Gain a broad, basic knowledge of chemical principles to prepare you for more advanced study
An excellent route into science for those from a non-scientific background
Ideal if you are returning to education or seeking to develop your career in a new direction
Part-time study option
Work/industrial placement opportunity
International students can apply
This course will provide you with a strong foundation in the field of chemistry, allowing you to progress onto a BSc (Hons) Chemistry degree course within the School of Environment and Life Sciences.
It is ideal if you want to develop your career along a chemical pathway but have a non-scientific background, or you don’t meet the entry requirements for direct entry to an Honours degree. This course may also be attractive if you are returning to education or if you wish to change career direction.
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.
BSc (Hons) Medicinal Chemistry student
Recently completed a placement at Harvard University, working alongside experts on pioneering research into Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Whilst on my placement at Harvard, I was working in an academic laboratory making compounds for testing on Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This was really interesting, and was the first time I've ever done a full time job, so this definately helped me feel like a grown up! I was informed about the opportunity to go to America in my first year by my tutor, who did his PhD at Salford alongside Dr. Kevin Hodgetts, who works at Harvard and became my placement supervisor in America - a great example of the universities international research relationships.
The Foundation Year will provide you with a strong foundation in the field of chemistry, allowing you to progress onto a BSc (Hons) Chemistry degree course within the School of Environment and Life Sciences. 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.
Take a hands-on approach to develop biological and chemical laboratory skills, practise environmental and fieldwork techniques, and apply scientific knowledge in the interpretation of results of experiments and surveys.
Explore the characteristics of plant and animal cells which are the building blocks of all life forms; their interactions with micro and macro environments, and learn about the diversity of animal and plant life in a range of ecosystems.
Explore the interactions of earth processes, geological structures and environmental functions, the use of resources e.g. fossil fuels including fracking and consider the differential impacts of a range of geological hazards – earthquakes, volcanic activity and rising sea levels.
Evaluate a range of environmental and scientific factors that interact to influence health – e.g. pollution, nutrition, drug development and consider examples of environmental interventions and clinical trials.
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 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.
You will be able to demonstrate the principles and applications of EI and CI mass spectrometry, 1-H and 13-C NMR spectroscopy, IR and UV/Vis spectroscopy. You will demonstrate how spectroscopic and mass spectrometric techniques may be used to characterise and identify molecular structure.
You will demonstrate a broad knowledge of quantum mechanics and its application to atomic and molecular systems, be able to evaluate the significance of physical chemistry in modern day spectroscopy and reaction kinetics and explain the theory of electrochemistry and its relationship to thermodynamics
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.
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.
Unistats data for Medicinal Chemistry
Completion of two full years study and an awarded qualification
GCSE You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.
English Language and Maths at grade C or above
UCAS tariff points
GCE A level
BTEC National Diploma
64 points from Higher Level
Irish Leaving Certificate
64 points from Higher Level
Access to HE
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.
We are looking for applicants with a strong interest in chemistry, and a desire to operate in a cutting-edge research field.
£6,165 for Foundation Year; £9,250 for subsequent years
Your annual fee will be calculated pro rata to the full-time fee according to the number of credits you are studying.
£14,400 per year
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 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:
Presentations (poster, project, talk)
Exams (both closed and open book)
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.
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.