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Programme Specification: Part III Biochemistry

This course is taught by the Department of Biochemistry


  1. to build on Part II Biochemistry to deepen and extend research-level knowledge and integrated understanding of selected specialised aspects by means of lectures, and to develop research skills and knowledge of research techniques and instrumentation by means of seminars, lectures and a two-term research project.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding in additional selected specialist areas;
  2. demonstrate knowledge of the objectives, methods, results and conclusions of their research project by means of interim and final seminars to an audience of their peers and departmental staff;
  3. demonstrate knowledge of the written presentation of research through the production of a report on their research project;
  4. analyse critically research literature and contemporary biochemical topics, and present such analyses in both written and oral formats;
  5. adopt a problem-solving approach to experimental data;
  6. explain the importance and impact of scientific topics to the non-specialist;
  7. demonstrate knowledge of cutting-edge experimental techniques designed to underpin the strong research focus of Part III;
  8. 8. demonstrate knowledge of key papers that have significantly influenced the development of the subject.

Teaching and Learning Methods

These include two advanced modules of 12 lectures in the first term, on 'Molecular Recognition and Interaction' and 'Cell Fate' of which students attend one, and two in the second term, on 'Contemporary Cancer Studies' and 'Contemporary Approaches to Receptor-Linked Disease' of which students attend one. In both terms there is a fortnightly seminar on 'Scientific Method and Experimental Design' alternating with a fortnightly seminar on 'Landmark Papers in Biochemistry'. There are also short courses on research skills, a two-day course on laboratory safety, supervisions, journal clubs with guided detailed analysis of a research paper, classes in data handling, research work, small group teaching with occasions for oral presentations and debate of contemporary biochemical topics and issues of science that affect society.


Assessment for this course is through:

  • one unseen essay examination paper to examine the advanced modules, requiring two essays covering the chosen first term module and two essays covering the second term module (for aim 1 and learning outcomes 1 and 4);
  • one unseen examination paper to assess the two seminar series, containing two sections of equal weight (for aim 1 and learning outcomes 4, 5, 7 and 8);
  • a dissertation of no more than 8000 words, based on a research project undertaken over two terms (for aim 1 and learning outcomes 1-5 and 7);
  • an oral examination centred on the subject of the dissertation (for aim 1 and learning outcomes 1, 2 and 4-7).

Courses of Preparation

Essential: NST Part II Biochemistry

The detailed entry requirements can be found at The Fourth Year - Part III.

Additional Information

Further information on each subject is available in the Subject summary and on the Course Websites pages.