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Medicinal Chemistry

BSc (Hons)

School - School of Environment & Life Sciences

Subject area - Biomedical Science

UCAS Code: 8M75

Start Dates(s): September

Duration:

3 years full-time
4 years full-time with Professional Studies
6 years part-time

Fees:

UK - £9250 per year

Part-time - Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.

International - £14,400 per year

In Brief:

  • Course content benefits from contributions from expert external guest lecturers
  • Optional year-long placement, giving you the chance to graduate with professional experience
  • Our Science in Industry module offers you the chance to gain experience of the business behind the science
  • Part-time study option
  • Work/industrial placement opportunity
  • International students can apply

Course Summary

Medicinal chemistry incorporates the design, development and monitoring of drugs which are essential in tackling new and existing diseases. This course integrates the range of subjects required to allow you to become a medicinal chemist. Subjects covered include both core areas of chemistry (organic,  physical,  inorganic and analytical) and key areas of biochemistry and biology relevant to the discipline. It is designed for students with a strong interest in chemistry and its applications to the treatment of diseases.  

At the University of Salford we pride ourselves on our research and have recently invested extensively in our facilities to ensure that our students are able to complete research projects that are exciting and inspiring, contributing useful findings to the field. Examples of research areas that you  can  explore  include:  nanotechnology, drug design and repurposing, cancer and antimicrobial research, natural products, biomarkers, analytical detection of volatiles, mass spectrometry, computational studies, skin modelling, environmental assessment, pollution and remediation, toxicology and much more.

We encourage all of our students to take up an additional industrial placement year, which you arrange with our support, between years two and three of the full-time course, making a four year course overall. You will benefit from this year by being able to apply what you have learned in a real-world  situation  to your academic studies in your final year as well as gaining experience that is highly valued by prospective employers.

Eva Rodger

BSc Medicinal Chemistry student

Currently completing a placement at Harvard University, working alongside experts on pioneering research into treatments for Alzheimer's disease

I am over the moon to be completing my placement year at Harvard. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have never done anything like this before and I am really lucky to have such a supportive family, friends and lecturers who have done everything for me so that I can go.

https://vimeo.com/176738047

Course Structure

Year 1 includes core modules in areas of organic, physical, inorganic and analytical chemistry, along with biochemistry and biology. In year 2 you will develop chemistry-based analytical skills, and modules taken at this level have integrated laboratory components embedded within them in order to give you the practical and theoretical training vital for a career in medicinal chemistry. In your final year emphasis will be placed upon chemical research and highlighting new developments in the field of medicinal chemistry.

Year 1            

This module introduces the subject of molecular characterisation and looks at the principles of spectroscopic analysis using ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy.
This module is designed to help you facilitate and develop effective use of laboratory apparatus in the performance of basic techniques, and to develop practical laboratory skills relevant to biology and chemistry.
The aim of this module is to introduce organic chemistry through structure and mechanism. You will study organic reactions of key functional groups such as alkenes, carbonyl and aromatic compounds.
The aim of this module is to introduce physical chemistry through energy and chemical bonding. You will study topics such as reaction kinetics, chemical equilibria and atomic and molecular structure.
In this module you will learn the principles of key areas of chemical analysis and inorganic chemistry such as electrochemistry, voltammetry and chromatography.
The aim of this module is to introduce principles of biochemistry. You will study biochemical pathways and organelles, relevant to cell biology.

Year 2            

The aim of this module is to help you understand how to conduct scientific research from basic principles, including: critical searching, citation and evaluation of research-based literature; data interpretation, analysis and presentation; report writing and communication.
The aim of this module is to build upon topics covered in the Introduction to Organic Chemistry module. You will study organic reactions in more detail and develop practical skills in organic chemistry. This module will also prepare you for year 3 projects and taught modules.
In this module you will learn principles of drug fate, absorption, metabolism and behaviour in different organs.
This module provides an appreciation of topics in molecular biology with an emphasis on genomics, proteomics and their underlying structural aspects.

Year 3            

This module introduces the concept of retrosynthetic analysis; develops an appreciation of the synthetic aspects of drug design and examines modern methods for drug synthesis.
This module focuses upon key areas of the scientific industry such as marketing, health and safety and legal issues. External contributions from industry experts will enhance your learning on this module. It is aimed at improving student employability.
Through this module you will develop an understanding of the physical and chemical principles underlying biological activity of selected chemotherapeutic agents and other drugs. You will investigate currently active research areas and present a coherent analysis of up-to-date knowledge.
In this module you will study more advanced topics in organic chemistry such as concepts and rules governing pericyclic reactions and designing stereoselective routes to chiral molecules.
An opportunity to work with a research group and contribute to original research in a relevant area of medicinal chemistry. The module also focuses upon key professional skills aimed at improving employability.

Please note, exact modules may vary in order to keep content current. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the modules you will study on or before the start of the programme.

Entry Requirements

Qualification Entry requirements
European Baccalaureate Pass in Diploma of at least 60% including at least one science subject
UCAS tariff points 104-120 points
GCE A level 104-120 points including a biological or appropriate subject discipline and Chemistry at A2 or equivalent. A Pass in the practical element of Science A levels must be achieved.
BTEC National Diploma DMM; must include Biology and Chemistry
BTEC Higher National Diploma Possible entry to year 3
Foundation Degree Possible entry to year 3
Scottish Highers 104-120 points from Higher Level including appropriate science subjects (Biology and Chemistry)
Irish Leaving Certificate 104-120 points from Higher Level including a science subject (Biology and Chemistry)
International Baccalaureate 30-31 points with at least one science subject from Group 4

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

Please note that you should discuss the possibility of being considered for the scheme with the Admissions Tutor  before making an application. Please contact the Environment and Life Sciences school office to speak with the Admissions Tutor for this course: +44(0)161 295 4656

English Language Requirements

International applicants will be required to show a proficiency in English. An IELTS score of 6.0 (no element below 5.5) is proof of this.

Applicant profile

We are looking for applicants with a strong interest in chemistry, and a desire to operate in a cutting-edge research field.

Fees and Funding

Fees

Tuition fees for Home/EU students beginning their course in September 2018 will be announced as soon as they are confirmed by the UK Government. Tuition fees for 2017 were £9,250 per annum for Home/EU students; we expect this figure to rise slightly for 2018.

Type of Study Fee
Full-time £9250 per year
Part-time Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
Full-time International £14,400 per year

Scholarships & Bursaries

We offer awards to help you study including:

  • Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Scholarship
  • Salford Student Bursary

For more information please see our funding section.

Teaching

Teaching, learning and assessment are inclusive, balanced and progressive to facilitate and encourage student independence and self-responsibility for learning during advancement through the programme.

A variety of approaches to teaching, learning and assessment are combined to fit with the intended learning outcomes and level of study, such as:

  • An extended project provides opportunities to demonstrate depth of learning
  • Project-based learning provides the chance to manage your time and learning
  • Site visits will help increase your awareness of the industrial world
  • Workshops and seminars give you the opportunity to improve your presentation and communication skills
  • Group activities give you the chance to practice problem solving and its applications
  • Contributions from industrial partners and external experts
  • Individual and small-group oral and poster presentations to reflect on professional practice
  • Laboratory activities - one of the key elements in science, to gain competencies in different methods
  • Portfolio development allows you to develop professional skills
  • Lectures provide you with core knowledge, problem solving and discussion of applications. Material is made available through different formats, prior to classes, flipped-classroom approaches help you to develop critical thinking
  • Small-group tutorials for pastoral support but also to develop those important scientific skills

Assessment

Assessment throughout the course is by a combination of different forms of coursework and examination with coursework accounting for around 65% throughout the course. 

  • In year 1, you are expected to have over 300 contact hours, with generally 15-20 hours per week, of which a third would be in the laboratories and around 700 hours of independent study; coursework accounts for 60%.
  • Progressing to year 2, you are expected to have over 260 contact hours, with generally 15 hours per week, of which over a third would be in the laboratories and around 700 hours of independent study; coursework (including poster and project presentation) accounts for 60%.
  • In your final year 3, you are expected to have over 430 contact hours, with generally 25 hours per week, of which half would be in the laboratories especially towards your dissertation and around 700 hours of independent study; coursework (including poster and project presentation) accounts for 65%.

Continuous formative and summative assessments include:

  • Research project  
  • Laboratory reports 
  • Essays 
  • Data analysis 
  • Presentations (poster, project, talk)
  • Literature reviews
  • Exams (both closed and open book)

Employability

Career Prospects

This course will provide you with chemical and transferable skills which are highly regarded by employers from different sectors including Contact Research Organisations (CROs), small and large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The transferable skills learnt will allow you to seek work in areas such as research, development, quality assurance, legal cases, government roles and more.

Employers of graduates in this sector are showing increased requirements for more highly skilled and qualified employees, and there continues to be a demand from the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, which have a strong base in the north west region. Graduates will be well-placed to take advantage of these opportunities through the programmes emphasis on employability in the Science & Industry module, placements and technical training.

Placement Opportunities

We encourage all of our students to take up an additional industrial placement year, which you arrange with our support, between years two and three of the full-time course making a four year course overall. You will benefit from this year by being able to apply what you have learned in a real-world situation to your academic studies in your final year as well as gaining experience that is highly valued by prospective employers.

Further Study

Facilities

We have newly refurbished and well-equipped teaching and research laboratories.  State-of-the-art instrumentation includes MALDI-TOF, LC and GC mass spectrometry, FTIR and FTNMR spectroscopy, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy and scanning electron microscopy.

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