Biochemistry BSc

Year of entry

2025 course information

Open Days 2024

Bookings for our 2024 Open Days are now open. Book now

UCAS code
C700
Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
Duration
3 years full time
Work placement
Optional
Study abroad
Optional
Typical A-level offer
AAB (specific subject requirements)
Typical Access to Leeds offer
BBB
Full entry requirements

Course overview

Students in the lab working with pipettes

Many devastating diseases, such as cancer, are caused by just a few atoms being out of place inside your cells. Biochemistry aims to understand how living things work at the atomic level. This knowledge drives the most exciting developments in biomedical research, from the development of new drugs to treat neurodegenerative disorders to cancer therapies and coronavirus vaccines.

How are genes encoded in DNA and how do cells use this information to produce proteins? How do proteins fold into 3D structures? How does protein misfolding cause devastating diseases like Alzheimer’s? How do mutations cause inherited disorders and cancer? How do viruses infect and replicate inside cells? On this course, taught by leading research experts, you will explore these questions and many others. You will understand the molecular basis of health and disease and how biochemists lead the way in therapeutic development.

Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary subject at the boundary between biology and the physical sciences. As such, you will gain a unique knowledge base and skill set from your Biochemistry degree. This will make you highly sought after by a wide range of top employers within the biological/biomedical research sector and beyond.

This 3 year BSc can also be converted into an integrated Masters (MBiol) with an optional additional year of specialist training, subject to suitable academic performance and availability. You would study advanced research topics and undertake your own extended research project.

Course highlights

  • Experience the cutting edge in a research-active environment with world-class facilities.
  • Perform a final year project at the frontier of modern research.
  • Gain further practical experience and boost your employability through our Year in Industry programme.
  • Build transferrable skills and employability with our skills-based teaching.
  • Extensive wellbeing and employability support from dedicated Faculty teams.
  • Outstanding graduate employability amongst top employers, both within and beyond scientific research.

Wellbeing and support

The University of Leeds features an extensive network of excellent services dedicated to you and your wellbeing. We are here to help throughout your time in higher education, ensuring you have everything you need to succeed. For more information on the different facets of support you will have access to, please see our Wellbeing and Support page.

Wellbeing afternoons

Here at the University of Leeds, we are acutely aware that teaching is only part of a healthy, engaging university lifestyle. Activities which contribute to your wellbeing are vital, and so we have created Wednesday Wellbeing Afternoons.

These afternoons are a period of time with as much teaching as possible removed to give you the chance to pursue your passions. This may be a competitive sport for the university, a social sporting activity, or indeed any activity which contributes to positive mental health. We want your degree to be as flexible as possible so that you can make the most of your time here with us.

Flexible degrees

Biochemistry is a specialist degree within the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, which offers you flexibility throughout your time at Leeds.

Many of our degree courses share the same set of compulsory modules in the first year. A key benefit of having a common first year is that at the end of year 1, there may be opportunities to transfer onto degree courses in Biological Sciences, Microbiology and Biotechnology with Enterprise. Course transfers must happen prior to the commencement of Year 2 and are subject to space and academic background approval.

Facilities

The School of Molecular and Cellular Biology is an international research hub with outstanding facilities for structural biology, biophysics, cell biology and imaging. This is underpinned by a recent £17 million investment by the University and a large grant portfolio from major external funders (the Wellcome Trust, Royal Society, BBSRC and MRC). These facilities underpin our research-led teaching and allow us to offer final-year projects at the frontier of modern research. Recently refurbished teaching labs and dedicated computer clusters will allow you to develop your practical and computational skills during the first two years of your course. The Faculty Student Opportunity Team provide expert support for preparing applications for placements, internships and jobs.

The BSc Biochemistry (Industrial) variant of this course is accredited by The Royal Society of Biology.

Advanced Degree Accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development leaders and innovators of the future. The Advanced Accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience.

This accreditation is also applicable to the following course variants: MBiol BSc Biochemistry; MBiol BSc Biochemistry (Industrial); MBiol BSc Biochemistry (International).

Course details

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to
time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

Most courses consist of compulsory and optional modules. There may be some optional modules omitted below. This is because they are currently being refreshed to make sure students have the best possible experience. Before you enter each year, full details of all modules for that year will be provided.

For more information and a list of typical modules available on this course, please read BSc Biochemistry in the course catalogue.

Year 1

The first year introduces the molecular building blocks of cells and how they orchestrate the cellular processes that sustain life. Lectures in chemistry build on your existing knowledge and provide a rigorous grounding in the basic physical and chemical concepts that underpin biochemistry as a molecular science.

You will spend 6 hours per week in practical classes performing experiments to develop your laboratory skills, build an understanding of the lecture material and bring the subject to life. Experiments include protein chromatography, enzyme kinetics and genetic engineering. Tutorials with an academic member of staff will explore the course material in depth and develop your numeracy and problem-solving skills.

To tailor your course to match your own interests, you will select two optional modules. You can swap one optional module for a discovery module from across the University, allowing you to pursue subjects outside biological sciences (subject to timetabling constraints).

At the end of year 1, our flexible degree structure offers you the opportunity to transfer to relevant degree courses in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. Course transfers are subject to space and academic background approval.

Compulsory modules

Genes to Proteins (20 credits) - This module will provide a concise introduction to modern chemistry with an initial focus on a qualitative appreciation of electronic structure and how it determines the chemical and structural properties of molecules. The module will then provide an introduction to organic molecules, functional groups and reaction mechanisms.

Introductory Skills in the Molecular Biosciences (20 credits) - You’ll be trained in data collection and experimental techniques relevant to the biological sciences, as well as problem-solving, teamwork, and presentation skills. You will learn how to use laboratory equipment, design and execute simple experiments, understand approaches used to study biochemical and molecular processes, analyse and interpret numerical data, and present information clearly in written and oral forms.

Basis of Life (20 credits) - You’ll learn about the fundamental processes of life, identifying the key concepts that underpin the biological processes in all living organisms, from bacteria to elephants. On completion of the module, you will have a comprehensive grounding in the molecular basis of life from the atomic scale up to cells.

Introductory Skills in Biochemistry (20 credits) - You’ll explore key concepts taught in the lectures through tutorials and lab practicals. This will consolidate your understanding of the subject, develop competency in laboratory techniques, and nurture transferrable analytical and problem-solving skills.

Introductory Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (20 credits) - You’ll explore foundational concepts in biochemistry that will be built on in the later years of the degree. Upon completion of this module, you will have a basic chemical understanding of the building blocks of life and how they work together inside cells.

Introduction to Genetics (10 credits) - You will be provided with essential foundational knowledge in genetics, exploring the different meanings of ‘genetics’ and how this concept has changed over time. More importantly, you will explore what genetics means for us as organisms. To what extent do genes determine our inheritance? And how do our genes make us the distinct and unique organisms we are?

Chemistry for Biochemists (10 credits) - Proteins are the workhorses of the cell. This module explores the molecular structure and function of proteins, how these are studied, how cells make proteins, how proteins fold and what happens when this goes wrong in devastating diseases.

Optional modules

20 credits from the following:

Short Introduction to Human Body Systems (10 credits) -This module introduces the core concepts underpinning structure and function of human body systems, with an emphasis on how systems are structured, operate and interact. The idea that the environment, exercise or disease can disturb these systems will be introduced.

The Diversity of Life (10 credits) - You’ll be provided with an overview of the evolution and diversity of life, the key features that define each group and the role of those taxa in ecological processes. Each group of organisms will be linked to a major global challenge including food security, disease, and wildlife conservation, to demonstrate how fundamental science informs important societal issues.

Mathematics for Scientists (10 credits) - This module is highly recommended if you did not develop your mathematical skills significantly beyond the GCSE level; its goal is to equip you with the basic mathematical skills necessary to gain a full understanding of Chemistry. It will progress from arithmetic to algebra and calculus, with emphasis on problem-solving and with extensive use of chemical examples. The teaching methods will include lectures and problem-solving workshops.

Introduction to Immunology (10 credits) - You’ll review fundamental immune mechanisms with a particular emphasis on human immunology and its relationship to health and disease. You will discover how we protect ourselves from infection through our immune defences, and learn about the role of different types of leukocytes and antibodies and complement in our immune defences.

Microbial World (10 credits) - You’ll be introduced to a wide range of microscopic life forms and viruses, giving you a sound introduction to Microbiology and exploring the diversity of microbial life with emphasis on how we interact with microbes that are responsible for infections as well as those that do not normally cause disease. You will learn how microorganisms interact with each other and how they influence the lives of more complex organisms, for good or ill and will learn how fungi, bacteria and viruses are observed and manipulated safely.

Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry (10 credits) - You’ll explore the organic chemistry concepts that underpin biochemical reactions. This will be useful to students interested in topics such as drug design who wish to deepen their knowledge and understanding of biological chemistry.

Discovery Module (10 credits) - As well as the compulsory and optional modules that make up your programme of study, you may be able to choose something different to your main subject as a Discovery Module.

Year 2

The second year lectures cover key topics in modern Biochemistry. For example, you will learn how proteins fold and what happens when this goes wrong; how enzymes catalyse biochemical reactions and how inhibitors can be used as drugs to treat diseases; how metabolic pathways maintain and power cells, and how metabolic disorders cause disease; and how genes can be manipulated to create experimental tools and gene therapies to treat inherited disorders.

During the second-year practicals, you will spend one full day per week working on lab-based and computational projects. Experiments typically run over several weeks, requiring you to utilise multiple approaches and take greater responsibility for your experimental design. One example is a drug discovery project, where you will identify and test potential inhibitors of a therapeutic target protein.

The core lecture material is reinforced with tutorials on topics such as organic reaction mechanisms, plant biology, and strategies for gene cloning and protein expression. These tutorials will deepen your understanding of biochemistry and build further analytical, problem solving and computational skills. Additional tutorials will train you in teamwork, report writing, giving presentations, and interview preparation, equipping you with the skills you will need to compete successfully in the job market.

You will also select optional and discovery modules from across the University to further develop and broaden your expertise in biochemistry or subjects further beyond.

At the end of year 2, you will have the opportunity to complete an industrial work placement, study abroad, or combined study and work abroad. This will add an additional year of study to your degree.

Compulsory modules

Intermediate Skills in the Molecular Biosciences (20 credits) - You’ll be provided with training in data collection, experimental techniques, and problem-solving in the context of molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, and microbiology. This module builds upon content learned in your year one skills modules, and will cover practical experiments in gene cloning, protein expression, PCR, electrophoresis, and enzyme assays, as well as tutorials on data handling, problem-solving, and critical reviews of current topics in cell and molecular biology.

Omics and Big Data Biology (20 credits) - You’ll be introduced to omics-based approaches at the forefront of equipping biologists to overcome global challenges. You’ll also develop practical data-science skills in comparative genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics in order to conduct group-based and individual research projects.

Enzymes, Metabolism, Health and Disease (20 credits) - awaiting module description

The Molecular Cell and Therapeutic Development (20 credits) - awaiting module description

Intermediate Skills in Biochemistry (20 credits) - You’ll explore central concepts, building on compulsory modules from semester one and two. This will consolidate your understanding of the subject matter, develop familiarity and competence in more sophisticated laboratory techniques and engender advanced analytical and problem-solving skills. By doing this module you will complete the necessary groundwork for your final year project.

Optional modules

20 credits from the following:

Introduction to Drug Design (10 credits) - awaiting module description

Medical Immunology (10 credits) - You’ll gain detailed knowledge of the immune system, focusing on human health, from infectious and auto-immune diseases to treatment.

Chemotherapy (10 credits) - The basis of chemotherapy is selective toxicity, the use of agents to kill or suppress the growth of invading cells or infective organisms. This module will help you understand how these agents work. You will learn about the drugs used to treat cancer, bacterial, fungal and viral infections. In addition, immunosuppressant drugs and the chemotherapy of protozoal diseases such as malaria will also be discussed.

Cell Biology of Disease (10 credits) - You will gain a broad understanding of the eukaryotic cell and how it responds to and is altered in infectious and non-infectious diseases. Emphasis is placed on a comprehensive grounding of cellular function by considering different cell types and associated disease states.

Discovery Module (10 credits) - As well as the compulsory and optional modules that make up your programme of study, you may be able to choose something different to your main subject as a Discovery Module.

Year 3

The third year is research-led and allows you to explore your interests as you prepare for your future career.

The lecture material covers recent discoveries that are often yet to appear in textbooks. You will take two compulsory lecture modules (“Advanced Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology” and “Advanced Topics in Biochemistry and Structural Biology”), which feature topics such as signal transduction, Alzheimer’s disease, virus structure and DNA damage. In addition, you will also take a third lecture module of your choice selected from across the school.

In semester 1 you will perform an independent or group research project of your choice. During your project, you will address a research question by applying the knowledge and skills acquired during your degree, allowing you to develop expertise in a research area and further build on your analytical and communication skills. This will be a laboratory or computer-based project, a literature review or a science communication exercise, under the supervision of one of our expert research academics.

In the skills module you will undertake a variety of exercises (e.g. tutorials, group work, scientific writing, critical analysis of literature) to explore key themes from the lecture material and build transferrable skills in communication and data analysis.

Compulsory modules

Molecular and Cellular Biology Research Project (40 credits) - In this module you will perform an individual or group research project of your choice. This will be a laboratory, literature or computer-based project, under the supervision of one of our expert research academics. This will allow you to develop expertise in a research area and further build your analytical and communication skills.

Advanced Topics in Molecular and Cellular Biology (20 credits) - This is one of our flagship research-led modules in which you’ll become familiar with current research in a range of topics which have previously covered:

  • DNA damage
  • Stem cells
  • Synthetic biology
  • How to build an organelle

However, this module is continuously refreshed with topics that reflect the cutting-edge research we carry out at Leeds.

Advanced Skills in Biochemistry (20 credits) - You’ll be provided with up-to-date developments, hypotheses and controversies in biochemistry. You’ll have an opportunity to extend your problem-solving and scientific communication skills as well as participate in career workshops.

Advanced Topics in Biochemistry and Structural Biology (20 credits) - This is one of our flagship research-led modules in which you’ll become familiar with current research in a range of topics which have previously covered:

  • Enzymes for biofuels
  • Protein dynamics
  • Natural product biosynthesis
  • Protein folding and disease

However, this module is continuously refreshed with topics that reflect the cutting-edge research we carry out at Leeds.

Optional modules

20 credits from the following

Advanced Topics in Microbiology 2 (20 credits) - This is one of our flagship research-led modules in which you’ll become familiar with current research in a range of topics which have previously covered:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Antibiotic action and resistance
  • Respiratory infections
  • Human-microbe interactions
  • Streptomyces, the Antibiotic Makers

However, this module is continuously refreshed with topics that reflect the cutting-edge research we carry out at Leeds.

Cancer Biology (20 credits) - You’ll gain comprehensive knowledge of a range of human cancers, from the molecular basis of cancer to the alterations in cells and tissues in cancers to current therapies.

Any L3 Faculty of Biological Sciences module for which pre-requisites are met (20 credits)

Learning and teaching

Our teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials and practicals (laboratory or field settings dependent on your degree). We take a student-centred approach to learning and so our teaching is designed to enable student engagement through active learning approaches that include creative problem-solving, team-work activities and mini-projects. In this way, you are able to apply the theoretical knowledge learnt to practical, real-life contexts. We put a high value on practical teaching and so a core part of your teaching will focus on developing hands-on practical and associated research skills.

Independent study is an important part of University learning and you will be expected to undertake private study. We will support you in becoming independent learners through our teaching approaches and through regular meetings with your personal tutor who is there to advise you academically.

We use a range of digital tools to enhance your learning. Through our Minerva learning management system, you will be able to access our extensive library of online materials, some of it designed specifically to support preparation prior to attending classroom sessions and discuss content with peers and teachers. In the classroom, educators use a variety of interactive digital tools to help you learn through discussion and debate. Laboratory practicals are accompanied by detailed online preparation guides and use of electronic laboratory notebooks to ensure you get the most out of your time and develop workplace skills.

On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.

Assessment

We use a variety of assessment methods to help you develop a broad range of skills. These include practical work, data handling and problem-solving exercises, multiple-choice tests, group work, online and face-to-face discussion groups, computer-based simulations, essays, posters and oral presentations. We support students in their assessment journey through the provision of practice questions, sessions on how to complete assessment questions and feedback to support learning.

Entry requirements

A-level: AAB

Including chemistry and another science subject. Critical thinking and general studies excluded.

We accept the following:

  • Science: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.

  • Science-related: computing, environmental science, food science, geography, geology, PE, psychology, statistics.

Applicants taking a Science A-level (in England) will be required to achieve a pass in the practical element in addition to the standard A-level grade requirement.

When an applicant is taking any of the following:

  • Extended Project Qualification (EPQ)

  • Cambridge International Project Qualification (Cambridge IPQ)

  • Core Maths (if A-level Maths or Further Maths isn't studied as a full A-level)

  • AS Maths (if A-level Maths or Further Maths isn't studied as a full A-level)

  • Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate

It will be considered alongside A-levels and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. If you are taking A-levels, this would be a 1 grade drop from the standard offer. For example an A in one of the above qualifications with ABB at A-level (BSc applicants).

GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English. The Faculty of Biological Sciences will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.

Alternative qualification

Access to HE Diploma

BSc:
Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, graded at D39M6P0 including distinctions in biology and chemistry or maths.

We accept Access courses in Applied Science. We will also consider (depending on subject content):

  • biochemical sciences

  • biological and environmental science

  • biological and health science

  • biological sciences

  • biosciences

  • combined sciences

  • environmental science

  • life and biological science

  • life science

  • medical and health science professions

  • natural sciences

  • physical & natural sciences.

MBiol: We do not accept Access to HE.

BTEC

BTEC extended diploma entry requirements: DDM plus A/B in A-level Chemistry. The preferred BTEC qualification subject is Applied Science (other subjects may be accepted).

BTEC diploma entry requirements: DD plus A/B in A-level Chemistry. The preferred BTEC qualification subject is Applied Science (other subjects may be accepted).

Applicants with BTEC Subsidiary Diploma qualifications must normally have at least 2 A-levels and at least one of these should be Chemistry (plus another science or science-related subject depending on the BTEC subject).

MBiol: We do not accept BTEC qualifications.

Cambridge Pre-U

BSc: D3/D3/M1 including chemistry plus one other science subject. Global Perspectives excluded.

MBiol: D3/D3/D3 including chemistry plus another science subject. Global Perspectives excluded.

When an applicant is taking Global Perspectives this can be considered alongside Pre-U subjects and may attract an alternative offer in addition to the standard offer. This would be D3/M1/M1 and grade D3 in Global Perspectives (BSc applicants) or D3/D3/M1 and grade D3 in Global Perspectives (MBiol applicants).

International Baccalaureate

BSc: 6,6,5 at higher level including Chemistry and another science or science-related subject.

MBiol: 6,6,6 at higher level including Chemistry and another science or science-related subject.

Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)

BSc: H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3 including H2 chemistry and another science at higher level.

MBiol: H2,H2,H2,H2,H2,H2 including H2 in chemistry and another science at higher level.

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

BSc: Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AB in 2 Advanced Highers including chemistry and another science. General studies and critical thinking excluded.

MBiol: Advanced Higher: 5 x Highers AABBB, with AA in 2 Advanced Highers including chemistry and another science. General studies and critical thinking excluded.

We accept the following science subjects: biology, human biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics.

Scottish Higher: Scottish Highers not accepted on their own.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is a contextual admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and contextual admissions.

Typical Access to Leeds offer

Specific A Level subjects required – see entry requirement section above.

GCSE: Grade 6 (B) or above at GCSE Maths and Grade 4 (C) or above at GCSE English.

Access to Leeds: Pass

International Foundation Year

International students who do not meet the academic requirements for undergraduate study may be able to study the University of Leeds International Foundation Year. This gives you the opportunity to study on campus, be taught by University of Leeds academics and progress onto a wide range of Leeds undergraduate courses. Find out more about International Foundation Year programmes.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any component. . For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.


Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

Fees

UK: £9,250 (per year)

International: £30,250 (per year)

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will be £9,250 for students starting in 2024/25.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only, as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.

Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2025/26
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students starting in 2025/26 have not yet been confirmed by the UK government. When the fee is available we will update individual course pages.

Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2024/25 and 2025/26
Tuition fees for international students for 2024/25 are available on individual course pages. Fees for students starting in 2025/26 will be available from September 2024.

Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more on our living costs and budgeting page.

Scholarships and financial support

The Faculty of Biological Sciences offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students. Find out more about our scholarships

Applying

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions guidance

Visit our admissions guidance page for more information about applying to undergraduate courses in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.

Application process

The Faculty of Biological Sciences may consider applications submitted after this date. Availability of courses in UCAS Extra will be detailed by UCAS at the appropriate stage in the cycle.

Alternative Entry Scheme for mature applicants

As per the information detailed in the corresponding section of the University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy the Faculty of Biological Sciences will consider prospective students via the Alternative Entry Scheme run by the Lifelong Learning where appropriate applicants will be referred to the Lifelong Learning Centre, who will advise the applicant further.

Interviews

Except for those courses detailed below, interviews do not form part of the Faculty of Biological Sciences’ standard admissions process however, in some cases, an applicant may be invited for an interview if it will help inform whether or not an offer should be made.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2024

This course is taught by

Faculty of Biological Sciences

Contact us

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Office

Email: fbsadmissions@leeds.ac.uk
Telephone:

Career opportunities

As well as providing you with subject-specific knowledge, we aim to equip you with the best possible skills for a variety of future careers. All of our degrees have a strong emphasis on practical-based teaching, small group teaching, online learning and problem-solving.

Throughout the degree, you’ll gain a wide range of transferable skills which are highly valued by employers. Supported by the Faculty Student Opportunity Team, Leeds for Life scheme and your academic and personal tutor, you’ll be ideally placed to focus on your personal development and make the most of your time at university.

Biochemistry graduates are always in demand. Our biochemistry graduates have, for many years, experienced high employment rates and a significant proportion quickly gain employment upon graduation. 18 months post-graduation, around 90% of our graduates are in full-time employment or engaged in post-graduate study. Of those in employment, around 80% are in graduate-level employment.

Typical graduate careers include:

  • Research Scientist at a University
  • Research Scientist in industry
  • Postgraduate study
  • Graduate entry degree in medicine/dentistry
  • Science communication
  • Teaching

According to LinkedIn, the 5 most popular graduate destinations for our Biochemistry graduates are: 

  1. Academia (various universities)
  2. AstraZeneca
  3. The NHS (mostly as clinical lab scientists, but also some doctors who have studied post graduate medicine)
  4. Labcorp (our biggest local lab science employer)
  5. Lonza

Careers support

We have a dedicated student opportunity team in the Faculty of Biological Sciences who work closely with the University’s Careers Centre.

We offer numerous opportunities in addition to volunteering and placements. This includes our annual student-alumni networking event, where graduates are invited back to talk about their work and network with our students, and our STEM Careers Fair. The fair is an amazing opportunity for you to meet bioscience employers, such as AstraZeneca, Labcorp, GSK, and Nuffield NHS Ecological consultancies. You will be able to speak to alumni, attend workshops and more.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more about Careers support.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. We have over 300 University partners worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

If you choose to undertake a study abroad option, you will spend the third year of your course studying abroad. This will extend your studies by 12 months.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

Industrial placements are taken after your second year. This will extend your studies by 12 months. For your work placement in industry, the staff at Leeds will help you with your CV and recruitment process and provide details of organisations.

Placements abroad are possible. We work together with your industrial supervisors to make sure you get the most out of this year. A year working in industry gives you an excellent opportunity to get used to the demands of the world of work, to develop new skills and to augment your CV.

Combined study and working abroad

Our new module allows you to combine both a study abroad and industrial work placement into one additional year of study. Over the year you will study for a semester at one of our partner universities and complete an industrial work placement for 6 months abroad or in the UK.

Find out more about Combined study and work abroad.

Student profile: Justin Wong

We are supported in developing scientific advances, and making an impact by taking the lead on tackling many of the world’s problems.
Find out more about Justin Wong's time at Leeds