Welcome to Stellenbosch University


​​​​For a complete description of our undergraduate programmes, we refer​ you to the Faculty of Science Yearbook.​​

Second-year modules

Biochemistry 214 – Structure, Function Relationships

Structures, characteristics and functions of bio-molecules (bio-elements, water, nucleic acids, proteins, enzymes, coenzymes, carbohydrates, lipids).

Biochemistry 244 – Intermediary Metabolism

Bioenergetics; metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and nitrogenous compounds; integration of metabolism.

Third-year modules

Biochemistry 315 – Biophysical and Structural Protein Biochemistry 

Advanced protein biochemistry: Protein structure/function relationships studied in the context of a number of specialized complex protein systems and enzymatic reaction mechanisms. Basic protein purification techniques and analysis of protein purity, composition and structure.

Analysis of biological molecules and processes with light, fluorescence, infrared, Raman and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, circular dichroism, optical rotatory dispersion, isotope-dependent techniques, advanced gel electrophoresis and chromatographic techniques.

This module must be passed to be considered for selection to do BScHons in Biochemistry.


Biochemistry 323 – Systems Biology

Thermodynamics and kinetics of biochemical processes; enzyme kinetics; kinetics of membrane transport processes; kinetics of coupled-reaction systems; metabolic control analysis; supply- demand analysis of metabolic regulation; mathematical modelling; types of models; modelling with differential equations; examples of models.

This module must be passed to be considered for selection to do BScHons in Biochemistry.


Biochemistry 345 – Specialised Biochemical Topics 

Selected topics chosen from the following (three of the following four topics are selected for presentation every year):

Antibiotics: The biochemistry of selected antibiotics and antimicrobial agents. Intracellular signal transduction pathways; receptors; hormones; cAMP; networks and cross talk; biochemistry of vision; biochemistry of smell.

Immunology: Innate and specific acquired immunity; antibody structure and function; defence mechanisms against pathogenic organisms; vaccinations; allergies; immune disorders; AIDS.

Eukaryotic gene expression: Transcription and control of gene expression, promoters and enhancers, and transcription factors

This module must be passed to be considered for selection to do BScHons in Biochemistry.

Biochemistry 353 – Food and Beverage Biochemistry​

The biochemistry of enzymes and proteins in food production and spoilage. The characteristics, applications and analysis of enzymes and proteins involved in food production and spoilage. The effect of enzymes and proteins and their interactions in foods on the nutritional value, sensory quality and safety of food products.​

Biochemistry 365 – Practical protein expression, purification and analysis techniques

Recombinant protein expression and protein purification techniques. Analysis of protein purity and integrity. Techniques include: plasmid DNA isolation, PCR, restriction enzyme digests, agarose gel electrophoresis, preparation of competent cells, transformation, induction of protein expression, gel permeation chromatography, ion exchamge chromatography, immobilized-metal affinity chromatography, protein concentration determinations, SDS-PAGE,western blot, activity assays and spectrophotometric analyses.

Practicals will be presented during the recess periods, specifically during a) the week before the 2nd semester officially starts, and b) the recess be tween the 3rd and 4th terms. Students registering for this module declare that they are available during both these periods.

This module must be passed to be considered for selection to do BScHons in Biochemistry.

Bioinformatics 312 - Introduction to Bioinformatics

Introduction to bioinformatics topics, including biological databases, sequence alignment, dynamic programming, scoring matrices, BLAST, hidden Markov models (HMMs), phylogenetics, tree building methods, genome organisation and evolution, genome projects and browsers, evolution of proteins, classification of protein structures.

Bioinformatics 322 - Intermediate Bioinformatics

Different BLAST methods, next-generation sequencing technologies, genome assembly, Eulerian paths and cycles, de Brijn graphs, reference genomes, reference genome graphs, three dimensional structures of genomes, read mapping, Burrows-Wheeler transform, variant calling, genome-wide association studies, mapping variants to phenotypes and disease, hidden Markov models (HMMs), the forward–backward algorithm, the Vitterbi algorithm, protein homology modeling, molecular dynamics, ligand docking.


Biochemistry as major for the BSc degree

The following modules are compulsory: Biochemistry 214(16), 244(16), 315(16), 345(16), 365(16), Bioinformatics 312(8), and Biochemistry 323(8) or Bioinformatics 322(8).