biochemistry and immunology

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Biochemistry and Immunology

BSc Honours

This Joint Honours degree course combines Biochemistry - the study of how cells work at the molecular level - and Immunology - the study of how the body defends itself against disease. Biochemistry, and the related field Molecular Biology, provide important advances into understanding the molecular basis of life, and how alteration or disruption of these molecular pathways leads to disease processes. Immunology advances understanding of the function of the immune system, thought of frequently in terms of defence against bacteria or viruses or parasites, but the immune system is also involved in the elimination of cancer and in processes like wound healing. Sometimes it is not fully effective and on other occasions it is misdirected into attacking the body's own tissue. This leads to diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or allergy - which are becoming more prevalent in the western world.

Years 1 and 2 of all the Joint Honours Degrees follow a common core structure which includes Bioscience, Chemistry, Maths, Physics or Biophysics, Basic and Clinical Immunology, Organic Chemistry, Physiological Basis of Drug Action.

In Years 3 and 4 you will take specialist classes in Biochemistry and Immunology. You will also undertake a substantial research project in Biochemistry or Immunology in Year 4 and present a dissertation of the work.

Teaching and Assessment
You will have around 240 hours of lectures, tutorials and labs per year in Years 1-3. In the Honours (fourth) Year, you will carry out a research project in one of your specialisations and write this up as a short thesis. Assessment methods include multiple-choice tests, computer quizzes, problem solving scenarios, poster and oral presentations, essays, and formal written exams.

Transfer to MSci
Transfer to the 5th year of MSci biochemistry or MSci immunology may be possible at the end of the 4th year if a student achieves an average mark of 60% or greater in the 4th year.