Biological Chemistry

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Biological Chemistry

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    CHEM 111 or CHEM 191 or CHEM 112

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    Bioenergetics of metabolism at a molecular level. Metal ion coordination chemistry and its applications in biological systems. Chemistry of amino acids and peptide formation. Chemistry of nucleic acids, phosphate esters and enzyme reactions.

    CHEM 205 Biological Chemistry focuses on the application of concepts and techniques of chemistry to gain an understanding of the nature and function of biological systems. An overview of biological systems from a molecular perspective is developed.

    Course Structure

    • The topics covered include a number of fundamental areas of chemistry that have wide applications in the biological sciences:
    • Physical principles in biology
      • An introduction to the bioenergetics of metabolism at a molecular level
    • Bio-inorganic chemistry
      • An introduction to metal ion coordination chemistry and its applications inbiological systems
    • Chemistry of amino acids
    • Chemistry of DNA and RNA
    • Enzyme chemistry
      • An introduction to the selectivity characteristics (stereo-, chemo-, regio- selectivity) of enzyme reactions

    Learning Outcomes

    • Expectations at the completion of the paper:
    • An understanding, based on established chemical concepts, of vital biological molecules and processes
    • An ability to assess critically and use information relating to biological chemistry in the context of informed social debate
    • Tested experience with the use of standard practical and experimental techniques
    • Tested experience with the generic activities of information retrieval, critical analysis and presentation employing logistical planning and cooperative teamwork
    • An understanding of how chemical knowledge is applied in a practical, problem-solving context
    • Students who are majoring in chemistry will have acquired knowledge and practical skills which will benefit them in 300- and 400-level papers in chemistry
    • Those students majoring in biological science subjects will have acquired knowledge that will enable them to understand better the chemical foundations of their chosen subject. The practical skills obtained will be applicable to many areas of science

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

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Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.