Why study Biochemistry with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University?
- £6 million invested in state-of-the-art teaching facilities
- Opportunities to undertake a year's industrial placement or Erasmus placement
- Stepping stone to more specialist MSc study in Industrial Biotechnology or Cosmetic Science
- International Foundation Year course available offering direct progression onto this degree programme - visit LJMU's International Study Centre to find out more
About your course
The BSc (Hons) Biochemistry with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University is the ideal course if you are interested in this subject but lack the necessary qualifications to study it at degree level.
About the Foundation Year
The Foundation Year is ideal if you have the ability to study for a degree but do not have the qualifications to enter directly onto the Biochemistry honours degree programme.
Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the honours degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).
About the BSc (Hons) Biochemistry degree
The study of biochemistry will appeal to you if you are interested in the biochemical workings of living organisms, cellular metabolism, genomics and proteomics and the biochemical nature of disease. It draws on the different disciplines of cellular biology, physiology, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology and medical biochemistry. This provides a solid grounding for more specialist MSc study in, for example, industrial biotechnology, virology, immunology and genetics.
Option modules in Levels 5 and 6, and the opportunity for individual research and work placements, allow you to specialise in your own particular areas of interest.
The opportunity to take a year out in industry gives you invaluable paid work experience and the chance to put the skills and knowledge you have developed into practice. Most employers prefer to take on graduates who have had this experience.
"I have enjoyed every minute of my Biochemistry degree. It is challenging and rewarding and the opportunities to gain experience in the practical work are invaluable."
This course is approved and accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council and the Institute of Biomedical Science.
Our links with local hospitals, public health and private laboratories ensure that course content is informed by the latest research and developments in todays biomedical science industry and tailored to the needs of employers. Our connections include the Walton Centre of Excellence in Neurology and Neurosciences, the Roy Castle Foundation Laboratories for research into lung cancer, Alder Hey Children's Hospital and Glaxo/Wellcome Laboratories.
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you'll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
A DBS check is not required for your application, however a DBS may be required for modules where there is a work based learning placement option. Work based learning placements that do not require a DBS check are available.
Pharmaceutical companies and others involved in the food, cosmetics and toiletries industries, such as MedImmune, Novartis Vaccines, AstraZeneca, Unilever and Bristol-Myers Squibb, employ many of our biochemistry graduates directly.
Some graduates prefer to continue their studies with postgraduate study (PGCE/PGDE, MSc, MPhil, MRes or PhD) in topics as wide ranging as tropical medicine, cardiovascular disease, biomedical sciences, oncology, biotechnology, toxicology, virology and cosmetic science.
Alternatively, many decide to pursue teacher training as there is currently a shortage of well-qualified science teachers. Some have even moved into patenting, marketing, management and merchant banks, and many have gone on to research degrees in the UK or abroad.
You may also wish to use your qualification to undertake further study or training before entering employment.
Student Futures - Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course, to ensure our students experience a transformation in their career trajectory. Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus during Level 4, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop your talents, passion and purpose.
Every student has access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU's suite of online Apps, resources and jobs board via the LJMU Student Futures website. There are opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, LJMU's in-house recruitment service, and we also offer fully funded Discovery Internships.
One-to-one careers and employability advice is available via our campus-based Careers Zones and we offer a year-round programme of events, including themed careers and employability workshops, employer events and recruitment fairs. Our Start-Up Hub can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business or become a freelancer.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan. You can access LJMU's Careers, Employability and Start-up Services after you graduate and return for one-to-one support for life.
LJMU aims to make international opportunities available to every student. You may be able to study abroad as part of your degree at one of our 100+ partner universities across the world. You could also complete a work placement or apply for one of our prestigious worldwide internship programmes. If you wanted to go abroad for a shorter amount of time, you could attend one of our 1-4 week long summer schools.
Our Go Citizen Scheme can help with costs towards volunteering, individual projects or unpaid placements anywhere in the world. With all of these opportunities at your feet, why wouldn’t you take up the chance to go abroad?
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or optional in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations. Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules provide you with an element of choice. Their availability may vary and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Human Anatomy and Physiology
The aim of this module is to develop your knowledge and understanding of the basic structure and function of key physiological systems and metabolic processes. It will also introduce the concepts of human physiology and their inter-relationships.
Fundamental Science Skills
This module aims to provide and develop the basic skills required to successfully study a programme in the molecular bioscience areas.
Introduction to Chemistry
This module covers introductory laboratory skills and fundamental physical and inorganic chemistry concepts, alongside a brief introduction to organic chemistry.
Introduction to Biochemistry and Cell Biology
This module provides an introduction to cell structure and biochemistry.
Introduction to Molecular Biology and Genetics
This module provides an introduction to molecular biology and genetics.
This module covers fundamental organic chemistry concepts.
Introduction to Structural and Functional Biochemistry
This module enables you to develop a basic fundamental understanding of structural and functional aspects of macromolecules, particularly proteins, in biology. This module will also enable you to demonstrate understanding of how protein structure impacts on protein function.
This module enables you to explore the link between, nutrition, physiology and cellular metabolism in prokaryote and eukaryote cells. In addition, the chemistry which underpins each biochemical process is made clear by making use of worked examples and through practical experiments. This module will also introduce you to the concept of cellular metabolism and how nutrition and physiology impact on both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells.
Microbial Biotechnology 1
This module provides you with a broad spectrum of knowledge about microorganisms and their activities which will provide a foundation for microbiology modules at Levels 5 and 6. The module will be delivered through a series of lectures, practicals and workshops.
Practical and Employability Skills in Biochemistry
The aim of this module is to facilitate effective study of Biochemistry by providing a foundation in employability, communication and research skills, data handling, statistics, IT, laboratory techniques and underpinning theory. You will have the opportunity to identify and reflect upon aspects of personal development and employability will a strong thread embedded throughout the module.
Introduction to Cell Biology
The aim of this module is to provide an introduction to the field of cell biology (the study of the structure and function of cells).This module will enable you to demonstrate basic understanding of cell structure/function and how cells give rise to functions within tissues.
Introduction to Molecular Biology
This module enables you to understand the importance of the molecular mechanisms underpinning molecular biology. This will then introduce you to omics and model organisms which will be further developed at Level 5. Tutorials linked to subject material as well as personal development planning are embedded in this module.
Methods in Biochemistry
Within this module, you will develop your knowledge of theory and practise a range of methods relevant to research and practice in Biochemistry. You will further develop your skills, critical evaluation and career planning.
This module will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of the regulation and interaction of metabolic pathways within eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. You will evaluate the use of laboratory tests for the determination of biochemically important molecules.
Structural and Functional Biochemistry
This module enables you to develop a deeper understanding of structural and functional aspects of macromolecules, particularly proteins, in biology. The module provides you with a detailed view of aspects of the structure and function of macromolecules and relationships between the two.
Molecular Biology and Functional Genomics
This module provides you with a detailed understanding of the molecular mechanisms that are applicable to human disease states, development and genetic engineering. The module will empower you to demonstrate a critical understanding of genomic integrity and human disease. Transcriptional control, developmental biology, genetic engineering and bioinformatics will be introduced. You will encounter experimental methods for the investigation of the relevant areas of biochemistry and molecular biology using data from high-throughput techniques.
Molecular Cell Biology
This module will introduce you to a range of important cellular processes and some of the main molecular mechanisms associated with the regulation of these processes. It will empower you to demonstrate a critical understanding of signal transduction, cell proliferation and mechanisms of cell death. You will encounter experimental methods for the investigation of relevant areas of biochemistry and molecular biology.
Microbial Biotechnology 2
This module is designed to develop your understanding of the physiology and behaviour of microorganisms populating various habitats with emphasis on their responses to particular physical and chemical conditions. It will also develop a broad understanding of the biotechnological importance of microorganisms.
Sandwich Year - Biochemistry
The aim is to provide students with an extended period of work experience at an approved partner that will complement their programme of study at LJMU. This will give students the opportunity to develop professional skills relevant to their programme of study as well as the attitude and behaviours necessary for employment in a diverse and changing environment. This extended placement forms a key part of a sandwich degree. All placements need to be assessed and approved prior to commencement in line with the LJMU Placement Learning Code of Practice. The Code of Practice requires students to conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner during the placement - failure to do so may lead to the placement being terminated prematurely. Placements are normally for one calendar year on a full-time basis. Split placements of a shorter duration may be permissible. There is an expectation that a minimum of 1200 hours will be spent in the workplace.
Study Year Abroad - Biochemistry
The aim is to provide students with an additional year of study at an approved overseas partner that will complement their programme at LJMU. This is an additional year of full-time study at an approved higher education institution. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be appropriate for the student's programme of study. Assuming successful completion of this year, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the year abroad.
Study Semester Abroad - Biochemistry
The aim is to provide students with a semester of study at an approved overseas partner that will replace one semester of their LJMU programme at level 5.This is a semester of full-time study at an approved higher education institution which will replace one semester of level 5 study at LJMU. The modules to be studied must be agreed in advance, and must be an appropriate substitute for the modules being replaced. Assuming successful completion of this semester, mark-bearing credit will be awarded by the Faculty Recognition Group. The grade conversion scale to be used will be made available in advance of the semester abroad.
Advanced Structural and Functional Biochemistry
The aim of this module is to develop an advanced understanding of structural and functional aspects of macromolecules, particularly proteins, in biology. The module provides an advanced view of aspects of the structure and function of macromolecules and relationships between the two.
The aim of this module is to learn how to retrieve and critically evaluate complex information. You will conduct investigations in an independent manner and demonstrate the wide range of skills and knowledge required to deal with real-life employment opportunities.
Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology
The aim of this module is to provide you with state-of-the-art knowledge of central aspects of cell and molecular biology and to encourage development of skills for experimental design. The module will enable you to critically analyse research topics from cell and molecular biology and to design theoretical experiments on a given topic.
Biochemistry/Biotechnology Research Project
You will have the opportunity to undertake some NHS and Pharmaceutical industry-related laboratory research projects or traditional research projects.
This module will build upon core knowledge in microbiology covered in levels 4 and 5. It will provide you with training and assessment in areas including bioinformatics, new generation sequencing and its applications, antibiotic production, imaging technology, antibiotic resistance, phage therapy and will include the application of microbial processes to bioremediation and also product formation.
The aim of this module is to provide a bench to bedside approach to cancer, underpinning the key molecular and cellular events during the initiation and progression of cancer and providing an appreciation of diagnostic techniques and therapies available. The module aims to consolidate your prior learning in genetics, histology, cell biology, molecular biology, chemistry, biochemistry within a disease model.
The aim of this module is to provide an opportunity to spend time in a workplace environment relevant to your subject discipline, that you have acquired personally. You will build links between theory and practice through practical experience of work - reinforcing and complementing formal study.
Applications of Genetics in Health and Disease
This module provides you with an appreciation of some modern genetic and genomic techniques that are regularly used in studies of health and disease. It is recommended that students complete the level 5 module Genes and Genomes before taking this module.
This module builds on neurobiology-related concepts taught during the level 5 Physiology of Life module. The module provides you with an insight into how molecular, cellular and organ components contribute to form the body's most complex system and how different factors can produce dysregulation of the nervous system.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.
Teaching at all levels is via lectures, lab sessions, workshops, tutorials, and online which account for approximately 15-20 hours study time each week; the rest of your time should be spent in private study.
Workshops and small-group tutorials give you a chance to discuss course material more informally and your personal tutor will also organise twice yearly one-to-one tutorials with you.
As part of your work-related learning, we highly recommend that you opt to undertake a years work placement after your second year. This will not only give you a chance to put into practice what you have learnt at the University but it will also help you develop your personal skills, earn a salary while taking a years break from formal study, and add real value to your CV.
Support and guidance
Dedicated personal tutor, plus study skills support
Throughout your course, you will have the support of a personal tutor who will be available to discuss course-related matters in both tutorial sessions and on a one-to-one basis. If you opt to take a year out on work placement, this will be coordinated for you by a placement tutor and during the year you will have ongoing support from a member of staff, which will include visits to your workplace.
The school is fully committed to promoting a learning environment that supports a culture of equality, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) and has a Disability Support Coordinator, an EDI Coordinator and a School EDI Working Group. Personal Tutors also play a vital role in promoting awareness of support services for students.
Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
Exams are normally held at the end of each year and can be in the form of multiple choice, short answer, interpretative, problem-based learning or essay questions.
Coursework assessments could include phase tests, fieldwork/practical reports, data handling, oral presentations, poster presentations, group discussions, essays or the evaluation of your practical skills, and are based on individual assignments though some require group work.
Feedback on coursework assessments is normally provided within three weeks of submission and may be via Canvas (our virtual learning environment), face-to-face or in writing. We believe that constructive feedback is vital in helping you identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.
Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning
Dr Iain Hargreaves
Dr Iain Hargreaves
Dr Hargreaves has worked in the field of metabolic disease since 1995 when he began a postdoctoral fellowship to study mitochondrial metabolism at the Institute of Neurology, London. In 1997, he joined the Neurometabolic Unit, National Hospital as a principal clinical scientist to run the mitochondrial disease biochemical diagnostic service. In 2005, he established the first coenzyme Q10 NHS diagnostic service and became an Honorary Senior Lecturer at University College of London. Iain joined LJMU as a Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry and Biomedical sciences in 2016 and now hold a readership in clinical biochemistry. His research interests are focussed on mitochondrial and coenzyme Q10 metabolism and their involvement in disease. In addition, he is also involved in the development of therapeutic strategies to ameliorate mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress in metabolic diseases that may be translatable into clinical practice.
As a lecturer I am afforded the opportunity to include research led learning into my teaching. This involves discussing current research that is relevant to the topic of study as well as referring to metabolic diseases to highlight the importance of biochemical pathways in maintaining the health of an individual
Where you will study
What you can expect from your School
You will study at the Byrom Street site in the university's City Campus in the heart of Liverpool. Our state-of-the-art laboratories and teaching spaces will ensure you enjoy a first-class study environment. The Avril Robarts library is within easy walking distance and here you'll find all the information you need to support your studies.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Grades/points required from qualifications: CCD-CCC (88-96)
GCSEs and equivalents
Grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics/ Numeracy.
GCSE Equivalences accepted:
• Key Skills Level 2 in English/Maths
• NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading
• Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English
• Higher Diploma in Maths/English
• Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
• Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
CCD-CCC 1 A2 Level in a relevant science subject
Extended Diploma: MMM (96)
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
Pass overall with a minimum of 88 points.
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
OCR Cambridge Technical
Extended Diploma: MMM (96)
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications.
You need to obtain the required UCAS points from a related subject area.
6.0 overall with no component below 5.5, taken within two years of the course start date.
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.
Application and selection
Securing your place at LJMU
UCAS is the official application route for our full-time undergraduate courses. Further information on the UCAS application process can be found here https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/study/undergraduate-students/how-to-apply.
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.
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