Biochemistry BSc (Hons)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • School: School of Life Sciences Learning & Teaching

Modern Biochemistry has a broad remit, covering all aspects of how cells behave. It has also given rise to the new disciplines of Molecular Biology and Molecular Genetics, and with them underpins many of the exciting advances being made in medicine and biotechnology today.

Why study Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or Molecular Genetics at Dundee?

The University of Dundee is recognised internationally as one of the leading centres for biochemical research, including areas such as cell signalling, cell and developmental biology, cell division, diabetes and cancer research.

Our teaching is research-led, meaning that the degree programmes benefit from association with research of international standard and its commercial and biomedical applications, and from the active participation of many leading scientists in the field.

What are Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics and Molecular Biology?

Biochemistry involves the study of complex processes in cells and organisms at the molecular level. Molecular genetics is concerned with the structure and function of the genetic material, and molecular biology with the functions of the cell's macromolecules.

The boundaries between Biochemistry and its related disciplines are, however, becoming less distinct. We reflect this by providing a common structure to the degree programmes for these subjects in your first three years of study.

Depending upon your choice of project and taught topics at Level 4 you can graduate with a degree in either Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or Molecular Genetics.

What's so good about Biochemistry at Dundee?

Practical experience

Dundee can offer you a range of Level 4 Research Projects in leading laboratories because of its high level of top-rated research activity in these areas.

The Medical School is part of the Ninewells Hospital and it is a wonderful opportunity for us students to be able to go on wards, ask for advice from doctors, see patients from the very beginning of our studies. The curriculum at Dundee Medical School suits my learning style perfectly and I am so glad I am a Medical student at the University of Dundee!

Degree Combinations

  • Molecular Biology BSc
  • Molecular Genetics BSc

Related Courses

This course is taught by staff based in the College of Life Sciences.

There are regular meetings of staff-student liaison committees. While this provides a forum for formal contact, there is also opportunity for informal contact between you and academic staff, whom you will find friendly and approachable.

We use a variety of teaching methods, with lectures and practicals forming the core. In addition, we use workshops, tutorials, computer-aided learning, and field excursions, as appropriate to each module.

Typical Degree Programme

Levels 1 and 2

All Life Sciences degree programmes share common core modules at Level 1 that provide a general introduction to the life sciences through an integrated programme of lectures, tutorials, practical work and field excursions.

Please refer to the Biological/Biomedical Sciences degree structure and overview webpagefor details of the common curriculum in Levels 1 and 2.

Level 3

At Level 3 you specialise much more in biochemistry, molecular genetics and molecular biology, and you choose additional subjects that interest you to study alongside your main subject. You will develop your knowledge and skills in the following subject areas:

  • DNA structure
  • replication and repair
  • transcription
  • genome organisation
  • regulation of protein function
  • molecular genetic and proteomic analysis
  • the molecular basis of inherited diseases
  • cell structure
  • the cytoskeleton
  • cell adhesion
  • nuclear architecture
  • immunology
  • signal transduction
  • the regulation of cell growth and division
Summer work placements

Many students take advantage of opportunities for summer work placements, normally between Levels 3 and 4, which are available as externally-funded competitive placements, or as voluntary laboratory work.

Level 4

Your studies at Level 4 will be at the level of current research in your chosen subject area.

Advanced study of topics in biochemistry, molecular genetics and molecular biology with additional options chosen from related subject areas such as microbiology and developmental biology. The range of topics that is currently available includes:

  • the cell cycle
  • eukaryotic gene expression
  • bioinformatics
  • genomics & beyond
  • cell signalling
  • protein structure & function
  • single crystal X-ray diffraction
  • protein secretion & targeting
  • cytoskeletal function
  • the molecular biology of infection and immunity
  • immunotechnology
  • antibiotic resistance
  • virus molecular biology
  • bacterial membrane biology
  • drug discovery for tropical diseases
  • molecular oncology

Your studies will involve extensive use of scientific literature and the opportunity to attend a regular programme of seminars given by invited speakers from Britain and abroad.

  • Research project - several formats are available including laboratory-based research under the supervision of a leading scientist, computer modelling, multimedia teaching packages, literature and electronic database review.

All modules are assessed by a combination of in-course and end-of-course procedures. Regular in-course assessments (e.g. practical reports, computer-based exercises, essays and data processing exercises) provide feedback on your progress and help you prepare for end-of-module examinations.

On-line assignments are used extensively at Levels 1 and 2, with access via a PC on or off campus. Peer assessment operates in many team projects.

Careers

A degree in Biochemistry, Molecular Genetics or Molecular Biology opens the door to many career options. Graduates in these areas are in great demand in the pharmaceutical, agricultural, food, biotechnology and healthcare industries, with openings for laboratory work or in the marketing, sales and management areas. Comparable openings can be found in the various agricultural, medical and veterinary research institutes, hospitals and the scientific Civil Service.

Dundee is a rapidly expanding centre for biotechnology with new firms opening and forming links with Dundee University biochemists. Work placements are encouraged and provide an exciting taste of the new industries. Many of our students enter areas of employment not directly related to science, often as trainee managers or salespersons.

Postgraduate Study

Some of our students proceed to higher degrees (MSc or PhD) and go on to undertake or supervise original research, and others go on to take a degree in Medicine.

We offer a number of Masters level courses in addition to PhD research opportunities in the College of Life Sciences.

The following are the minimum requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Courses starting September 2015

Level 1 Entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
SQA Higher AABB AABB
GCE A-Level
ILC Higher AABB
IB Diploma 30 points (including 5, 5, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Biology and Chemistry (Higher, ILC Higher, IB Higher Level) plus Mathematics and Chemistry (Standard Grade at 3, Intermediate 2/National 5 at C, ILC Ordinary Level at C or IB Subsidiary Level at 4)
EU & International Visit our Your Country webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HNC with grade A in the graded unit with appropriate Science units
Scottish Baccalaureate
SWAP Access Relevant science subjects with AAA grades to include Chemistry and Biology/Human Biology at SCQF Level 6
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma
Welsh Baccalaureate
European Baccalaureate 70% overall with 7 in Biology and Chemistry

Courses starting September 2015

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher AB (AH) + BB (H) in different subjects
GCE A-Level AAB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Biology and Chemistry (AH or A-Level or IB Higher level) plus Mathematics (Standard Grade at 3, Intermediate 2/National 5 at C, GCSE at C, or IB Subsidiary Level at 4)
EU & International
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HND with grade AA in the graded units with appropriate Science units
Scottish Baccalaureate Distinction with AB at AH Biology and Chemistry. Mathematics at SG (grade 3) or Intermediate 2 (grade C)
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A relevant HND with Merits in appropriate Science modules
Advanced Diploma Grade A with ASL-A Level Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE C
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE grade C
European Baccalaureate 75% overall with 7.5 in Biology and Chemistry

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will, in most cases, depend on your current country of residence.

The fee shown is annual, and may be subject to an increase each year.

Fee categoryFees for students starting September 2015
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year of study. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants."
EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Overseas students (non-EU) £15,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants."

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loan Company.

Your personal statement should demonstrate an interest in the subject you are applying for and a commitment to the study of that subject. How did your interest in the subject arise, and do you have a particular career path in mind?

You should comment on your participation in both school/college/work and extracurricular activities and on the extent to which they have aided in your personal development and the acquisition of skills that will be of value to you as a life sciences student.

  • Do you have an enquiring mind?
  • Do you have good analytical skills and problem-solving ability?
  • Are you self-motivated and able to work independently?
  • Are you a good team player?
  • Do you have good communication skills?

If you are planning a gap year, comment on the intended activity and the benefits that you think you are likely to gain from the experience.

Give careful consideration to both the style and content of your personal statement as it can be an indicator of your ability to communicate as well as providing an account of your personal achievements and skills.

Please apply via UCAS



Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Biochemistry BSc (Hons)C700
Molecular Biology BScC720
Molecular Genetics BScC431