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If you’ve ever wondered how living things work, where they get their energy from, how they make the structures they live in or what it is that your genes do, then biochemistry is for you.

Biochemists use molecular approaches to understand the chemical processes and reactions within living organisms.

Biochemistry is key in many areas of research, including medicine, agriculture, and the environment: how cells can be turned into bio-factories, how to make improved crops, how trillions of cells assemble to form you, why you get old, what causes diseases like cancer, and so much more.

Undergraduate degree options

BSc majoring in Biochemistry

Biochemistry occupies a central place in the life sciences. A major in biochemistry gives you a solid understanding of the fundamental concepts that underpin the structure, function, and development of all biology. You will also learn practical, analytical, and critical thinking skills that are highly valued world-wide.

BBiomedSc majoring in the Molecular Basis of Health and Disease

This major explores the molecular mechanisms underpinning cellular communication as they relate to human health and disease.

BSc majoring in Plant Biotechnology

This multidisciplinary course encompasses plant physiology, plant biochemistry and plant molecular biology. It brings together the expertise of plant scientists from both the Botany and Biochemistry departments.

Minor in Biochemistry

A "minor" is a secondary area of specialisation, an opportunity for you to add training in another discipline. Compared to a major, a minor is less intensive, and generally involves a separate set of papers worth a total of 90 points. Biochemistry is available as a minor subject for most undergraduate degrees at Otago. A minor can complement or extend your major subject.

For specific queries on biochemistry-related course advice, please email

Contacts for advice, support and assistance: List of contacts for help of all kinds here

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