We admit four Biochemisty students each year.
Biochemistry is a four-year course at Oxford. In the first year, students study five "preliminary" subjects: Organic Chemistry; Physical Biochemistry; Biological Chemistry; Molecular &
Cellular Biology; and Mathematics. The second and third years then cover the full spectrum of biochemical subjects. The fourth year is split between (i) a research project in which students work in a research group on a specific project, and (ii) special options which allow students to select particular areas of the course that interest them. During these four years, College tutorials complement the separate lecture course run by the Biochemistry Department. In the first year, students may well have two tutorials a week, covering most aspects of the preliminary subjects. In the second and third years, tutorials again cover most major parts of the University lecture course. In those subjects in which the College tutors have no particular expertise, undergraduates are sent out to experts in other colleges.
The main tutor in Biochemistry is Dr Steve Johnson, who is interested in the use of X-ray crystallography and complementary techniques to study how pathogens interact with their hosts.
Biochemistry is a subject for which there are excellent career opportunities. The emergence of the new biotechnology industries in the USA, and now in the UK, provides a significant number of jobs for graduates in Biochemistry. Of the students who have read Biochemistry over the last few years, about 40% have gone on to do post-graduate degrees, 20% have gone into industrial Research and Development and 20% have gone into finance or management. A number also go into the legal professions or become Patent Agents. A number also go into the legal professions or become Patent Agents.