Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy


Biochemistry is the study of the cells, systems, and molecules that underpin all of life on Earth. Topics range from the origins of life and the nature of disease, to the development of individual organisms.

A set of test tubes, one with a light green liquid

The course

Biochemistry in Oxford is a four-year course leading to an MSc-level degree. It consists of an introductory year (Prelim), two years of detailed study culminating in a comprehensive written examination (Part I), and a final year largely dedicated to research (Part II). Throughout these, the focus of biochemistry is on biological macromolecules, and how their interactions, regulation, modifications, and mutations bring about the phenomenon of life. Underpinning this course are world-leading laboratories primarily located in the Department of Biochemistry, which is one of the largest in the country and houses diverse research from infection to chromosome biology. Experts from departmental research groups serve as lecturers and tutors for our students, and offer opportunities for hands-on research during summer placements and the fourth year Part II project.

Why study Biochemistry at Lincoln?

Biochemistry at Lincoln is a relatively small subject, with 10-12 students at any given time. We consider this managed subject size to be a key aspect of the Oxford experience: you, the student, get much more of the tutor’s attention this way. Whether for introducing you to new topics, answering your questions, or checking your work, all Lincoln tutors aim for one thing: academic excellence.

Small subject size does not, however, mean losing out on social aspects. Biochemistry undergraduates play a full part in the life of the College, with many extracurricular interests. Lincoln houses a large Life Sciences-oriented hub, which includes medicine and biomedical sciences students, and many graduates. Lincoln also offers an excellent location for biochemistry students, with the science area and the Radcliffe Science Library just a few minutes away by bike or on foot.

Ellie White

Biochemistry is fab because you’re given the opportunity to learn in so many ways, from tutorials, which are more personal, to lectures and labs.

Ellie White
  • Fourth-year undergraduate, Biochemistry
View Ellie White's profile

Where next?

  • Visit Lincoln at our next Open DayRead more
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  • Discover the finance and funding packages availableRead more