MBiochem Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular
Cadherin-human Endothelial by Phaeton1 via Wikimedia Commons
Average intake at Wadham: 4
Biochemistry at the University of Oxford is all about cells, systems and molecules that make up all life on Earth. On our course, you will study these systems to make connections and discoveries that can help advance humanity and improve quality of life for people everywhere
The Course: MBiochem Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular
Biochemistry as the name suggests, combines biology and chemistry by applying chemical techniques to biological problems. What sets biochemists apart from other biological scientists is that we use molecular methods to investigate, explain and manipulate biological processes, instead of studying the integrated function of organs, organisms and ecosystems. This kind of work provides the foundations of a number of other scientific disciplines, like pathology, pharmacology, physiology, genetics, zoology, botany and even surgery and anatomy.
It is essential that applicants have a good knowledge and understanding of chemistry as well as some aptitude for mathematics.
Applications from people who have studied uncommon combinations of subjects are welcome (but they must include Chemistry, plus another science or Maths to A-level or equivalent).
Biochemistry at Wadham
Undergraduates participate in one tutorial per week. A tutorial usually consists of discussion of the undergraduate's essay together with development of the set subject. In the fourth year the pattern changes and the tutor discusses the research topic being undertaken for Part II.
Prof Ben Berks
Ben's research interests are protein transport, microbial energy metabolism, bacterial cell biology and membrane protein structure/function.
Dr Paul Elliott
Paul investigates how ubiquitin, a small protein which as its name suggests is ubiquitous, functions to control nearly all cellular processes. He utilises structural biology methods including nuclear magnetic resonance, X-ray crystallography and cryo electron microscopy, to investigate how ubiquitin functions as a complex code within cells.
A Student's Perspective
Before starting, I thought that biochemistry was just the intersection between biology and chemistry. I was completely wrong about this, and I’m so grateful for that – the reality is far more interesting. Biochemistry to me is about asking how and why biology functions the way it does. The answers to these questions draw from so many scientific disciplines, and the course here at Oxford reflects that.