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Biochemistry (Molecular and Cellular)

Biochemists play a growing role in biological, environmental and clinical fields.

Biochemistry is the study of life at the molecular level; it gives us ever increasing insight into topics as varied as the origin of life, the nature of disease and the development of organisms from a single cell to assemblies of specialised cells. As well as answering vital questions, biochemical research has also led to commercially valuable developments in drug design and forensic science.

St Hugh’s enjoys a strong reputation for Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, and undergraduate teaching is comprised of both University lectures (around ten per week), college-based tutorials, and practical laboratory or computer-based sessions. The fourth year includes an eighteen-week research project, which enables students to design their own experiments, plan a research programme, and write up their findings in a form suitable for publication.

Up to four students are usually admitted each year, and candidates are expected to have Chemistry to A-level or equivalent, plus another science or Mathematics. Mathematics to A Level of equivalent is recommended to students in completing the course and, although not required for admission, may make an application more competitive.

Biochemists play a growing role in biological, environmental and clinical fields, with areas of employment ranging from healthcare through forensic science to the food and pharmaceutical industries.


I believe studying Biochemistry at St Hugh’s breeds very high academic skill and personal attributes, preparing you to follow many possible paths when you leave. The course content is wonderfully broad and you are introduced to more fields than you could possibly have imagined before coming here. Through the tutors, subject areas that may have been brushed over in lectures can suddenly become undiscovered fields of great interest to you – my 2nd year brought learning about inactivating X chromosomes in females, a reason behind the patterning of tortoise shell cats!

The Rt Hon. Dame Elish The Principle Angiolini DBE QC FRSE
Rodina Peachey
2018 Alumna

Course Information



Entrance requirements

A*AA including Chemistry and another science or Maths, with the A* in Maths, Physics, Chemistry, or Biology (or a very closely related subject)

Subject requirements
  • Chemistry and another science or Maths
  • Maths
  • Biology (beyond GCSE)
Course Duration

4 years (MBiochem)