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What makes Biochemistry at Worcester special?

Biochemistry is key to many advances in 21st Century science. It underpins our understanding of how cells work and has led to the adoption of new treatments for many diseases. Biochemists are at the heart of exploring the data from the Human Genome Project and helping to build a future where medicine becomes personalised and more effective.

The core of the course investigates human health, from the processes that cause cancer to the progression of Alzheimer's disease. You will be taught by experts in the field who research actively into the biochemistry of leukaemia, human nutrition and neuroscience. You will also study Genetics, Molecular Biology, Pharmacology, Immunology and Bioinformatics on your course, all of which are designed to help you access any of a large number of career opportunities open to the graduate Biochemist. At Worcester you will also benefit from small class sizes and easy access to the lecturing staff in the course team, helping you to study in a friendly and productive learning environment.



Key features

  • Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology who praised the comprehensive range of skills included in the students’ “skills passport” and positive learning environment
  • Opportunities to explore some of the most fascinating fields in science, including neuroscience, cancer immunology and plant developmental genetics
  • Excellent active research partnerships with many UK and international institutions
  • New laboratories and extensive specialist equipment - an inspiring environment for you to develop your ideas
  • Study in a friendly, supportive and inspirational environment
  • Opportunity to undertake a research project of your own choice in Year 3. Recent projects have included the impact of SuFu gene knockouts on growth and development of cells, the effect of Gli1 gene knockouts on cell proliferation, trialling the impact of hydroxyurea and other drugs on acute myeloid leukaemia cells, comparing the impact of chlorhexidine against other antimicrobial agents on oral plaque bacteria and the role of BCAT1 CXXC motifs in acute myeloid leukaemia
Royal Society of Biology accredited degree logo

Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology

Accredited by the Royal Society of Biology who praised the comprehensive range of skills included in the students’ “skills passport” and positive learning environment.

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Student views

Bridgette, Jordan, Nicki and Jemma share their experiences of the course.
Entry requirements

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points

UCAS tariff

96 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology and A2 another science, maths or statistics.

104 UCAS Tariff points MUST include A2 Biology.

T Levels may be used to meet the entry tariff requirements for this course. Find out more about T levels as UCAS tariff points here.

Don't quite meet the entry requirements or returning to education? Consider studying Biological Science with Foundation Year.

Language Requirements

Applicants for this course must have a good command of reading, writing and spoken English.

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to provide a language test certificate as evidence of their proficiency and must ensure that it is, or is comparable to, Academic IELTs of 6.0 with a score of at least 5.5 in each component.

Other information

International Students – Making an Application

If you are applying as an EU or Non-EU student you are strongly advised to apply online through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

If you are using The Common Application, you can add the University of Worcester to your list of colleges via this link and complete the application there. Further information can be found here “Making an International Application.”

Mature Students

We welcome applicants who hold alternative qualifications/experience and mature students who can demonstrate the ability to benefit from the course and show their potential to complete the course successfully. Although recent preparatory study at an appropriate level (e.g. an Access to Higher Education Diploma) is recommended, students may be considered on the basis of prior evidenced professional/work experience and/or other assessment procedures, and the assessment of personal suitability. University Admissions Office staff can offer information, advice and guidance on this process. The university website also provides information about studying as a mature student.

Two students looking into their microscopes whilst the lecturer leans over the lab counter to talk to them.

Biological sciences foundation year

If you don't quite meet the entry requirements or you're returning to education then you might consider studying this degree with a foundation year.

Find out more about courses with a foundation year
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Course content

Course content

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative. 

Year 1


  • Biological Diversity
  • Health and Disease
  • Cell Biology
  • Chemistry for the Life Sciences
  • Comparative Physiology

Year 2


  • Systems Physiology I
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Project and Career Development
  • Protein Structure & Function


Year 3


  • Research Project
  • Biochemistry of Cancer
  • Metabolic Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Genomics and Bioinformatics


  • Systems Physiology II
  • Pharmacology
  • Parasitology
  • Extension Module in Biological Sciences

First Year Module in Focus: Health and Disease

This module will survey the epidemiology of the most common human diseases contracted in developed nations, give insight into the pathophysiology of these conditions and an overview of modern treatments. Finally, given estimates of the general effect of genetics versus environment on our health, we cover life-style strategies to minimise, delay and perhaps avoid the contraction of these diseases. The module also focuses on the development of skills essential for working in a multidisciplinary team in the medical or biosciences whatever your vocation.

Second Year Module in Focus: Molecular and Cellular Biology

This module concentrates on practical aspects of molecular biology. In the first semester you will work in a group to attempt an ambitious experiment that takes place over 11 weeks. Starting with DNA sequence from the Human Genome Project you will design a method of isolating a human leukaemia-associated gene, place the gene’s DNA into a bacterial plasmid, sequence the gene to ensure it is correct then engineer bacteria to make this human leukaemia-associated protein.

In the second semester you will explore in depth the mechanics of the cell and how it communicates with its environment, looking in detail of the apparatus of cell signalling. This topic is of great importance as it underpins much research into the molecular genetics of many diseases, for example cancer.

Third Year Module in Focus: Biochemistry of Cancer

This module centres on developing a deeper understanding of how cancer develops, which includes the biochemical and molecular basis of DNA mutation, epigenetics, metastasis and much more. For the practical sessions, we use an authentic learning approach in which you will operate as a diagnostic team member. By evaluating case histories and analysing samples in the laboratory, you will diagnose and determine the treatment strategy for a mock cancer patient. This module provides our students with an opportunity to develop their team working and presentation skills.

In your first year you will study a wide range of subjects which will enable you to develop a comprehensive appreciation of biochemistry. In Years 2 and 3 the subjects you take become more specialised and the modular scheme enables you to tailor your course to the areas that you find most interesting. The modules reflect the diversity of the subject and explore such areas as molecular genetics, protein structure and function, immunology, microbiology and the molecular biology of cancer. The range of subjects will allow you to choose a wide variety of career pathways after your degree.

In your final year you will also have the opportunity of undertaking your own research project on a topic that interests you as part of your Independent Study or Biosciences Research Project. Past topics have included association of matrix metalloproteinase genes with asthma, studying cellular interactions of oncoproteins, improving the efficacy of standard chemotherapies to treat cancer and mutagenesis of protein disulphide isomerase.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment

We enable you to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement.

A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.


You are taught through a combination of interactive workshops, lectures, seminars and laboratory practicals. Interactive workshops take a variety of formats and are intended to enable the application of learning through discussion and small group activities, such as the discussion of case studies. Seminars enable the discussion and development of understanding of topics covered in lectures, which involve guest speakers. Our laboratory practicals involve individual and group project work which develops subject specific skills that employers value such as molecular biology, enzymology & immunology techniques.

In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.

You have an opportunity to undertake a subject specific extension module in your final year, as well as work experience, which could be in the form of a summer research assistant within one of our research groups.

Contact time

In a typical week, students will have at least 12 contact hours of teaching, most of which will be on campus. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year there is normally slightly less contact time to allow students to focus on their research project.

Typically, class contact time will be structured around:

  • 4 hours of lectures/seminars
  • 7 hours of supervised laboratory practicals
  • 1 hour of group workshops
  • 1 hour of Study Skills (Year 1 only)

Independent self-study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 24 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve:

  • Reviewing lecture notes and reading around topics to reinforce and expand on content
  • Directed and self-directed reading and watching of video content
  • Working through problems in appropriate texts and online
  • Preparation of coursework assignments and revising for exams
  • Working with colleagues on team tasks and projects

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics, technical staff and laboratory demonstrators.

Teaching is informed by our research. All lecturers in Biological Sciences are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy or working towards this. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include, practical and laboratory reports, essays, presentations such as oral and poster, practical skills tests and workbooks, in class tests, end of semester examinations, as well as a final year independent studies project.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

Here are a few members of the department who currently teach on this course:

Dr Amy Cherry

Dr Amy Cherry

Amy’s research focuses on understanding how proteins work at the molecular level and on how one can use knowledge of protein structure to tackle disease. Her PhD was sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and investigated the molecular mechanism of Hepatitis C virus replication and possible inhibition strategies which can be used in drug development. Following this, she was awarded a Career Development Fellowship from the Medical Research Council to study proteins involved in DNA repair. She then moved to the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm where she studied molecular details of the Hedgehog signalling pathway.

Since joining us, Amy has continued her research as part of the Worcester Biomedical Research Group, studying proteins involved in leukaemia and neurophysiology.

mike wheeler

Dr Mike Wheeler

Dr Mike Wheeler is Course Leader for Medical Sciences and joined the University of Worcester in 2010 after researching in the area of plant molecular genetics. Mike developed a strong background in the biology of cell signalling in plants, with specific research into the mechanisms of self-incompatibility in poppy and the control of polarity in pollen tubes of tobacco.

In addition to his research into plant molecular genetics Mike is also developing means of using molecular biology to solve problems in conservation biology which is a longstanding passion of his. In this area Mike is currently developing eDNA (environmental DNA) techniques to assess the effect of invasive and non-native species on species of conservation concern. Mike is also concerned with projects to help people engage with nature as a means to combatting poor mental health. He leads bird walks around the campus and is involved with projects aimed at increasing birdlife around campus to enrich the environment. He is currently involved in a scheme to improve winter feeding for farmland birds at Lakeside campus in partnership with the local RSPB group. He is a member of the Sustainable Environments Research Group.


Dr Steven J Coles

Steve has introduced several new modules to the Biological and Biomedical Sciences curriculum that align with his expertise, including: Immunology and  Biochemistry of Cancer.

Steve has also helped to establish and lead the Worcester Biomedical Research Group, where the research focuses on Cancer, Neurodegeneration and Cardiovascular Disease.

Dr Allain Bueno

Dr Allain Bueno

Dr Bueno graduated as a Biomedical Scientist – Medical Modality – from Paulista School of Medicine, Sao Paulo Federal University in Brazil. He has extensive experience in clinical sciences, having worked and taught in a leading Tertiary Referral Hospital. His current area of research includes the biochemistry of dietary fats and their role in oxidative stress, brain metabolism and function.

Photo JW

Dr Joanne Whittaker (nee Croudace)

Dr Joanne Whittaker is an Immunologist. Her PhD was undertaken at the University of Birmingham and focussed on Dendritic cell immunotherapy.  Following awarding of her PhD she worked in the field of stem cell transplantation, with a particular focus on the early reconstitution of the immune system and the role of T cells in the development of graft vs host disease.  As well as having a passion for immunology, Joanne is keen to inspire others through teaching and research supervision.


PhD – Dendritic cell Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham (2009)

MRes – Molecular and cellular immunology and oncology, University of Birmingham (2006)

BSc – Biochemistry and Neuroscience, Keele University (2004)

Mathieu photo

Dr. Mathieu Di Miceli

Mathieu joined the University of Worcester in 2021 after a long background in neuroscience. Mathieu has developed his skills in electrophysiology in Dr Gronier’s (De Montfort University) and Dr Layé’s (University of Bordeaux) laboratories, studying the neurophysiological mechanisms following psychostimulant exposure, as well as the link between dietary lipid intake and synaptic plasticity. He is currently investigating the pathological alterations that can lead to neurophysiological dysfunctions in the brain, using in silico models.


Dr Emma Edwards

Dr Emma Edwards is a lecturer and admissions tutor for Biomedical Science.  She has an interest in virology and immunology, but also teaches extensively on the foundation year for biological science.  She has significant experience in community engagement, she has spoken at many public events about viruses and their impact and co-authored a book about the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.




Globally the employment of biochemists is set to grow by 19% over the next 10 years. This employment growth is greater than the average for all careers. This means our graduates have excellent opportunities for employment, with many working as scientific researchers within academic, government, industrial or medical institutions both nationally and internationally.

Our Biochemistry degree provides the foundation for entry to graduate training programmes. For example, a clinical (healthcare) scientist within the NHS, which comes with an average starting salary of £25K+ per year. The degree is also rich in transferable skills and many graduates may also work in teaching, scientific publishing or in business.

At the University of Worcester, our students come first and we provide workshops to help our graduates enter postgraduate studies at Worcester or other universities.

Biochemistry BSc graduate Jude Hamer wearing Great British kit

Jude Hamer

For most people, completing a degree would be enough of a challenge, but for Jude Hamer, 2016 will also be remembered for representing their country in the Paralympic Games.

Jude was part of the Great Britain women’s wheelchair basketball team that narrowly missed out on a medal in Rio, and graduated with a degree in Biochemistry the same year.

“I had to be really organised and timetable everything,” Jude said. “I had to juggle training and competing at tournaments with studying, which was particularly challenging around the time I was trying to write my dissertation. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my tutor.

“I’m proud of myself for having finished my degree, especially along-side all the training I put in ahead of Rio,” she added. “With my basketball commitments it has taken five years, so it feels pretty surreal to be graduating. I’ll really miss my friends, it seems strange to think we’re all going our separate ways now.”

Two students are walking next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential

Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £16,200 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the academic year 2024/25 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for a Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.

You will also need a lab coat, which can be bought for around £13.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How to apply

Applying through UCAS

Biological Sciences (Biochemistry) BSc (Hons) – C700

UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.

Read our How to apply pages for more information on applying and to find out what happens to your application.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Dr Steven J Coles

Award leader