Biochemistry

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

Student with pipette in the lab
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Our courses


Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology

All of our undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and Molecular Biology are accredited by the Royal Society of Biology, with advanced accreditation for our MBiolSci undergraduate masters programme.

Accreditation by the Royal Society of Biology recognises and supports the advancement of skills and education in the biosciences, throughout the UK and internationally.

Graduates from accredited degree programmes are equipped with well-rounded knowledge and skill sets, making them highly employable both within and beyond their chosen field.

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Flexible degrees

Our courses in Biochemistry, Genetics, Microbiology and Molecular Biology are designed to give you the practical skills and scientific knowledge for an incredible career in the molecular biosciences. Experts in these disciplines are addressing some of the biggest challenges facing humanity, from antibiotic resistance and global food shortages to degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's.

As you progress through your degree, optional modules will allow you to explore your chosen subject in greater depth, specialise in one area, keep your interests broad, or even switch to another degree programme within the molecular biosciences. You can also choose to add an extra year of research experience, or gain valuable work experience with a placement year.


Teaching

As a biochemistry student you'll learn in lots of different ways, from lectures and group tutorials to practical lab sessions and research projects.

Our staff are committed to great teaching and you'll have lots of opportunities throughout your degree to be creative, think independently, and express your ideas.

From data handling and analysis classes that will teach you how to interpret findings and make calculations based on your data, to learning how to handle equipment and design experiments across molecular genetics, DNA manipulation and protein structure determination, you'll get the chance to put your new knowledge into practice in a variety of ways.

Throughout your course you'll gain new transferable skills and the relevant experience that employers are looking for.

Find out more about our teaching


Research projects

You’ll undertake research projects throughout your degree, getting practical hands-on experience in the laboratory. In your third year, you’ll complete an extended research project in an area of molecular bioscience that interests you either inside or outside the lab.

There are several types of projects to choose from depending on your interests and career goals, from experimental science to computing, teaching, clinical diagnostics or science communication. Current projects span:

  • Experimental science: Investigate a scientific problem, using state-of-the-art facilities and working alongside 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.
The genetics of brewing - in the lab

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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