differences between bacteria, archaea, fungi and viruses, and appreciate their diversity and different roles in environmental processes, global health and disease
  • Apply knowledge of microbial metabolic activities and their environmental effects in functional microbial ecology
  • Recall and understand microbial physiology and growth, and how this effects the environment and industrially relevant applications
  • Critically evaluate and reflect upon the evolution and phylogeny of microbial life
  • Develop an awareness of critical environmental issues in microbiology such as nutrient cycle alterations associated with climate change and antimicrobial resistance in food chains
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops, and lab reading sessions.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 149 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 90-minute exam (50% of final mark)
  • a 2-hour practical skills assessment (50% of final mark)

Year 3

Core modules

What you'll do

You'll study the principles and practice of mutagenesis and protein engineering, and the structural and energetic principles involved in biomolecular recognition. By the end of the module,  you'll have a critical and reflective understanding of biomolecular science.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically appraise methods for determining biomolecular structure at atomic-resolution
  • Describe the significance of, and investigations into, biomolecular kinetics
  • Critically appreciate the means to investigate biomolecular interactions
  • Demonstrate the application of biophysical methods to probing thermodynamics
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops, and take part in guided independent study.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 164 hours studying independently. This is around 9.5 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,500-word essay (100% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll explore current techniques, using examples from the literature, highlighting the research-led profile of this module. 

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Analyse and interpret data reflecting gene expression processes, and the techniques used to analyse them
  • Critically analyse and interpret experimental data in eukaryotic genome organisation and gene expression
  • Discuss the processes involved in the expression of a gene from DNA to protein
  • Discuss the mechanisms by which eukaryotic gene expression can be regulated at different levels
  • Evaluate experimental techniques for analysing genome organisation and gene expression
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend 14 hours of seminars, and take part in 4 hours of practical classes and workshops.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 180 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word coursework exercise (40% of final mark)
  • a 90-minute written examination (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll learn about sequencing and analysis of genome functions in a responsible, ethical context, and about engaging with large data sets, using emerging digital technologies of bioinformatics. You'll then consider the biochemical basis of genetic disorders and the development of potential therapies. 

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Critically evaluate strategies to sequence human genomes
  • Evaluate the application of genomics to the analysis of normal and diseased gene function
  • Explain the concept of the transcriptome and the epigenome and how it is used to explain genetic disease
  • Analyse the wider application of genome analysis to complex, polygenic diseases and inherited traits
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, practical classes and workshops, and take part in guided independent study.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 173 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 1,500-word report (40% of final mark)
  • a 90-minute written exam (60% of final mark)

What you'll do

You'll then present these in a formal report and poster written to stated specifications.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Design an effective approach to investigate a significant topic or problem in your chosen area of study, in line with current Health and Safety and ethical regulations
  • Plan and organise your time in order to meet the requirements of the study
  • Demonstrate skills in data handling and critical analysis of data using appropriate quantitative and qualitative tools
  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret your own and others' results in a critical manner
  • Demonstrate a level of expertise in the techniques used in the study appropriate to the acquisition of data
  • Conduct an effective literature search using relevant library and electronic databases
  • Produce a report and poster of professional standards to stated specifications in a given time
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, tutorials, practical classes, workshops and supervised time in a studio or workshop.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 177 hours studying independently. This is around 11 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a coursework project (10% of final mark)
  • a 5,000-word dissertation (70% of final mark)
  • a research poster (20% of final mark)

Optional modules

What you'll do

You'll improve your understanding and appreciation of the biotechnology industry with specific reference to blue (marine), green (environmental), red (medical), white (gene-based) and gold (bioinformatics) biotechnologies.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Apply your knowledge and skills to a research or business proposal with relevance to biotechnology, following the BBSRC knowledge exchange, commercialisation and development programme
  • Appraise and critically evaluate scientific ideas for biotechnology
  • Work as a member of a team to produce and present a research/business plan based on a scientific idea
  • Compare and contrast scientific literature in relation to microbiological, molecular, biochemical and systems biological topics
  • Critically evaluate microbiological, molecular and biochemical techniques used to study a variety of topics related to blue, green, red, and white biotechnology, including ethical issues associated with transgenesis
  • Communicate the science behind the production of a biotechnological product and its business potential to a targeted audience
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, tutorials, practical classes and workshops, and take part in guided independent study.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 152 hours studying independently. This is around 9 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 3,000-word coursework exercise (70% of final mark)
  • a 15-minute oral assessment and presentation (30% of final mark)

What you'll do

You’ll gain an understanding of the genetic mechanisms that drive embryonic development and the techniques used to investigate them.

What you'll learn

When you complete this module successfully, you'll be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the major developmental mechanisms in embryos from a range of model organisms
  • Assess the relationship between developmental biology and evolution.
  • Propose appropriate experimental systems to investigate specific problems in developmental biology
  • Analyse and interpret data relating to developmental biology
  • Critically assess the main lines of reasoning in landmark papers in development biology
Teaching activities

On this module you'll attend lectures, seminars, practical classes and workshops, and take part in guided independent study.

Independent study time

We recommend you spend at least 169 hours studying independently. This is around 10 hours a week over the duration of the module.

Assessment

On this module, you'll be assessed through:

  • a 2,000-word written assignment including essay (50% of final mark)
  • a 90-minute examination (50% of final mark)

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

  • coursework, essays and write-ups
  • presentations
  • online exams
  • data analysis problems
  • research project
  • written exams
  • multiple choice tests

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • workshops
  • lectures
  • computer classes
  • seminars
  • practical lab work
  • one-on-one tutorials

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your Biochemistry degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as tutorials, lectures, practical classes and workshops and guided independent study sessions for about 13.5 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Most timetabled teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK) for one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International (non-EU) students – £18,300 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – C700
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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