Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry at Oxford is a four-year course, resulting in an MBiochem degree. The Oxford Biochemistry department is one of the largest in Europe, with sub-departments in Cell and Chromosome Biology, Genes and Development, Molecular Biophysics, Molecular and Systems Biochemistry and Glycobiology.
The breadth of the Biochemistry department is reflected in the undergraduate course. During years 1-3, work is divided between lectures, tutorials (1-2 per week) and practical classes that provide a thorough grounding in core disciplines pertinent to contemporary molecular and cellular biochemistry.
Year 1 consists of 5 papers including molecular and cellular biology, biological chemistry, biophysical chemistry, organic chemistry and elementary maths and statistics. Years 2-3 consists of four core papers: structure and function of macromolecules, energetics and metabolic processes, genetics and molecular biology, cell biology and integration of function. An additional paper is concerned with data handling and interpretation.
The fourth year allows students to specialise in subjects they find particularly interesting. They perform an 18-week research project, in addition to choosing two lecture-based specialist options. There is a wide choice of research projects available within the University and associated research institute laboratories, usually with world leaders in a particular field.
There are opportunities for some students to participate in exchanges with universities abroad through the ERASMUS scheme and past students have performed research projects both in the USA and Europe through this programme.
For further details about the Biochemistry course, click here.
The course at St Peter's
The college usually accepts 4 biochemistry students per year. Tutorials are generally organised in pairs, either with one of the subject tutors Prof Nicholas Lakin and Dr Sylvia McLain or with the college tutors in organic chemistry (Prof Mark Moloney) or in medicine (Dr Huw Dorkins). In the second and third years, tutorials are arranged with specialist tutors, both within and outside the college.
During the long vacation, especially at the end of the second year, students are encouraged to undertake work experience in an academic or industrial research laboratory. Help with obtaining a placement and funding is provided by tutors. Students have obtained funding from such organisations as the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK and the Nuffield Foundation.
St Peter's regards this optional mini-sandwich placement as an important contribution to an all-round scientific education and students may be considered for college grants to assist them in undertaking such a placement.