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Biochemistry - Natural Science

The University of Cambridge offers an undergraduate course in Natural Sciences. These natural sciences incorporate Biochemistry. The Biochemistry is the study of living organisms at the cellular and molecular level. Its experimental approaches and concepts are absolutely central to the whole range of contemporary biological sciences.

Biochemists have to study the chemical processes, on which life depends. The course focuses upon complex networks of specific molecular interactions, interaction and reproduction are highly sophisticated and beautifully integrated and the mechanism of cell growth. These topics are becoming gradually more important in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and agrochemical industries where students shall find excellent employment opportunities for biochemists with modern training.

Students may study biochemistry at an advanced level as part of a three-year or four year degree course. The three-year course has a broadly based third year, which is devoted to major areas of:

  • Gene expression
  • The structure and function of macromolecules
  • Molecular aspects of cell structure and function

These topics are to be discussed in the context of eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. Students have one-term research project for practical work. The project can be computer, laboratory or literature based. The fourth year of the course, in part third, builds upon the third year. Subsequently, it leads to the MSci degree. Its main characteristic is a two-term research project carried out with a research team directed by a leading scientist. Some of the course works continues comprising lectures, workshops and seminar-based teaching on methods and research skills and a choice from advanced papers themed on topical and exciting areas of biochemistry. These may include:

  • Infectious disease
  • Cancer studies
  • The consequences of molecular recognition and structural biology
  • Manipulation and Determination of the developmental paths and life spans of cells and organisms

If students are seeking a career in biochemical research, part third is an appropriate course for them. The next step shall generally be a doctoral degree. Students are advised to visit the university website for more details.


Chemistry incorporates topics including:

  • The solid state and new materials
  • The study of the greenhouse effect and the ozone layer
  • The design of more effective drugs
  • The growth of better catalysts for the chemical industry

These all are subjects of energetic research in the Department of Chemistry with more obviously chemical topics including:

  • Surface chemistry
  • Organic synthesis
  • Bio-organic and bio-inorganic chemistry
  • Structures and properties of inorganic molecules

The department is an active in the development of the physical techniques, which are used to obtain an understanding of chemical systems at the molecular level, for instance, high-resolution electron microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, laser spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. It is renowned for its contribution to theoretical chemistry.

The subject begins with some core materials which build on the grounding established in the second year. Upon completing this, students will be offered the opportunity to strengthen their focus and if they wish specialize in various areas of chemistry. Students also have to do some practical work as a part of their subject.

They have a broad choice of experiments including precise measurements of physical parameters using instruments like spectrometers, multi-step organic synthesis and advanced computer calculations of molecular properties. The department also offers a language option in the third year where students can study French, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish or German.

If students are focusing on a career in chemical research, whether academic or commercial, they shall want to continue their studies with the part third option. This leads to the MSci degree. In the forth year, students shall explore areas of present research and undertake a considerable research project. Students are advised to visit the university website for more details.

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