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.
First-year students intending to study Biochemistry need to take the following courses as these are prerequisites for advanced Biochemistry courses:
- BIOL 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 with fewer than 14 NCEA Level 3 credits in chemistry should also take CHEM 114 Foundations of Chemistry.
200-level and beyond
At 200-level, the Biochemistry programme consists of related chemistry and biology courses, and also the lab course (BCHM 281 Practical Biochemistry).
At 300-level, Biochemistry courses deal with advanced biochemistry, biological chemistry, biochemical and environmental toxicology, and important biochemical techniques.
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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