Interested in what causes diseases like cancer? Want to help develop new drug treatments? Biochemistry is the key to understanding how diseases occur and can be treated.
At a Glance
UCAS Institution Name and Code
A Level: AAA-AAB
IB: 34-35 points
Biochemistry is the study of life at the molecular level. You’ll study a wide range of organisms, from bacteria all the way up to humans. Topics include:
- DNA replication and gene expression
- the molecular basis of cancer and chronic disease
Biochemistry is responsible for a large number of scientific breakthroughs in medicine and biotechnology. It can lead to a rewarding career and graduates are in high demand.
Study with us and you'll:
- develop scientific and experimental skills through practical work in our biomedical labs
- boost your CV through work experience here at the University
- learn from experts and graduate with the latest knowledge of human health and disease
Quality and rankingQuality and ranking
We are a National Centre of Excellence in biomedical research.
Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences at Newcastle is highly regarded, achieving between 96-100% for overall student satisfaction across all of our subjects in the 2016 National Student Survey.
Study at the cutting edgeStudy at the cutting edge
Scientists working in biomedicine are at the forefront of medical developments that can save lives. By studying one of our degrees, you're taking your first step towards a rewarding career in science.
We're a National Centre of Excellence in biomedical research. Our world-leading expert staff teach at all levels on our degree programmes. This means you graduate with the latest knowledge in human health and disease.
Boost your employability with a professional placement yearBoost your employability with a professional placement year
It's important to stand out in the graduate employment market, so all of our programmes are available with an optional professional placement year between Stages 2 and 3.
You’ll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector, putting your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise. If you impress your host company, it could even result in a job offer on graduation.
Placement examples could include:
- research and development
- clinical trial work
- quality and assurance
- regulatory affairs
Once you're here, placement opportunities will be advertised. You'll be fully supported to apply, for example, through CV writing advice.
When you've secured a placement, you will be automatically transferred onto the relevant Professional Placement Year degree programme. Work placements extend your degree by a year and are subject to availability.
Get work experience whilst you studyGet work experience whilst you study
We provide lots of work experience opportunities here at the University, to help you boost your employability alongside your studies.
- vacation studentship opportunities in one of the University's research laboratories
- paid part-time work in one of our research institutes through our Laboratory Assistant scheme
- employability ambassador scheme
- student mentoring scheme
The University has an award-winning Careers Service. They can help you find suitable work, provide interview training and offer advice on your CV and application forms.
Develop advanced research skillsDevelop advanced research skills
In your final year you complete a research project on a topic that interests you.
This gives you practical experience of planning and conducting research, boosting your CV with desirable research skills.
Most students do their project work in one of our research institutes.
Here, you're working alongside leading scientists. You'll develop advanced scientific skills and get an insight into a career as a researcher.
Your project may be:
- a laboratory project in one of our internationally rated research institutes
- a laboratory project in a research laboratory abroad
- a clinical study under the supervision of one of the medically qualified staff
- a project with a local school or college
- an IT-based project
Study abroadStudy abroad
If you want to experience life in another country, you can work or study abroad as part of your degree.
A year abroad boosts your CV, your confidence and your communication skills. It shows employers you embrace new experiences and gives you intercultural awareness.
We have partners across Europe and in Australia and Singapore. You can study abroad at a partner university or take a summer placement in a research laboratory overseas (UK and EU students only).
Transfer to Medicine or DentistryTransfer to Medicine or Dentistry
There is flexibility to transfer between our degree programmes at the end of the first year if you find your interests change.
You can also apply to transfer to our Medicine or Dentistry degree. This opportunity is open to UK, EU and international students. It is competitive, with a limited number of places available. Students are selected on the basis of academic performance in the first year, a UKCAT score, a personal statement and, if shortlisted, an interview.
You'll be based in the School of Biomedical Sciences. The School is in the Faculty of Medical Sciences, which is also home to Dentistry, Medicine and Psychology.
Situated alongside Newcastle’s RVI hospital, we’re one of the largest integrated teaching/hospital complexes in the country.
Our facilities include:
- a dedicated medical library with a wide range of specialist books and journals
- large teaching laboratories
- hi-tech computer clusters and study spaces
Newcastle's vibrant city centre is just a few minutes' walk away.
Teaching and assessmentTeaching and assessment
You'll learn through a combination of lectures, practical laboratory classes and small group seminars.
You also have the chance to attend optional research talks, aimed especially at first-year students, as part of our biomedicine+ programme.
Assessment is by examinations and coursework assignments. These include:
- practical assessments
- seminar tasks
- written work
Teaching and assessment methods may vary from module to module. More information about each module including specific assessment methods, credits and contact hours, can be found in the Course Details section.
Support and settling inSupport and settling in
We provide plenty of support to help you successfully move from school to university study. We’ll help you settle in quickly and are here if you have any issues.
We support you through:
- a personal tutor – a member of academic staff who can help with academic and personal issues
- a peer mentor – a fellow student who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have
- specialised course advisers and tutors - who operate an open door policy for all students
- our student-run society – to help you make friends with your course mates through social events
Compare this course
See how this course compares with others for topics such as student satisfaction, fees and costs and prospects after graduation using the Unistats Key Information Set.
If you're interested in studying Biochemistry at Newcastle University, you can find out more below about the structure of the degree and the modules you'll study at each stage.
If you're not sure which degree you're interested in, read our Guide to Biomedical Sciences at Newcastle.
What you will studyWhat you will study
Flexible degree structure
All of our Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences degrees are divided into two phases:
- Phase 1 is shared by all of our degrees and provides a broad introduction to biomolecular sciences
- Phase 2 provides specialist topics relating to your individual degree choice
This flexible structure gives you the chance to try a broad range of topics, helping you to see where your interests in biomedical sciences lie before you specialise.
You can change between our degrees at the end of Phase 1 if you wish.
All of your first year, and the first half of your second year.
We introduce you to biomolecular sciences through a series of modules covering:
- cell biology
- microbiology and immunology
- practical skills in biomedical and biomolecular science
The second half of your second year, and the remainder of your degree.
This phase is specific to the individual degree that you choose. On our Biochemistry degree, you study topics such as:
- advanced protein analysis
- biochemistry of chronic diseases
- the molecular basis of cancer
- protein–DNA interactions
- structural and molecular biology in biotechnology
- plant and animal biotechnology
- genetic disease and development
You also complete a research project in an area linked to your degree that interests you.
Our degrees are divided into Stages and each Stage lasts for an academic year:
- you take 120 credits' worth of modules at each Stage
- some modules are compulsory to make sure you get all the essential knowledge you need
- optional modules let you tailor the degree towards your personal interests
Programme modules do change and therefore may differ for your year of entry.
- BGM1002 Biochemistry
- CMB1004 Cell Biology
- BGM1004 Genetics
- CMB1005 Practical Skills in Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences 1
- CMB1003 Microbiology and Immunology
- PED1003 Pharmacology
- PSC1002 Physiology
- CMB1006 Practical Skills in Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences 2
- CMB2000 Principles and Practice of Molecular Techniques
- CMB2001 Control of Eukaryotic Gene Expression
- CMB2004 Cell and Molecular Biology of the Immune System
- BGM2002 Biochemistry and Genetics of Signalling and the Cell Cycle
- BGM2056 DNA Replication, recombination and Repair
- BGM2060 Proteins and Enzymes
- BGM2061 Protein Trafficking and Biological Membranes
- BGM2062 Advanced Protein Analysis
- BGM3057 Integrated Biochemistry
- BGM3063 Biochemistry of Gene Expression
- BGM3064 Applied Biochemistry
- BGM3065 Biochemistry of Cancer and Chronic Diseases
You will take one of the following modules. The relevant module will be determined by the School.
- CMB3000 Project
- CMB3001 Experimental Design and the Process of Research
- CMB3002 Research Project for Exchange Students
You choose one module from the following list:
Guide to Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences at NewcastleGuide to Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences at Newcastle
Not sure which degree is right for you? Find out a bit more about our different subject areas below.
Remember, all our degrees share the same Phase 1, so you can transfer to a different degree if you find your interests change (up until the end of Phase 1).
Modern medicine depends on the advances made by scientists working in the biomedical sciences. You'll study anatomy, biochemistry, genetics, immunology, microbiology, neuroscience, pharmacology and physiology. This multidisciplinary approach helps us understand disease processes and find new treatments for diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and TB.
- Biomedical Sciences BSc Honours (B940)
- Biomedical Sciences (Integrated Master's) MSci Honours (B900)
- Biomedical Sciences with Industrial Placement Year (B942)
Biochemistry is the study of life at the molecular level. You'll study how genes and proteins regulate cells, tissues and whole organisms like you. Have you wondered what causes diseases such as cancer and diabetes? Would you like to help develop new drug treatments? Biochemistry provides the key to understanding how diseases arise and can be treated.
DNA is the genetic ‘blueprint’ that ensures the continuity of life from parent to offspring. Genetics is the study of how DNA is transmitted between generations. And how it's decoded to determine our individual characteristics. We have a strong research and teaching reputation in this field. The Institute of Human Genetics plays a major role in our degree programme.
- Biomedical Genetics BSc Honours (B901)
- Biomedical Genetics (Integrated Master's) MSci Honours (B903)
Do you enjoy biology? Are you interested in the biomedical or biomolecular aspects of the subject? Want to study these further at university? If you are not quite sure which area will suit you best, the Medical Science (Deferred Choice) programme could be ideal for you. It allows you to study the common first year before deciding which subject area to specialise in at later stages.
Pharmacology involves the study of the action of drugs on the body and vice-versa. An understanding of drugs and their actions allows us to use them safely and effectively. It is thanks to pharmacologists that you can take an aspirin when you get a headache or have an anaesthetic when the dentist gives you a filling.
Physiology is the study of how the body functions. Physiologists study the processes essential to human life such as breathing, digesting food and sensing the world around us. You'll focus on human physiology, which underpins our understanding of how the body works in health and disease.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis. If your qualifications are not listed here, please see our additional entry requirements web pages to find out which other qualifications are considered.
The entrance requirements below apply to 2017 entry.
A LevelsA Levels
AAA-AAB including Biology. Chemistry is required at AS level (minimum grade B) if not offered at A level. For Biology, Chemistry and Physics A levels, we require a pass in the practical element. General Studies, Use of Mathematics, World Development, Communication and Culture and Critical Thinking not accepted. GCSE Mathematics and English Language required (minimum grade B) if not offered at A or AS level.
Scottish QualificationsScottish Qualifications
AAAAA-AAABB at Higher Grade including Biology and Chemistry. Mathematics and English Language required at grade 2 Standard Grade (or Intermediate 2 equivalent) if not offered at Higher Grade. Combinations of Highers and Advanced Highers accepted. Where a candidate bypasses the assessment for National 5 qualifications, a minimum of grade C in the Higher in Mathematics and English Language is required.
Scottish qualifications can be taken in more than one sitting.
International BaccalaureateInternational Baccalaureate
34-35 points with Biology and Chemistry at Higher Level grade 5 or above. Standard Level Mathematics or Mathematical Studies required at grade 4 or above if not offered at Higher Level.
Irish Leaving CertificateIrish Leaving Certificate
A1A1A1A1B1 at Higher Level, including Biology and Chemistry.
Access QualificationsAccess Qualifications
45 level 3 credits at Distinction including 15 credits in biology and 15 credits in chemistry.
BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)
Not acceptable for entry to this subject.
Cambridge Pre-UCambridge Pre-U
D3, D3, D3 - D3, D3, M2 in Principal Subjects including Biology and Chemistry. GCSE Mathematics and English Language required (minimum grade B) if not offered at a higher level.
PARTNERS - A LevelsPARTNERS - A Levels
BBB including Biology. Chemistry is required at AS level (minimum grade B) if not offered at A level. For Biology, Chemistry and Physics A levels, we require a pass in the practical element. General Studies, Use of Mathematics, World Development, Communication and Culture and Critical Thinking not accepted. GCSE Mathematics and English Language required (minimum grade B) if not offered at A or AS level.
The PARTNERS Programme is Newcastle University’s supported entry route for students from schools and colleges in England. Find out more about the PARTNERS Programme.
PARTNERS - BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)PARTNERS - BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)
Not acceptable for entry to this subject.
The PARTNERS Programme is Newcastle University’s supported entry route for students from schools and colleges in England. Find out more about the PARTNERS Programme.
English Language RequirementsEnglish Language Requirements
Applicants whose first language is not English require a minimum score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent including 6.0 in each of the four elements of the test.
If you need help to meet our English Language requirements, we can provide support with extra tuition.
Read more about UK visas and immigration requirements.
Other International QualificationsOther International Qualifications
ABB at A level is typically the minimum required for entry to an undergraduate course. You can check the equivalent grades for qualifications offered in your country.
International Foundation ProgrammesInternational Foundation Programmes
If you are an international student and you do not meet the academic and English language requirements specified above, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Newcastle University, which will help to prepare you for study on this degree course.
INTO Newcastle University is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
Undergraduate Admissions Policy
See our Newcastle University Admissions Policy for 2016 Entry (PDF: 109 KB).
There is a great demand for graduates in the biomedical and biomolecular sciences within the health services and industry - particularly leading or working as part of research teams - and many of our students choose this career path.
Industries employing bioscientists for research and development include:
- cosmetics and toiletries
- food and drink
In addition, with a biosciences-related degree you could undertake medical, veterinary, and agricultural research in universities and research institutes. Hospital and public health laboratories also employ a large number of bioscientists.
A large proportion of our graduates choose to take a further degree (either an MSc or PhD qualification) before embarking on permanent employment. This is a step in a career path which can lead to senior, decision-making roles. Each year some students use our degrees as a route for graduate entry into medicine.
Apart from laboratory work, there are many other ways to use your degree. Some of our graduates choose to enter the legal side of the subject, using their scientific knowledge to advise on patenting, and others opt for careers such as scientific journalism.
Our graduates also embark on careers unrelated to the biomedical sciences, for example in management, accountancy, and IT. Whichever career you choose, you can be sure that you will receive our advice and whole-hearted support.
Find out more about the career options for Biomedical and Biomolecular Sciences from Prospects: The UK's Official Careers Website.
What our graduates go on to do: employment and further study choices
See what our recent graduates went on to do and view graduate destinations statistics. These statistics are based on what graduates were doing on a specific date, approximately six months after graduation. The most recent data available is for graduates who completed their course in 2014/15.
The destination data is available in varying levels, beginning with the University and moving through Faculty and School down to individual course reports. This final level may give you some useful ideas about possible options after your course or a course you are considering.
Careers and employability at Newcastle
Newcastle University consistently has one of the best records for graduate employment in the UK.
94% of our 2014/15 UK/EU graduates progressed to employment or further study within six months of graduating.
Of our graduates who entered employment 85% were in a professional or managerial position.
We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through an initiative called ncl+. This enables you to develop personal, employability and enterprise skills and to give you the edge in the employment market after you graduate.
Fees & Funding
Tuition Fees (UK and EU students)Tuition Fees (UK and EU students)
Our undergraduate tuition fees for UK/EU students for 2017-18 will be set and published when the government establishes limits for tuition fees.
£9,000 in 2016-17. Fees for 2017-18 and beyond are subject to review and government legislation.
- The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for UK/EU students is set by the UK government.
- As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases.
- Newcastle University has guaranteed that EU students entering our University in 2016 and 2017 will pay the UK (Home) rate of fee for the full duration of their programme of study.
- Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.
- See more information on all aspects of student finance relating to Newcastle University.
Tuition Fees (International students)Tuition Fees (International students)
£17,935 per year
£17,080 per year
You will be charged tuition fees for each year of your degree programme (unless you are on a shorter exchange programme).
If you spend a year on placement or studying abroad as part of your degree you may pay a reduced fee for that year.
Please note that the tuition fee amount you will pay may increase slightly year on year as a result of inflation.
See more information on all aspects of student finance relating to Newcastle University.
Scholarships and Financial Support (UK and EU students)Scholarships and Financial Support (UK and EU students)
Scholarships and Financial Support (International students)Scholarships and Financial Support (International students)
You may be eligible for an International Undergraduate Merit Scholarship (IUMS) or an International Family Discount (IFD).
Before you apply you will need to check the entry requirements for your chosen degree. We accept a wide range of qualifications offered for entry to our degrees. We welcome applications from international students.
Applying to Newcastle University through UCAS
To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
UCAS codes for Newcastle University
- institution name - NEWC
- institution code - N21
Ask your teacher or adviser from your school or college for the UCAS buzzword. You need the buzzword when you register on the Apply system. This makes it clear which school or college you are applying from.
All UK schools and colleges and a small number of EU and international establishments are registered with UCAS.
If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.
Making your application
On the UCAS website you can also find out more about: