Biochemistry, sometimes called biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes in living organisms, including, but not limited to, living matter. Biochemistry governs all living organisms and living processes. By controlling information flow through biochemical signalling and the flow of chemical energy through metabolism, biochemical processes give rise to the incredible complexity of life. Much of biochemistry deals with the structures and functions of cellular components such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and other biomolecules although increasingly processes rather than individual molecules are the main focus. Over the last 40 years biochemistry has become so successful at explaining living processes that now almost all areas of the life sciences from botany to medicine are engaged in biochemical research. Today the main focus of pure biochemistry is in understanding how biological molecules give rise to the processes that occur within living cells which in turn relates greatly to the study and understanding of whole organisms.
In the first year most students will study the basics of biochemistry such as the biomolecules: DNA, Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins. Cell biology is a main topic as well along with aspects of Microbiology, Enzymology and Cell Signalling to name but a few.
In the second and third years students will be allowed to specialise is topics that interests them most but will still have core elements which are normal advanced topics building on from previous years. Most universities offer sandwich years (year in industry) and/or years abroad which can provide useful skills for future employment and can often help students decide on what career to choose.
Course structure can vary so look at your chosen universities modules carefully so you can decide what is best for you.
C700 is the UCAS code for Biochemistry. There are other types of courses such as:
Applied Biochemistry Biological Chemistry Cell Biochemistry Clinical Biochemistry Human Biochemistry Medical Biochemistry Medicinal Chemistry Microbiology Biochemistry Nutrition Biochemistry Physiology Plant Biochemistry
The grades/points required are highly varied, such as AAA at Oxford to 200 UCAS points at Salford. So it's best to check what requirements your university of choice is asking for.
Good results in Chemistry and Biology are normally required.
Life as Biochemistry Student
Like most science subjects, there are more lectures and overall contact time with you and staff when compared to other subjects. It is almost certain that every week you will have laboratory based aspects since laboratory experience is a key part of the course.
In terms of social life a Biochemistry student will be no different from everyone else. But as the workload gets tougher students may want to focus less on the partying and more on the studying. With social life it greatly varies depending on what type of person you are.
Graduate Destination and Careers Prospects
When you graduate you will have the necessary knowledge and skills for a challenging and fulfilling career in a wide range of professions, including working in the pharmaceutical or food industries, medical research, forensic science, toxicology, teaching, business and IT. Biochemistry is also a good course if you want to go into graduate-entry medicine, along with course such as Biomedical Sciences.
Postgraduate study is a common route after graduating. There are lots of MSc and PhD courses to choose from and a lot lead into research careers.
Here are all biochemistry articles: