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Undergraduate study at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Otago, New Zealand

Apply for the Bachelor of Science (BSc) (2023 applications) through the Dunedin campus in 2023

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Apply for the Bachelor of Science (BSc) (2024 applications) through the Dunedin campus in 2024

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Biochemistry is a laboratory-based subject that uses chemical knowledge and techniques to understand and solve biological problems.

Over the past century, biochemists have made many important scientific breakthroughs that have had a big impact on many areas of science, including medicine, agriculture, and the environment.

By studying biochemistry, you will learn about the chemical processes and reactions within living organisms. You will also learn about the latest scientific discoveries, and eventually be able to contribute to the exciting new advances still to come.

Undergraduate student lab

BIOC Papers

Undergraduate biochemistry papers cover a wide range of topics.

Two students performing HPLC


Knowledge and skills from a biochemistry degree are valuable in many different career areas.

Students discussing Bioinformatics with a lecturer

Degree planning

How to structure your biochemistry degree to accommodate your interests.

Since biochemistry underpins many of the other life sciences, it allows you to specialise in a range of different subjects at a later date. This flexibility allows you to keep your career options open.

BIOC 192: Foundations of Biochemistry

The very first biochemistry paper you will enrol for is BIOC 192: Foundations of Biochemistry. This is a second semester paper with one prerequisite: CHEM 191 (CHEM 112). 

Thinking of taking biochemistry at Otago?

This video explains what biochemistry is, where a degree in biochemistry can take you, and introduces you to studying biochemistry at Otago.

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

Contacts for advice, support and assistance

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Science (BSc) majoring in Biochemistry

Level Papers Points

BIOC 192  Foundations of Biochemistry

CELS 191  Cell and Molecular Biology

CHEM 191  The Chemical Basis of Biology and Human Health

At least one of:
BIOL 112  Animal Biology
BIOL 123  Plants: How They Shape the World
CHEM 111  Chemistry: Molecular Architecture
HUBS 191  Human Body Systems 1
HUBS 192  Human Body Systems 2
STAT 110  Statistical Methods
STAT 115  Introduction to Biostatistics







BIOC 221  Molecular Biology

BIOC 222  Proteins in Industry and Medicine

BIOC 223  Cellular Biochemistry and Metabolism





BIOC 351  Advanced Protein Biochemistry

BIOC 352  Advanced Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics

BIOC 353  Molecular Basis of Health and Disease

BIOC 360  Research Perspectives in Biochemistry

With Head of Department approval, one 300-level BIOC paper may be replaced by another relevant 300-level paper.






162 further points (GENE 221 Molecular and Microbial Genetics strongly recommended); must include 54 points at 200-level or above.

Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Science.

Total   360