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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

If you want to enjoy a practical study of one of the fastest-growing and most fascinating areas of human knowledge, then our biochemistry course is for you.

You'll be taught by - and also get the chance to assist - brilliant scientists who are involved in ground-breaking research and new discoveries.

Increasingly, biochemists and biotechnologists are playing a crucial role in genetic engineering and molecular bioengineering, as well as other areas of physiology and medicine.

For instance, antibiotics remain one of the UK's main exports and their production by fermenting micro-organisms in the pharmaceutical industry has revolutionised healthcare.

We want to give you a comprehensive understanding of the theory and application of biotechnology and biochemistry in areas of medicine and industry.

So you can be part of this invigorating exploration, studying subjects that are playing a key role in improving the manufacturing processes, in fighting disease and improving our lives.

This course comes with the opportunity of a year-long industry placement between years two and three, subject to availability of positions with our industry partners. If you choose this option, you'll spend your third year working in an appropriate professional environment, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge.

Foundation year

If you don't meet the entry requirements for a BSc degree, you have the option of taking an extended four-year version of this course. You'll take a bioscience foundation year which will prepare you for the BSc degree.

What makes this course different

Student working in Lab

Foundation Year

Find out more about our flexible Bioscience and Health Foundation pathways

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Placement

We'll give you the opportunity of invaluable placements in hospitals, research laboratories and the commercial world which will enhance your chances of employment.

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1st modern university in London

We are the top modern university in London for overall satisfaction. (Molecular Biology, Biophysics, Biochemistry, NSS, 2018)

Students in lab

£2.4m investment in facilities

Bioscience labs at Stratford campus

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

Your first year will be a general introductory to the subject, focusing on the three core areas of chemistry, cell biology and biochemistry. 

In year two, you'll study core modules such as Biotechnology, Molecular Genetics, Cellular Biochemistry and Organic Chemistry.

A large part of your final year will be taken up on an independent research project as well as studying advances in biotechnology and biochemistry and the analysis of the human genome.

You'll find working on your own project rewarding and enjoyable while it will also develop both your laboratory skills and your ability to collect and collate new data.

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Essential Skills for Higher Education (Mental Wealth)

    The module aims to enable you to develop the range of essential skills required to complete your academic studies successfully and to enhance your employment prospects. You will develop your skills in academic reading and writing, gathering and evaluating information, and critical thinking. You will perform various individual and group activities, including presentations on topics relevant to your degree studies, enhancing your social awareness and team work skills as well as core communication skills.

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    Essential Maths & ICT

    This module will provide you with fundamental knowledge and practical skills in basic maths, data presentation, and the IT skills. The development of these essential skills will help you to successfully complete further academic studies and enhance your employment prospects. Topics of study will include working with numbers, practical applied maths, basic statistics, data presentation and applied IT skills training in Microsoft office.

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    Career & Professional Skills (Mental Wealth)

    The module aims to develop your life and professional skills, enhance your employment prospects and progression, as well as the academic and subject specific skills which are required for further study. You will actively seek and engage with various digital platforms (e.g., Lynda, LinkedIn), University services and external institutions that will offer you opportunities, to explore, evaluate, learn and participate in activities that enhance your professional skills and reflect on how to plan your career. Academic staff in the various degree programmes and career coaches at UEL will advise and support you on professional skills, career prospects and developments.

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    Human Biology

    Within this module you will develop an understanding of the basic anatomical structures in the human body and physiological principles and processes underpinning their function. You will explore key areas such as the cardiovascular, respiratory, urinary, and musculoskeletal system and the coordination of these systems in the maintenance of bodily homeostasis and human health.

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    Introduction to the Study of Cells

    The module aims to provide you with a basic introduction to how different biological and biochemical processes function within cells. You will study the structure and biochemistry of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, cell metabolism, cell division as well as the principles of genetic variation. After completing this module you will have gained a suitable foundation for further studies in the biological and chemical sciences.

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    Chemistry of Life

    This module will provide you with a foundation in the theoretical and experimental aspects of chemistry that underpin many topics Chemistry and Biosciences. You will study basic principles of chemistry such as the periodic table, molecular structure and chemical bonding, organic and biological chemistry, nomenclature of carbon molecules and the structures and functions of the building blocks of life, environmental chemistry, pollutants and toxins on our environment and health.

  • Core Modules
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    Professional Practice in Science (Mental Wealth)

    This module will introduce you to the different approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in a Higher Education setting focusing on core skills required for the bioscience and chemistry programs. This will support you in your ‘transition’ from school, college or the work place towards degree level study. The module will have at its core the key academic, employability and transferable skills of English for academic writing, ICT, numeracy in biological and chemical sciences, statistics, basic laboratory techniques, presentation, and personal development and study skills.

    In parallel themes in personal development such as the understanding of key attributes and topics in emotional, social, cognitive and physical intelligence that are important for careers in biosciences and chemistry professions related to a student’s program of study.

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    Cell Biology

    Within this module you will develop a working knowledge, definitions concepts and practical skills that support the understanding of the structure and function of the dynamic cell. This includes topics in cell architecture, organelles, cell cycle, division, intra and extracellular signalling events, differentiation and specialisation of cells and the evolution of cell structures.

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    Fundamentals of Analytical Chemistry

    The module aims to enable you to develop a knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of analytical, mathematical and quantification techniques underpinning all aspects of Chemistry.

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    Introduction to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    This module will give students a working knowledge of the definitions, terms and concepts used in biochemistry and molecular biology, and some of the main processes that occur in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Areas of study will include chemical principles relevant to biological systems, the structure and function of biological molecules (RNA, DNA, proteins etc.), the processes underpinning cellular metabolism and its control. Students will develop and demonstrate their competence in a variety of practical laboratory techniques, focusing on enzyme catalysed reactions as well as develop an understanding of how these theoretical concepts and practical techniques overlap with other related disciplines.

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    Fundamentals in Microbiology

    Within this module you will learn about the structure, physiology, biochemistry, identification, classification and control of microorganisms, including the roles of normal flora found associated with humans. You will also develop basic practical skills required for the safe handling, identification and quantification of different microbes.

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    Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry

    The module aims to enable you to develop a knowledge and understanding of the synthesis, reaction, theoretical and practical techniques underpinning the fundamentals of organic chemistry. You will also develop an understanding of chemical chirality and its clinical significance in pharmaceuticals and other industrial applications.

    Optional Modules
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    Level 4 Short Work Placement

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

  • Core Modules
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    Infection & Immunity

    This module will provide you with a basic understanding of selected topics in medical microbiology, immunology, epidemiology and disease prevention. In the first part of the module the microbes and the consequences of microbial infection on their hosts will be explored. In the second part the development, structure and mechanisms of action of the components of the immune system; innate, acquired immunity, immune effector functions and vaccines will be explored. Theoretical concepts are reinforced through laboratory practical sessions which will introduce you to diagnostic microbiological and basic immunological techniques and data analysis.

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    Molecular Biology & Genetics

    Within this module you will be introduced to elements of genetics, genomics, human variation and organismal development. In particular you will examine the structure and function of genes, control of gene expression, the principles of inheritance, genetic disorders with particular biomedical significance, introduction to recombinant DNA technology, evolution and population biology. You will also examine topics such as organismal development, the human life cycles, ageing, stem cells, regenerative medicine and the contribution of genetics and the application of recombinant DNA technology to these areas.

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    Principles of Biotechnology

    This module builds on fundamental ideas and concepts introduced in Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and will provide you with a basis for further study of the applied aspects of molecular biology and recombinant DNA technology particularly focusing on the potential for and application of genetic manipulation of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

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    Research & Career Development - Mental Wealth

    This module is structured to offer you reflective, integrated components in which different scientific disciplines and specialities belonging to their and other programmes of study (such pathobiology, clinical laboratory practice, disease treatment, synthetic chemistry, drug design and manufacture, etc.) are discussed in a system-led approach to develop professional competencies required in carrying out independent laboratory work in a professional setting.

    This includes developing your understanding of different investigative techniques both within and outside of their programme of study, reading and interpreting scientific literature, generic research skills and understanding professional and regulatory benchmarks (ie ethics, governance) within the sector. You will also develop practical skills such as recording, evaluating and presenting results to different types of audiences. While development of sector specific scientific skills is the focus of this module, you will also in parallel develop key transferable skills which will help you thrive in a variety of other sectors.

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    Cellular Biochemistry

    Within this module you will build on your knowledge and understanding of the fundamental biochemical, metabolic pathways and processes in found within cells and organisms. This will include the investigation of protein structure and function and enzyme activity and control. You will learn and practice purification techniques for macromolecules. You will also examine theoretical and practical aspects of enzymes function and enzymology. Important exemplars in metabolic pathways such as the TCA and ETC will be discussed in detail and their roles in cellular energy production and human health and disease explored.

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    Organic Mechanisms of Synthesis

    The module aims to enable you to develop an expertise in implementing the drug synthesis, reaction, theoretical and practical techniques underpinning the core principles of organic chemistry. This will include the rational for various protecting group strategies and consolidating disconnection approaches in the context of drug synthesis.

  • Optional Modules
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    Year Long Placement (Sandwich Year)

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It also enables you to apply knowledge and skills in the competent performance of tasks required by a scientist. Furthermore, it helps you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

  • Core Modules
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    Applications of Biotechnology and Biochemistry

    This module will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of the applications and advances of recombinant DNA technology and applied biochemistry in research and industry. You will develop a critical understanding of as well as gain hands on experience with the use of recombinant DNA technology in topics such as gene therapy, stem cells, transgenesis techniques, agricultural applications of such as GMO crops and the production of recombinant proteins for industrial or pharmaceutical purposes.

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    DNA Analysis and Bioinformatics

    This module will provide you with a comprehensive insight into the analysis of information found within DNA and protein sequences. You will develop an in-depth understanding of as well as gain hands on experience in the analysis of gene structure and expression, analysis of genomes and their organization, public databases and in silico tools used by bioinformaticians to analyse DNA and protein sequence data. You will also gain hands on experience using common in silico bioinformatics tools and public databases to analyse DNA and protein sequences.

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    Protein Biochemistry and Proteomics

    Within this module you will gain an in-depth understanding of how a variety of laboratory and computation techniques are used to identify proteins and understand the structures of proteins. You will also learn how peptides can be synthesized and proteins can be chemically modified to alter their biological properties. Techniques used for the measurement of interactions between proteins and other macromolecules and their application in understanding protein function and bioengineering will also be explored.

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    Biopharmaceuticals

    This module will provide you with a deep understanding of biopharmaceuticals and the key successes and challenges underlaying their development and use. Topics including lead development, validation, basic compound production, generic delivery barriers, formulation strategies (both clinically proven and emerging) will be covered with an emphasis on successful products that have been introduced into clinical use. Case studies encompassing the use of therapeutic peptides, antibodies, enzymes and other protein drugs, and vaccines will serve as a foundation for you to critically evaluate the challenges surrounding these medicines. You will gain hands on experience in the techniques used to manufacture and assess the quality of biopharmaceutical products.

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    Clinical Biochemistry

    This module will help you develop a critical understanding of the principles and methods used to investigate the function and dysfunction of systems, organs and tissues through the measurement of biochemical markers. Topics such as sample collection and manipulation, screening, diagnosis, treatment, disease monitoring, therapeutic drug monitoring and investigation of substance abuse will be discussed. Benchmarks associated with running clinical assays will also be evaluated. Examples and case studies will be drawn from assays currently used in clinical biochemistry laboratories, however, a number of emerging technologies such as high throughput biomarker analysis will also be discussed. You will gain hands on experience in quality control statistical testing and interpretation and laboratory action/test planning, data handling, good laboratory practice and other core competencies which will place them in a good position to successfully compete for jobs within this sector.

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    Research Project and Career Enhancement Portfolio (Mental Wealth)

    During this cap-stone module you will integrate and apply the knowledge and practical skills you have learned through their degree program in two activities. The first is the honours level independent research project (honours dissertation) focused on generation and interpretation data in a topic area centred within your program of study. The second is the development of a career enhancement portfolio where you will be able to assess and hone their key transferable skill sets in preparation for successfully achieving their desired post graduate destinations.

    Optional Modules
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    Level 6 Short Work Placement

    This module is designed to give you an opportunity to develop professional skills and experience within the workplace. It will also help you to establish a range of professional contacts that have the potential to be useful both for project work and assisting in finding employment after graduation.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

We like to keep the learning varied and interactive at the University of East London, so you'll be encouraged to participate in a wide range of subjects, including lectures, seminars, workshops, laboratory practicals and web-based learning. 

You'll be taught, often in small groups, by renowned lecturers who are involved with research that is making a difference. For instance, Dr David Guiliano is a molecular biologist who works in the new and exciting field of molecular vaccines, while Course Leader Dr David Bringloe's research speciality is the production of therapeutic proteins in plant cell cultures.

You'll get the chance to help with our academics' research as well as pursuing areas of your own interest, especially with your own final-year research project. 

Within the biosciences field we have ten teaching laboratories, six dedicated research labs and a large variety of specialist equipment at our base in Stratford. You'll spend many hours there, doing practical work and learning about the latest techniques. 

Each year you will spend up to 240 hours of timetabled learning and teaching activities. These may be lectures, workshops, seminars and individual and group tutorials. Contact hours may vary depending on each module.

The approximate percentages for this course are:

  • Year 1: 175 Hours – Taught Sessions, 70 Hours – Practical/IT Workshops, 960 Hours – Independent Learning
  • Year 2: 165 Hours – Taught Sessions, 75 Hours – Practical/IT Workshops, 960 Hours – Independent Learning
  • Year 3: 160 Hours – Taught Sessions, 80 Hours – Practical/IT Workshops, 960 Hours – Independent Learning

Whilst we encourage students to undertake placements during their study. Capacity may vary year-to-year and placements may not be available to all students. This means students may have to go through a competitive process to secure their chosen placement.

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

We'll assess you with a mixture of coursework and exams. Coursework includes essays, research reports, group and seminar presentations and a final-year project. Most of the assessment in your first year is by coursework and we'll give you as much feedback as possible.

In your third year, you'll either take five core modules or undertake a work placement. We'll assess you accordingly. 

  • Year 1 - 50% Portfolio/Coursework, 50% Laboratory/Practical/ICT
  • Year 2 - 42% Written Exam/Timed Assessment, 33% Portfolio/Coursework, 17% Laboratory/Practical/ICT, 8% Case Study/PBL
  • Year 3 - 42% Portfolio/Coursework, 42% Written Exam/Timed Assessment, 16% Laboratory/Practical/ICT

You'll always receive detailed feedback outlining your strengths and how you can improve. We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 14 working days, although you will receive immediate feedback following many of our face to face assessments.

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Stratford Campus

Stratford Campus, Water Lane, Stratford

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Dr David Bringloe

In my post at UEL I am teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels mainly on the Biochemistry and Biotechnology programme.

See full profile

What we're researching

At the University of East London we are working on the some of the big issues that will define our future; from sustainable architecture and ethical AI, to health inequality and breaking down barriers in the creative industries.

Our students and academics are more critically engaged and socially conscious than ever before. Discover some of the positive changes our students, alumni and academics are making in the world.

Please visit our Research section to find out more.

UEL offered me the course that I really wanted to study. The lecturers here are really helpful and you can approach them easily when you have any problems that you need help sorting out. What I really liked was that there is a variety of projects available in the final year that were related my course. In addition, the University offers ways in which to take up internal volunteering vacancies and internships specific to your school of interest, which is a massive plus point in being a UEL student.

Nadin Uddin

Biotechnology, BSc (Hons)

Dockland Campus

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YOUR FUTURE CAREER

You'll be gaining a broad and varied grounding in biotechnology and biochemistry during your time with us, which means you'll find a range of career possibilities opening up to you after graduating.

You could go into laboratory-based work in a hospital or research institute, or work at an industrial or pharmaceutical lab. 

You might find you're well suited for a role as a research and development consultant, or use your knowledge to teach the next generation. If you follow this route, the University of East London is renowned for the quality of its postgraduate teacher-training courses.

Alternatively, you may wish to continue studying biotechnology or biochemistry at postgraduate level or study a related discipline such as nursing, physiotherapy, dentistry, medicine or pharmacy.

Some of Course Leader Dr David Bringloe's students have achieved great success. For example, Marta Futema went straight into cancer research at University College London (UCL) because her work at UEL was so outstanding.

Others went on to Oxford University and Royal Holloway while two of our most recent graduates have landed scholarships for Biotechnology master's degrees at UCL.

No doors are closed with this degree. One of our graduates decided he wanted to forge a career in the corporate world of pharmaceuticals. He was head-hunted for a job with leading biopharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca, before retraining as a doctor at a medical school.

 

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal.