Biochemistry is the explanation of life in chemical terms. It involves the study of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids, which are the fundamental molecules of life. Biochemists try to understand how these molecules interact in living organisms, in health and disease.

Career Opportunities

  • Biochemist
  • Biotechnologist  
  • Food Biochemist  
  • Laboratory Technician  
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist

Potential Employers

  • Agritechnology Research Industry
  • Biotechnology Industry
  • Crown Research Institutes
  • Food and Dairy Industries
  • Medical Laboratories
  • Pharmaceutical Industry

Biochemistry is one of the fastest-growing areas of modern science. By taking a combination of papers from both Biological Sciences and Chemistry, students will gain a solid grounding in the molecular and chemical principles underlying Biochemistry.

School subjects required

If you wish to study Biochemistry you should take biology and chemistry at secondary school. Mathematics or statistics may also be useful. Some first-year papers have specific prerequisites so check the paper list carefully.

Planning Your Degree

Biochemistry is available as an interdisciplinary major jointly taught between the Departments of Biological Sciences and Chemistry.

To complete a major in Biochemistry, students must complete 120 points above 100 Level, including 60 points at 300 Level, from compulsory papers.

Papers are worth 15 points.

Recommended Prerequisites

  • BIOL101 – Cellular and Molecular Biology
  • CHEM112 – Chemical Reactivity
Students are strongly advised to include the following papers:
  • BIOL102 – The Biology of Organisms
  • CHEM111 – Structure and Spectroscopy
  • STAT121 – Introduction to Statistical Methods or STAT111 – Statistics for Science

Papers are worth 20 points unless specified.

Compulsory papers

Students are strongly advised to include the following paper:
  • CHEM211 - Analytical and Inorganic Chemistry 1

Papers are worth 20 points unless specified.

Compulsory papers

  • BIOL310 – Advanced Genetics
  • BIOL351 – Advanced Biochemistry
  • CHEM312 – Organic and Physical Chemistry 2
Students are strongly advised to include the following papers
  • BIOL362 – Molecular Biology and Biotechniques
  • CHEM306 – Advanced Analytical Chemistry

The remaining papers needed to complete the requirements for the BSc and BSc(Tech) degrees may come from other science subjects or papers from other faculties or schools.

Postgraduate Studies

As this is an interdisciplinary major taught between two or more departments, it is recommended that you contact the Dean's Office, Faculty of Science and Engineering as you enrol in your second year of studies for programme advice, if you are considering pursuing postgraduate study on completion of your bachelor degree. This is to ensure that you enrol in the required papers that would gain you entry into a Postgraduate qualification.