STUDY Education Health JAMB Post-utme

What Is The Difference Between Biochemistry And Medical Biochemistry

Being an undergraduate or a prospective one, you should have heard of the course Biochemistry but then, do you know what it entails?

The field of Biochemistry is one of the most respected disciplines of Medical studies. It may interest you to know that most of Medical inventions are being discovered by biochemists

Basically speaking, for an undergraduate degree in Nigeria, only two aspects of Biochemistry are available –

  • Biochemistry and
  • Medical Biochemistry

What does Biochemistry in Nigeria entail

Biochemistry is the study of the structure, composition, chemical processes and chemical reactions in living organisms. It analyzes the chemical reactions in the cells and tissues of living things.

It also studies the expression of genes, and research on the effects of food, medicine and other substances on living tissues. It also incorporates the various pathways and metabolic processes that take place in living things.

What is the difference Between Medical Biochemistry and Biochemistry in Nigeria

Highlighting Medical Biochemistry should be far fetched from the definition of Biochemistry above – Medical Biochemistry as then name implies is biochemistry as it relates to human health and disease.

Therefore, the difference between Biochemistry and Medical Biochemistry is that while Biochemistry deals with all living things quite alright, Medical Biochemistry however, deals specifically with human beings in order to combat diseases and improve the health standard.

Studying Biochemistry in any Nigerian university would mean being schooled through different courses and topics bordering on the scope above for about eight (8) semesters.

Difficulty Level in Nigeria

Being one of the core disciplines in the science field, biochemistry has overtime, gained the reputation amongst students of being one of the most difficult courses in Nigeria.

Actually, from statistics gathered by CourseAdvisor.com, an average of 1 out of 80 students graduate with a first class in either Biochemistry or Medical Biochemistry every year.

The main reason for this is because Biochemistry is part of what is called abstract science.

Both biochemistry and medical biochemistry require four (4) years of study in any Nigerian university. However very few Universities in Nigeria offer Medical Biochemistry as an undergraduate course.

Medical Biochemistry vs Biochemistry in Nigeria – which is better

From various metric used to measure the lucrativeness of a course is in Nigeria, we can clearly say that Medical Biochemistry seems to be more lucrative than Biochemistry in Nigeria and it won’t be wrong.


Medical Biochemistry as a course is more viable in Nigeria than Biochemistry because, the salary scale in the country tends to favor health workers over researchers.

Related courses

It is important to consider the courses related to your course of study as this would help you know what opportunities are available to you in the future.

Taking a look at the courses closely related to Biochemistry you would find Microbiology, Animal Science, Plant and Biotechnology etc. This is why they are classified under the Faculty of Life Sciences in some universities across the country.

On the other hand, for Medical Biochemistry because of the medical relevance it is classified under the School of Basic Medical Sciences.

Although this has not been put in effect in some universities due to the fact that it is a new course in the Nigeria educational system. Some of the courses related to Medical Biochemistry are Anatomy, Medical Laboratory Science (MLS), Physiology etc.

Salary scale of a Medical Biochemist compared to a Biochemist in Nigeria

There is no doubt that employment is gold in Nigeria, as a majority of graduates barely get jobs related to their discipline upon graduation.

Knowing this, it is important to not further complicate things for yourself and pick a course that would on an average pay you well when you finally get a job.

Additionally, your salary scale depends on the institution you work in, as a driver in a multi-national oil servicing firm can be paid more than a director in a corporation. So to arrive at an accurate prediction, we use the Government scale NSIWC.

Coupled with the fact that there is a health salary scale too Consolidated Health Salary Scale (CONHESS) which is better than the conventional salary scale of other Government workers, giving health workers an edge.

Therefore, Medical Biochemistry gives you a better chance at getting a job and receiving a decent pay too because you would be placed under the Consolidated Health Salary Scale.

There you go, introductory details on Medical Biochemistry and Pure Biochemistry. Now you should be able to make an intelligent choice on which to study.

We wish you the best of luck in your pursuit.

Leave a Comment