You will learn about the basis of evolution, the processes by which genes and cells function and how you can apply your knowledge and practical skills towards our understanding of life, the development of a new biotechnology or even the discovery of a future drug to treat disease.

Dr Lee Byrne

    How do you want to study?


    4 years

    UCAS code:



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    The biotechnology sector is developing rapidly, offering you many exciting career opportunities, especially within biomedical and pharmaceutical companies. This course encompasses the study of the genetics, biochemistry and the molecular biology of organisms.   

    Why study Biochemistry & Genetics with Foundation year?

    A foundation year helps you develop the study skills and self-confidence needed for higher education when you don’t reach the entry requirements for your subject.

    On the course you'll have the opportunity to take advantage of our excellent industry links, interacting with biotech companies and gaining valuable experience.

    Part of your studies could take place at our innovative Industry Liaison Lab at Discovery Park, Sandwich where we have collaborations with a number of research-based companies. The industry-focused nature of this course provides opportunities to enter direct employment with biotech companies.

      All about the course

      The course emphasises the development of practical and employment-relevant skills in our newly opened, state-of-the-art laboratories.

      During the foundation year, you'll learn essential study skills that you'll need as you progress through the degree.

      You’ll learn how to apply a theoretical scientific knowledge base to real-world problems that are crucial to our sustainable future. This will involve in-depth study of topics such as protein structure and function, enzymology, metabolism, molecular biological techniques as well as plant, animal and human genetics.

      You will gain the skills and confidence to complete a major research project in your final year, where you can independently work in an area of your interest and evidence your ability to tackle new problems for potential employers.

      To support you throughout this exciting and challenging degree, you'll receive expert teaching that is informed by research and involves you in the research of a diverse and multi-disciplinary team of experienced academics.

      You will also have the opportunity to complete a placement module, where you'll work in a commercial environment and learn new skills to enhance your CV and help you stand out as a skilled and experienced graduate.

      Industry Links

      The Life Sciences Industry Liaison Lab at Discovery Park in Sandwich, Kent was launched in March 2016. Discovery Park is a fabulous site with well over 100 companies now based there, many of which are active in the science sector.

      Entry requirements

      Qualification type


      A Levels EEE
      BTEC PPP
      Access Pass 45 Credits
      International Baccalaureate 24 points
      Combinations A combination of qualifications totalling 32 UCAS points minimum

      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.

      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.

      UCAS Points

      How you’ll learn

      You will study modules entitled as follows. Module descriptors will be added in due course.

      Level 0 modules:

      • Introduction to Biology
      • Introduction to Chemistry
      • Science skills
      • Advancing Chemistry
      • Maths and Physics for the Life Sciences
      • Advancing Biology

      Level 4:

      • Biochemistry 1
      • Statistics and Introduction to ‘R’ Software
      • Cell Biology and Genetics
      • Microbiology
      • Chemistry for Life and Environmental Science
      • Biochemistry 2

      Level 5:

      • Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
      • Animal Genetics
      • Plant Genetics
      • Bioinformatics and Data Handling
      • Human Genetics

      Optional modules Level 5:

      • Analytical Techniques
      • Food Chemistry
      • Work Placement

      Level 6:

      • Honours Project in Biochemistry and Genetics (40 credits)
      • Immunology
      • Plant Product Chemistry
      • Genetics of Plant Systems

      Optional modules Level 6:

      • Advanced Food Chemistry
      • Advanced Bioinformatics

      You will be taught through a combination of blended learning with workshops, laboratory practicals, field visits and seminars.

      Workshops will enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures. In addition, you will meet with your academic personal tutor at least once each semester, but you are encouraged to arrange additional meetings as required.

      You will use industry-standard software as well as access to specialist facilities and equipment throughout your course.

      In the final year, you will conduct an independent research project that can cater to your particular interests and skills development. You will be supervised by a member of our academic team and guided in undertaking independent research, data analysis and presentation of your results. Depending on the topic of your project, you may also have the opportunity to collaborate with an industry partner on an industry-relevant research project.

      Your actual contact hours depend on the option modules you select.

      When not attending workshops, practical sessions or other timetabled activities, you will continue learning through self-study that will be structured for you by the module leader for each module. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, engaging with online learning materials (videos, quizzes etc.), undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars.

      Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

      For the Honours Project module in year three, you will undertake independent research. You will work under the supervision of a member of our academic team, with support of other members of the teaching team where necessary. You will also meet with your supervisor regularly.

      The team consists of highly qualified academics. They have a range of expertise and experience.

      All our team members hold doctoral and teaching qualifications. They are research-active and have experience in delivering research-informed teaching.

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

      You will be supported throughout your degree and in particular your honours project by a tutor with research expertise in Biochemistry and Genetics.

      Dr Carol TrimCourse Director

      How you’ll be assessed

      The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

      There is also a formal or 'summative' assessment element for each of the modules. Assessment methods include a range of coursework assessments, such as laboratory reports, literature reviews, skills assessments, presentations and your final year major project. Some modules also have a formally assessed exam. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

      Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

      The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose.

      Typically, there will be two coursework assessments weighted at 50% and 40% and a practical skills portfolio weighted at 10%. Some modules will have an exam that replaces the 50% piece of coursework.


      You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module leader or personal academic tutor.

      We aim to provide you with feedback within 15 working days of hand-in (formal coursework assessment).

      Your future career

      You can use your training to pursue a range of career opportunities, including academic or industrial research, project management, scientific communication or employment in the biotech sector. Alternatively, you have the option to take on further study through taught or research-based postgraduate training, including MSc by Research or MPhil/PhD.


      The 2022/23 annual tuition fees for this course are:

        UK** Overseas***
      Full-time £9,250 £14,500
      Part-time £4,625 £7,250

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

      Please read the 2022/23 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2022/23 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

      **Home (UK) Fees

      The fees above are for the 2022/23 academic year but may be subject to change following any announcements by the UK Government (approved by Parliament) regarding maximum Undergraduate tuition fee caps for 2022/23.

      In addition, the University reserves the right to increase all full-time and part-time Undergraduate tuition fees mid-course, in line with any further inflationary increase in the Government tuition fee cap which is approved by Parliament. The University will publish information about any changes to tuition fees on its website.

      ***Overseas Fees (including EU fees):

      Undergraduate Overseas tuition fees for International students are not subject to the Government’s regulations on maximum tuition fees.

      Students with an Overseas fee status will be eligible for an International student Scholarship fee discount of £1,500, which will be applied to all Full-time Undergraduate courses with a tuition fee of £14,500.

      Students with an EU fee status will be eligible for the EEA Transition Scholarship. Further details can be found here:

      Diamond Jubilee Scholarships and Bursaries

      To celebrate 60 years of transforming lives through education new cash bursary and scholarship opportunities are available for students starting a degree in September 2022. See full details.

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      4 years

      UCAS code: