Biochemistry is the branch of science that explores the chemical processes within and related to living organisms. It is a laboratory based science that brings together biology and chemistry. By using chemical knowledge and techniques, biochemists can understand and solve biological problems.

Biochemistry focuses on processes happening at a molecular level. It focuses on what’s happening inside our cells, studying components like proteins, lipids, and organelles. It also looks at how cells communicate with each other, for example during growth or fighting illness. Biochemists need to understand how the structure of a molecule relates to its function, allowing them to predict how molecules will interact.

A biochemistry degree opens up a range of highly-skilled careers that incorporate aspects of both biology and medicine.Over the past 100 years, biochemists have been responsible for a huge number of important scientific breakthroughs that have helped to develop our understanding of living organisms. This broad definition of biochemistry means that the job of a biochemist can encompass a wide range of scientific topics, including stem cell research, genetic research, immunology, pharmacology, forensics, cancer research, environmental science and food science. The research efforts of biochemists have the potential to result in dramatic medical or scientific breakthroughs.

What do Biochemist do?

  • Provide new ideas and experiments to understand how life works
  • Support our understanding of health and disease
  • Contribute innovative information to the technology revolution
  • Work alongside chemists, physicists, healthcare professionals, policy makers, engineers and many more professionals

Job Options

  • Forensic scientist
  • Physician associate
  • Research scientist (life sciences)
  • Drug discovery and development
  • Toxicologist
  • Biomaterials
  • Food formulation
  • Analytical chemist
  • Biomedical scientist
  • Healthcare scientist
  • Clinical biochemistry
  • Clinical research associate
  • Consumer goods
  • Diagnostics industry
  • Service providers
  • Agrochemicals

Biochemists can be found working in numerous areas of industry. These are the eight areas defined as industry by the Industry Strategy and Working Group: Drug discovery, Consumer goods, Diagnostics industry, Clinical biochemistry, Service providers, Biomaterials, Agrochemicals, Food formulation.

The Outlook

The practical and technical skills you develop during your biochemistry degree – through laboratory-based work and your final year research project – prepare you well for a research or technical position. Obtaining some work experience, for example, a summer internship in a research laboratory or company will help to boost your chances of finding a job.The Governments recognize the potential that developments in biochemistry and the life sciences have for contributing to national prosperity and for improving the quality of life of the population. Funding for research in these areas has been increasing dramatically in most countries, and the biotechnology industry is expanding rapidly.