This programme offers three streams of which you choose one:

  • Applied Medicinal Chemistry
  • Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
  • Biomedical Mathematical Sciences

Each stream leads to a BSc degree with a distinctive curriculum allowing selected students to pursue interdisciplinary undergraduate studies, and thereafter possibly postgraduate studies, in the fields of engineering science or bioinformatics, thus on an interdisciplinary level.

Above-mentioned programme structure differs from the current programmes (except for the BSc in Biodiversity and Ecology, and BSc in Earth Sciences), which are designed with a double major structure and typically prepare students for postgraduate studies in either of the two disciplines taken as majors.  See the curriculum for the BSc Interdisciplinary programme in our Calendar.

Applied Medicinal Chemistry

Applied Medicinal Chemistry is a multidisciplinary BSc stream that combines Physiology and Chemistry with minor components of patent law, botany and biochemistry after following a generic first year curriculum. It aims to to prepare students for careers in the medical, pharmaceutical and allied health industries.

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

This interdisciplinary stream combines Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Computer Science and Genetics on a multidisciplinary level. The Centre for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology offers postgraduate degree programmes in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology: e.g. Honours, MSc and PhD. You also have postgraduate study options in Biochemistry, Computer Science or Genetics (with additional modules in an additional academic year).

Biomedical Mathematical Sciences

Biomedical Mathematical Sciences is a multidisciplinary BSc stream that combines Physiology and Mathematical Sciences after following a generic first year curriculum. It aims to prepare students for careers in biomedical engineering as well as for the applied medical, pharmaceutical and allied health industries.


empty tag

Applied Medicinal Chemistry | What is Applied Medicinal Chemistry?

Applied Medicinal Chemistry utilises an understanding of the physiological and pathophysiology basis of diseases, combined with the study of drug synthesis and the isolation and evaluation of natural products to discover and develop new therapeutic agents.

Applied Medicinal Chemistry | What do Applied Medicinal Chemists do?

Applied Medicinal Chemists develop and discover new pharmaceutically active compounds for treating diseases. They can do this by isolating compounds from natural products or by following design principles based on a knowledge of the physiological basis of the diseases. For this, they need to understand not only how cells function at a chemical, molecular level, but also how the entire body behaves and interacts with the environment. Applied Medicinal Chemists also test therapeutic agents using theoretical, cell or animal models. 

Applied Medicinal Chemistry | What is the difference between the Applied Medicinal Chemistry stream; and the Chemical Biology stream of the BSc Chemistry programme?

The Applied Medicinal Chemistry stream focuses on providing insight into the development of drugs from the perspective of both the disease and the chemistry of the biologically active compounds. The Chemical Biology stream focuses on understanding all the chemical processes occurring within living beings, not just those involving disease. Although both involve majoring in Chemistry at third-year level, the Applied Medicinal Chemistry combines this with Physiology, while Biochemistry is the second major for the Chemical Biology stream. In addition, because Applied Medicinal Chemistry is a multi-disciplinary field it incorporates modules on patent law and botany to give a broader background to the field. 

Applied Medicinal Chemistry | Where can I find jobs with Applied Medicinal Chemistry?

Any industry where a knowledge of chemistry and the physiological basis of disease is needed. This can be in pharmaceutical companies for drug development and testing or quality control, or as pharmaceutical sales reps. Health services and companies making health supplements are also potential employers, while there are even possibilities in the cosmetics industry. 

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology | What is Bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is an interdisciplinary science. Which means that you will require skills from a number of other fundamental sciences, including mathematics, stats, computer science, biochemistry, genetics, etc. So it’s an interdisciplinary science, and it’s a science that has to do with the gathering manipulations, storing retrieving, and very importantly, the analysis of biological data using computers. 

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology | What do Bioinformaticians do?

Bioinformaticians manages the storage of biological data in appropriate formats. We design databases and interfaces that allow the very efficient retrieval of data from those databases. We develop algorithms, which thinking of better ways, for instance, to very quickly analyze where genes start. We also do research in cutting edge methods, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence and apply that to biological problems. 

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology | What major contributions has bioinformatics made to society?

The impact of bioinformatics has been immense.  It has allowed up to sequence tens of thousands of genomes from viruses, bacteria, archae and eukaryotes.  It has allowed us to identify mutations in our genomes that are associated with disease states, allowing intervention and therapy.  It has accelerated our development of drugs, based of structural analyses.  It has allowed the development of personalized medicine, based on the knowledge that different individuals respond differently to therapies, allowing an early choice of the most efficient therapeutic approach.  Bioinformatics continues to contribute to our improved health care, as well as allowing significant advances in our understanding of the chemistry of life, and understanding life at a fundamental physical and chemical level. 

Biomedical Mathematical Sciences | What is Biomedical Mathematical Sciences?

Biomedical Mathematical Sciences utilises an understanding of the physiological and pathophysiology basis of diseases combined with Mathematical Sciences to apply technological resources to answer questions in life sciences, medicine and health-related fields through the development of systems, databases and methodologies to collect and analyse data for clinical or research purposes.

Biomedical Mathematical Sciences | What can I do with a degree in Biomedical Mathematical Sciences?

The Biomedical Mathematical Programme was initially developed to serve as feeder programme for the MSc in Biomedical Engineering. After completion of your BSc degree in Biomedical Mathematical Sciences, you must first do an Honours degree or post-graduate diploma in Biomedical Engineering Sciences before you can enter the MSc in Biomedical Engineering.

Biomedical Mathematical Sciences | What other career options are there with a degree in Biomedical Mathematical Sciences?

One of the new exciting fields of medicine is personalised medicine. As genetic sequencing becomes much cheaper, patients will soon be able to ask for routine genetic screening, which will make diagnosis much more accurate and treatment more effective. We therefore need skill full persons to use mathematics, pattern recognition, data mining and engineering to analyse the genetic data and to create reports for clinicians to treat their patients with drugs based on their genetic make-up.