Each year contains 120 credits of taught material, delivered in modules that are typically worth 10 or 20 credits.
Core modules (60 credits in Years 1-3) are taken by all students enrolled on both single honours and major/minor degree programmes and cover those fundamentals of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry that we deem essential.
The remaining 60 credits in Years 1-3 comprise maths and data analysis modules in Year 1 and medicinal-chemistry and drug-discovery material in later years, along with laboratory modules (with embedded communications and employability skills) designed to support these courses, allowing you to develop your practical skills and techniques as well as consolidate the associated theory from your lectures.
There is significant flexibility in your fourth and final year as, in addition to 20 credits of medicinal-chemistry and drug-discovery modules, you choose 40 credits of taught modules from a range of courses pitched at the cutting edge of the discipline. A major research project, focused on an aspect of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, makes up the remaining 60 credits. For many students, their final-year project is the most exciting and enjoyable part of their degree and often influences the career pathway they choose to follow after graduating.
In Year 1, you will take core modules in the traditional sub-disciplines of inorganic, organic, and physical chemistry, all of which are supported by two additional modules comprising an extensive laboratory work programme. Your remaining 20 credits will give you a solid grounding in the maths and data analysis techniques you will need during your degree.
Those of you who do not have A-level maths or an equivalent – don’t worry! In the Fundamental Maths for Chemists module in Semester 1 you can learn at your own pace, supported by lectures and workshops to bring you up to speed with the common mathematical techniques needed for chemistry. All students take this module, whether they have A-level maths or not, since not all A-level maths syllabuses cover the same material.
In Semester 2, additional mathematics is embedded in the physical chemistry module, as you begin to apply your mathematical skills to chemical problems. All of the maths material is delivered by staff from Chemistry, which ensures you are equipped with those skills you need to tackle the more physical and theoretical aspects of our courses.
In Year 2, you will build on material from your first year as we employ a combination of lectures and practicals, to further your understanding of the fundamental aspects of chemistry. In addition to core courses in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, you will also take specialised medicinal-chemistry and drug-discovery courses within the options modules. Covering aspects such as drug targets and pharmacology, physicochemical properties and what makes a good drug, enzymology and an introduction to the drug-discovery process.
MSci study is dependent upon performance: you will need a 60% overall mark and pass all core modules in Year 2 in order to remain on the MSci programme.
In Year 3, core chemistry modules in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry are accompanied by further specialised medicinal-chemistry and drug-discovery courses within the options modules. These focus on aspects such as early-stage drug development and how medicinal chemists go from a hit compound to a marketed drug, taught through a series of case studies looking at successful medicines. Two modules of advanced laboratory work and skills training, including one in which you will work as part of a team on a medicinal chemistry project, will prepare you for the major research project that you will undertake in your fourth year.
Significant flexibility in this, your final year, means that, aside from your specialised medicinal-chemistry and drug-discovery modules, you have a free choice from a range of courses that reflect the state-of-the-art of the discipline, which not only allows us to showcase the cutting-edge research interests of the School, but also ensures that you are aware of the latest challenges in this rapidly advancing subject.
In addition to 60 credits of taught modules, you will join one of the School’s research groups, and become a member of the Research School as you undertake a major research project (worth the remaining 60 credits) focused on a particular aspect of medicinal chemistry or drug discovery. You will work closely with your project supervisor to tailor your project to your particular interests and ensure you develop those research skills that you feel will be most beneficial to you after completing your degree. Many students enjoy their research project so much that they choose to go on to study for a PhD after graduation.
- Masters Research Project - 60 credits
- Advanced Medicinal Chemistry I - 10 credits
- Advanced Medicinal Chemistry II - 10 credits
Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2022. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to core modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.