Biochemistry vs chemistry which is harder?


Chemistry is the study of matter, defined as anything that has mass and takes up space, and the changes that matter can undergo when it is subject to different environments and conditions. Chemistry seeks to understand not only the properties of matter, like the mass or composition of a chemical element, but also how and why matter undergoes certain changes- whether something can be transformed because it combined with another substance, froze because it was left in the freezer for two weeks, or changed colors because it was exposed to too much sunlight.

Biochemistry vs chemistry which is harder?
Biochemistry vs chemistry which is harder?

Biochemistry is a branch of science that deals with the chemical processes within and outside of living things. Biochemistry is a laboratory based science that combines biology and chemistry. Biochemistry aims to understand the mechanisms that are the basis of life by describing the structure and function of bio-molecules. It is the discipline that attempts to understand the workings of ourselves and our interactions with nature from the direction of both the physical sciences and biological sciences.

Chemistry explains the physical world and its processes, and chemists study substances- composition, structures, properties and reactions. Biochemistry focuses on the study of life at the molecular level. It involves the study of chemical compositions in living organisms. Chemistry is very hard. It is regarded as very hard by both students and lecturer because of the abstract nature of many chemical concepts, teaching styles applied in class, lack of teaching aids and the difficulty of the language of chemistry.

Topic progression is also another reason why chemistry is harder than biochemistry; you have to fully understand several topics before you can do other topics.

Biochemistry on the other hand, is only averagely difficult. It requires more dedication and will to study and to understand the details of all the chemical processes and reactions occurring inside our body. The subject is itself very vast and it requires a little more effort than some subjects to get a grip on. This is because a lot of concepts from the subject are constantly revised when you take pathology and pharmacology. Biochemistry is definitely not harder than Chemistry. There’s a lot less calculations involved, it is easier to conceptualize and the Biology aspect of the discipline all help to make it easier to grasp and understand. . But in a way as a student, difficulty depends more on what you personally find difficult than the supposed difficulty level of a course.

Shyllon Olayinka Enoch, Undergraduate student of Biochemistry at Obafemi Awolowo University

Twitter; @blackpeggy103


  1. I studied Microbiology and so, right from my 100L up to 400L, I have always found myself humping from the Chemistry lab to Biochemistry class doing lots of borrowed courses from both.

    I think generally, I found Biochemistry courses easier to grasp because it has a lot to do with studying the chemistry of the living system than Chemistry which really was more abstract. On a funny note, I carried over only a single course throughout my 4 years in the university, and guess what course that was….Physical chemistry in 200L which I didn’t have any issue passing eventually anyways!

    But in all, individual differences do occur and there are students who will still prefer chemistry to biochemistry. Biochemistry has its devils too, especially trying to explain those “metabolic pathways” with dangerous chemical structures.



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