Biochemistry combines the study of the biology and chemistry of living organisms to allow us to understand the molecular basis of life.
You will have the opportunity to run your own experiments, collate and analyse your data and report results.
Life Sciences at Glasgow
With hands-on experience and flexible degrees, studying at the School of Life Sciences challenges you to apply the theory of the classroom in practical situations, in the lab or the field. We offer an extremely wide range of courses in human and animal biology, biomolecular sciences, infection and immunity.
Our aim is to offer internationally competitive degrees that meet the needs of today’s science graduates. To achieve this aim, we utilise the research and teaching strengths of the College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences to provide our graduates with the skills necessary for success in any chosen career.
We have a large and diverse student body, which includes Scottish, UK, EU and international students. We regularly welcome visiting and exchange students, and we believe in the many advantages our students gain from adding an international dimension to their studies.
Strengths of the school include:
- substantial flexibility within our range of degree programmes
- an opportunity for you to gain experience working or studying abroad
- annual field courses to destinations around the globe
- access to the University’s world-renowned museums of Anatomy and Zoology
- top-quality student experience.
The University’s Hunterian Museum is home to over a million magnificent items, ranging from meteorites to mummies and Mackintosh. The Zoology and Anatomy museums are a fantastic resource for Life Sciences students.
With almost two million animal species described so far: and many more to discover; we can only hope to give our visitors a taste of the range of animal variety. Perhaps unexpectedly, the museum also maintains displays of live animals: a small selection of snakes, lizards, frogs and invertebrates is on show.
William Hunter’s remarkable specimens show all aspects of human form and function and reflect his lifelong career as a pioneering anatomist and obstetrician. Largely used for teaching and research, the collections have considerable importance in the history and development of medicine.
You will be given a general introduction to all aspects of modern biology and encouraged to acquire general scientific skills.
In semester 1, you will develop your knowledge of fundamental aspects of biology. In semester 2, you will be introduced to specialist subject areas according to your interests (eg animal biology; biomolecular sciences; human biology; infection biology).
You will also study other subjects in years 1 and 2: see Flexible degrees.
Years 3, 4 and 5
If you progress to Honours (years 3 and 4) you will focus on proteins and nucleic acids as the key molecules in understanding living organisms including viruses, bacteria, plants and animals, including humans. There is a strong emphasis on practical laboratory work, allowing you hands-on experience of major techniques including DNA technology, characterisation of proteins and bioinformatics. Your fourth year will feature a research project, a dissertation, and advanced-level Honours option courses.
Biochemistry can be taken as an MSci, which includes an additional placement year, between the third and final years of the degree. This is normally spent doing research in industry or an organisation such as a research institute in the UK or overseas.
The final-year optional courses may be subject to change each year. Places on particular optional courses may be limited.
Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.
Our international links
You will have the opportunity to apply to study abroad. There are currently two options available: the Erasmus+ Programme and the International Exchange Programme. See Study abroad.
for entry in 2021
Summary of entry requirements for Biochemistry
SQA Higher Entry Requirements (by end of S6)
- AAAAA Higher or AAAA Higher+B Advanced Higher (ABBB S5 minimum for consideration)
- Additional requirements: Higher Biology or Chemistry.
SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements* (by end of S6)
- AABB – BBBB
- Additional requirements: Higher Biology or Chemistry. Successful completion of Top-Up or one of our Summer Schools.
A-level Standard Entry Requirements
- AAB – BBB
- Additional requirements: A-level Biology or Chemistry.
IB Standard Entry Requirements
- 36 (6,6,5 HL) – 32 (6,5,5 HL)
- Additional requirements: HL Biology or Chemistry.
Glasgow International College
International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of foundation certificates.
For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.
English language requirements
International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):
- overall score 6.5
- no sub-test less than 6.0
- or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)
Common equivalent English language qualifications:
- ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
- CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
- CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
- PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
- IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
- IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests
* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:
What do I do if...
my language qualifications are below the requirements?
The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.
my language qualifications are not listed here?
Please contact External Relations
If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:
- UK Border Agency Tier 4 English Language requirements
- UKBA list of approved English language tests [pdf]
Visa requirements and proof of English language level
It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.
For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.
You will be well equipped for a wide variety of careers both inside and outside of science. Many of our graduates work in research laboratories in academic institutions, or in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry. Around half of our graduates go on to further study. Recent graduates have also secured positions in non-science careers as diverse as accountancy, IT, journalism and government.
- Computational biologist
- Molecular geneticist
- Molecular biologist
- Clinical researcher
- Genetic counsellor
- Plant technologist
Degrees and UCAS codes
When applying you will need to know the UCAS code for the subject or subject-combination that you wish to apply to:
Applications to the MSci are not taken via UCAS: you may apply for transfer mid-BSc
Fees and funding
How and when you pay tuition fees depends on where you’re from: see Tuition fees for details.
The University is committed to supporting students and rewarding academic excellence. That's why we've invested more than £1m in additional scholarship funding in recent years.
RUK Access Bursary 2020 Entry
The bursary supports talented students who might not be able to take a place at University for reasons of financial hardship. It is available to new entrant full-time, undergraduate students of the University of Glasgow who are fully registered for Session 2020/21, as being domiciled in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and paying annual tuition fees of £9,250 per annum.
RUK Excellence Scholarship 2020
The RUK Excellence Scholarship of £1,000 for each year of study will be awarded to first degree entrants who have attained AAA or better in one sitting at A Level (or equivalent).
The University of Glasgow offer a 15% discount on the first year of tuition fee to students from Beaconhouse Schools and who enrol on an undergraduate programme at the University of Glasgow. The discount does not apply to Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Dentistry programmes.
The Martin Niemöller Scholarship (College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences)
The German Speaking Congregation in Glasgow are pleased to offer one scholarship award of £500 for students originating from German speaking countries. The scholarship will support those students in need of financial support at any stage of their degree programme.
All students awarded a Martin Niemöller Scholarship will be asked to submit a short letter of thanks to the Development and Alumni Office for onward transmissions to the donors of the award.
The scholarships above are specific to this programme. For more funding opportunities search the scholarships database
How to apply
Full-time students must apply through the Universities & Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
International students can also apply using The Common Application: however, if applying to more than one UK university, we recommend using UCAS.
- 15 October: if including Dentistry, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or also applying to Oxford or Cambridge
- 15 January: all other UK/EU applicants (unless otherwise stated on the UCAS website)
- 30 June: international (non-EU) students
We do not usually accept any applications after these deadlines.
It's your responsibility to ensure the accuracy of your application before submission. Requests to correct application content, change degree programme or change college of entry, will not be accepted after these deadlines. This policy is in place to ensure fairness and consistency to all applicants, and no exceptions will be made.
- Apply at www.ucas.com or through your school or college
- Contact UCAS on 0871 468 0468
- Apply at commonapp.org (international students)
How to apply for Advanced Entry
Apply for year 2 (Y2) on your UCAS application. If the specific subject is unavailable for Advanced Entry or your application for year 2 entry is unsuccessful, you will be automatically considered for year 1 entry. You do not have to submit a separate UCAS application.
Molecular Biology, Biophysics & Biochemistry students in work / study