Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons)

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Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now

If you are applying for this course from within the UK/EU, click apply now

Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now

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Specialise in the design, synthesis and characterisation of small molecule drugs. Undertake an invaluable one year placement in industry. Begin an exciting career in pharmaceutics, biological research or clinical sciences.

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Overview

Medicinal chemistry covers concepts in the fields of chemistry, pharmacology, chemical synthesis and protein biochemistry. You will study how small molecules are designed, extracted, modified and synthesized to generate therapeutics. You will also explore how these molecules interact with their targets within the cell. 

Why us?

  • Available as a 4-year sandwich course, where you can undertake a one year industrial placement
  • This unique course makes extensive use of the new advanced technology within our Sciences Complex
  • The University has over 100 years of expertise in teaching biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences
  • 94.2% of our graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating, according to DLHE 2015/16 (based on UK undergraduate students)
  • Teaching staff are research-active and have close links to industry and research institutes working in molecular sciences

Course structure

Our teaching methods address different learning styles and provide a diverse learning experience. The course integrates traditional lecture and laboratory-based learning with active, experiential and enquiry-based learning.

You will be taught via laboratory practical work, tutorials, lectures, seminars, group work and e-learning. We also encourage you to develop independent study skills. 

Year 1 (national level 4):

  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Cell Biology and Biochemistry (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Analytical Chemistry (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Regulation (20 credits)
  • Research and Practical Skills in Biopharmaceutical Science (40 credits)

 

Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

Year 2 (national level 5):

  • Further Research and Practical Skills in Biopharmaceutical Science (40 credits)
  • Organic Chemistry (20 credits)
  • Genetics and Molecular Biology (20 credits)
  • Further Analytical Sciences (20 credits)
  • Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry (20 credits)

 

Year 3

  • Optional one year placement in the Pharmaceutical Sciences industry

 

Final year (national level 6)

  • Advanced Chemistry and Pharmaceutics (20 credits)
  • Advanced Biotechnology and Biochemistry (20 credits)
  • Advanced Medicinal Chemistry (20 credits)
  • Advanced Pharmacology (20 credits)
  • Research Project (40 credits)

Sciences Complex,
City Campus,
Sunderland,
SR1 3RG

54.905143,-1.392352

  • These are equipped with wide-ranging facilities from proteomics to drug discovery. These include a MALDI-TOF mass spectrometer and nanoHPLC MALDI spotter both 2D-gel based proteomics and bacterial identification, a new BD Accuri bench top flow cytometer for cell based assays, and an imaging suite including facilities for light, confocal and electron microscopy. You will have access to the physiology laboratories equipped with specialist equipment and instrumentation to demonstrate a range of physiological mechanisms including cardiac, respiratory and autonomic mechanisms. We have a number of laboratories dedicated for final year projects where you will gain first-hand research experience.

    Bioscience laboratories
  • Our new analytical suite contains equipment which is industry-standard for modern clinical and pharmaceutical laboratories.

    Our state-of-the-art spectroscopic facility allows us to investigate the structures of new molecules and potential medicinal substances. We are equipped with Liquid Chromatography-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Mass Spectroscopy (LCNMR/MS) platforms; this is an exceptional facility for a university. We also have low and high resolution mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and elemental analysis equipment.

    Our facilities allow you to gain hands-on experience of a wide range of analytical techniques such as atomic absorption spectroscopy and infra-red spectroscopy, which are of great importance in determining both ionic/metal content of pharmaceuticals and simple chemical structures. You will also gain experience of revolutionary protein and DNA separation techniques, as well as Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Gas Chromatography for separating unknown chemical mixtures.

    Facilities for chemistry
  • Our highly technical apparatus will help you gain a better understanding of the effects of drugs on specific receptors located throughout the human body and related physiological effects.

    In addition to equipment for standard pharmacopoeial tests, such as dissolution testing, friability and disintegration, we also have highly sophisticated test methods. These include rheometry, thermal analysis (differential scanning calorimetry and hot stage microscopy), tests for powder flow, laser diffraction, photon correlation spectroscopy, image analysis and laser confocal microscopy.

    We also have equipment for wet granulation, spray drying, capsule filling, tablet making, mixing inhalation, film coating and freeze drying.

    Facilities for pharmaceutics and pharmacology
  • We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on pharmaceutical and biomedical science, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.
    Some of the most important sources for your studies include:

    • Embase: A complex database covering drug research, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology, clinical and experimental human medicine, health policy and management, public health, occupational health, environmental health, drug dependence and abuse, psychiatry, forensic medicine and biomedical engineering/instrumentation
    • PsycARTICLES: Includes information about the psychological aspects of medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, pharmacology and physiology
    • PubMed: Contains life science journals, online books and abstracts that cover fields such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine and health care
    • Science Direct: Offers more than 2,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
    • Web of Science: Covers a broad range of science areas
    Library Services - sciences

Facilities

This course is based in the Sciences Complex at our City Campus, which boasts excellent laboratories and cutting-edge equipment thanks to multi-million pound investments.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is 112 UCAS points from a minimum of two A Levels or equivalent (e.g. 1 x AVCE double award) which must include chemistry. Please note we do not accept General Studies AS or A Level.

We accept a maximum of 6 points from Level 3 Key Skills qualifications.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication, Application of Number. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

As medicinal chemistry is not taught at A level, you will not be expected to have a detailed knowledge of the subject, however, a genuine interest in how chemistry can be used to solve real-world problems is needed.

If English is not your first language, please see our English language requirements.

Fees and finance

The annual fee for this course is:

  • £9,250 if you are from the UK / EU
  • £10,750 if you are an international student

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

City Campus by night

Employment

Medicinal chemists are employed in an increasingly wide range of roles in drug development and pharmaceutical companies. The typical salary for a graduate medicinal chemist is £23,000. This salary increases based upon postgraduate and industrial experience.

Companies that have employed our graduates include pharmaceutical multinationals such as GSK, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

Placements

The employability of Sunderland graduates reflects our mix of academic rigour and practical skills. To enhance this mix, we encourage you to apply to undertake a one-year placement between your second and final year. 

Placements provide an invaluable opportunity to put your learning into practice and understand the context for your new knowledge. As part of the course you will also make several industry visits.

Transferable skills

This course gives you the opportunity to develop skills which you can use in a range of employment situations including:

Academic study skills: avoiding plagiarism, time management, reading, note taking, referencing, revision analysis, and scientific writing.

Practical skills: laboratory competency, experimental skills and techniques.

Transferable skills: numeracy, analytical, problem-solving, teamwork, communication, self-management and organisation, application of IT, consideration of ethical and safety requirements, critical thinking, personal development planning and reflection.

 

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