Intercalate in Biochemistry

Biochemistry with Medical Biochemistry (BSc)

Biochemistry is a fascinating discipline which allows you to explore the molecular basis of biological systems. Bristol is one of the best places to study biochemistry in the UK, and the school has over 50 years of teaching and research excellence.

Importantly, the knowledge gained from this programme will help equip you for modern medical diagnosis and therapeutics which has an increasingly strong molecular basis, including the latest gene editing technologies for gene therapy, synthetic biology and personalised medicine.

The course combines lectures, workshops, small-group tutorials, reading of primary literature and research projects. You will be supported throughout by a personal tutor. You will have opportunities to improve communication skills through oral and written presentations, and to critically evaluate experimental data and the conclusions drawn from them – skills invaluable to your career as a clinician or clinician scientist.

What will I study?

Advanced Cell Biology covers topics such as: cell migration during wound healing and cancer; the mechanisms by which molecules are moved within and between cells; and techniques for imaging these behaviours.

Cellular Information covers topics such as damage and repair of DNA; regulation of gene expression; and the role of signalling pathways in cancer and diabetes.

The Dynamic Proteome examines how proteins are built, folded into intricate 3D shapes and assembled with other components to form molecular machinery that conducts the chemistry of life.

Advanced Options in Biochemistry may include options in neurobiochemistry, cancer, molecular basis of disease, synthetic biology, DNA-protein interactions, and protein science in therapy and technology.

Research projects

A highlight of the year is your research project, during which you will conduct original research, with choice between experimental projects (mostly as group projects with individual write-ups), computational projects (e.g. bioinformatics for analysis of genetic and 'omic datasets or molecular modelling) and “dry” iProjects. 
Examples of student projects include:
Characterisation of novel anti-cancer compounds from deep sea bacteria
Fishing for clues: investigations into inflammation, wound repair and cancer.
Insulin-like growth factors and cancer;
Red blood cells as drug delivery agents;
the VPS35 (L774M) mutation in Parkinson’s Disease;
Bioprospecting marine sponges for new antibiotics and novel enzymes
You will also write a literature review on a selected specialist topic.

Quotes from previous students

"I’ve had an unforgettable year and have learnt so much both theoretically and practically, which I hope to transfer to medicine. I now appreciate the frustration and excitement of research."

“For future intercalating students in Biochemistry I would say that although it may not be one of the easier degree options, I believe it is one of the most worthwhile. It has provided me with a good understanding of the importance of research and the practical project provided the perfect opportunity to experience first-hand what is involved. Additionally, it has taught me how to approach scientific papers in a critical way; a vital skill in practising evidence based medicine. With the skills I have gained from this year I now feel more equipped for the rest of my medical degree and future career.”

Contact details

School of Biochemistry

Tel: +44 (0)117 331 2167


Live-imaging of the compound eyes (ommatidia) and immune system within a pupa of the fruitfly Drosophila Image credit: Dr Helen Weavers
Edit this page