BSc Honours Biochemistry (UCAS Code: C700)
For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838
For course information
The School Manager
School of Biological Sciences
T: +44 (0)28 9097 5786
For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications is available here
If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including:
International Foundation in Engineering and Science
Biochemists study the molecular basis of life. They investigate the structures, functions and biological roles of molecules involved in metabolism, cell signalling and the transmission of genetic information.
Biochemistry applies chemical principles to some of the most exciting problems in the life sciences. Consequently, the subject is necessary for modern drug discovery, in biotechnology and for the understanding of disease. This makes biochemistry an integral component of modern medicine with numerous applications in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases.Back to top
Genetics and Molecular Biology
Introductory Skills for Biosciences
Plus two modules in Chemistry
Microbial Metabolism and Physiology
Plus one other module, usually either Virology or Work Placement (3-year programme)
Throughout Stages 1 and 2, practical classes in Biochemistry reinforce and complement the theory and this gives students a sound foundation on which to build their final year.
Note: Biochemistry with Professional Studies students undertake a one-year, degree-related work placement between Stages 2 and 3.
In their final year all students carry out a two-module research project under the supervision of academic staff on a topic related to one of the many active areas of biochemistry research in the School. In addition, there are four taught modules:
Biochemical Basis of Disease
Genetic Manipulation and Biotechnology
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the BSc in Biochemistry we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts – including several leading researchers in Biochemistry, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work. Students can make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
Assessment (general): The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. The majority are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction. This is also available online on our School website.
Feedback (general): As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers. As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work. Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including:
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to quality of your work.Back to top
Studying for a Biochemistry or Biochemistry with Professional Studies degree at Queen’s will assist you in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions. Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and over half of all graduate jobs are now open to graduates of any discipline, including Biochemistry.
Although the majority of our graduates are interested in pursuing careers in the molecular life sciences significant numbers develop careers in a wide range of other sectors.
Biochemists can attain employment in many growth areas such as the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical industries, Clinical research, Health services, Research and Development in Academia and Industry as well as connected areas such as Science communication and Education. Biochemists are employed in sectors such as Health, Life Science and well as Agri-Food and Environmental areas, helping to find solutions to many of our world’s most fundamental challenges.
Our dedicated Careers and Placement Advisor (who works only for students in the School of Biological Sciences) works closely with many local, national and international employers in the life sciences sector. A number of events are organised each year to enable the exchange of views and ideas between the School and employers.
Our past students have also gained work placements with organisations such as:
Graduate Careers and Achievements
www.prospects.ac.ukprovides information concerning the types of jobs that attract Biochemistry Graduates.
Further study is also a common option open to Biochemistry graduates. For those wanting a career in biochemistry research, the normal route is to obtain a PhD (a three year postgradute degree which involves intense research into a topic under the supervision of one or more academics). Every year, some of our Biochemistry graduates have secured fully funded PhD studentships at Queen’s University (not just in the School of Biological Sciences, but also in Medicine, Pharmacy and Chemistry). Our graduates are also highly competitive in securing funding at other leading universities, such as Manchester and Cambridge. The Biochemistry degree also provides a route into professions which require a knowledge of the subject. Biochemistry graduates are eligible to study PGCE (a qualification to enable graduates to teach in schools) in either Biology or Chemistry. Both subjects are in demand in schools across the UK. The subject is also widely accepted for graduateentry to medical and dental schools. This is an increasingly common route into medicine and dentistry with many universities in the UK and Ireland offering four year, graduate-only programmes. Masters courses offer the opportunity to train in specialist areas (e.g. forensics, nutrition, biotechnology) in order to enter professions in those fields or to further enhance academic and research skills before embarking on a PhD. Details of relevant courses offered by the School of Biological Sciences can be found at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofBiologicalSciences/
Queen’s University places a strong emphasis on Employability. Our graduates are highly valued by many employers, locally, nationally and internationally.
Queen’s is member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. As a Queen’s student, you will be advised and guided about career choice and through the Degree Plus initiative, you will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skill development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.
Recognising student diversity, promoting employability enhancements and other interests is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe and learning development supports as well as involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others e.g. employers
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers. Further information is available at www.qub.ac.uk/degreeplusBack to top
Accreditation: the degree conforms to the Biochemical Society's core curriculum in biochemistry. In addition, it is recognised by the Royal Society of Chemistry and graduates can apply for admission as an Associate Member (AMRSC).
Placement: students can complete an optional 16-week work placement period as a component of Stage 2. Biochemistry with Professional Studies students, on completion of Stage 2 are required to undertake a compulsory 46-week period of work experience, which will include a project agreed between the student, the School and the employer.Back to top