Biochemistry II (Plant & Animal)

Intermediate level online biochemistry course. Study the structure and dynamics of proteins, the role of enzymes and hormones, and more.

Course CodeBSC203
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Build on your existing biochemistry knowledge with this intermediate level course.

Study the structure and dynamics of proteins, the role of enzymes and hormones, and more. 

Focussing on important building blocks of life such as amino acids, proteins, sugars, polysaccharides, lipids, enzymes, vitamins, homones, and nucleic acids, this course will help you deepen your understanding of how living systems interact to maintain life. 

The course also emphasizes the structure and role of biochemical molecules, to help you prepare for further study (including our advanced course, Biochemistry III (Biochemical Processes).

Prerequisite: Plant or Animal Biochemistry I or equivalent knowledge.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Biochemical Molecules
    • What is Biochemistry?
    • Cells – Prokaryote Cells, Eukaryote Cells, Viruses and Prions
    • Biomolecules – Proteins, Carbohydrates, Lipids, Nucleic Acids, Vitamins and Co-enzymes, Hormones and Nuerotransmitters
    • Metabolic Processes – Catabolism and Anabolism
  2. Amino Acids
    • Amino Acids – Biochemical Nomenclature
    • Amino Acid Properties – Acidic and Basic, Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic, Polarity of the Side Chain, Amino Acid Polarity and Non-standard Amino Acids
    • Genetic Coding of Amino Acids
    • Terminology
  3. Structure of Proteins
    • Proteins Functions
    • Protein Structure – Primary Structure, Secondary Structure, Tertiary Structure, Quaternary Structure
    • Fibrous Proteins – Collagen, Elastin, Keratin, Globular Proteins, Albumin
    • Cofactors and Conformation
    • Post-Translational Modifications
    • Protein Denaturation
    • Protein Degradation
  4. Protein Dynamics
    • Protein Folding
    • Molecular Chaperones
    • Heat Shock Proteins – HSP90, HSP70, HSP60, Small Heat Shock Proteins
    • Chaperones
    • The Importance of Understanding Protein Structure
    • Structural Evolution of Proteins
    • Dynamics of Haem Proteins – Haemoglobin Co-operativity
  5. Sugars and Polysaccharides
    • Saccharides – Monosaccharides, Oligosaccharides, Polysaccharides, Lectins
    • Polysaccharide Bonds
    • Polysaccharide Function – Classification of Monosaccharides, Ring or Chain Types, Complex Sugars
    • Monosaccharides – Glucose, Fructose, Galactose
    • Disaccharides – Sucrose, Maltose, Lactose
    • Polysaccharides – Starch, Dextrin, Glycogen, Cellulose
  6. Lipids (Fats) and Membranes
    • Lipids – Fatty Acids, Tryacilglicerols, Neutral Lipids, Phospholipids, Glycolipids, Terpenoids
    • Cholesterol
    • Cellular Membranes
    • Terminology
  7. Enzymes, Vitamins and Hormones
    • Enzymes - Coenzymes
    • Vitamins – Vitamin Classification, Reviewing Vitamin C
    • Hormones – Plant Hormones
  8. DNA and RNA
    • Nucleic Acids – Structure of DNA, Types of RNA
    • DNA Replication
    • Inheritance
    • Interesting facts about DNA
  9. Labratory Techniques
    • Laboratory Health and Safety
    • Common Experimental Methods – DNA Methods, Protein Methods, General Methods

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Describe the characteristics of a range of biochemical molecules
  • Distinguish between different groups of biochemical molecules.
  • Describe the structural characteristics and other properties that differentiate standard amino acids one from another.
  • Discuss structures of different proteins (both covalent and 3-dimensional).
  • Describe common protein dynamics including folding, structural evolution and haemoglobin function.
  • Describe the structure and dynamics of different types of saccharides and polysaccharides.
  • Discuss the composition and structure of both lipids and membranes.
  • Describe the structure and dynamics of different types of enzymes, vitamins and hormones.
  • Describe the structure and function of different types of nucleic acids including DNA and RNA.
  • Identify some of the basic laboratory techniques used in biochemistry and to appreciate the importance of safety in the laboratory.


Chemistry is the study of the various elements that make up the physical world and how they interact. Organic chemistry is the study of chemical compounds containing carbon. “Bio” means “alive”, therzefore biochemistry is the study of the chemistry of biological organisms and how organic chemical compounds react within living cells. In other words, biochemistry is about understanding the chemical reactions that make, break, run and repair our bodies and the components that make it up. Biochemistry’s goal is to understand the chemical basis of biological phenomena.


Biochemistry has its roots in medicine, nutrition, agriculture, and natural products chemistry. It covers many other areas as well, but today it is mostly is concerned with the chemistry of molecules found in and associated with living systems, especially the chemistry of these molecules. Biochemists are always trying to break processes down in order to understand how these work, how molecules are created or destroyed and how they relate and affect each other. With the advent of all the modern equipment and computer systems many biochemists also study intact systems and how each system functions and the other structures or processes that may be affected.



Living organisms exhibit a high degree of order. This order is expressed as organized structures that contain the different processes that make up life. If these organized structures are lost, life is threatened or ends. The body is made up of organs, which are made up of tissues which are made up of cells, which are made up of molecules. Cells are the ‘building blocks’ of all living beings, they are the basic organized structure that can sustain itself. All cells consist of liquid medium called cytoplasm contained inside a double layered fatty membrane, known as the plasma membrane. In plants, this is surrounded by a tough protective outer layer known as the cell wall.


Life manifests itself as a continuous flow of molecules from one state to another, and as connectivity, where every molecule connects to others to allow that flow to occur. Life is therefore a number of ongoing processes such as propagation, metabolism, response to environmental influences, evolution, etc. Molecules make up organelles and cells. Different cells and different cell groups fulfil different functions. Every function is therefore performed through the flow of molecules from cell parts and cell groups to other cell parts and cell groups, connecting them. That is the way communication occurs within the parts that make up an organism.


There are two types of cells – Prokaryote cells and Eukaryote cells. The major and extremely significant difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes is that eukaryotes have a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles, while prokaryotes do not.  


Why Choose This Course?

Biochemistry 11 it a natural follow on from either biochemistry 1 (humans and Animals) or Biochemistry 1 (plants). Study both units to give you a broad, grounded introduction to biochemistry - a great way to not only introduce you to this ubject but to offer you the opportunity towards inclusion into the further study within this field.



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