- Learn how the fundamentals of biology and chemistry are applied to medical science in this research-focused MSci
- Further specialisation in chemistry, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry, forensic science, cell biology, molecular biology and genomics, and biotechnology
- Many career opportunities in pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnological and other industries as well as medically-related employment and further study
Top 20 in the UK for world-leading research in Biological Sciences
REF 2021, based on 4-star research
Top 10 in the world for Ecology
9th in the ShanghaiRankings Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2022
State-of-the-art teaching laboratory for observational, experimental and numerical aspects of biosciences
Top 5 in the Russell Group for student satisfaction
Biosciences: In five out of seven themes (National Student Survey 2023)
This course was in a unique position of being chemistry-based but being part of the Biosciences department. As a result, the teaching was fantastic. The fundamental chemistry was taught in small groups with expert lecturers. I have now moved into an engineering environment which requires a number of different disciplines.
I have used my biology knowledge, chemistry knowledge and some of the engineering and business concepts that I picked up through my year in industry.
Biological and Medicinal Chemistry graduate
Entry requirements (typical offer)
|Qualification||Typical offer||Required subjects|
|A-Level||AAA||A in Biology and A in Chemistry|
|IB||36/666||HL6 in Biology and HL6 in Chemistry|
|BTEC||DDD||Applicants studying a BTEC Extended Diploma will also require GCE A-level grade A in Biology and grade A in Chemistry|
|GCSE||C or 4
B or 5
Grade C or 4 in English Language, and in either Double Award Science or Chemistry
Grade B or 5 in Mathematics
|Access to HE||30 L3 credits at Distinction Grade and 15 L3 credits at Merit Grade.||To include at least 15 L3 credits at Distinction Grade in an acceptable Biology subject area and 15 L3 credits at Distinction Grade in an acceptable Chemistry subject area.|
|T-Level||T-Levels not accepted||N/A|
Specific subject requirements must still be achieved where stated above. Find out more about contextual offers.
|Other accepted qualifications|
|English language requirements||
International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course. The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2. Please visit our English language requirements page to view the required test scores and equivalencies from your country.
NB General Studies is not included in any offer.
Grades advertised on each programme webpage are the typical level at which our offers are made and provide information on any specific subjects an applicant will need to have studied in order to be considered for a place on the programme. However, if we receive a large number of applications for the programme we may not be able to make an offer to all those who are predicted to achieve/have achieved grades which are in line with our typical offer. For more information on how applications are assessed and when decisions are released, please see: After you apply
The four-year MSci Biological and Medicinal Chemistry programme mirrors the BSc Biological and Medicinal Chemistry during the first three years, but also includes an additional fourth year during which you will undertake a research project. This will focus on a specialised area aligned with one of our leading research groups. You will also undertake advanced modules in your final year.
This popular degree provides training in both biological sciences and chemistry and shows how this multidisciplinary area relates to aspects of medicine and drug design.
Chemistry is at the core of the degree, with options in biochemistry and biology. An emphasis is given to understanding the chemistry and synthesis of small molecules, particularly in medicine and disease.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
You will develop an understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry and biochemistry, cell structure and physiology, genetics and microbiology. Practical work is designed to complement the lectures.
In addition to core chemistry and biochemistry, you can also take optional modules focusing on the molecular biology of the gene, cell biology, microbiology, genomics and bioinformatics or forensic science.
You will study, amongst other things, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and drug design, and you will choose an independent research project centred on the expertise of academic staff in the areas of biological science, chemistry, biochemistry or clinical research.
In your fourth year you will undertake a research project focused on a specalised area aligned to one of our leading research groups. You will also undertake advanced modules in this final year.
Tuition fees for 2024 entry
UK students: £9,250 per year
International students: £29,700 per year
The University of Exeter has many different scholarships available to support your education, including £5 million in scholarships for international students, such as our Global Excellence Scholarships*. Financial support is also available for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, lower income households and other under-represented groups to help them access, succeed and progress through higher education.
* Terms and conditions apply. See online for details.
Learning and teaching
How will I learn?
- Laboratory sessions
- Independent study
Over the course of your degree, you will participate in a mix of larger lectures to smaller, focused sessions based around the latest research topics. In the teaching laboratory you will develop the necessary skills to become a professional biologist; you will then put these to use while undertaking your independent research project. We encourage students to publish their results in the scientific literature and make a real contribution to the fields of Biosciences.
We frequently introduce new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.
Learn from experts
We believe every student benefits from being part of a research-led culture and being taught by experts. You will discuss the very latest ideas in seminars and tutorials and be an active member of a research team. Our academics bring their results from the laboratory and the field directly to their teaching, and our students also help to collect this data. The complementary expertise of our staff ensures a vibrant, collaborative research culture within our research groups, made up of researchers at all stages, from Masters to Post-doctoral scientists.
Our staff have close links with a wide range of industrial, medical and conservation organisations, with whom there may be the chance to collaborate for your final year research project. Many of our students work with these organisations during their vacations and others build experience through one of our four-year programmes with industrial experience.
Your first year does not count towards your final degree classification, but you do have to pass it in order to progress. All marks after your first year count towards your final classification.
Modules are assessed using a variety of methods including essays, exams, presentations, laboratory reports and a dissertation.
As well as more than 15 hours per week of direct contact time with your lecturers, all students have a personal tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies. There are also a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
Over the course of your degree programme, you will have access to our multi-million pound teaching, learning and research facilities, including our:
- State-of-the-art teaching laboratories
- World-class Aquatic Resources Centre
- State-of-the-art bioimaging facility, incorporating confocal and electron microscopy
- Next-generation DNA sequencing and mass spectrometry facilities
- Plant growth rooms and greenhouse facilities
Optional modules outside of this course
Each year, if you have optional modules available, you can take up to 30 credits in a subject outside of your course. This can increase your employability and widen your intellectual horizons.
Proficiency in a second subject
If you complete 60 credits of modules in one of the subjects below, you may have the words 'with proficiency in [e.g. Social Data Science]' added to your degree title when you graduate.
- A Foreign Language
- Social Data Science
Employer-valued skills this course develops
A degree in Biochemistry will help you to develop a wide range of essential skills such as analytical problem solving, team work and organising and communicating information. Whatever you choose to do after graduation, your Biosciences degree will stand you in good stead, with excellent employment prospects and transferable skills.
Supporting your career in Biosciences
Each year Biosciences students are able to access a huge range of opportunities to support their future career options. Sector related careers and employability sessions are put on for the students over the course of their programme which include: career talks and networking events with visiting alumni and employers from a range of backgrounds, employability seminar series events hosted by employers, ‘Dragons Den’ style assessment days, mock interviews and an annual Careers Fair where students can develop networking skills.
We have a dedicated, award-winning Careers Service ensuring you have access to careers advisors, mentors and the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field on graduation. We offer the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award which include employability-related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market.
The University of Exeter has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students and graduates compete very successfully in the employment market. Whatever path you wish to follow, we’re here to help and support you with all your career and employability needs.
Many of our graduates are employed in discipline relevant roles in the UK and overseas including laboratory-based positions, conservation management, ecology, teaching and nursing. Others use the skills gained on their course to enter widely different career paths in law, business or management.
Below are a few examples of initial jobs undertaken by graduates from our Biosciences undergraduate programmes*.
Recent graduates are now working as:
- Laboratory technicians
- Chartered and certified accountants
- Biochemists and biomedical scientists
- Teaching professionals
- Project support officers
- Authors, writers and translators
- Biological scientists
- Natural and social science professionals
- Chemical scientists
- Taxation experts
Recent graduates are now working for:
- Cawood Scientific
- Deloitte LLP
- Environment Agency
- Institute Of Physics Publishing Ltd
- Menarini Diagnostics
- Met Office
- PA Consulting
- Thames Water
Further study is a popular choice for a number of students following graduation from a Biosciences undergraduate degree. Below are a few examples of further study undertaken by recent graduates of undergraduate programmes*.
- MPH/MRes/PhD Biological Sciences
- MPH Medical Studies
- MRes Ecosystem and Environmental Change
- MSc Conservation and Biodiversity
- MSc Environment and Human Health
- MSc Evolutionary and Behavioural Ecology
- MSc Immunology
- MSc Marine Environmental Management
- MSc Surveying and Land/Environmental Management
- MSc Toxicology
*This information has been taken from aggregating the responses from full-time, first degree, UK domiciled students who completed 2017/18 and 2018/19 Graduate Outcomes surveys. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.