Biochemistry brings together a number of branches of science with a view to understanding the chemistry of life. Such a unique and privileged position at the interface of the traditional sciences makes a truly dynamic and exciting discipline. It provides basic insight into biological processes such as enzyme action, drug action, genetic engineering, photosynthesis and colour vision.
The Biochemistry Centre at UC is a joint venture of the Department of Chemistry and the School of Biological Sciences that brings together award-winning teachers in a coordinated Biochemistry undergraduate programme. Biochemistry is at the cutting edge of contemporary science, research and industry. The Biomolecular Interaction Centre is a collaborative research centre with state-of-the-art equipment that features direct ties to other universities and to industrial research organisations.
Biochemical innovation is critical in adding value to New Zealand's agricultural production, as well as in understanding the fundamentals of the biological world around us. Biochemistry graduates are sought after all over the world.
Some knowledge of Biochemistry is useful for any student majoring in the Biological Sciences and many areas of Chemistry.
A background in Year 13 biology and chemistry is strongly recommended. If you have a limited background, you may wish to consider taking the Science Headstart summer preparatory chemistry courses. Some knowledge of physics and mathematics with calculus and/or statistics may be helpful.
First-year students intending to study Biochemistry must take BIOL 111 and general chemistry (CHEM 112) as these courses are prerequisites for advanced Biochemistry courses. BIOL 112, BIOL 113 and CHEM 111 are also recommended. Students with fewer than nine NCEA Level 3 credits in chemistry should also take CHEM 114.
At 200-level the Biochemistry programme consists of biochemistry (BCHM 221, BCHM 222) together with related chemistry (BCHM 205, BCHM 206) and biology (BCHM 202, BCHM 253) courses.
At 300-level Biochemistry courses include BCHM 301 Biochemistry 3, BCHM 302 Biological Chemistry and BCHM 381 Biochemical Techniques.
These courses are particularly relevant for students planning postgraduate degrees in Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Plant Biology, Chemistry, Microbiology and Zoology.
Research work related to biochemistry and molecular biology is being actively carried out by staff and postgraduate students in the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Chemistry.
Graduates with training in Biochemistry find employment in medical biochemistry, the brewing and food industries, biotechnology and various medical and agricultural research centres. Graduates with Biochemistry in their degrees are also well-equipped to teach biology, chemistry and other science subjects in schools.
For further career information, please go to www.canterbury.ac.nz/careers