Course specification and structure
Undergraduate Course Structures Postgraduate Course Structures

UDBIOCHE - BSc Biochemistry

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Science Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Science
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Human Sciences
Subject Area Biosciences
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS 4 YEARS
Part-time 4 YEARS  
Course leader Christine Nunn

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The BSc course is will promote a broad understanding of the range of subject areas allied to Biochemistry. Knowledge and understanding of biochemistry is summatively assessed by time-constrained unseen examinations and by coursework comprising elements such as essays, practical reports, progress tests, poster presentations and seminar presentations completed during the course. Coursework and online tests are also used to provide formative feedback. Formative diagnostic assessment of knowledge and understanding is carried out, particularly during the initial stages of the course. Utilisation of the University’s VLE, WebLearn has become an invaluable tool with which to disseminate information and to support and assess student learning. Online progress tests will be used to provide students with feedback on their progress. Exams in several modules are delivered as online exams. Feedback will be delivered online and through provision of tutorial questions and answer sessions and other formative exercises. Practical skills exercises at each level are used to monitor proficiency at experimental work. Assessment of Data handling skills are embedded in practical reports, problem solving exercises, information abstracting and reviewing exercises, poster presentations and seminar presentations. The level 6 Research Project provides the ultimate measure of experimental and other practical skills. The excellent Science Centre also provides an unrivalled facility in which to carry out the level 6 research project module. BSc project assessment will culminate in the presentation of a dissertation and a poster presentation, designed to allow the student to demonstrate their depth of knowledge and understanding. Students have access to the library which provides specific group study areas as well as access to a comprehensive and regularly reviewed range of textbooks, journals and online learning resources. In addition, there are ‘all access’ areas on the ground floor of the Tower building and the green lounge at Benwell Road. These areas come with comfortable seating and IT facilities.

Course aims

BSc (Hons) Biochemistry has been designed to produce graduates with a sound knowledge base and a high standard of cognitive, practical and transferable skills, who will be equipped to take up employment in medical research, in hospital and public health laboratories, and in the pharmaceutical, food and agricultural industries. The analytical, numerical and communication skills developed by biochemistry graduates are also in demand in non-science-based careers such as accountancy, journalism and marketing. The aims of the single honours Biochemistry course are to provide the opportunity for students to explore the molecular, cellular and physiological bases of life processes. They will enhance their intellectual and practical skills necessary for the collection, analysis, interpretation and understanding of biochemical information and data as well as develop awareness of the ethical implications of the complex biochemical issues presented in the contemporary world. Students will develop skills of reflection and self-evaluation. The course will enhance employability awareness, professional performance and transferable evaluative skills, problem solving skills and communication skills.

Course learning outcomes

1. The course aims to promote a good knowledge-skills balance enhancing the professional practice of the students. These aims are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications for Biosciences (2015). By the end of the course students will:
1. have developed an understanding of the structure and chemical functioning of biological molecules, of information storage, transfer and processing in living systems and of metabolic processes and their control
2. have developed a knowledge of the diversity of cell types, and an understanding of the relationship between cellular structure and function, and of the mechanisms by which individual cells interact in complex organs and multicellular organisms
3. have developed an awareness of the ethical dimensions within which contemporary biochemistry operates
4. have developed higher order skills that are reflected in their ability to critically evaluate and integrate information and develop ideas on issues, methodologies and processes within a biochemical context
5. have developed higher order skills that are reflected in their ability to construct logical and reasoned arguments to support their position on the social and ethical impact of advances in biochemistry
6. have developed higher order skills that are reflected in their ability to undertake self-reflection and demonstrate the skills of self-management, self-presentation and decision making
7. be able to communicate concepts, principles and information effectively by oral and written means with clarity and confidence
8. be able to identify and work towards targets for personal, academic and career development, and implement strategies for updating, maintaining and enhancing knowledge and skills
9. to able to undertake the collection and analysis of biochemical data with due regard to validity, accuracy, calibration, precision and reproducibility
10. be able to devise and execute an independent project in a responsible, safe and ethical manner, and interpret and contextualise the findings within a contemporary understanding of biochemistry

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Module Title Module Code

Laboratory Science BC4001
Anatomy and Physiology BC4004
Cell and Molecular Biology BC4003
Chemistry (for Biosciences) BC4051
Biochemistry BC4052
Metabolism BE5058
Microbiology BE5059
Molecular Biology BE5060
Human Immunity BE5061
Bioanalytical Science for Biosciences BE5007
Fundamentals of Medicinal Chemistry BC5062
Work Placement BC6W54
Ethics for Science BC5K55
Infection Control BC6060
Project BC6P01
Bioinformatics and Molecular Modelling BE6056
Biochemical Pathology BE6005
Clinical Biochemistry BE6062
Genomics BC6059
Virology BC6052
Applied Immunology BC6053
Energy Metabolism & Endocrinology BE6063

Learning Outcomes 1 - 10

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Biosciences 2015

Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a variety of methods including problem solving exercises, in-class test, data analysis, practical reports, case studies, oral presentations, extended essays, examinations, research project interim report, oral examination and dissertation. Practical skills are summatively assessed through coursework assignments, including those in the project module. Data handling skills are summatively assessed by practical reports, problem solving exercises, oral presentations and examinations. Formative assessments include group activities in tutorial classes, mini-tests and project workshops.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course includes the option to take either a 15 credit Work Placement module at level 6 or a 30 credit Sandwich Placement module between level 5 and level 6. Students are not allowed to register for both these modules.

Modules required for interim awards

CertHE Biosciences

BC4004 Anatomy and Physiology
BC4003 Cell and Molecular Biology
BC4051 Chemistry
BC4052 Biochemistry
BC4001 Laboratory Science

DipHE Biochemistry

BE5058 Metabolism
BE5059 Microbiology
BE5060 Molecular Biology
BE5061 Human Immunity
BE5007 Bioanalytical Science for Biosciences
BC5062 Fundamentals of Medicinal Chemistry

BSc Hons Biochemistry

BC6P01 Project
BE6056 Bioinformatics and Molecular Modelling
BE6005 Biochemical Pathology
BC6059 Genomics
BE6062 Clinical Biochemistry

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

During the induction phase of the programme students will be introduced to structured reflection on their development of Undergraduate Skills which constitute much as the substance of personal development planning. Students will undertake to produce their personal development plan (PDP) during their undergraduate career or in the workplace. PDP can include other activities outside of the academic aspect of university life. The option exists for students to undertake an additional 30 credit module BC6W04 sandwich Placement module to enhance employability. This would normally be undertaken between level 5 and 6, this would extend the period of study to four years. PDP is designed to allow students to articulate the skills developed during their undergraduate career and encourages them to critically reflect on their learning experience, to set new personal and academic goals and evaluate progress made in achieving those goals. Progress with Undergraduate Skills will be articulated to students as the programme progresses through feedback from tutors and peers enabling them to reflect on their progress based on the evidence available. This process assists students in developing as independent learners, identifying their strengths and weaknesses. This will be of benefit throughout their future career. By way of modules: Anatomy and Physiology (Level 4); Microbiology (Level 5); and, Project (Level 6) students will progressively develop their PDP which will culminate in a CV and graduation statement.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

Biochemistry is a biological and research based science course and places emphasis on the practical applications of appropriate techniques. The course is designed to incorporate the study of life processes in relation to health and identifying disease and its causes, investigate and monitor pathological processes and treatment strategies. Subjects covered are broad giving experience of the structure, functioning and analysis of biological fluids, cells, tissues and the relationship of body systems in health, disease, and the environment. Graduates are equipped for careers in medical research, in hospital and public health laboratories, and in the pharmaceutical, food and agricultural industries. Graduates' analytical, numerical and communication skills are also in demand in other careers such as accountancy, journalism, marketing and teaching.

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

On graduation, you'll be eligible to apply for Graduate or Associate Membership of the Royal Society of Biology, depending on your degree classification.

Career opportunities

You'll complete the course equipped for a career in medical and biological research, in hospital and public health laboratories or in the pharmaceutical, food, water and agricultural industries.

You'll also develop analytical, numerical and communication skills that are in demand in other careers such as accountancy, journalism, marketing and teaching.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grade C in Biology and Chemistry at A level (or a minimum of 96 UCAS points, or an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science with MMM)
  • English Language and Mathematics GCSE at grade C/grade 4 or above (or equivalent ie Key Skills Level 3)

Entry from appropriate Foundation/Access courses will also be considered.

If you don't have traditional qualifications or can't meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the BSc Biochemistry Extended Degree.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 24 Feb 2012 Last validation date 24 Feb 2012  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes C720 (Biological Chemistry): 100%
Route code BIOCHE

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BC4001 Laboratory Science Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
BC4003 Cell & Molecular Biology Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
BC4004 Anatomy & Physiology Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
BC4051 Chemistry (for Biosciences) Core 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
BC4052 Biochemistry Core 15 NORTH SPR THU AM

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BC5062 Fundamentals of Medicinal Chemistry Core 15 NORTH AUT FRI AM
BE5007 Bioanalytical Science for Biosciences Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED PM
BE5058 Metabolism Core 15 NORTH AUT WED AM
BE5059 Microbiology Core 15 NORTH SPR WED AM
BE5060 Molecular Biology Core 15 NORTH AUT THU AM
BE5061 Human Immunity Core 15 NORTH SPR THU AM
BC5K55 Ethics for Science Option 15 NORTH SPR WED PM
BC6060 Infection Control Option 15 NORTH SPR WED PM
BC6W54 Work Placement Option 15 NORTH AUT NA  
          NORTH SPR NA  

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
BC6059 Genomics Core 15 NORTH SPR FRI AM
BC6P01 Project Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR WED PM
BE6005 Biochemical Pathology Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
BE6056 Bioinformatics & Molecular Modelling Core 15 NORTH AUT FRI PM
BE6062 Clinical Biochemistry Core 15 NORTH AUT MON AM
BC6052 Virology Option 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
BC6053 Applied Immunology Option 15 NORTH SPR MON PM
BE6063 Energy Metabolism & Endocrinology Option 15 NORTH SPR WED AM