Biochemistry at Oxford: What You Should Know About Oxford Biochemistry

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Biochemistry explores the chemical processes that allow our cells to function.  It is a fascinating degree and Oxford has one of the largest Biochemistry departments in Europe.  In their first year, students will build on their existing knowledge, studying various aspects of biochemistry.

Students attend tutorials, lectures and practicals delivered by expert researchers in the field.  In their final year, students will undertake their own research project. This gives them valued experience and an opportunity to reflect on a career in research.

UCAS CodeC700
Minimum Entrance Requirements for Oxford Biochemistry CourseA-levels – A*AA including Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics, with the A* in one of these subjects
Advanced Highers – AAB including an A in Chemistry and an A or B in another Science and Mathematics for those taking three Advanced Highers. 
For those doing two Advanced Highers and one Higher, AAA, including an A in Advanced Higher Chemistry and A in another Science or Mathematics at Advanced Higher or Higher level
IB – 39 with 7 in Higher Level Chemistry and 6 in two other relevant subjects at Higher Level or Standard Level
Admission Test for Oxford Biochemistry CourseInterview
Subject Requirements for Biochemistry at OxfordOxford requires Chemistry and another Science or Mathematics. Oxford also recommends Mathematics and Biology.
Extras things admission tutors look forAt interview, Oxford Biochemistry Admission 
Tutors mainly look for:
Your interest and passion for Biochemistry
Your ability to take in new information, describe it and analyse its potential uses
Your ability to discuss topics you are particularly interested in
Your problem-solving skills and means of communicating
Duration4 years.  Students will graduate with a MBiochem qualification
Admissions Statistics Oxford Biochemistry CourseInterviewed: 52%
Successful: 14%
Intake: 104 students per year
What is Biochemistry Course at Oxford?Biochemistry at Oxford involves the study of both molecular and cellular processes.  This helps to dissect where life came from, how diseases can affect us and also how organisms can develop. 
With this understanding, students develop their knowledge on the relationship between cell biology, medicine, physics and chemistry

Due to there being both a theoretical and a practical element on this course, students will also develop their knowledge and be able to implement this on a real world scale. This will also help develop problem solving skills and expand their ability to conduct research.
Oxford Colleges that offer Biochemistry CourseBrasenose College, Christ Church, Corpus Christi College, Exeter College, Hertford College, Lincoln College, LMH College, Magdalen College, New College, Oriel College, Pembroke College, The Queen’s College, Somerville College,
St Anne’s College, St Catz College, St Hilda’s College, St Hugh’s College, St John’s College, St Peter’s College, Teddy Hall College, Trinity College, University (Univ) College, Wadham College, Worcester College
Structure of Biochemistry Course at OxfordFirst Year – Students take 5 courses in Cellular biochemistry, Molecular biochemistry, Mechanic biochemistry, Physical biochemistry and Quantitative biochemistry.  Finally, students take assessments in five written papers at the end of the year and must have a satisfactory practical record.

Year 2 and 3 – Teaching on themes of: Tool boxes for biochemistry, Information transfer in biological systems, Molecular processes in the cell, Cellular chemistry and The cell in time and space.  There are four summative assessments, as well as seven written papers in total.

Year 4 – Research project- Carry out an in-depth research project for 25 weeks. This happens alongside learning advanced skills within the first three weeks of the project.  This will culminate in the production of a dissertation highlighting the research project. There is also coursework in the form of a review article.

During years 1-3, the timetable is split between lectures (between 8-10 per week) and tutorials (between 1-3 per week). There are also practicals (normally one full day per week).  Students will also have independent study to complete in between sessions.
Common Careers for Oxford Biochemistry StudentsExamples of common careers include:
Academic researcher
Analytical chemist
Clinical scientist
Medicinal chemist

Recommended to read: Tips for an Oxford Biochemistry personal statement.


→What is biochemistry, and what is it like to study at Oxford?

Biochemistry is the study of the chemical processes within living organisms. At Oxford, studying biochemistry means gaining a comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of life. It involves a combination of lectures, practical lab work, and independent research. Students will develop a wide range of skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, and data analysis.

→What are the entry requirements for studying biochemistry at Oxford?

The entry requirements for studying biochemistry at Oxford vary depending on the course and college. Typically, students are required to have A-levels in chemistry and biology, with most colleges asking for an A* in one or both of these subjects. Students are also expected to have a strong academic record, with most successful applicants achieving at least AAA at A-level.

→How does studying biochemistry at Oxford prepare students for postgraduate study?

Studying biochemistry at Oxford provides students with a strong foundation in the fundamental principles of the subject. This, coupled with the opportunity to participate in research projects and work closely with leading researchers, prepares students well for postgraduate study in biochemistry or related fields.

→What kind of research is conducted in the field of biochemistry at Oxford?

Biochemistry research at Oxford covers a wide range of topics, including protein structure and function, DNA replication and repair, and cellular metabolism. The university has state-of-the-art research facilities and world-class researchers, and students have the opportunity to participate in cutting-edge research projects as part of their degree.

→What career opportunities are available to biochemistry graduates from Oxford?

Biochemistry graduates from Oxford are in high demand, with many going on to work in a wide range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and healthcare. Some graduates choose to continue their studies and pursue postgraduate research or further qualifications, while others opt for careers in finance, management, or law.

→What support is available to biochemistry students?

Biochemistry students at Oxford have access to a wide range of academic and pastoral support, including tutorial support, career advice, and student welfare services. The university also has a dedicated Biochemistry Society, which organizes social and academic events throughout the year.

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