renwick dobson in biochemistry lab

The interface between Biology and Chemistry is the focus of some of the world’s most fascinating research, and is arguably having the greatest impact on our lives. This is Biochemistry — understanding how cells work at the molecular level.

The Biochemistry major is taught as a collaboration between Chemistry and Biological Sciences.

Biochemistry uses the techniques of Chemistry, Physics and Molecular Biology to probe the mysteries of Biology. It provides basic insight into biological processes such as enzyme action, drug action, genetic engineering, photosynthesis, cancer and heart disease. Some knowledge of Biochemistry is essential for any student majoring in Biological Sciences and many areas of Chemistry.

Our teaching staff have a unique blend of skills and expertise. The result is an exciting undergraduate curriculum and a vibrant research environment.

Biochemistry can lead to careers in a diverse range of fields. Our graduates have been employed in medical science, forensic science, environmental science, food and drink manufacturing, agriculture, technology and teaching. Some fields require postgraduate training also.

See the degree regulations for the BSc or view details of individual courses below.

Year 1


  • BIOL 111 Cellular Biology and Biochemistry
  • CHEM 112 Structure and Reactivity in Chemistry and Biochemistry

Strongly Recommended 

 *Students who have not completed >13 credits in NCEA Level 3 Chemistry take CHEM 114 before enrolling in CHEM 111 and CHEM 112

Year 2


And either:



Year 3


  • BCHM 301 Biochemistry 3 (equiv BIOL 331)
  • BCHM 302 Biological Chemistry
  • BCHM 381 Biochemical Techniques (for those intending to study to 4th year or beyond)


  • BIOL 333 Molecular Genetics
  • BIOL 313 Advanced Molecular and Industrial Microbiology
  • CHEM 322 Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 321 Advanced Inorganic Chemistry: From Structure to Function
  • CHEM 381 Advanced Synthetic Techniques