MSci Biochemistry with a Year Abroad


Attendance
Full Time
Award
Degree of Master of Sciences



UCAS Course Code
C72A
A-Level typical
AAB (2019/0 entry) See All Requirements
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Immerse yourself in the wonder of biological organisms and processes at the molecular level. Explore all aspects of life from molecules to cells, tissues and organisms, right up to populations and ecosystems. Learn from leading research scientists who are specialists in their fields of study. Spend your third year living and studying abroad, gaining a unique, career-shaping insight into the teaching, research and culture of another country.

This course is for you if you have a strong background in chemistry and are enthusiastic about applying this to the study of biological systems. It is ideal if you want to go on to work in industry, or to progress to a PhD and a career in research.

Biochemists have won six of the Nobel Prizes for Chemistry in the last 10 years. As a biochemist you’ll have the potential to make an impact on many areas of contemporary science, including health, nutrition, clean energy and tackling pollution.

Overview

On this course, you’ll follow the same programme as our MSci Biochemistry students, but you will spend your third year studying abroad at a partner university in Europe, Asia, Australia, USA or Canada. Experience and learn from the differences in teaching, research and culture – plus make valuable contacts for your career. 

Our biochemistry degrees are taught jointly by the Schools of Biological Sciences and Chemistry. This dual approach means that in all elements of the course you benefit from subject-specific experts who inform our undergraduate teaching.

In the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), 100% of our biological sciences research environment and impact was judged to be world-leading or internationally excellent, and the quality of our chemistry research output was ranked fourth in the UK (Times Higher Education Ref 2014 subject rankings).

Our research makes use of a wide array of facilities such as multi-photon and laser scanning confocal microscopes for the study of cells and tissues at the molecular level, high-field nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers and X-ray diffractometers for the study of molecular structure, mass spectrometers, liquid and gas chromatography systems, and fluorescence and electron microscopes.

You will benefit from our enviable position as an integral partner of the Norwich Research Park, which is also home to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and independent, world-renowned research institutes such as the John Innes Centre, The Sainsbury Laboratory, the Earlham Institute, and the new £75-million Quadram Institute.

Course Structure

Year one

In your first year you will learn the fundamentals of biology and chemistry that underpin the study of biochemistry.

Year two

As you progress you will choose from a broad range of modules across topics such as cell and molecular biology, medicinal chemistry, genetics, protein engineering and microbial biotechnology along with a wide range of optional modules

Year three

You will spend your third year living and studying abroad. You can choose from a broad range of partner universities in Europe, Australia and Asia. 

Year four

In your final year you’ll undertake a year-long independent research project, as well as having the opportunity to study advanced biochemistry modules at Master’s level.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching

Our school has world-class academics and excellent facilities, including our undergraduate practical laboratories.

The majority of learning will take place in lectures, seminars, practical laboratory classes and fieldwork providing you with invaluable contact time with lecturers, whilst learning through first-hand experience. Intellectual skills are developed by direct contact with lecturers who are frequently internationally recognised researchers in their disciplines.

Throughout the programme, each module involves applied work in collecting, analysing or reviewing data and observations on biological processes, with particular emphasis on the critical assessment of existing knowledge.

Many modules bridge traditional disciplines. Skills in asking and solving questions are promoted through seminars and group discussions. Mathematical and statistical skills are a major focus of both semesters in the first year. Research design and analysis are brought together in the final year undergraduate dissertation project, where independent thought and application are further developed.

Independent study

The course provides opportunities for independent study within our main state-of-the-art University library facility. Guidance throughout is provided through regular contact with your Academic Advisor.

Assessment

We use a number of assessment methods: formal examinations, project reports, course tests, practical and fieldwork reports, poster and oral presentations, essays and worksheets. The balance of Coursework and Examinations varies dependent upon module choices. For example, at Level 5, the majority of modules are assessed through 40% Coursework, 60% Examination. A small number of modules are 100% Coursework.

Optional Study abroad or Placement Year

This course gives you the opportunity to live and study abroad in your third year at one of our partner universities in Europe, Australia and Asia, Canada and the United States. It’s a fantastic chance to show future employers you have what it takes to succeed in an international setting.

For further details, visit our Study Abroad section of our website.

After the course

Your MSci Biochemistry with a Year Abroad could lead to a broad range of employment and postgraduate opportunities. You may go on to work in biotechnology, medical biochemistry, the brewing and food industries, science patenting or teaching.

Alternatively, you might choose to progress to a PhD and a successful research career in university, medical or industrial research laboratories.

We work together with UEA’s Careers Service to offer you support at every stage of your course, from choosing a career through to applying for graduate jobs and further study.

Career destinations

Examples of careers that you could enter include:

  • Biotechnology
  • Medical biochemistry
  • Medical or industrial research
  • Brewing and food industries
  • Science patenting
  • Teaching

Course related costs

You are eligible for reduced fees during the year abroad. Further details are available on our Tuition Fee website. 

There will be extra costs related to items such as your travel and accommodation during your year abroad, which will vary depending on location.

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.

Course Modules 2018/9

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

BONDING, STRUCTURE and PERIODICITY

After a shared introduction to chemical bonding, atomic and molecular structure and chemical principles, this module will provide you with an introduction to the structures, properties and reactivities of molecules and ionic solids. The first few lectures of this module are integrated with the module 'Chemistry of Carbon Based Compounds'. The course is supported and illustrated by the bonding, structure and periodicity experiments of the first year practical modules, Chemistry Laboratory A or Research Skills in Biochemistry. The latter part of the course will concentrate more on fundamental aspects of inorganic chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on the relationships between chemical bonding and the structures and properties of molecules. This module is the prerequisite for the 2nd year Inorganic Chemistry module.

CHE-4301Y

20

CHEMISTRY OF CARBON-BASED COMPOUNDS

After a shared introduction to atomic structure and periodicity, you will be introduced to the concepts of bonding and hybridisation, conjugation and aromaticity, the mechanistic description of organic reactions, the organic functional groups, the shapes of molecules and stereochemical issues including the concepts of enantiomers, diastereoisomers and racemates.

CHE-4101Y

20

MOLECULES, GENES AND CELLS

You will explore the principles of how information is stored in DNA, how it is expressed, copied and repaired, and how DNA is transmitted between generations. You will gain an introduction to fundamental aspects of biochemistry and cell biology. The essential roles played by proteins and enzymes in signalling, transport and metabolism will be considered in terms of their structures. You will discover how living cells are visualised and the nature of the cell's component membranes and organelles.

BIO-4013Y

40

PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL METHODS IN BIOCHEMISTRY

To understand Life we have to study and understand the molecular properties of life's components. For any biochemist these are cells, energy, macromolecules, biochemical reactions and transport (of energy or chemical components). The tools we use as scientists in our quest for understanding life are various physical and analytical methods. You will be introduced to the basic principles of thermodynamics, chemical equilibria, electrochemistry, and reaction kinetics. You will conclude the module by having a look at various physical and analytical techniques that are being used in current Biochemistry. This lectures will introduce you and provide you with essential information about some of the physical principles that underpin our understanding of molecular and cellular systems. The complementary seminar series will help to consolidate your understanding through applying this knowledge to selected topics in biochemistry and provide you with the opportunity to develop skills in problem solving, data analysis, scientific writing, and presentation. The module is also enriched with six math workshops. In these workshops you are going to consolidate but also further develop basic and more advanced mathematical skills that directly relate with this module but that will also assist you for the duration of your degree.

BIO-4007Y

20

RESEARCH SKILLS IN BIOCHEMISTRY

If you are a Biochemistry student, this module will provide you with practical and research skills. In the laboratory, you will experience experimental and computational aspects of different areas of chemistry: organic, inorganic, analytical and physical. The experiments and simulations provide practical chemistry skills, complementing lectures in other first year modules. In seminars and workshops, you will develops skills such as analysing data, using references critically, and presenting results in different formats.

CHE-4602Y

20

Students must study the following modules for 80 credits:

Name Code Credits

BIOCHEMISTRY

You will develop further understanding of contemporary biochemistry, especially in relation to mammalian physiology and metabolism. With a particular focus on proteins and their biochemical activities, you will examine their involvement in cellular reactions, bioenergetics and signalling processes.

BIO-5002A

20

BIOPHYSICAL CHEMISTRY

This module will equip you with an understanding of the principles and techniques used in contemporary biophysical chemistry. You will learn experimental techniques for measuring thermodynamic and kinetic properties of biological molecules. You will gain firm grounding in the physical principles describing those properties and their use to provide quantitative descriptions of those properties. Using predominantly examples from protein biochemistry you will explore three major themes; i) spectroscopic properties of biomolecules, ii) thermodynamic and kinetic properties of proteins and enzymes, and, iii) methods defining biomolecule size and mass. Through weekly seminars you will benefit from putting your knowledge into practice, communicating your ideas and growing your confidence in quantitative data analysis and problem solving. During laboratory based practical work, you will develop your skills in sample preparation together with the collection and interpretation of spectroscopic data. Your participation in this module will give you the knowledge to appreciate how, and why, biophysical chemistry contributes to advances in medicine, sustainable energy solutions and healthy ageing.

CHE-5601Y

20

MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY

Medicinal chemistry is a highly interdisciplinary area and this module is designed to introduce a variety of topics in the field of medicinal chemistry. Some of the topics that will be discussed in a series of lectures include: - Molecular and biomolecular interactions - Biomolecules: Proteins and nucleic acids - Basic cell biology from a medicinal chemistry perspective - Basic processes in biology: Replication, - Transcription and Translation - Phases of drug action - Pharmacokinetics - Proteins and receptors as drug targets - DNA as a drug target and development of antitumor agents.

CHE-5150Y

20

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

You will be given a background to the fundamental principles of molecular biology, in particular the nature of the relationship between genetic information and the synthesis, and three dimensional structures, of macromolecules. You will also gain practical experience of some of the techniques used for the experimental manipulation of genetic material, and the necessary theoretical framework. The module also includes an introduction to bioinformatics, the computer-assisted analysis of DNA and protein sequence information.

BIO-5003B

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

CELL BIOLOGY

This module explores the molecular organisation of cells and the regulation of cellular changes, with some emphasis on medical cell biology. Dynamic properties of cell signalling, growth factor function and aspects of cancer biology and immunology. Regulation of the internal cell environment (information flow, cell growth, division and motility), the relationship of the cell to its extracellular matrix and the determination of cell phenotype. Aspects of cell death, developmental biology, mechanisms of tissue renewal and repair. It is suggested that students taking this module should also take Molecular Biology (BIO-5003B) and/or Genetics (BIO-5009A).

BIO-5005B

20

INORGANIC CHEMISTRY

In this module, you'll study the structure, bonding and reactivity patterns of inorganic compounds. This module is a prerequisite for the 3rd level inorganic course Inorganic Compounds: Structure and Functions. You'll cover the electronic structure, spectroscopic and magnetic properties of transition metal complexes (ligand field theory), the chemistry of main group clusters, polymers and oligomers, the structures and reactivities of main group and transition metal organometallics, and the application of spectroscopic methods (primarily NMR, MS and IR) to inorganic compounds. You'll have laboratory classes linked to the lecture topics and so you will need to have completed either of the level 4 practical modules, Chemistry Laboratory (A) or Research Skills in Biochemistry.

CHE-5301B

20

Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

GENETICS

The aim is to provide you with an appreciation of genetics at a fundamental and molecular level and to demonstrate the importance and utility of genetic studies. Genetics and molecular biology lie at the heart of biological processes, ranging from cancer biology to evolution.

BIO-5009A

20

ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

This course builds on Chemistry of Carbon-based Compounds (the first year organic chemistry course). You will cover four main topics. The first 'aromaticity' includes benzenoid and hetero-aromatic systems. The second major topic is the organic chemistry of carbonyl compounds. Spectroscopic characterisation of organic compounds is reviewed and the final major topic is 'stereochemistry and mechanisms'. This covers conformational aspects of acyclic and cyclic compounds. Stereoelectronic effects, Neighbouring Group Participation (NGP), Baldwin's rules, Cram's rule and cycloaddition reactions are then discussed.

CHE-5101A

20

Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits

YEAR IN AUSTRALASIA

You will undertake a full academic year of approved study at a specified Australian or New Zealand University.

BIO-6026Y

120

YEAR IN EUROPE

You will undertake a full academic year of approved study at a specified European University.

BIO-6027Y

120

YEAR IN NORTH AMERICA

Students undertake a full academic year of approved study at a specified overseas university. Module choices at different institutions will vary. However you will be required to take a selection of modules consistent with the UEA level 6 modules. Upon choosing your overseas modules, you must complete a Learning Agreement form, to be countersigned by the Course Director. Students will take assessments, as required by the host institution. The final marks and/or Grade Point Averages will be translated into a UEA equivalent once their year abroad is completed

CHE-6024Y

120

YEAR IN NORTH AMERICA

You will undertake a full academic year of approved study at a specified University in North America.

BIO-6025Y

120

Students must study the following modules for 80 credits:

Name Code Credits

MSCI RESEARCH PROJECT

Gain further experience of biological research, including the formulation of hypotheses and appreciation of the processes involved in designing and carrying out experiments and determining outcomes. You will also explore skills associated with the communication of data resulting from scientific work.

BIO-7009Y

60

TOPICS IN ADVANCED BIOPHYSICAL CHEMISTRY

You will build upon your knowledge of important biophysical concepts and methods that are widely employed in Biochemistry, Biological Chemistry, Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry. There are two main areas upon which you will focus: The first focusses on biological systems covering key areas such as the role of metal-containing proteins; biocatalysis, membrane proteins, including transport across biological membranes and modern developments in chemical biology. The second part of the module develops further your understanding of key biophysical characterisation tools used in chemical and structural biology. It develops the spectroscopic/structural theme covered in the B.Sc. course by providing an in depth, specialist view of selected key biophysical methods at the forefront of research. These include (i) high resolution crystallographic techniques and x-ray spectroscopic techniques (ii) magnetic resonance techniques (both advanced nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) methods); (iii) advanced optical techniques (eg MCD and Mossbauer), (iv) Computational approaches (eg molecular dynamics) for structure determination and structure-function studies as well as understanding and determining protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions.

CHE-7601Y

20

YEAR-LONG RESEARCH PROJECT

You will work with a supervisor to deliver a supervised research project. This module is only available to students registered for the MChem programme.

CHE-7001Y

60

Students will select 0 - 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

FRONTIERS IN MOLECULAR MEDICINE I

This module will help you to understand human diseases at the molecular and cellular level throughout the body. You'll gain knowledge of the normal tissue function in question and how it changes in disease. You'll also learn how research can identify molecular mechanisms underlying the diseases and lead to the design of tools for disease diagnosis, treatment and/or prevention. You'll benefit from world-renowned experts in their field across the Norwich Research Park. You'll learn about the usefulness of model organisms in research and become an expert in the gut, the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system. Up-to-date knowledge on infection, ion channels and metabolism will complement and link the body system. A substantial part of the module is dedicated to stem cells and their risk and potential as therapeutic target. You'll be assessed through an essay (30%) and a course test (70%) On successful completion of this module, you'll have a solid background on the structure and function of various organ systems, associated diseases and get insight how disease mechanisms are identified in translational research. This will be transferable into your future career as a PhD student or medical-related work setting.

BIO-7017A

20

Students will select 0 - 40 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits

ADVANCED TOPICS IN INORGANIC CHEMISTRY

This module is an option for all final year students on our integrated Master's degree. It builds on previous modules to present commercially relevant cutting edge science. You will learn how to tailor homogeneous catalysis to control the properties and value of commodity polymers. You will be able to describe the applications and suggest solutions to challenges in dehydrocoupling. You will be able to design novel combinations and explain the remarkable catalytic and stoichiometric reactivity of frustrated Lewis pairs. You will spectroscopically characterise and interpret multi-nuclear NMR. Your knowledge of the unique chemistry of gold complexes will equip you to explain the versatility of gold to treat cancer and prepare novel OLEDs.

CHE-7301Y

20

ADVANCED TOPICS IN ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I

Organic chemistry differs from most other areas of science in that we study what we create using the power of synthesis. In this context this module on advanced organic chemistry is the study of supermolecules - catalysts and supramolecular structures - and the methods and principles required to understand how these work. The topics are related closely to the research interests of the lecturers involved, and we hope that our enthusiasm for, and specialist knowledge of, the subjects covered will create an interesting and rewarding course that extends beyond organic chemistry to several other areas of science. In the Autumn semester the topic is asymmetric catalysis, a discipline that is increasingly utilised in organic synthesis. In Part A the principles of asymmetric catalysis will be introduced and exemplified using metal catalysis, organo catalysis and enzyme catalysis. Such is the importance of catalysis to life that this part will include an investigation into asymmetric catalytic reactions of relevance to the origins of life. In Part B the course will revisit palladium catalysed reactions studied in Year 3 and describe how these can be extended to the synthesis of chiral non-racemic molecules, including bioactive compounds and natural products of relevance to drug discovery programmes. In the Spring semester Part C will cover how the mechanism of an organic reaction, including a catalysed reaction, may be determined. This physical organic chemistry component of the course will provide a detailed insight into techniques and principles of use in several other areas of chemical science. Finally, in Part D, supramolecular structure will be discussed, including methods of synthesis, together with the application of these molecules in areas including materials chemistry.

CHE-7101Y

20

Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

Students cannot take BIO-7004A if they have already taken BIO-6013A and cannot take BIO-7007B if they have already taken BIO-6010B

Name Code Credits

GENOMES, GENES AND GENOMICS

This module will provide you with detailed knowledge of the biological analysis of genomes. The module is split into three sections centred on: a) Genome organisation, evolution and expression; b) Maintaining genome integrity; and c) Regulation of gene Expression. Your lectures will cover core processes and techniques central to genomics in biological disciplines. The later lectures you'll have on the module will be devoted to research-led teaching with many discussing genomics and new research from UEA scientists. A practical associated with this module will provide you with experience of molecular biology and the ability to critically analyse experimental data related to the taught component.

BIO-7004A

20

INFECTION AND IMMUNITY

Learn the biology of selected infectious microorganisms in the context of host and responses to pathogens. You'll explore the properties of organs, cells and molecules of the immune system, along with the mechanism of antibody diversity generation and the exploitation of the immune response for vaccine development. Examples of pathogens will illustrate major virulence strategies.

BIO-7007B

20

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. In some cases optional modules can have limited places available and so you may be asked to make additional module choices in the event you do not gain a place on your first choice. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

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Entry Requirements

  • A Level AAB including Chemistry and one other Science or Mathematics. Science subjects must include a Pass in the practical element.
  • International Baccalaureate 33 points including HL6 Chemistry and HL6 in one other Science or Maths. If no GCSE equivalent is held, offer will include Mathematics and English requirements.
  • Scottish Advanced Highers BBC including Chemistry and one other Science or Mathematics
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 4 subjects at H2 and 2 subjects at H3 including Chemistry and one other Science or Mathematics.
  • Access Course Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Distinction in 36 credits at Level 3 and Merit in 9 credits at Level 3 including 12 Level 3 credits in Chemistry and 12 Level 3 credits in one other Science or Mathematics.
  • BTEC DDD in a relevant subject area.Excluding Public Services and Forensic Science. Applied Science and Applied Science (Medical Science) preferred. BTEC and A-level combinations are considered - please contact us.
  • European Baccalaureate 80% overall, with at least 70% in Chemistry and one other Science or Mathematics.

Entry Requirement

You are required to have English Language at a minimum of Grade C/4 or above and Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above at GCSE.

General Studies and Critical Thinking A-Levels are not accepted.

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level.

Applicants with Access or BTEC qualifications who receive an offer will also be asked to complete a chemistry test at the University during the Summer.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students from all academic backgrounds. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including speaking, listening, reading and writing) at the following level:

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (minimum 6.0 in any component)

We will also accept a number of other English language qualifications. Please click here for further information.

INTO University of East Anglia 

If you do not meet the academic and/or English language requirements for this course, our partner INTO UEA offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a foundation programme. Depending on your interests and your qualifications you can take a variety of routes to this degree:

INTO UEA also offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:

 

Interviews

The majority of candidates will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some students an interview will be requested. You may be called for an interview to help the School of Study, and you, understand if the course is the right choice for you.  The interview will cover topics such as your current studies, reasons for choosing the course and your personal interests and extra-curricular activities.  Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a convenient time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry and to contact admissions@uea.ac.uk directly to discuss this further.

Intakes

The School's annual intake is in September of each year

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds. 

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The system allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it must be sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The UCAS code name and number for the University of East Anglia is EANGL E14.

Further Information

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances with the Admissions Office prior to applying please do contact us:

Undergraduate Admissions Office (Biological Sciences)
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

Please click here to register your details online via our Online Enquiry Form.

International candidates are also actively encouraged to access the University's International section of our website.

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515