Biochemistry is the investigation of living systems at a molecular level and lies at the core of all modern biosciences, from biochemical studies on cell membranes and photosynthesis, to how our immune systems function.

Student with pipette in the lab

About biochemistry at Sheffield 

Our biochemistry courses lie at the core of modern bioscience, allowing you to investigate the structure and function of biological systems at the molecular level. 

Throughout the course, you'll study proteins, enzymes, hormones and receptors. Crucially, you’ll also learn about the various ways that biochemistry can be applied to major challenges affecting humanity today, from how we sustainably feed a global population, to healthy ageing and how new drugs are designed. Alongside these core ideas in Biochemistry, you’ll be exposed to cutting edge ideas in genetics, microbiology and plant sciences.   

Your personal tutor and dedicated support staff will help support you to tailor your degree to your interests and career goals.

Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology

Our undergraduate degree in biochemistry is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, with advanced accreditation for our integrated undergraduate masters programmes (MBiolSci).

Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology shows employers that you've developed the practical skills and scientific knowledge that they're looking for.

Our courses

Our courses all come with options to gain additional experience beyond the three-year BSc. You can add an extra year of research experience with an integrated masters (MBiolSci), or gain valuable work experience with a top employer as a recognised part of your degree by spending a year on a work placement. You can even apply to spend a year studying abroad in a fantastic location, after you've joined the University.

2024-25 entry

Courses with a placement year

2024-25 entry

What our students say

Harriet Barker student profile

My MBiolSci was a brilliant opportunity to gain industry experience at AstraZeneca

Harriet Barker MBiolSci Biochemistry

Harriet chose to study biochemistry having always had a passion for the biological and chemical sciences

Matthew Stedman MBB student profile

My third year research project using Cryo-Electron microscopy

Matthew Stedman Using state-of-the-art equipment

For his final year project, Matthew had the chance to use Sheffield’s brand new cryo-electron microscope (worth around £2.5 million) as he studied amyloidβ, the causative agent of Alzheimer’s disease.

Picture of Sarah French

The industry experience I gained helped me secure a place on the NHS Scientist Training Programme

Sarah French Graduate role: Genomics STP, Sheffield Children's Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Sarah was able to pursue her interest in genetics as part of her undergraduate degree, which she built on with a MSc in Human and Molecular Genetics. This included a 10 week placement with the pre-karyotyping oncology team at Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, and led to a place on the NHS Scientist Training Programme.


Our courses are taught in a wide range of methods. We include traditional lectures and small group tutorials, as well as hands-on learning with practical lab sessions, and research projects that take advantage of our incredible facilities and cutting-edge technology for looking at DNA, proteins, and cells.

From your first year you’ll study modules that span the molecular biosciences covering biochemistry, genetics, microbiology and molecular biology. Alongside these modules you’ll have the freedom to explore complementary topics across the breadth of bioscience, such as biomedicine, antibiotic resistance and immune systems, plant science, even to evolution and conservation.

We encourage our students to be fully engaged throughout their courses, so you'll have lots of opportunities to be creative, think independently, and express your ideas. You’ll spend a lot of time in the lab, completing in-depth practicals across molecular genetics, DNA manipulation and protein structure analysis, and you’ll get the chance to use cutting-edge equipment throughout your degree.

Find out more about our teaching

Research projects

The genetics of brewing - in the lab

You’ll undertake research projects throughout your degree, getting practical hands-on experience in the laboratory that will lead to an in-depth research project and dissertation in your third year.  Most students focus their interests as they progress and specialise in a theme such as:

  • Classic Biochemistry - study life at the molecular level
  • Genetics - understand the basis of heritable disease, evolution, biodiversity, genomics, and gene editing
  • Microbiology - the basis of infectious disease, bacterial pathogenicity and immunology
  • Plant Sciences – consider molecular solutions to challenges such food sustainability

There are several types of capstone projects to choose from depending on your interests and career goals, each of them giving you plenty of chances to gain new transferrable skills and experience to put on your CV. Current projects include:

  • Lab-based: Investigate a scientific problem, using state-of-the-art facilities and working alongside our leading research scientists
  • Clinical diagnostics: Learn how to use the analytical software used by clinical diagnostics staff in NHS laboratories to diagnose leukaemia in collaboration with the Sheffield Children's Hospital
  • Industrial biotechnology: Understand brewing techniques and isolate and grow yeasts in collaboration with local breweries to understand how mutations in yeast genes affect the flavour of beer
  • Molecular systems and computing: Analyse and evaluate complex data to investigate fundamental biological processes, with opportunities to learn computer programming
  • Science communication: Build up a portfolio of writing on a scientific topic of your choice and evaluate the effectiveness of different communication strategies
  • Education and outreach: Organise events to get school children better engaged with science – students generally work in primary schools or university technical colleges (UTC) to gain teaching experience communicating science to school children.

And if this really excites you, our integrated Masters courses (MBiolSci) allow you to work for a fourth year to complete a further, in-depth research project whilst embedded in one of our specialist research groups.

Did you know?

Sir Hans Krebs was the first Professor of Biochemistry in Sheffield, and in 1953 won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the citric acid cycle (also known as the Krebs cycle), while working at the University of Sheffield.

The cycle explains one of the most fundamental processes of life: the conversion of biological molecules into energy within a cell.

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