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Department of Biochemistry

teaching overview new

The teaching programmes of the Biochemistry Department embody a fundamental approach to the chemistry of life and convey the strongly unifying contribution of biochemistry and molecular biology to other scientific disciplines. We teach students in four undergraduate years, in both the Natural Sciences Tripos (NST) and the Medical  Sciences Tripos  and Veterinary Sciences Tripos. Courses in the Faculty of Biology increasingly flow across departmental boundaries, where there is scientific common ground, in terms of personnel and planning.

In the NST first year (Part IA) we teach a quarter of the Biology of Cells course, which leads naturally to our second year course. Also, we lecture on "early events in evolution" in the Evolution and Behaviour course and participate in Mathematical Biology.  Evolution and Behaviour is also an option in the Psychology and Behavioural Sciences Tripos

The Department also provides the Molecules in Medical Science course in Part IA,  for students studying Medicine and Veterinary Medicine.

In the NST second year (Part IB) we run the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology IB course and contribute to the Cell and Developmental Biology IB course. Either or both of these courses leads in the NST third year to more advanced study of Biochemistry in Part II. These courses also provide an excellent foundation for other NST Part II courses.

In the fourth year Part III Biochemistry caters for students who expect to continue with postgraduate research, and leads to a Master of Natural Science Degree (MSci) as well as the usual BA to which all Cambridge undergraduate science courses lead. The Department also has major contribution to the Part III in Systems Biology.

Postgraduate education is an important part of our teaching and details can be found on our postgraduate pages.


Dr Dee Scadden is Director of Teaching and directs development of digital learning resources. Dr Mairi Kilkenny is Assistant Director of Teaching