Biomolecular Science BSc (Hons)
2017 entry

The BSc (Hons) in Biomolecular Science combines chemistry, medicine and biology topics and aims to equip students with the skills required for modern biomolecular and biotechnology industries.

The degree allows students to blend modules from Chemistry and Biology, and provides expertise in topics such as chemical synthesis, enzyme kinetics, structural biology and molecular biology.

UCAS code

C760

Course type

Bachelor of Science (single Honours degree)

Course duration

Four years full time

Entry requirements

The following are likely grades considered for an offer. St Andrews considers all aspects of every application, including context, equivalent qualifications and the personal statement, and offers may be higher or lower than the grades stated here.

SQA Highers

AAAB, including A in Chemistry, A in Biology, and an A or B grade in one of the following:

  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Computing Science or equivalent
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Physics
  • Psychology.
GCE A-Levels AAB, including A in Chemistry and A in Biology.
IB points 35, including HL6 in Chemistry and Biology.

Well-qualified school leavers may be able to apply for admission directly into the second year of this course. Find out more about direct entry to second year for Biomolecular Science.

For degrees combining more than one subject, the subject with the higher entry requirements determines the grades you need. You will also need to meet any further subject specific entrance requirements as outlined on their pages.

Find out more about international entry requirements.

How to apply

Do I need to have studied this subject before?

Applicants must have studied Chemistry and Biology at SQA Higher, GCE A-Level, IB or equivalent. Preference may be given to candidates offering strong science qualifications.

Faculty entry requirements

You must also meet the Faculty of Science minimum qualifications. These vary depending on which qualifications you hold.  

Other qualifications

Passes in other examinations at equivalent levels and subjects may be accepted by the Dean of the Faculty.

Find out more about Faculty of Science entry requirements.

Course information

The BSc in Biomolecular Science is a four-year course run jointly by the School of Chemistry and the School of Biology. Chemistry at St Andrews provides students with a fundamental and comprehensive understanding of chemistry, along with intellectual training in numeracy, problem-solving, teamwork and communications.

During sub-honours, you will take modules in organic and inorganic chemistry, in addition to cell and molecular biology modules. The skills you gain in research and analysis during these years will prepare you to undertake more advanced and specialist modules during your final two years (known as Honours). These specialist subjects include (but are not limited to):

  • protein structure and function
  • structure-based drug discovery
  • carbohydrate and nucleic acid chemistry
  • chemical biology.

During your final year, you will also carry out a research project on a topic chosen in consultation with staff from the Schools.

Centres of research within the School of Chemistry offer students the experience of working alongside experts and the opportunity to develop their own research in Honours years.

These facilities include:

Well-qualified school leavers may be able to apply for admission directly into the second year of this course. Find out more about direct entry to second year for Biomolecular Science.

Find out more about studying Chemistry at St Andrews.

Modules

In the first two years of your degree (known as sub-honours), you will take the required modules in Biomolecular Science alongside modules in at least one other subject. Find out more about the modular Scottish degree system.

Students will take the following compulsory first-year modules:

  • Introduction to Inorganic and Physical Chemistry: covers the origin of the elements, atoms and the Periodic Table, shapes and properties of molecules, chemistry of the elements, properties of solutions, thermochemistry, thermodynamics and kinetics.
  • Organic and Biological Chemistry 1: covers the structure, stereochemistry and nomenclature of simple organic compounds, fundamental organic reaction mechanisms, organic functional groups and their reactions, introductory bio-organic chemistry, and organic spectroscopy.
  • Biology 1: provides an introduction to molecular and cellular biology. It covers cell diversity and the origins of life, cellular structures and fundamental processes.
  • Biology 2: provides an introduction to the diversity of life on Earth and addresses key elements of organismal and ecological aspects of life. 

In second year, modules are chosen which will best prepare you for your intended degree (or group of possible degrees) and new topics are introduced in some second year modules. Students will take the following compulsory second-year modules:

  • Inorganic Chemistry 2: covers metal complexes and organometallics, descriptive transition-metal chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, solid-state chemistry and descriptive main-group chemistry.
  • Organic Chemistry 2: covers carbon-carbon bond formation, interconversion of functional groups, aromatic and heteroaromatic reactivity, mechanistic biological chemistry and organic spectroscopy.
  • Cell Biology: introduces the concept of ‘a cell’, the structure and function of a variety of sub-cellular compartments and the diversity of different cell types within multicellular organisms.
  • Molecular Biology: provides an introduction to modern molecular biology.
  • Applied Molecular Biology: examines case studies to provide examples of how molecular biology techniques are applied in research to address real-life questions and problems.
  • Biochemistry: a number of central metabolic pathways and their control are studied in detail, alongside examples of their importance in disease and recent metabolomic studies.

In third year you will have the opportunity to begin specialising in Biomolecular Science via the wide range of core modules provided. The modules cover a variety of topics from acid chemistry to pharmaceuticals and food chemistry.

Here is a sample of Biomolecular Science Honours modules which have been offered in previous years:

  • Quantitative Aspects of Medicinal Chemistry
  • Carbohydrate and Nucleic Acid Chemistry
  • Mechanism in Organic Chemistry
  • Bioenergetics
  • Pharmacology.

In fourth year you will study your chosen subject area at a deeper scientific level and will also have the opportunity to select from an extremely wide range of small, group-specialised modules. These modules are taught by academics at the forefront of their discipline who are teaching to their research strengths. A research project is also undertaken in one of the School’s renowned research groups.

The modules listed here are the compulsory modules that students must take in order to graduate in this subject. However, most students at St Andrews take additional modules, either in their primary subject or from other subjects they are interested in. A full list of all modules currently available can be found in the module catalogue.

Visit St Andrews

If you are interested in studying at St Andrews, join us at an open day to explore the town, find out about our courses and meet current students.

 Undergraduates

Booking for our autumn visiting days will open in early September 2017.

  • Wednesday 27 September 2017
  • Wednesday 4 October 2017
  • Wednesday 18 October 2017
  • Wednesday 25 October 2017
  • Wednesday 1 November 2017

Teaching

Teaching format

The BSc in Biomolecular Science is taught through a combination of lectures (80 to 160 students) and labs (20 to 50 students), which are supplemented by small group tutorials (5 to 10 students). Class sizes decrease at Honours level.

All lecture courses have web-based support materials, and additional teaching support is given for selected topics, such as mathematics.

Assessment

All sub-honours modules are assessed by 60% to 70% written examinations combined with 30% to 40% coursework covering laboratories, tutorials and transferable skills exercises.

For Honours modules, assessment is either by written examination for lecture-based modules, or by coursework including written reports, oral presentations and oral examinations for laboratory, workshop and research project modules.

Examinations are held at the end of each semester during a dedicated exam diet with revision time provided beforehand.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2017 entry

Scotland and EU £1,820
Rest of the UK £9,250
Overseas £20,570

For overseas students, tuition fees will be fixed at this level for the duration of your programme.

More information on tuition fees can be found on the undergraduate fees and funding page.

Accommodation fees

Find out about accommodation fees for University accommodation in 2017.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to undergraduate students each year.

Chemistry scholarships

The Chemistry Purdie Scholarships award £1,000 for one year of study to applicants from the UK or EU who are applying for a degree in Chemistry.

The Benjamin Franklin Chemistry Scholarships award £1,000 for one year of study to applicants from the US who are applying for a degree in Chemistry.

Find out more about undergraduate scholarships.

Your future

Careers

Chemistry graduates have never been more in demand, and they are keenly sought by major companies; there are also exciting opportunities in a new generation of innovative grassroots companies.

St Andrews Chemistry graduates are highly employable and have gone on to find success in a wide variety of careers in industry and business including:

  • professional chemists in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries
  • teachers
  • forensic scientists
  • various careers in the food industry (including brewing)
  • management consultancy
  • marketing and advertising
  • patent lawyers
  • journalism and the media
  • finance (accountants and investment bankers).

Recent graduates are engaged in many diverse roles, including as an intern at the European Patent Office, as a research scientist at a company involved in enhanced oil recovery in western Canada, as a pharmaceutical development scientist at Reckitt-Benckiser, as an audit assistant at KPMG, and as a regional liaison officer for the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

 

Study abroad

The University is delighted to offer undergraduates a number of exciting opportunities to apply to spend a semester or year abroad as part of a St Andrews degree programme. St Andrews is partnered with large and small institutions, ancient and young, across the globe. What unites all of our programmes is the quality of the academic provision, ensuring that participation in a St Andrews Study abroad programme opens the door to a new and valuable academic experience at another world-class institution. Study Abroad for credit is permitted on existing University-approved programmes only.

Working abroad

Completing a work placement abroad is a good opportunity to gain work experience in another culture or language and to enhance valuable skill sets. As part of specific degree programmes in Chemistry, you may apply to undertake a work placement abroad for credit.

Student life

From the outset, the University of St Andrews offers an array of events and opportunities which result in a truly unique student experience. Students participate in a range of traditions, notably, the red academic gown and the academic family, where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and help guide them in a system of mentoring. These traditions and the choice of over 150 sports clubs and student societies to choose from ensures a community feel amongst students from first year onwards.

The School of Chemistry is located in the Biomedical Sciences Building and the Purdie Building in the North Haugh on the western edge of town. These buildings offer recently upgraded lecture theatres and seminar rooms, as well as state-of-the-art teaching laboratories for chemistry. 

The town of St Andrews itself has lots to offer. As the campus is located around town, walking around you encounter ancient and modern buildings and areas of greenery and seaside which provide a rich, beautiful backdrop to learning. If you want a change of scenery, St Andrews' position near surrounding towns and cities such as Anstruther, Dundee and Edinburgh make it ideal for getting to know more about Scotland. Find out more about student life at the University of St Andrews.

Contact

School of Chemistry
University of St Andrews
North Haugh
St Andrews
KY16 9ST

Phone: +44 (0)1334 46 3800
Email: chemistry@st-andrews.ac.uk

Chemistry website