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 for a dynamic and exciting discipline. It provides basic insight into biological processes such as enzyme action, drug action, genetic engineering, photosynthesis, and colour vision.
Biochemistry is at the cutting edge of contemporary science, research, and industry. Biochemical innovation is critical in adding value to Aotearoa New Zealand's agricultural production, advancing medicine, and understanding the fundamentals of the biological world around us.
- The Biochemistry Centre at UC is a joint venture of Te Kura Matū | School of Physical and Chemical Sciences, and Te Kura Pūtaiao Koiora | School of Biological Sciences, which brings together award-winning teachers in a coordinated Biochemistry programme.
- 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.
A background in Year 13 biology and chemistry is strongly recommended.
UC offers a major and a minor in Biochemistry as part of the Bachelor of Science.
To complete a major in Biochemistry within the Bachelor of Science, you will need to take the following courses:
- BCHM 111 Cellular Biology and Biochemistry
- BCHM 112 Structure and Reactivity in Chemistry and Biochemistry
The following courses are also recommended:
- BIOL 112 Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
- BIOL 113 Diversity of Life
- CHEM 111 Chemical Principles and Processes
Students who have not taken chemistry to Year 13 level are also strongly advised to take CHEM 114 Foundations of Chemistry.
- BCHM 202 Foundations in Molecular Biology
- BCHM 212 Chemical Reactivity
- BCHM 222 Biochemistry B – Metabolism; the reactions of molecules in cells
- BCHM 253 Cell Biology I
- BCHM 281 Practical Biochemistry
BCHM 206 Organic Chemistry is also recommended.
- BCHM 305 Protein Science
- BCHM 306 Biochemical Pathology
- BCHM 338 Chemical Biology and Protein Chemistry
- BCHM 339 Bioinorganic and Bioorganic Chemistry
BCHM 381 Biochemical Techniques is also required if you intend to go onto postgraduate studies in Biochemistry.
For the Biochemistry minor in the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Sport Coaching, or Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership, you will need to take these courses throughout your chosen degree:
- 75 points in 100 to 300-level BCHM courses, with at least 45 points at 200-level or above
Biochemists are key members of drug development teams in the pharmaceuticals industry. Many work in government departments (eg, in medicines regulation), diagnostic departments in hospitals, and in research institutes studying subjects as diverse as crop protection and nanotechnology.
You could find interesting graduate jobs and career progression with food and beverage producers; agricultural organisations; manufacturing and processing companies; the biotechnology industry; health and beauty care organisations; or science publishers.
Graduates with Biochemistry in their degrees are also well equipped to teach biology, chemistry, and other science subjects in secondary schools.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Biochemistry.
See the School's website for up-to-date location details.
College of Science | Te Rāngai Pūtaiao
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
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