Biochemistry - BSc (Hons)

with a Year Abroad

Our degrees are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB) and taught by staff who are active researchers in a range of disciplines including cell biology, protein chemistry, biotechnology, genomics, cancer biology, infectious diseases and bioinformatics. Our teaching methods will prepare you for the wide range of career opportunities that are available to biochemists.

You will acquire the scientific knowledge, practical experience and communication skills needed to succeed in the health, agriculture and environment sectors. We will ensure you have the best possible start in your career by providing expert advice when you come to look for jobs or postgraduate study. There are also options to acquire valuable work experience as part of the degree by taking one of our Summer Internships or Sandwich placements.

Overview

Our degree programme

In your first year, your modules give you an insight into various biological and chemical disciplines, including biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, microbiology and physiology. Your second year builds on this knowledge and covers areas such as gene regulation, cell biology and metabolism.

In your first and second years, you also take specific modules to develop your skills as a bioscientist.

In your final year, alongside your compulsory modules, you conduct a research project. There are three types of project: laboratory; literature and data analysis; or communication. From the many areas of research covered in the School, you can choose to focus on an area that interests you. You also choose two optional modules from a range that covers areas such as the biology of ageing, cancer biology and neuroscience.

Year abroad

Your year abroad is taken between your second and final years. This gives you an excellent opportunity to learn about a new culture and to discover how your subject is taught in a different environment. You are taught in English and previous destinations include universities in the US, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong and Malaysia. It may also be possible for you to work abroad.

Alternatively, you can spend a year working in industry on our Biochemistry with a Sandwich Year degree. You can also take our three-year Biochemistry degree, without a year abroad or a sandwich year.

Summer studentships

We also offer between 20 and 30 paid Summer Studentships each year. You can apply to work in our research labs during the summer holiday and gain hands-on research experience before your final year of study.

Extra activities

You can join BioSoc, a student-run society. Previous activities have included research talks and social events.

We also encourage our students to attend outside conferences and events. In 2015, Kent students competed with 280 teams and won the gold medal at the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Giant Jamboree in the USA.

Study resources

Our modern teaching labs ensure you have a state-of-the-art working and learning environment. The School attracts a lot of research funding, and this provides for well-equipped research labs and first-class research facilities.

Professional networks

Our school collaborates with research groups in industry and academia throughout the UK and Europe. It also has excellent links with local employers, such as:

  • NHS
  • GSK
  • MedImmune
  • Eli Lilly
  • Lonza
  • Aesica Pharmaceuticals
  • Sekisui Diagnostics
  • Cairn Research
  • Public Health England.

Flexible tariff

You are more than your grades

At Kent we look at your circumstances as a whole before deciding whether to make you an offer to study here. Find out more about how we offer flexibility and support before and during your degree.

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    BBC including Biology (or Human Biology) grade B AND Chemistry grade B or Applied Science Double Award at BB, including the practical endorsement of any science qualifications taken.

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade C

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to pass the Access to Higher Education Diploma with 36 level 3 credits at distinction and 9 at merit, and to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits in particular subjects at distinction or merit grade.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    Distinction, Distinction, Merit in Applied Science or Biomedical Science. Please contact us for advice if you are taking a different BTEC subject.

  • medal-empty International Baccalaureate

    34 points overall or 15 points at HL, including Chemistry and Biology 5 at HL or 6 at SL, plus Mathematics 4 at HL or SL

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme

    Pass all components of the University of Kent International Foundation Programme with a 60% overall average including 60% in Skills for Bioscientists, Fundamentals of Human Biology and Life Sciences (plus 50% in LZ013 Maths and Statistics if you do not hold GCSE Maths at 4/C or equivalent).

Please contact the School for more information at study-bio@kent.ac.uk.

International students should visit our International Student website for further specific information. International fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot study part-time due to visa restrictions.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

If you need to improve your English language standard as a condition of your offer, you can attend one of our pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes before starting your degree programme. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

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Course structure

Duration: 4 years full-time

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  

On most programmes, you study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also be able to take ‘elective’ modules from other programmes so you can customise your programme and explore other subjects that interest you.

Fees

The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

  • Home full-time £9250
  • EU full-time £15400
  • International full-time £20500

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

Fees for Year in Industry

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Fees for Year Abroad

Fees for Home undergraduates are £1,385.

Students studying abroad for less than one academic year will pay full fees according to their fee status. 

Additional costs

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

University funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. See our funding page for more details. 

Government funding

You may be eligible for government finance to help pay for the costs of studying. See the Government's student finance website.

Scholarships

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence. 

The scholarship will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of A*AA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications (including BTEC and IB) as specified on our scholarships pages.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

Search scholarships

Teaching and assessment

Teaching includes lectures, laboratory classes, workshops, problem-solving sessions and tutorials. You have an Academic Adviser who you meet with at regular intervals to discuss your progress, and most importantly, to identify ways in which you can improve your work further so that you reach your full potential.

Most modules are assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and end-of-year exams. Exams take place at the end of the academic year and count for 50% or more of the module mark. Stage 1 assessments do not contribute to the final degree classification, but all Stage 2 and 3 assessments do, meaning that your final degree award is an average of many different components. On average, 29% of your time is spent in an activity led by an academic; the rest of your time is for independent study.

Contact hours

For a student studying full time, each academic year of the programme will comprise 1200 learning hours which include both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will be subject dependent and will vary according to modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Methods of assessment will vary according to subject specialism and individual modules.  Please refer to the individual module details under Course Structure.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • instil a sense of enthusiasm for biochemistry, confront the scientific, moral and ethical questions raised and engage in critical assessment of the subject material covered
  • provide a stimulating, research-active environment in which you are supported and motivated to achieve your academic and personal potential
  • educate you in the theoretical and practical aspects of biochemistry
  • facilitate the learning experience (integration and application of knowledge) through a variety of teaching and assessment methods
  • provide the opportunity for you to undertake an independent research project
  • prepare you for further study, or training, and employment in science and non-science based careers, by developing transferable and cognitive skills
  • provide access to as wide a range of students as practicable.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • the main metabolic pathways used in biological systems in catabolism and anabolism, understanding biological reactions in chemical terms
  • the variety of mechanisms by which metabolic pathways can be controlled and the way that tissue specific functions can be co-ordinated with the needs of the rest of the human body
  • the genetic organisation of various types of organism, such as microbes and humans, and the way in which genes can be expressed and their expression controlled
  • the structure and function of the main classes of macromolecules such as DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids and polysaccharides
  • protein structure and function, especially enzymes
  • the structure and function of biological membranes
  • the main mechanisms by which cells in the human body can communicate with each other
  • the main principles of cell and molecular biology
  • the basic principles of microbiology
  • the main experimental techniques used in the study of biochemistry
  • the principle methods for communicating aspects of biochemistry.

Intellectual skills

You gain the following intellectual abilities:

  • understand the scope of teaching methods and study skills relevant to a biochemistry degree
  • understand the concepts and principles in outcomes recognising and applying biochemistry specific theories, paradigms, concepts or principles. For example, the relationship between genes and proteins
  • analyse, synthesise, summarise and present biochemical information
  • demonstrate competence in solving extended biochemical problems involving advanced data manipulation and comprehension using biochemical specific and transferable skills
  • integrate scientific evidence, to formulate and test hypotheses
  • structure, develop and defend complex scientific arguments by understanding and applying your knowledge base
  • plan, execute and interpret the data from a short research project
  • recognise the moral and ethical issues of biochemical investigations and appreciate the need for ethical standards and professional codes of conduct.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in the following:

  • the ability to handle biological material and chemicals in a safe way, thus being able to assess any potential hazards associated with biochemical experimentation
  • perform risk assessments prior to the execution of a biochemical experimental protocol
  • use basic and advanced experimental equipment in executing the core practical techniques used by biochemists
  • find information on biochemical systems from a wide range of information resources and maintain an effective information retrieval strategy
  • plan, execute and assess the results from biochemical experiments
  • identify the best method for presenting and reporting on biochemical investigations using written, data manipulation/presentation and computer skills
  • awareness of the employment opportunities for biochemistry graduates.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • the ability to receive and respond to a variety of sources of information: textual, numerical, verbal, graphical
  • communicate effectively to a variety of audiences using a range of formats and approaches
  • problem solve by a variety of methods, especially numerical, including the use of computers
  • use the internet and other electronic sources critically as a means of communication and as a source of information
  • interpersonal and teamwork skills that allow you to identify individual and collective goals, recognise and respect views and opinions of others
  • self-management and organisational skills and the capacity to support life-long learning
  • awareness of information sources for assessing and planning future career development.

Independent rankings

Biological Sciences at Kent was ranked 24th out of 103 institutions in The Complete University Guide 2021. It was also ranked 5th for graduate prospects.

Careers

Graduate destinations

Our graduates have gone on to work in research-based jobs in academic, government, industrial and medical labs. They have also gone on to work in:

  • teaching
  • scientific publishing and marketing
  • IT.

Many of our graduates also go on to further study at MSc or PhD level.

Help finding a job

The School of Biosciences runs employability events with talks from alumni outlining their career paths since graduation.

The University has a friendly Careers and Employability Service, which can give you advice on how to:

  • apply for jobs
  • write a good CV
  • perform well in interviews.

Career-enhancing skills

You graduate with an excellent grounding in scientific knowledge and extensive laboratory experience. In addition, you also develop the key transferable skills sought by employers, such as:

  • excellent communication skills
  • work independently or as part of a team
  • the ability to solve problems and think analytically
  • time management.

Employers will also be impressed that you have spent a year studying and living abroad as this shows that you are flexible in your outlook and adapt to new cultures.

You can also gain new skills by signing up for one of our Kent Extra activities, such as learning a language or volunteering.

Professional recognition

Our Biochemistry degree programme is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RSB), and our four-year Biochemistry with a Sandwich Year programme has Advanced Accreditation.

Applications

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021/22 academic year. Please visit the 2022 entry course pages.

Contact us

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United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Enquire online for full-time study

E: study-bio@kent.ac.uk 

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International student enquiries

Enquire online

T: +44 (0)1227 823254
E: internationalstudent@kent.ac.uk

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School website

School of Biosciences

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