Biochemistry

Last updated: 6ย months, 1ย week ago


Biochemistry is a highly interdisciplinary subject: dynamic and full of opportunities to pursue a range of interests, the course allows you to build foundation knowledge in many areas of science.

Application Resources

Here are some general resources related to Biochemistry. These should be a useful introduction, regardless of which Biochemistry related course youโ€™re interested in and where you might want to study it.

Books and suggested reading lists

Suggested reading and resources ๐Ÿ”— ๐ŸŒŸ Suggested reading for Biochemistry applications from the Oxford website.

Recommended reading list ๐Ÿ”— ๐ŸŒŸ This list from the Department of Biochemistry includes books for finding out about biochemistry as well as useful books to prepare for the start of the Oxford biochemistry course.

Very Short Introductions ๐Ÿ”— The โ€œVery Short Introductionsโ€ series is great for getting a more in-depth overview of a topic, for example, Hormones, The Cell, and Organic Chemistry.

Reading Bank from University College ๐Ÿ”— This is a collection of book reviews by University College students (and a few tutors) for the mathematical, physical, and life sciences, many of which are applicable to biochemistry.

Itโ€™s a good idea to read a number of different popular science books, however, there are so many out there, so pick the ones on topics that youโ€™re interested in!

Videos, YouTube Channels, and Online Lectures

Gresham lectures ๐Ÿ”— ๐ŸŒŸ Gresham College hosts lectures on all sorts of topics, including biochemistry, for example this one by Professor Nick Lane, and they record them so that they are available to watch online, along with PDF transcripts you can read.

SciShow ๐Ÿ”— SciShow delves into different scientific subjects with videos every day, many of which are biochemistry-related.

The Amoeba Sisters ๐Ÿ”— The Amoeba Sisters have videos on all sorts of different biochemistry and genetics topics, at a level that is at/ just above Sixth Form.

Science websites

The Bumbling Biochemist ๐Ÿ”— ๐ŸŒŸ Written by a postgrad student who has recently finished her PhD in Biochemistry, she has lots of great posts and videos about biochemistry which are very accessible.

Massive Science ๐Ÿ”— Massive Science is a website that offers cutting-edge science news and opinion pieces.

New Scientist ๐Ÿ”— New Scientist is a fantastic weekly magazine and website that the department recommends you take a look at if you want to be up to date with the latest biology news.

The Oxford Scientist ๐Ÿ”— ๐ŸŒŸ This magazine is student-led and written by students at Oxford.

Podcasts

Podcasts are a great way of integrating learning about all sorts of different areas of biology into your everyday life. Itโ€™s a good idea to keep a document or a notebook where you can write down any interesting ideas or concepts raised in these podcasts (along with the videos and lectures linked above), and then read more about them if thereโ€™s something that particularly interests you.

The Life Scientific ๐Ÿ”— ๐ŸŒŸ On The Life Scientific podcast, Professor Jim Al-Khalili talks to leading scientists about their life and work, many of whom are in fields related to biochemistry from a variety of different areas. These are really good for getting snapshots into a wide range of different topics that arenโ€™t really covered in the A-level (or equivalent) course, and a good jumping-off point to find areas that you want to read and learn more about.

Comparing Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry at Oxford ๐Ÿ”— ๐ŸŒŸ Anyone uncertain about which course to choose at Oxford might benefit from this podcast comparing Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry - some information will be slightly out of date, since it was published in 2013, and now all 3 of these subjects are offered as integrated masters degrees, but the foundations of them remain the same.

Resource bank from University College, Oxford ๐Ÿ”— ๐ŸŒŸ This webpage has links to all sorts of resources, including the science episodes of BBCโ€™s โ€œIn Our Timeโ€ which has an episode on Dorothy Hodgkin, famous biochemist and X-ray crystallographer.

Our top tips

Did you enjoy learning about a particular topic, book, article, or video? Find out more about it! In your personal statement and/or interview, the biology tutors want to see your enthusiasm for biology, and a great way to show that is by thinking about the links between different areas of biochemistry. Make sure that youโ€™re really confident about the basic concepts and try and get as many practice interviews as possible. You canโ€™t always get lots of formal interview practice, but get your friends and family to ask you questions about biochemistry and then try and talk through and explain the ideas.