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MSc Advanced Biochemistry

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time

Study with us

  • specialise in a fundamental research area
  • develop a range of current and relevant laboratory skills
  • benefit from teaching by active researchers and practising clinical professionals
  • gain in-depth understanding of the life sciences
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Why this course?

You'll be studying an MSc in Advanced Biochemistry at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences that's a leading centre for research focused on developing new medicines, better medicines and better use of medicines.

Advanced Biochemistry has a special focus on how cells work at molecular level. Together with the related field of molecular biology, biochemistry provides important advances in understanding the molecular basis of life, and how alteration or disruption of these molecular pathways leads to disease processes.

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If you want to know more about what it’s like to be a Science student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

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What you'll study

Our Masters in Advanced Biochemistry will provide you with comprehensive postgraduate life sciences training. You'll receive dedicated training in a broad range of practical laboratory skills. This is complemented by classes that develop your transferable skills in:

  • statistics
  • presentations
  • career development
  • ethics
  • science writing skills
  • your ability to design experiments and analyse sophisticated datasets

Our taught classes capture the excitement of cutting-edge research fields. You'll be taught by active researchers or practising clinical professionals.

Facilities

For major research projects, you may use the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences’ facilities for Protein Crystallography and associated protein structure modelling software in the analysis drug-receptor capabilities. In addition, the institute does also offer tissue culture facilities for regenerative medicine studies. We can train you on a wide range of other techniques including chemical biology (click chemistry), confocal microscopy, proteomics, and behavioural analyses.

Guest lectures

We're fortunate to have guest lectures from a fantastic group of NHS Clinical Biochemists delivering a lot of the taught material. They'll give you an up-to-date description of their specialist areas - and can often provide useful career information, should this be a vocational route you're interested in. We offer innovative teaching by experts who are actively researching in their topic of study. Our researchers work with companies in industry including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and Cancer Research UK

Omosalewa Adenike Okekporo
While studying the course I have gained knowledge in how to carry out genetics studies, cloning, experimental design, the transformation of bacteria and good laboratory report writing skills.
Omosalewa Adenike Okekporo
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Course content

You'll have two semesters of postgraduate lectures and integrated laboratories courses.

Choose one of three elective practical modules offered across the first and second semester.

This course is the perfect route to future training at PhD level. It also gives you a range of skills and experience that employers from industry or in health care are looking for.

In semester 1, you’ll refine your core skills in statistical and data analysis and presentation, report writing, health and safety and ethics. You'll learn on the application aspects of molecular biochemistry that contributes to various diseases. Furthermore, you'll get to interact with entrepreneurship experts in translating innovative ideas into future business plans.

Compulsory modules

Essential Skills and Employability for Masters Students (20 credits)

Refine your core skills in statistics, data presentation and career development while also learning about the ethical choices and dilemmas that you might face in your scientific careers.

Postgraduate Studies in Advanced Biochemistry (20 credits)

In this module, you'll learn about aspects of fundamental physiology, cell biology, biochemistry and genetics that contribute to human diseases such as cardiovascular disease, obesity and obesity-related disorders, cancer and neurodegenerative conditions.

Entrepreneurship (10 credits)

Learn from experts from the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, what it takes to translate bright ideas in biomedical sciences into patents, business plans and spin-out companies.

Advanced Techniques in Biomedical Research 1 (10 credits)

This is a two-semester compulsory laboratory module. Both modules will help develop your skills in data analysis and report writing. This will help pave the way for a smooth transition into your summer research project, Advanced Topics in Biomedical Research.

This first module, which is delivered in the first semester will provide you training in key research skills in a range of standard techniques to be applied to specific problems in molecular biology research.

Elective modules

In Vivo Biology (10 credits)

Gain real practical experience in the safe and ethical application of in vivo research by being trained to Home Office Personal License standard. Discover how in vivo biology has driven the development and testing of new drugs and medical techniques that save and improve human lives.

In semester 2, you’ll gain advanced topics on four disciplines (biochemistry, immunology, microbiology and pharmacology) with a strong emphasis on practical laboratory techniques, advanced research methods, and further development of analytical skills through workshops.

You'll attend short optional classes in:

  • in vivo biology
  • drug discovery
  • haematology

Compulsory modules

Advanced Techniques in Biomedical Research 2 (10 credits)

This is the second part of the two-semester compulsory laboratory module. This module will expose you to various assay procedures used widely in biochemistry, pharmacology, microbiology and immunology fields through hands-on laboratory exercises and further develop your analytical skills through workshops.

Advanced Topics in Biomedical Research (20 credits)

A unique and innovative module designed with three outcomes in mind:

  • become an expert in the field that you will study for your research project and learn how to write a review paper that aims to be publication quality
  • learn how a scientific research career really works from the experts and then write the outline of a hypothetical research grant application
  • enhance your teamwork on a project to develop a hypothetical therapy from idea through to licensed drug treatment. You'll not only learn how to manage a project’s timelines and targets, but also enter the world of big data manipulation and analysis
Postgraduate Studies in Clinical Biochemistry (20 credits)

In this module you'll explore the range of diseases and disorders afflicting human body systems – and discover how they are diagnosed by clinical biochemists working within the National Health Service.

From the liver to the heart and kidney – by way of cancer, pregnancy and poisons – this wide-ranging class delivers a fantastic clinical overview of human illness.

Learning will be achieved through lectures, tutorials and workshops – many of which are delivered by expert clinical biochemists from the National Health Service (NHS).

Elective modules

Drug Discovery (10 credits)

The aim of this module is to introduce you to practical skills required to set up robust drug discovery assays in both academic and industrial settings. The pathway from pathology or biological pathway to small molecule drug candidate is explored in this unique module. Become familiar with the modern laboratory assays and screening approaches used by Big Pharma to develop their blockbuster drugs.

Postgraduate Studies in Haematology (10 credits)

In this elective module you'll explore the science and regulation of blood and blood products within the National Health Service. Study material includes immunodiagnostics, immunohaematology and transfusions, and immunopharmacology. Learning will be achieved through lectures, tutorials and workshops – many of which are delivered by expert clinicians from the National Health Service.

60 credits

Finally, you'll undertake a summer research project and present a dissertation of the work. You could complete a substantial laboratory-based research project and write a thesis based on your experimental data. You also have a choice to study and do a critical analysis of scientific papers in biochemistry.

Choose from a selection of research project topics on exploring viral or bacterial infections, protozoan or helminth parasites, and new trends and development on vaccination mechanism of action. You can choose from four types of projects:

Laboratory-based experimental projects

These aim to develop a range of skills required for performing experimental research in a laboratory and generating novel data. The type of skills acquired are project-specific. These projects are appropriate if you're interested in a career in experimental laboratory research in industry or academia, e.g. PhD/research assistant/biology-based industrial company, where lab skills are of importance.

Critical analysis

These aim to develop a range of skills required for carrying out analysis of data reported in scientific literature. Skills include finding appropriate peer-reviewed studies, critically analysing the methods used and the data presented and coming to a clear conclusion whether the data support or refute a hypothesis. These projects develop skills in reading technical literature, formulating hypotheses, synthesising and critically appraising information and developing new ideas.

Data analysis

These aim to develop a range of skills required for carrying out analysis of scientific data. This could be data previously generated in the supervisor’s laboratory or data collected from previously published literature. They may involve generating and using spreadsheets and specialist data analytical packages. These projects develop skills in working with data, using statistical analyses, creating models, critically appraising information and developing new ideas.

Data-mining

These aim to develop a range of skills required for carrying out analysis of scientific data present in databases, e.g. genomic sequences. They may involve using spreadsheets and specialist data analytical packages. These projects develop skills in working with databases, data, using statistical analyses, creating models, critically appraising information and developing new ideas.

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Our department holds a Silver Athena Swan award, recognising our exceptional commitment and excellence in the advancement of gender equality.

Learning & teaching

The course is delivered through lectures, tutorials and hands-on practical sessions.

If you successfully complete the required taught classes you can undertake a laboratory project for the MSc.

If choosing to study the MSc part-time over two years you will be able to take classes that would fit your work schedule. Module supervisors will be able to discuss this with you and help you with your timetable.

Assessment

Assessment of taught classes is through multiple choice tests, computer quizzes, problem-solving scenarios, poster and oral presentations, essays, and formal written exams.

The laboratory project is assessed through a written thesis.

Aerial view of students sitting around coffee tables

Teaching staff

Staff memberResearch expertise
Dr Ben Pickard

Dr Pickard’s research interests include: the role of the NPAS3 and ABCA13 genes in psychiatric illness, metabolomic markers of mental illness, a novel stem cell type, and its potential use in research and therapeutics and oxidative stress biology, amongst many other things.

Professor Luke Chamberlain

Dr Chamberlain’s research unravels the multitude of functions that S-acylation plays in cellular pathways signalling and membrane traffic. His research aims to understand how defects in S-acylation contribute to disorders such as intellectual disability, epilepsy, neurodegeneration, cancer and diabetes.

Dr Susan Currie

Dr Currie’s research interests include: CaMKll modulation of cardiac calcium handling and cardiac inflammation, cardiotoxicity in the context of safety pharmacology and devices and cardiovascular function in ageing. Dr Currie is currently the research group leader for the Cellular Basis of Disease research group.

 

Opeoluwa Oladele
To anyone thinking of coming to study in Glasgow at Strathclyde, I would say definitely do it. It is nice to explore a new city and move out of your comfort zone.
Opeoluwa Oladele
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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Minimum second class (2:2) honours degree or international equivalent in a biological or chemical discipline.

 

English language requirements

You must have an English language minimum score of IELTS 6.0 (with no component below 5.5). 

As a university, we now accept many more English language tests other than IELTS for overseas applicants, for example, TOEFL and PTE Cambridge. View the full list of accepted English language tests here.

We offer comprehensive English language courses for students whose IELTS scores are below 6.0. Please see ELTD for full details.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

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Scotland

£9,050

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£9,050

International

£22,400

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Lab coats and safety goggles are approximately £30. All recommended textbooks are available in the library (and some are freely available as online resources); however, students may wish to purchase their own copies at approximately £60-180 for second-hand to new prices.

Other costs

  • £10 returnable deposit for entry keycard
  • £10 returnable deposit for locker (depending on project location within SIPBS)
  • printing and binding costs of project dissertation (soft-bound so estimated £10)

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow

Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square.

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Careers

This course is the perfect route to future training at PhD level. It also gives you a range of skills and experience that employers from industry or in health care are looking for.

Our graduates find jobs in:

  • the pharmaceutical, biotech and agrochemical industries
  • hospitals and public service laboratories
  • environmental centres
  • analytical and forensic science labs
  • universities
  • the scientific civil service
  • teaching

It also gives you a range of skills and experience that employers value, particularly in diagnostics, which is currently rising under the motto “early diagnosis is the best chance of a successful treatment”.

The MSc could also prepare you for a career in health care, such as in the NHS Clinical Biochemistry Service. Biochemists start on NHS Band 6 salaries which start at £31,365. Salaries for Consultant Clinical Scientists range from £45,753 (Band 8) to £104,927 (Band 9)*

*Information provided by Prospects and the NHS website and is only intended as a guide.

The transferable skills you gain from this course will not only prepare you for a career in science but also in areas such as finance, management, marketing, sales, business and media.

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Apply

Please note there is no deadline for submitting applications.

Start date: Sep 2022

Advanced Biochemistry

MSc
full-time
Start date: Sep 2022

Start date: Sep 2022

Advanced Biochemistry

MSc
part-time
Start date: Sep 2022

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Contact us

PGT Admissions Team

Telephone: +44 (0)141 548 3623

Email: science-masters@strath.ac.uk