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Department of Biochemistry


The third year (Part II)

Part II Biochemistry can be taken as a single subject, or as a major or minor subject in Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS). All of these options are available to NST, MedST, and VetST students.


Biochemistry as a single subject – Part II Biochemistry

This course builds on Part IB Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, but can also be taken if students have studied Part 1B Cell and Developmental Biology.

A fundamental aim of the Part II course in Biochemistry is to inform, to stimulate, to place new findings into the context of molecular and cell biology, and to emphasise how new information is obtained and what limitations there are on this process. Because Biochemistry is developing very rapidly, even the best textbooks in this subject are inevitably out of date and the course is intended to encourage reading of original research papers and reviews. We hope to provide familiarity with biochemical ideas and methods, and to induce a critical attitude to the interpretation of experimental results and to their relationship with the theoretical background. Project work is therefore an important aspect of the course.

By the time you graduate, you should be equipped to assess new discoveries in Biochemistry and related areas as they arise, and be in a position to adapt as the subject develops in the future.



Biochemistry as a major subject in Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS)

NST Part II BBS is managed by the Biological Sciences Committee for the Faculty Board of Biology. Students can choose Biochemistry as a major subject within this course. We welcome those who wish to pursue biochemistry but in the broader context of BBS and without a practical project or assessed essay.

For those taking Biochemistry as a major subject all guidelines for the lectures are the same as those for Part II Biochemistry


Biochemistry as a minor subject in Part II Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS)

  • 134 – From Genome to Proteome: this BBS minor subject comprises Module B from the Part II Biochemistry course, which examines all steps in eukaryotic gene expression, from chromatin accessibility through to translation and mRNA turnover.
  • 135 – Cell Cycle, Signalling and Cancer: this BBS minor subject comprises Module D from the Part II Biochemistry course. The themes of this course draw on most modern biological techniques and impinge on core cell and molecular biology topics of cellular signalling, DNA replication, DNA repair, cell cycle and apoptosis amongst others, with a particular emphasis on cancer biology and therapeutic intervention.


For full details of the structure of the BBS course, information about minor subjects, and the dissertation please consult the BBS website.