Students in lab As the consistently high ratings for student satisfaction in recent National Student Surveys show, our past Biochemistry students have really enjoyed themselves and learnt from their experience at Keele.  As you prepare for  University life, I am sure that you will gain as much from your time here as they have. Certainly, you will gain a solid grounding in the theoretical and practical aspects of the subject and also develop your intellectual, personal and professional capabilities.  As a distinctive Keele Biochemistry graduate you will be equipped with the skills and knowledge to progress to a career or further study in Biochemistry and related biosciences as well as more general graduate careers.

You will have the opportunity to forge many new friendships: for many of your Biochemistry classes, you will be learning alongside Biomedical Science students; you will also be meeting students who are taking your other main subject and, of course, you will meet lots of other students in your accommodation and around campus.  We are a truly international campus and this is a great chance to mingle with students from many other cultures.

I and my colleagues on the Biochemistry and Biomedical Science teaching team look forward to meeting you at the start of the new academic year and we hope that you make the most of your opportunities here.

Sheila Hope Best wishes

Dr Sheila Hope

Biochemistry Programme Director

Preparing to arrive

We are not expecting students to do any preparatory reading before they arrive. As many of our students have different educational backgrounds, all the key topics are covered from scratch.  For some of you, the material covered in first year modules may be familiar, but you will be delving much deeper into the subject that you have done at A-level (or equivalent)  If, however, you are keen to get started, listed below are a few key textbooks that we will be referring to throughout the first two years of your course. 

Berg, JM, Tymoczko, JL, Gatto, GR and Stryer, L (2015)  Biochemistry 8th Edition WH Freeman & Co

Alberts, B, Johnson, A, Lewis, J, Morgan D, Raff M, Roberts, K and Walter, P (2014) Molecular Biology of the Cell 6th Edition Garland Science.

Other essential equipment to bring:

A  basic scientific calculator (however this should not be a programmable one, as programmable calculators are not allowed in examinations).

Basic drawing equipment, including coloured pens and pencils, a protractor, ruler and a stapler.

Much of your work will need to be submitted electronically, and although there are plenty of computers available on campus, you may find it useful to have a laptop computer.  As a student you are eligible for versions of Microsoft Software at greatly reduced prices, so it would be advisable to wait until you have registered before buying software licences. You will also need a memory stick and should get yourself into the habit of keeping backup copies of your work on a portable memory stick.  Keele computers are currently running Windows 7 and Office 2010.  Student email accounts are administered through Google and you will therefore have access to Google drive, as additional back-up space.So many students have lost important work when their laptops have malfunctioned or been stolen!

Welcome Week

When you arrive at Keele to study Biochemistry, both Single and Dual Honours, you will spend the first week getting to know your way around and being introduced to the people, places and protocols that will be important to you over the next three years.  On Monday 25th September at 14.00 there will be an introduction and welcome to the School of Life Sciences talk by the Head of School Professor Dave Hoole, followed by an introduction and welcome to the Biochemistry programme by Dr Sheila Hope, the Programme Director. The venues for these will be confirmed later.

On Tuesday 26th between 9.00 and 11.00 you will meet your Personal Tutor. Don’t worry, the meeting will not last two hours, but you should receive an invitation to meet at sometime during that period.

There will be a social event for Freshers on Wednesday afternoon, which we will notify you about nearer the time.

Thursday is the day that the work begins. There will be an introduction to the laboratories at 10.00-13.00 on Thursday.

In between all this you will have time to check out the Fresher’s Fair and the electives drop in sessions. Dual Hons and Major Route students will also have activities relating to their other subject.

If you have any queries or worries about Welcome Week, please contact Dr Jan Hoole at

A Year In The Life Of

For the past year, 4 of our students and I have been writing an online journal called A Year in The Life Of.

Why not have a look for yourself?

You can use the username   bc1  and password  yitlo2012

Other key links

Feel free to contact the Biochemistry course director, Dr Sheila Hope (email:, if you have any specific questions.

Additional info for single honours students

Those of you joining our single honours programme in 2016 will have to select 1 elective module in addition to your 7 core modules.  You can do this through your eVision account or at the electives fair during induction week.   We have 2 year-long modules, which might confuse the electives fair staff because they will think you have 5 modules already in semester 1  and only 2 in semester 2, but you should inform them that you need to select one module.  We would advise you to pick this in semester 2, but some language modules might run in semester one.

Follow this link and enter single honours biochemistry to see what modules are available.

We are expecting that most students will select from the programme approved electives, but you are free to choose whatever you like - subject to timetabling.