Canterbury Christ Church allowed me to go from a foundation student all the way to PhD student by offering a supportive environment and opportunities to gain experience.

Victoria, School of Human and Life Sciences student

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4 years

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This course is designed to teach you the essentials in chemical, biological, physical and mathematical skills needed to help you progress to the rest of the degree.

The course has a large focus on lab work enabling to you develop expertise needed to pursue a career in scientific research or the industry. This means that you get to spend more time “doing science”, making learning more exciting.

Our foundation year option enables you to join the Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry course even if you don’t have the formal qualifications or experience to meet the entry requirements. It equips you with the knowledge to move into formal degree study, setting you up for future success.

You will receive expert, research-informed teaching through the CDIO (Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate) engineering education method. This lets you take a practical, project-based approach to learning, developing your interpersonal, teamwork and problem-solving skills.

Why study Biochemistry and Biological Chemistry with Foundation Year?

During this course, you'll be exploring life at the molecular level, learning about scientific concepts and using your enquiring mind to test your skills in lab-based experiments.

From early, on you'll be learning through hands-on practical work in our industry standard labs so that by the end of the degree you'll be experienced in complex laboratory skills.

You'll learn how to apply a theoretical scientific knowledge base to active research areas that address contemporary challenges and you'll look deeply into biochemistry and biological chemistry. This will involve in-depth study of areas such as biological and bioengineering processes, organic and inorganic chemistry, enzymology and kinetics, so that you have the knowledge and skills to complete a major research project in your final year.

Entry requirements

Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

For more information on the IELTS (International English language Testing System) requirements for this course, please click here to visit our dedicated web page.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

During the foundation year, you'll develop academic skills and you'll learn about the fundamental sciences of chemistry, biology, mathematics and physics so you are prepared to study at degree level.

As you progress to the degree, you'll study an equal balance of chemistry and biochemistry and you'll spend a significant amount of time gaining laboratory experience in each year.

You'll contribute to real industry-linked research by carrying out individual and group projects, and you'll have the opportunity to work alongside our research groups. You'll also be able to undertake a work placement where you'll have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills and talent to a local employer and contribute to solving real engineering issues.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

You'll be taught by experienced staff who are actively engaged with industry and you'll also be working alongside and learning from industry experts.

The course focuses on problem-based learning and uses approaches based on the Conceive, Design, Implement and Operate (CDIO) model of education. You'll experience plenty of hands on work with real projects and the practical experimentation and problem-based learning approaches are supplemented by lectures and seminars/workshops. In addition, you will have regular meetings with your academic personal tutor. 

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

This course is designed to help you develop as a confident, independent learner and much of your learning will be through experimentation and observation.

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars.

For the research project in your final year, you will undertake independent research working under the supervision of a member of the course team, who you will meet with regularly.

Each 20 credit module requires 200 hours of study consisting of formal contact time (lectures, practicals, tutorials, workshops), structured independent learning (prescribed reading and/or online exercises) and independent learning.

In Year 1, each module has 60 hours of formal contact, supplemented with 40 hours of structured independent learning. As you develop and become more independent, formal contact and structured learning reduces to 50 hours of contact and 30 hours of structured independent learning in Year 2 and 40 hours of contact and 20 hours of structured independent learning in Year 3.

The teaching team consists of highly qualified academics with a range of expertise and experience.

All our team members hold doctoral and teaching qualifications and are research-active.

You will be taught by staff at all academic levels including lecturer, senior lecturer, principal lecturer and professorial level. They have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. You can find out more about the current teaching on our Our Staff web page. 

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules, however, experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.

You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

Our research-led and highly practical curriculum will equip you with the laboratory skills, as well as the theoretical knowledge, to become an effective scientist. You will gain an understanding of the chemistry behind the biology, and have opportunities to use your new knowledge and skills in an industrial setting.

Dr Lee ByrneSenior Lecturer in Biochemistry

How you’ll be assessed

Assessment is by both coursework and examination, both written and practical. Individual modules are assessed either solely by coursework or by an equally-weighted combination of coursework and examination.

Examination allows assessment of your understanding of important key concepts and accounts for less than half the assessment of the programme. Examinations may take the form of written examinations or practical examinations that assess laboratory skills. Coursework assessments develop key scientific and transferable skills and assignments include: scientific lab/log books, written reports, written scientific papers, discursive essays, PowerPoint presentations and poster presentations.

There are a maximum of two assessments per 20 credit module studied. Exams happen twice a year at the end of each semester.

Your future career

This course has been designed with input from industry and to meet a skills gap in the industry for graduates with extensive industry-relevant lab experience in the chemical sciences. Graduates from our science courses go on to careers in industry, research, teaching and wider areas of the science sector.


The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £9,250 £13,000
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £13,000
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

* The tuition fees of £9,250 / £13,000 / £4,625 relate to 2021/22 only. Please read the 2021/22 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2021/22 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Specialist Facilities

This course is associated with the university’s Industry Liaison Labs at Discovery Park, Sandwich. You will have the opportunity to undertake laboratory work at this site. The location of these specialist facilities within an industrial setting facilitates access to and collaboration with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Industry Links

The University’s Industry Liaison Lab works with many companies in healthcare research and development, drug discovery and equipment design and manufacture.

"Venomtech have been very impressed with our partners at Canterbury Christ Church University, this partnership has enabled us to progress projects much faster than we could on our own. This includes being able to generate novel data on the use of our products through student projects, advancing research into new antibiotics and cancer therapies from venoms and increasing the understanding of invertebrate welfare. Generation of this proof of concept data has, and continues to have, a positive influence with our potential customers and therefore our business. I also impart my 10+ years industrial drug discovery experience directly to the students as part of the Drug Discovery and Development module.

As a science employer in the area, Venomtech benefit greatly from being directly involved in the curriculum to make sure the new graduates have the skills useful to employers. This includes an understanding of applied drug discovery that will make CCCU graduates stand out from others in job interviews.”

Steve Trim, CEO, Venomtech Ltd

Regulated by the Office for Students

The Office for Students (OfS) regulates Canterbury Christ Church University. The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. It aims to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers. Further details about its work are available on the OfS website.

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4 years

UCAS code:



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