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The Department's buildings are currently open for wet laboratory work only. We have carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and have introduced a number of new measures to ensure the safety of our staff, including reduced building occupancy, strict social distancing, 'family'-based working, and increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. All staff who can work remotely will do so for the foreseeable future. Please continue to contact us by email until further notice.

Department of Biochemistry




The course aims to provide students with a basic understanding of:
  1. the molecular architecture of eukaryotic cells and organelles, including membrane structure and dynamics;
  2. the principles of bioenergetics and enzyme catalysis;
  3. the chemical nature of biological macromolecules, their three-dimensional construction, and the principles of molecular recognition;
  4. dietary requirements of man and selected domestic animals;
  5. the metabolism of dietary and endogenous carbohydrate, lipid, and protein;
  6. the principles and major mechanisms of metabolic control and of molecular signalling by hormones;
  7. the control of cell proliferation;
  8. how the DNA in a genome is organized, replicated, and repaired;
  9. how genetic information in the DNA is selectively expressed as functional proteins;
  10. how genes are transmitted between generations, and how and when errors can arise;
  11. how natural polymorphism and genetic variation can give rise to mutant genes, and how these genetic errors are inherited;
  12. how inherited genetic errors can cause both single gene and multifactorial diseases and the consequences of this inheritance for individuals and populations;
  13. the tools used in molecular genetics, and their potential applications to medical and veterinary science;
  14. from their own laboratory practice, the experimental dimension of the molecular approach to biology;
  15. the significance for clinical and veterinary practice of the molecular approach to medical science;
  16. an awareness of the ethical aspects of molecular science.


By the end of the course, students should be able to:
  1. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the molecular machinery of living cells;
  2. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles that govern the structures of macromolecules and their participation in molecular recognition;
  3. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles and basic mechanisms of metabolic control and molecular signalling;
  4. use basic laboratory skills and apparatus to obtain reproducible data from biochemical experiments;
  5. implement experimental protocols, and adapt them to plan and carry out simple investigations;
  6. analyse, interpret, and participate in reporting to their peers on the results of their laboratory experiments;
  7. participate in and report orally on team work investigations of problem-based assignments;
  8. build on their knowledge and understanding in tackling more advanced and specialised courses, and more widely to pursue independent, self-directed and critical learning.