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Biochemistry (with foundation year) BSc (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • Typical Offer: 72 UCAS tariff points
  • UCAS Code(s): C703 (full-time) 
  • Start Date(s): September 2024
  • Duration: Four years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: Clifton Campus


During the foundation year, you will develop core bioscience and study skills using an active and collaborative approach to your learning. This will build your skills and knowledge before moving onto BSc (Hons) Biochemistry in Year Two. You’ll study diseases alongside drug development, biological tools and genetically modified products – all the skills you’ll need to become a professional biochemist. We also give you lots of opportunities to apply your skills in our state-of-the-art labs, so you’ll be a confident, work-ready graduate.

Biochemistry is the chemistry of life and on this course we bring it off the page. You’ll not only discover how this subject is vital to humanity, but even play a part in applying it to global challenges. Your journey will start with discovery of disease at a molecular level – preventing, diagnosing and treating – before looking at drug development, biological tools and genetically modified products. We show you how this fascinating subject can be applied in everyday life in from diabetes to cancer.

There‘s no substitute for doing it yourself, so that’s why we give you lots of chances to apply your skills in our labs so you’re a confident, work-ready graduate.

If you change your mind at the end of your foundation year you can transfer onto one of our other BSc Bioscience courses at NTU.

Why study Biochemistry at NTU?

Get industry experience

Through group work and the Practical Techniques for Biology and Molecular Bioscience in Practice modules, you’ll develop problem-solving skills by testing and learning. These are valuable skills for any graduate to have and we make sure you get this experience right from the start of your course.  We’ve also embedded employability skills in the course, so you are not only learning theory and skills, but you know where to find your dream job and how to apply for it.

Alongside your course, our Biochemistry Cafe programme runs throughout the year. You’ll get to take part in biochemistry-focused employability workshops and job fairs – another chance to boost your skills before graduation.

Meet our staff

Whether your interest is working in research or in the industry we have experienced teaching and technical staff from a wide range of backgrounds. They’ll be teaching you the latest thinking in biochemistry and their contacts help us secure guest speakers and support you in finding great placement opportunities.

In your final year, you’ll work on an individual research project. You’ll work closely with a member of staff and your project will be linked to their research area. This means you’ll be getting a real experience of research in practice which will look great on your CV.

  • You’ll create a skills portfolio where you’ll keep evidence of the techniques and skills you’ve mastered. It'll help you to document your skills and they are a valuable tool when you graduate too, as they can show employers you are ready to work in a professional environment.

Course accreditation

Professional accreditation
The Royal Society of Biology have accredited this course. Accreditations are a seal of approval from professional bodies and our assurance to you that your course is relevant and valued by industry.

  • Royal Society of Biology logo

What you’ll study

You’ll develop an understanding of what is happening inside the cells of living organisms and how this has changed through the evolutionary process. With a focus on understanding the data, you’ll look at DNA / RNA synthesis, proteins and genetics and learn how these can unlock the diagnosis of biochemical disorders and human diseases. Understanding, analysing and drawing meaning from data is becoming increasingly important in the industry. We’ve recently redeveloped this course to include bioinformatics skills across all years of your course. If you are really interested in this growing area of biochemistry, then you can also immerse yourself further by focusing on bioinformatics for your final year research project.

As the course is highly practical, you’ll get experience in cutting-edge molecular biology techniques such as DNA/RNA technology, protein analysis, diagnostics, as well as bioinformatics. You will also gain key biochemical skills such as biochemical catalysis, protein purification and enzyme kinetics.

Applied Biology

Using case studies, you’ll consider the science and ethical considerations in bioscience and medical fields, research and therapeutics as well as topical issues in environmental science. In addition to exploring a variety of topics in health and disease such as infectious diseases inherited and non-inheritable disorders, you will touch on therapeutic approaches.

Data Handling and Analysis

This module will use group work and problem-based learning to give you a strong base of mathematical skills can be applied in biosciences. You’ll learn concepts such as rearranging equations, concentration calculations, metric prefixes, probabilities and exponentials through the lens of real-world biology labs and data analysis of disease scenarios.

Introductory Science for Biologists

This module focuses on the key scientific principles of physics and chemistry that are vital to Bioscientists. In the physics part of the module you’ll be introduced to topics such as wave motion, vibration and methods of heat transfer. The Chemistry part of the module covers some inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, providing biochemical foundation knowledge.

Foundation Biology

You’ll be introduced to core concepts across different areas of biology to ensure you have a broad core biology knowledge. Practical classes in our labs put the theory you’ve learned into context and you’ll also learn good laboratory practice, basic laboratory skills and problem-solving.

Professional Practice and Skills

Bioscientists require an understanding, and in many cases experience, of working in a laboratory environment. This module give you a chance to evidence your practical skills as well as drawing on topics and techniques used in other modules. You’ll work on a group project that will give you experience of working on all elements of a project e.g. research , design, development, testing, evaluation and presentation.

Introduction to Biochemistry

Study the key aspects of macromolecules, cell structure and function, and interrelationships in both practical and theoretical contexts.

Living Systems

Introduces levels of biological organisation from molecules to cells and ecosystems, providing a platform of knowledge and skills upon which other modules are developed.

Molecular Principles for Biochemistry

This module will teach you the fundamental concepts of organic, physical, analytical and biological chemistry as applied to the biochemistry process.

Introduction to Pharmacology

Considers the principles of how drugs work, including factors that affect the magnitude of the response to drugs, specificity of drug action, drug interactions and side effects of drugs.

Practical Techniques for Biology

Considers the principles of experimental design, data collection and analysis, including techniques in centrifugation, chromatography, electrophoresis, microscopy and radiobiology.

Genetics and Immunology

Develops genetic concepts and introduces basic aspects of the immune system, including the molecules, cells and interactions involved.

Core modules:

Advanced Biochemistry

Study the concepts of current biochemical techniques and their practical applications in science.

Molecular Bioscience in Practice

In this module, you’ll get an overview of the immune response including the structure of antibodies, the development of an antibody response and the production of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. You’ll explore the antibody as a molecular probe and develop antibody-based techniques and assays.

Metabolism and its Control

Explore the central pathways of oxidative catabolism and anabolism of carbohydrates and fats in eukaryotic cells. You’ll also cover the biochemical basis of cellular signal transduction.

Biomolecular Structure and Function

Explore the functions of polymerases, binding proteins, helicases, ligases, topoisomerases and chromosomes in DNA replication.

Clinical Biochemistry

Study a variety of disorders and learn about their clinical symptoms, biochemical and molecular defects, detection, diagnosis and treatment.

Optional module - choose one:

Chemotherapy of Cancer and Infections

Explore the concept of selective toxicity as applicable to the treatment of cancer and infections. You’ll also consider the action of anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal drugs.

Molecular Genetics of Human Diseases

You will develop knowledge and understanding of gene therapy.

Core modules:

Global Challenges in Health and Degenerative Disease

An in-depth look at the latest developments in the biochemistry field and their effects in current global issues.

Cell Signalling and Cancer

A range of exciting and up-to-date topics on cell proliferation and cell death. The cell cycle, the cytoskeleton and signal transduction will be presented, and we will discuss their implication in carcinogenesis.

Applied Bioinformatics

Use cutting-edge bioinformatics methods to understand and identify the role that gene and protein biomarkers play in disease. Analyse real clinical data and model various scenarios that predict the clinical impact of the disease.

Research Project (40 credit points)

You have the option of either completing a 40 credit point project / dissertation

Choose one from two options:

Comparative Developmental and Evolutionary Genetics

Introduction to developmental biology and concepts in speciation and evolution.


Explore the concepts and principles that underpin toxicology and study individual toxins.

How you’re taught

You will typically study six modules in Year One and Two. Each module involves substantial amounts of practical work, in addition to around 20 one-hour lectures. In your final year, you’ll study five modules and a research project. You will also take part in regular seminars and tutorials to support you with your studies.

Community and support

With support from your lecturers, personal tutors and technical staff, you can be sure we'll be here for you during your studies. Alongside your lectures and lab classes, you’ll also have tutorial sessions. These are a chance to regularly meet in small groups with your personal tutor and members of your course to discuss the topics you are studying.

Got any feedback on your course? You’ll have lots of opportunities to discuss your course, for example in your tutorial sessions, with your course leader and course reps and you even have the chance to feedback on every module you study with an end of module survey.  We love to hear your feedback and how we can make improvements.  Following your feedback, we have recently added Professional Skills modules which are specific to the area of biosciences you are studying. We’ve also increased our support for your coursework assignments too, through drop-in sessions accessible when you need them most.

There’s support from your peers too. Our mentoring schemes give you support from other students on your course. Whether you need help with your studies or university life in general, they’ve been there and can give you a students’ perspective. Find out more about the support you’ll receive at NTU.

Research informed teaching

Our research is tackling real-world issues – and the people working on this research will be teaching you. It also informs the subjects you’ll be studying with us so you can be sure your knowledge will be cutting-edge in your field. In the last Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021) - the UK's system for assessing the quality and impact of research in universities - we’re proud that 99% of NTU’s Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy submission was assessed to be world-leading or internationally excellent.

Hands-on learning

The course is very practical and you’ll be spending lots of time in our industry-standard laboratories. This is because we believe the amount of time you spend getting hands-on experience in a laboratory is very important to prepare you for the world of work.

You’ll get to use our industry-standard equipment, such as our nucleic acid and protein analysis systems, right from the very start of your course. You’ll get to know how a professional lab works and how to follow laboratory processes and protocols used in industry – all valuable skills to have before you graduate.

We have a focus on using digital skills to support you in your practice sessions. For example, you might do an online simulation of the experiment you are going to perform in the lab. This will get you familiar with the techniques and protocols so you can be confident and really make the most of your time in our labs.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study, you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Find out more about the ULP.

Staff Profiles

Sarah Rayment - Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Find out more about Dr Sarah Rayment, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Sciences in the Department of Biosciences at Nottingham Trent University.

Daniel Dimmock - Academic Associate

School of Science & Technology

Find out more about Daniel Dimmock, Academic Associate in the Biosciences department at Nottingham Trent University.

Carl Nelson - Principal Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Find out more about Carl Nelson, Principal Lecturer, in the Department of Biosciences at Nottingham Trent University.

Benjamin Dickins - Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Find out more about Benjamin Dickins, Senior Lecturer, in the Department of Biosciences at NTU. Dr Dickins' background is in molecular genetics.

Colombo, Sergio - Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Find out more about Sergio Colombo, Senior Lecturer, in the Department of Biosciences at Nottingham Trent University.

Aslihan Ugun Klusek - Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Find out more about Aslihan Ugun Klusek, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biosciences at Nottingham Trent University.

Cristina Montiel-Duarte - Senior Lecturer

School of Science and Technology

Find out more about Cristina Montiel-Duarte, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biosciences at Nottingham Trent University.

Maria Hatziapostolou - Senior Independent Research Fellow

School of Science & Technology

Dr. Hatziapostolou is a cancer researcher who's work been highlighted in top-tier scientific journals and cited many times from researchers all over the world

Careers and employability

Your career development

Students on this course will be well placed to pursue entry level posts in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and the majority of biological science-related disciplines.

Our recent graduates have secured roles at companies including:

  • ADC Biotechnology
  • Eurofins
  • Nottingham City Hospital
  • Nova Laboratory
  • Severn Trent Services

They have gone into a wide variety of job roles including:

  • Sample Registration Technician
  • Medical Laboratory Assistant
  • Biochemist
  • Laboratory Technician

You will also have the option to undertake further study after you graduate. You could undertake one of our Masters-level courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees.

Our graduate salaries range from £16,000 - £30,000 per year.

Excellent placement opportunities

Top 10 for the number of Biosciences students on year-long placements (HESA 2021/22)

NTU is one of the most employment-focused universities. Increasingly, employers want to recruit graduates who have real-world work experience. That’s why all of our courses, across every subject area, offer you a work experience opportunity. Our experts help build and support your future with a range of career programmes and events.

On this course, after your second year, you will have the opportunity to take a year's work placement (sandwich placement). This will give you the chance to gain vital experience and put your knowledge into practice. You're also twice as likely to secure a graduate job within six months if you take a work placement.

Our recent students have taken placements across a wide range of companies including the NHS, National Institute of Medical Research and The Health Protection Agency. They secured varied roles such as Associate Practitioner, Research and Development Intern and Laboratory Classroom Assistant.

You'll be supported and assessed throughout your placement year and will write a reflective report and diary at the end of your placement. When you successfully complete your placement, you will be eligible to receive an additional award of a Diploma in Professional Practice.

Find out more about work placements.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Campus and facilities

Where will I study?

Teaching is held across Clifton Campus and include interactive workshops in spaces specifically designed for collaborative, hands-on learning.

We have the stimulating and creative environment needed to equip students with the knowledge and transferable skills to put them ahead of the graduate crowd. We provide first-class facilities that enhance the quality of our education and push the boundaries of our research, these include:

Rosalind Franklin Building

You will have access to some of the best laboratory teaching facilities for Bioscience and Chemistry in the UK. The large teaching laboratory space is equipped with superior IT facilities and equipment to ensure that our students get excellent training in practical laboratory techniques and modern analytical methods.

Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Facility

This facility supports the School's extensive biomedical research activities.

Natural Sciences Research Facility

The Natural Sciences Research Facility supports and enhances the School’s research in Physics, Biosciences, Chemistry, Imaging, Materials and Sport.

We have a range of first-class facilities that you would expect from a university with high quality teaching and world-leading research, including an £8m computing and informatics building, a British Olympic Association-approved environmental chamber, a crime scene house forensic-training facility and a host of sporting clubs and societies to get involved in.

Entry requirements

  • 72 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent
  • GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4

To find out what qualifications have tariff points, please use our tariff calculator.

Contextual offers

A lower offer may be made based on a range of factors, including your background (such as where you live and the school or college you attended), your experiences and individual circumstances (you may have been in care, for example). This is called a contextual offer and we get data from UCAS to make these decisions. NTU offers a student experience like no other and this approach helps us to find students who have the potential to succeed here but who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Find out how we assess your application.

Other qualifications and experience

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Getting in touch

If you need more help or information, get in touch through our enquiry form

This course is not open to International applicants who require a Student Visa. For alternative courses please see Nottingham Trent International College.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core textbooks, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential textbooks, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

A good supply of these essential textbooks is available in the University libraries which students can easily borrow or access directly whilst studying in the library.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.


If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Students may choose to apply for a placement option during their course.  If successful, students will be expected to pay for accommodation, travel and living costs whilst on placement.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for poster preparation in their final year - estimated costs of approximately £20 -£30.

Laboratory lockers

A deposit is required for laboratory lockers (approximately £5).

This course is not open to International applicants who require a Student Visa. For alternative courses please see Nottingham Trent International College.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

This course is not open to International applicants who require a Student Visa. For alternative courses please see Nottingham Trent International College.

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