BSc (Hons) Biochemistry

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

Research-informed teaching, with practical work in modern labs
Research-informed teaching, with practical work in modern labs
Explore each Bioscience pathway before specialising 
Explore each Bioscience pathway before specialising 
This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology  
This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Biology  

This course includes the options of:

Work placement*

Study abroad*

*No fees are charged for this year

Why choose this course?

Ever wonder what is happening inside your cells at the molecular and cellular level? The chemistry behind biological processes? You’ll learn how biochemists use their understanding of biomolecules and cellular pathways to prevent and cure disease, analyse samples, and develop new molecular products. Another part is the application and understanding of techniques, such as sequencing DNA or observing single molecules in action. 

Use our strong industry links to get your foot in the door of pharmaceutical, agrochemical or food and drink industries. Build a solid understanding of chemistry from practising scientists. Practise microbiological techniques and blood analysis in a newly built laboratory space. You will also have exclusive access to computer labs with specific software and databases. 

While you’ll be exploring many new areas in this degree, we’ll guide you along the way. Lecturers are always happy to help and your personal tutor will guide you to gain general skills in scientific writing, data interpretation and communication. Workshops will take place to practice lecture material and discuss problems with your peers. 

Find out more about our teaching staff across the biosciences.

Get in touch 

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What's the course about?

Essentially, as a biochemist, you study the fundamental processes of life. You’ll merge scientific techniques from chemistry and biology to seek answers to questions about life, health, disease, the natural environment, materials, and compounds. You’ll study the science behind living cells, tissues, organs and organisms. You’ll learn the biochemical processes that underpin the very latest discoveries. Explore how biochemistry affects the quality of people’s lives. You’ll look at the creation of new drugs and understand processes ranging from the design of medical treatments to the manufacture of new biomaterials.  

In your first year, you will study with other bioscience students together to obtain an initial grounding in chemistry, molecular biology and genetics, cell and microbiology and human physiology with pharmacology. At the same time all bioscience students will study biochemistry with you together. You will use your theory to build on your practical skills in a well-equipped, modern laboratory.

In your second year, you will delve even deeper into these topic areas, in addition to further chemistry and biochemistry topics.  

Work placement/study abroad option: Between your second and final year, you’ll have the option to study abroad or do a work placement for up to a year. Not only will this give you an amazing experience to talk about but will also give your CV a boost. If you’d rather go straight to your final year, that’s absolutely fine too.  

In your final year you’ll learn about topics such as molecular medicine, cellular development, and off course advanced biochemistry. If you find that you have grown to love a certain topic you can choose to do your major research project in this area. 

We are proud of our TEF Gold rating, which recognises our excellent teaching and support. In addition, this programme has been accredited by the Royal Society of Biology.  
On average, you have 20 hours of contact time per week, with lectures and workshops taking up about 6-10 hours per week, while the remaining time is devoted to practical work. 
Throughout your degree, you will be assessed in a variety of ways. This will include exams, literature reviews, portfolios, lab reports, practicals and presentations. Coursework assessments are generally 50-100% per module.

Your main campus is College Lane   

This is where the creative arts, science and health related subject are based. This means you’ll share the campus with future nurses, scientists, artists and more. You can use the common rooms to relax with friends, work out in the 24-hour gym or have a drink in on-campus pub or cafes. We also have restaurants for you to eat in or grab something on the go. Want to pop over to the other campus? You can take the free shuttle bus or walk there in just 15 minutes.   

What will I study?

Degree programmes are structured into levels, 4, 5 and 6.  These correspond to your first, second and third/final year of study.  Below you can see what modules you’ll be studying in each.

Part-time study

If you are studying part-time you will have up to 6 years to complete your course from registration. You will complete 60 credits per year and the modules you will study each year will depend on how they fit together on the timetable.  For some modules there are several sessions run for each workshop and practical. As a part-time student you will be able to choose the slots that suit you best.  

Check out our student blogs

Student Blogs

Samantha - Unibuddy

Alumni Stories

Nikunj Thakrar

Meet Nikunj Thakrar who has built a successful career as a Pharmacist since graduating in 2009. He currently works for Tesco as a Pharmacy Manager and has returned to the University as a visiting lecturer.

Current job rolePharmacy Manager
Year of graduation2009
Course of studyMPharm Pharmacy

Nikunj Thakrar

University experience

Nikunj has been working at Tesco since he was a pre-reg Pharmacist and has worked his way up to the position he is now in. He speaks highly of the University, crediting us with helping him succeed in his career. Through the University's resources, facilities and exceptional Pharmacy degree, Nikunj had the opportunity to train three pharmacists as a pre-reg tutor. This hands-on practical experience helped him when entering employment and gave him tangible skills to take into his career.

He says, 'The University had, and still has, a massive impact on how my career has progressed. The teaching, support and resources were excellent and helped me  develop into the pharmacist I am today. I count my time at university as one of the main contributing factors to my success.'

Real world skills

Nikunj's experience and career demonstrates how the University gives students the skills to succeed, delivering fully skilled, work ready graduates to the professional world, equipped with unique experience and knowledge. Nikunj says, 'I feel that the preparation we were given for the real world was extremely useful in helping me settle as a pharmacist. We spent a lot of time in the mock pharmacy and dispensing suites which were the closest thing to an actual pharmacy. And although daunting, OSCE examinations were an extremely effective way of mimicking real-life scenarios a pharmacist may encounter, ultimately testing our knowledge.'

Aspirations for the future

As a visting lecturer, the University recognised Nikunj's talent and was able to facilitate his passion for the subject. He is continually developing new skills that he can incorporate into his professional role, in addition to help nurture the pharmacists of tomorrow. He encourages prospective pharmacists to gain experience alongside their degree as it will be invaluable when qualified. He adds, 'Set yourself goals to work towards and never lose sight of them.'

Looking ahead to the future, Nikunj says, 'I am currently very happy with my roles at Tesco and the University of Hertfordshire. However, in the future, I plan on helping out with more central and operational projects within the company and to increase my time spent in academia.'

I made great friends on my degree and through the Students' Union, and I've now got friends around the world, because of the wider Alumni community.

Alumni Stories

Chika Madubuko

Meet Chika Madubuko who has used her business knowledge to help others. She is currently the CEO of Greymate Care, Africa's pioneer AI-Powered, home-care platform that connects the elderly to a vetted caregiver.

Current job roleCEO of Greymate Care
Year of graduation2014
Course of studyMSc Biotechnology

Chika Madubuko

University life and experience

Chika initially decided to study at the University of Hertfordshire based on our impressive Learning Resource Centre’s ranking and our close proximity to London. As an international student, these factors were extremely important to ensure she had the tools and support to succeed in her course.

Her course, MSc Biotechnology, enabled Chika to push herself and provide a comprehensive and practical approach to the industry she wanted to pursue a career in.

‘Our course was delivered using a problem based learning approach where we tried to solve problems using real life scenarios as case studies.’

Similarly, Chika goes on to add that the composition of the modules on her course was completely different to other universities as the variety on offer ‘covered all areas within the sector.’ She firmly believes that as a University of Hertfordshire alumna, she has ‘the best recipe for success’ and ‘the world is [her] oyster.’.

The future

Since graduating in 2014, Chika’s career has spanned across three continents and several multinational companies. She is currently the CEO of Greymate Care in Africa but has set her sights even higher. In the future, she would like to become a renowned business mogul and take the world by storm.

In June 2020 we were delighted to announce Chika as our AInternational Alumnus/Alumna of the year for 2020.

‘Our course was delivered using a problem based learning approach where we tried to solve problems using real-life scenarios as case studies.’

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.