Bachelor of Science (Honours) (Biochemistry)

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Take your excellence and turn it into something more

If you are interested in further in-depth research, this qualification gives you the skills to progress to a PhD.

Find out more about the Bachelor of Science (Honours) parent structure

What is it like?

Massey University’s Bachelor of Science with Honours with a major in biochemistry is a prestigious qualification for those that are interested in progressing to further, in-depth research. This postgraduate qualification will also give you a career advantage.

Intellectually-challenging

It is an intensive, intellectually-challenging programme where time management is critical and where you can expect to acquire many transferable skills, sought after by employers.

Biochemistry focuses on the structure and function of proteins, the intricacies of cellular metabolism and communication and information transfer from nucleic acids to improve our knowledge and understanding of biomedical science, biotechnology and biological chemistry.

World-leading facilities and equipment

Massey University is well supported with specialist equipment to carry out biochemistry research. In addition to a dedicated tissue culture facility, real-time PCR instruments, specialised fluorescence microscopes and plate readers, the Manawatu Microscopy Centre is housed within the Institute. Confocal, and scanning, transmission and epifluorescence microscopy services and expertise are therefore on site.

Genome sequencing services are also readily accessible with both the Massey Sequencing Service and a New Zealand Genome Limited laboratory housed on the university’s Manawatu campus. This service centre is equipped with ABI3730 and Illumina MiSeq instruments and associated expertise. A group of dedicated bioinformatics experts support this service. We house a full suite of protein purification, separation and analysis equipment, including DIGE imaging and access to mass spectrometers. There is also an X-ray diffraction laboratory and access to the Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne.

Friendly environment - passionate scientists

There is a well-established community of fundamental scientists and students at Massey. We have a large active student group - the Fundamental Science Students Association (FUSSTA) - where we work together to share discoveries and research and provide peer support.

Why postgraduate study?

Postgraduate study is hard work but hugely rewarding and empowering. The Bachelor of Science (Honours) will push you to produce your best creative, strategic and theoretical ideas. The workload replicates the high-pressure environment of senior workplace roles. Our experts are there to guide but if you have come from undergraduate study, you will find that postgraduate study demands more in-depth and independent study.

Not just more of the same

Postgraduate study is not just ‘more of the same’ undergraduate study. It takes you to a new level in knowledge and expertise especially in planning and undertaking research. You need to be prepared to take responsibility for the direction of your research, always supported by experienced mentors.

A good fit if you:

  • Are passionate about science
  • Excelled in your undergraduate degree
  • Are interested in going on to more in-depth research, such as a PhD
  • Want to apply your biochemistry background to cutting edge research
  • Want to learn how to be an independent researcher and critical thinker
Rebecca Smith
BSc (Hons) Biochemistry
Post-doctoral scientist

“My BSc (Hons) in biochemistry provided me with the motivation, confidence, knowledge and background understanding of mammalian biology to complete a PhD in cancer research…”

I graduated with a BSc in biochemistry as well as two other disciplines. I then chose to continue in biochemistry for my BSc Hons. I completed with first class honours and was awarded a Massey Doctoral Scholarship. 

I have always enjoyed lab work and postgraduate study allowed me to gain the necessary skills to make this passion into a career. BSc(Hons) teaches you skills such as critical thinking as well as teaching skills in the lab that are essential for becoming a competent scientist. 

I am now on the first step of my scientific career working as a post doctoral scientist at the Adolf Butenandt Institute of Physiological Chemistry at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany.

This role involves researching how a particular family of proteins are involved in modulating DNA repair and how it relates to cancer therapies. I use a wide range of biochemistry and microscopy techniques, all of which I learnt during my post-graduate studies.”

Careers

Setting you apart

An honours degree is a sign of your excellence and in-depth understanding of the field of biochemistry. Should you pursue a career after qualifying, the Bachelor of Science with Honours with a major in biochemistry will give you a head start on other potential employees with undergraduate degrees.

A step into further study

The honours programme also gives you the research and analytical skills you need to progress into further high-level research/study, such as at a PhD level.

Earn more

A Ministry of Education report found that:

  • Earnings and employment rates increase with the level of qualification completed.
  • Five years after leaving study, most young domestic graduates will be earning above the national median earnings.
  • Good careers are associated with better health, better wellbeing and more satisfying lives

Wide range of opportunities

You will have a wide range of career opportunities and can expect these to lead to leadership and managerial roles. These could be in areas including pure and applied research, quality control, product development, and positions of responsibility in medical, forensic, or analytical laboratories.

You could also work in government departments in policy development and analysis. Jobs in these areas can lead to high-level careers in management and administration in science and health-related fields.

Potential employers include

  • Crown Research Institutes (AgResearch, HortResearch, Plant and Food Research)
  • Industry-based research institutes (Dairy, Meat, Wool, Wheat, Forestry, Leather)
  • Wineries, breweries, food and animal feedstuff industries
  • Pharmaceutical development and manufacturing
  • Secondary and tertiary educational institutions
  • Biotechnology companies
  • Scientific publishers
  • District health Boards
  • Banks and finance companies
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Ministry of Business and Enterprise

You will gain internationally-marketable skills that will provide opportunities for employment and careers across the globe.

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