Medical Biochemistry BSc, 3-4 years

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To make big breakthroughs in diagnosing and treating disease, we often have to look at life at the molecular level. Studying biochemistry in this way will help you tackle the world’s most pressing health issues.

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Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 3323 or 2907

School of Biological Sciences website

Course description

Course description

Your Medical Biochemistry BSc will give you a firm grounding in modern biochemistry, covering a broad range of topics with particular emphasis on how the subject relates to medicine and health issues. Along the way you will gain not only subject knowledge but also important transferable skills that should make you an attractive prospect for future employers.

At the University of Leicester, our Medical Sciences degrees are actually four degrees in one. You can apply for this degree in Medical Biochemistry or any of the three degrees listed below.

Whichever degree you choose, your first year will be the same and you will have the same choice of modules in your second year and again in your final year. Selecting particular modules in your second and final years will steer you towards one of our specialist degrees (which doesn't have to be the one you originally applied for).

The other available specialisms are:

What's the difference?

Our seven Biological Sciences degrees cover major aspects of biology across a wide range of organisms from bacteria and fungi to humans and plants. Our four Medical Sciences degrees focus more closely on the application of those biological principles to medicine, including the social and ethical issues raised by recent advances in medical science.

Download a prospectus (PDF, 6MB)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • A-levels: typical offer AAB/ABB, normally including at least two relevant science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths. (If you have only one science A-level, please send your full academic profile to before applying.) We may consider two AS-levels in place of one A2-level. General Studies not accepted
  • EPQ with A-levels: typical offer BBB + EPQ at grade B. A-level subjects to include two relevant science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths. General Studies not accepted
  • GCSE: At least Grade C/4 in both English Language and Maths (if not held at A-level)
  • Access to HE Diploma: Pass Science diploma with 45 credits at level three, 30 of which must be at distinction
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 32/30 points, with a minimum of 17/16 points at HL to include grade 6 and 5 in at least two relevant science subjects from Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Maths. Minimum of 3 in HL Maths or 4 in SL Mathematics, or 5 in Maths Studies required if grade C/4 not held at GCSE. Minimum of 4 in English Language required if grade C/4 not held at GCSE
  • BTEC Nationals: Pass Applied Science Diploma with DDD plus five GCSEs at B/5 or above including two relevant sciences. Please contact Admissions before applying

Other national and international qualifications considered. If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester.

Second year entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the School of Biological Sciences.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

UK and EU Students

Starting in 2019

  • £9,250 in your first year. Tuition fees are subject to government regulations and may change in future years
  • Year Abroad: your fee will be £1,250 for that year
  • Year in Industry: your fee will be 15% of the full-time tuition fee that applies in that year

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

International Students

Starting in 2019

  • £20,590 per year
  • Year Abroad: £5,147.50, which is 25% of the full-time tuition fee
  • Year in Industry: £3,088.50, which is 15% of the full-time tuition fee

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

Our 'Careers After Biological Sciences' series of lectures features Leicester graduates giving insights into their career experiences and good advice for finding jobs.

In the summer vacation between Years 2 and 3, a range of internal research placements are available in research labs, giving you the chance to develop your scientific skills.

We run bespoke bioscience careers events in the summer term each year, based on what our students tell us about their career intentions.

As a student in the School of Biological Sciences, you are welcome to attend seminars in any department, presented by national and international experts in the biosciences. This allows you to enhance your knowledge and get useful insights into current topics.

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Related courses

Related courses

Course structure

Year 1

Year 1


Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)

Year in Industry or Abroad (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year studying abroad at one of our partner institutions or working in an industrial placement (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

NB. A year spent abroad or on an industrial placement still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

Year Abroad

Studying abroad is not just for people who are interested in travelling and meeting new people. It is about acquiring life skills that are becoming increasingly significant for a wide range of jobs in our modern globalised society. Whether you go on to work in the private sector, the state sector, a non-governmental organisation or become self-employed you will find the experience invaluable. Find out more from our International Office.

The School of Biological Sciences at Leicester has links with several European universities, administered through the European Erasmus scheme. If you are eligible for a loan from Student Finance you can apply for a travel grant from them. During your second year at Leicester you will receive appropriate language training.

  • For the latest information on the future of the Erasmus scheme at UK universities please see our Brexit microsite

We have links with the following universities:

We also have links with some universities outside Europe. If you are receiving financial assistance from Student Finance your support will continue and you may also be eligible to apply for additional travel grants or scholarships. We have links with the following universities:

Year in Industry

An industrial placement is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience of laboratory work - and will normally be a paid position, more than offsetting the additional cost of the extra year. What is more, if you take a year in industry your degree will be accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.

Industrial placements are limited and are awarded through a competitive selection process, based on your performance in your first year. Previous students have worked for pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, and in research institutions such as the Animal Health Institute and Kew Gardens.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

Core modules

Option modules

Choose one pair of option modules from:

Option modules for students choosing the Analytical Research Project or the Steered Experimental Research Project

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Why Leicester?

In your final year you will undertake your own research project, using professional lab-based techniques and academic skills that are crucial for careers in the biosciences.

Our four Medical Sciences degrees let you study a broad range of topics in Year 1 before choosing the field that really fascinates you in Years 2 and 3, within a flexible module system that means you can also study topics outside of your main interest.

Our geneticists were instrumental in identifying the remains of King Richard III, discovered by University of Leicester archaeologists underneath a car park, by comparing skeletal DNA with living relatives of the King.

The technique of ‘DNA fingerprinting’ – used by courts and crime agencies throughout the world – was invented at the University of Leicester in 1984.

Biological Sciences at Leicester

Flexible and customisable, Chloe’s course allowed her to keep her options open.

Teaching and learning

The core content for each module will usually be delivered through lectures, which may include practical demonstrations. Individual lecture styles vary considerably, depending on the topic – and the lecturer! Alongside lectures you will attend tutorials, in which a small group of students meets with a member of staff for an hour to discuss and explore topics, or solve problems as a group. Some tutorials will require you to research a particular topic beforehand.

All of our Biological and Medical Sciences courses are practical degrees with strong emphasis on lab work and fieldwork, and the skills involved in these. Practical classes take place in well-equipped labs, under the guidance of academic staff and postgraduate demonstrators.

Assessment for each module is split between exam and coursework, with the exam accounting for 55-70% of your overall mark for most modules. Your first year exams will mostly be multiple choice and short answer papers, with longer essay-style questions in your second and final year exams. The nature of the coursework varies from module to module: it may include practical lab work, a lab write-up or report, a practical skills test, essays, online multiple choice assessments, a data handling exercise, solo or group presentations, a field journal or critical evaluation of scientific papers. At the end of each semester in Years 1 and 2 you will be able to judge your overall performance, enabling you to closely monitor your progress and, if necessary, adjust your work pattern.

A significant part of your final year will be spent on an individual research study which will form the basis of your dissertation.

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they are academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Your contact hours will depend on the option modules you select. You can see details of the contact hours on individual module pages.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Course Medical Biochemistry Qualification BSc Duration 3 years full-time UCAS Code C720 Availability Apply Now
Course Medical Biochemistry with Year Abroad Qualification BSc Duration 4 years full-time UCAS Code C720 Availability Apply Now
Course Medical Biochemistry with Year in Industry Qualification BSc Duration 4 years full-time UCAS Code C720 Availability Apply Now