Are the skills of a student graduating from a biochemistry programme at university X equivalent to those graduating from the same programme at university Y? Probably not, but this is not an easy question to answer. Although minimum specifications for all biochemistry degree programmes are, in part, outlined by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), different universities have different entry requirements, can focus the degree they offer in a variety of different ways depending on their own expertise and can afford their students a whole host of different experiences – not necessarily better or worse experiences, but different. Additionally, of course, not all students are equal. Differences between individuals aside, graduate employers, from both academia and industry, are increasingly keen to know what they are likely to expect from a ‘typical’ graduate from a particular programme. Those of us working in the university sector know only too well how difficult it can be to find a PhD student who can hit the ground running on their project work. Can the accreditation of UK biology degrees help?

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