Postgraduate study
Edinburgh: Extraordinary futures await.

Biochemistry MSc, PgDip

Awards: MSc, PgDip

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Biochemistry

This programme offers you an academically-challenging and career-developing study of biological systems at the molecular and cellular level.

Biochemistry is fundamental to most areas of life-science. It has a major impact on modern medical research and is essential in the pharmaceutical, nutrition, forensic, bioengineering, agricultural and environmental industries.

The programme is designed to produce highly skilled and motivated biochemists that are suitable for employment in the life-sciences or for further academic research.

You will be taught to apply chemical and physical principles to biological molecules in complex living systems in order to expand your understanding of the molecular basis of the processes which take place within these organisms.

Through a combination of taught courses, and research, you will explore the structures, dynamics, interactions and metabolic pathways of biological molecules, from small molecules to large macromolecular complexes.

The MSc comprises two semesters of taught courses followed by a research project and dissertation. Semesters 1 and 2 include 60 credits each of a mixture of compulsory and optional courses. The Research Project and Dissertation is also worth 60 credits for a total of 180 credits for the year.

Teaching and learning activities include:

  • lectures
  • tutorials
  • workshops
  • presentations
  • research project
  • literature and database searching
  • discussion groups and project groups
  • seminars

Research

Those students progressing to MSc level will carry out their own research project at the frontier of knowledge and can make a genuine contribution to the progress of original research. This also involves reviewing relevant papers, analysing data, and writing a dissertation.

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScBiochemistry1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2023/24
PgDipBiochemistry9 MonthsFull-timeProgramme structure 2023/24

You will gain skills in searching, reading and critical analysis of literature, key biochemical laboratory skills, and experimental design.

The programme aims to develop:

  • knowledge and understanding of biochemistry and awareness of the current state of research
  • enhanced practical skills in biochemical methods
  • your ability to design, perform and record experiments independently
  • analytical skills to interpret data accurately and critically
  • your ability to communicate biochemical information effectively in a wide range of contexts

Our graduates have many transferrable skills that allow them to persue a professional career in the life-sciences sector, in industry or government agencies, or continue their research at PhD level.

You will be trained in advanced analytical and presentation skills, and will gain independent research experience in world-class teaching facilities. Combined with experiences in independent learning, teamwork, discussion and presentations, you will enhance your career prospects by acquiring knowledge of contemporary biochemistry from experts in the field.

The programme will open up a wide variety of career opportunities, Including:

  • further research study at PhD level in universities across the world
  • research, technical and/or development positions - these could be in industry, medical institutions or universities
  • manufacturing and quality control
  • scientific publishing

Our Careers Service will assist you with your future plans for employment or further study throughout your time studying with us and for 2 years after graduation. They can provide:

  • tailored advice
  • individual guidance and personal assistance
  • internship and networking opportunities (with employers from local organisations to top multinationals)
  • access to the experience of our worldwide alumni network

These entry requirements are for the 2024/25 academic year and requirements for future academic years may differ. Entry requirements for the 2025/26 academic year will be published on 1 Oct 2024.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in biochemistry, biological sciences (with some relevant chemistry components) or chemistry (with some relevant biology components).

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

Regardless of your nationality or country of residence, you must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 with at least 6.0 in each component.
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Home Edition): total 100 with at least 20 in each component. We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements.
  • C1 Advanced (CAE) / C2 Proficiency (CPE): total 185 with at least 169 in each component.
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with passes in all four components.
  • PTE Academic: total 70 with at least 59 in each component.

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, Trinity ISE or PTE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries (non-MESC).

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:

Tuition fees

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScBiochemistry1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
PgDipBiochemistry9 MonthsFull-timeTuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Biology Teaching Organisation
  • School of Biological Sciences
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible.

You must submit one reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Biology Teaching Organisation
  • School of Biological Sciences
  • James Clerk Maxwell Building
  • The King's Buildings Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH9 3FD