Biochemistry - BSc (Hons)
with a Foundation Year

Help solve 21st Century problems in health, agriculture and the environment through the study of how living organisms function at molecular level. Whether you're looking for a change of career, or may not have the scientific background or entry requirements for a degree in Biochemistry, our Foundation Year offers the opportunity to fill any knowledge gaps and build your confidence.

Overview

This programme is designed for students who do not meet the requirements for direct entry to Stage 1 of our degree courses, and is an excellent conversion course for applicants who have shown academic ability in non-science subjects.

Learning from inspirational academics working at the cutting-edge of research, you will develop the practical experience, scientific knowledge and transferable skills needed to meet your goals, both academically and in your chosen profession.

Reasons to study Biochemistry with a Foundation Year at Kent

  • Our foundation year offers you the flexibility to progress to degrees across our Division of Natural Sciences. You may choose a degree in Biochemistry, but equally you could opt for a degree within another area of Biosciences, or Chemistry, Forensic Science or Sport and Exercise Sciences.
  • Regular investment in our laboratories ensures you learn in a world-class environment – take a look around with current student Georgia.
  • Our lecturers are both innovative teachers and active researchers. Two of our academic staff have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships.
  • Study a wide range of modules and build your degree around your interests.
  • Focus on your future with expert careers advice and the opportunity to take a paid Summer Studentship, giving you valuable hands-on experience in our research labs.
  • We collaborate with research groups in industry and academia and have excellent links with local employers, including the NHS, Lonza and Sekisui Diagnostics, Roche, Sanofi and Pfizer.
  • Get involved with science outside of the lab by joining Kent BioSoc. This student-run society holds a seminar series, academic talks, trips and social events.

What you'll learn

In your foundation year, you study compulsory modules in biology, chemistry and scientific methods, plus a choice of optional modules. On successful completion of the foundation year, you will have reached a standard above A level and so be fully equipped to tackle a BSc degree course.

In the first year of your Biochemistry degree, you will start by gaining an insight into key biological and chemical disciplines, including biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, microbiology and physiology.

Next you’ll build on this knowledge and develop your skills as a bioscientist to cover areas such as gene regulation, cell biology and metabolism.

In your final year, you will tailor your degree to your interests through optional modules and a research project of your choice based on laboratory work, literature or data analysis.

See the modules you'll study

You can also tailor your degree to suit you with a sandwich year where you’ll undertake a paid role. This will give you the chance to put into practice the skills you’ve learnt and develop new ones, as well as building important connections. You can also expand your horizons with our year abroad, where you'll study at one of our partner institutions.

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Accreditation

Our BSc (Hons) Biochemistry degree is fully accredited by the Royal Society of Biology (RBS).

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. All applications are assessed on an individual basis but some of our typical requirements are listed below. Students offering qualifications not listed are welcome to contact our Admissions Team for further advice. Please also see our general entry requirements.

Please contact the School for more information at studynats@kent.ac.uk.  

If you are an international student, visit our International Student website for further information about entry requirements for your country, including details of the International Foundation Programmes. Please note that international fee-paying students who require a Student visa cannot undertake a part-time programme due to visa restrictions.

Please note that meeting the typical offer/minimum requirement does not guarantee that you will receive an offer.

English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you do not meet our English language requirements, we offer a number of 'pre-sessional' courses in English for Academic Purposes. You attend these courses before starting your degree programme.

Course structure

Duration: 4 years full-time

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.  

The modules for Stages 1-3 of the degree course can be viewed on the Biochemistry - BSc (Hons) page.

Fees

The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  • Home full-time TBC
  • International full-time TBC

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.

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

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

Search scholarships

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.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching includes lectures, workshops (including problem-solving sessions, literature reviews, etc), laboratory practical classes, research project and related assessment. 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. There are also visits to local hospital and public health laboratories to observe the way that knowledge and understanding of biomedical science is used in a working environment.

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:

  • provide you with confidence in science and mathematics
  • develop knowledge of key scientific and mathematical skills, concepts and theories that underpin Biochemistry, to prepare you for Stage 1 of the undergraduate course
  • instil a sense of enthusiasm for biochemistry, confront the scientific, moral and ethical questions, and engage in critical assessment of the subject material
  • provide a stimulating, research-active environment for teaching and learning in which you are supported and motivated to achieve your academic and personal potential
  • educate students in the theoretical (subject-specific knowledge) and practical (laboratory skills and methods) aspects of biochemistry
  • develop knowledge through a variety of teaching and assessment methods
  • offer the experience of undertaking an independent research project whether it be laboratory, library, computer, business, or school-based
  • prepare students 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:

  • use appropriate methods of numeracy, information retrieval, analysis and communication to support university-level study
  • 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
  • acquire the skills for analysis, synthesis, summary and presentation of 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
  • the ability to 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:

  • to be able to handle biological material and chemicals in a safe way, and be able to assess any potential hazards associated with biochemical experimentation
  • perform risk assessments prior to the execution of a biochemical experimental protocol
  • the ability to 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 such as journals, books and electronic databases, and maintain an effective information retrieval strategy
  • the ability to plan, execute and assess the results from biochemical experiments using acquired subject-specific knowledge
  • identify the best method for presenting and reporting on biochemical investigations using written, data manipulation/presentation and computer skills
  • be aware of the employment opportunities for biochemistry graduates.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in the following:

  • work effectively with others in the academic community to support university-level study
  • the ability to receive and respond to a variety of sources of information: textual, numerical, verbal and 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 a source of information
  • interpersonal and teamwork skills that allow you to identify individual and collective goals, recognise and respect the views and opinions of other team members
  • self-management abilities plus organisational skills and the capacity to support life-long learning
  • awareness of information sources for assessing and planning future career development.

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.

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.

Apply for Biochemistry with a Foundation Year - BSc (Hons)

Full-time study through Clearing

Complete this form to tell us more about you and your experience. This will enable us to make a decision. Remember that you will need to add us as your choice in UCAS to accept any offers that we make to you. There's a short checklist of details you need to help complete your UCAS application simply.

Due to time constraints, new applications requiring a VISA to study will no longer be considered for September 2022 entry.

  • Your UCAS Track login details
  • UCAS code C70F
  • Institution ID K24

Start your application

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