Overview

Medicinal Chemistry BSc

Without medicinal chemists, life as we know it would be impossible. Modern medicines give us pain relief, cure bacterial infections and fight viruses and cancer. Without the arsenal of drugs at their disposal doctors would be unable to cure many common diseases.

It is the ability of medicinal chemists to have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of millions of people worldwide that motivates many of our students on this course. The course structure shares much with our Chemistry course but you will focus your study more on the organic elements of chemistry with an enhanced level of teaching on drug synthesis, pharmacology and how drugs work in biological systems.

This is a 3 year BSc course.

Enhancing your degree

This course can also be studied over 4 years to achieve an MChem, BSc Integrated Masters degree, which is recommended for students considering a career in chemistry research and development. If you're not yet sure whether to take an additional year, don't worry - it's possible to transfer from the BSc degree to the MChem, BSc degree after your first or second year. You don't have to make a final decision until the end of your second year when you've had more experience of advanced chemistry at university.

This course also offers opportunities to gain industrial experience on a placement year or to study abroad for a year.

Our industrial placement scheme gives you the opportunity to gain work experience in an industry relevant to your degree and interests. Our students often describe this industrial experience as an invaluable part of their degree and one which stands them in good stead for their future careers.

The study abroad year enables you to gain insight into the study of medicinal chemistry at one of our partner universities overseas. Many students have found this to be extremely worthwhile in helping broaden their horizons in terms of learning about a new culture and improving their foreign language skills.

Accreditation

This degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

Since 1841, the RSC has been the leading learned society and professional body for chemical scientists. It is committed to ensuring that an enthusiastic, innovative and thriving scientific community is in place to face future scientific challenges.

Courses that are accredited by the RSC have been subject to rigorous evaluation of their curriculum and resources. They offer employers a measure of confidence in the competence of recruits, provide universities with a means of communicating their value, and assure students on the quality of their education.

Bachelor accreditation provides access to qualified membership of the RSC and forms a basis for satisfying the academic requirements for the RSC’s award of Chartered Chemist (CChem), through further study or continuing professional development.

Benefits of Accreditation

Accreditation helps you to choose a quality degree programme. It also confers market advantage to graduates from accredited programmes when they are seeking employment and when they go on to seek professional qualifications. It also offers assurances to prospective employers.

Related courses

Chemistry BSc
Chemistry and Mathematics BSc
Medicinal Chemistry BSc
Chemistry MChem, BSc
Medicinal Chemistry MChem, BSc



Course content: Medicinal Chemistry BSc

During your first year you’ll be given a solid foundation in the fundamental principles that underpin chemistry. In your second year, you’ll explore the essential concepts of drug design and study structure-activity relationships. In your third year, you’ll discover how drugs are metabolized and analyse strategies used in the development of drugs in key therapeutic areas such as the treatment of cancer and bacterial infection.

The course allows you to study advanced topics such as cancer chemotherapy and is run in close collaboration with scientists from the pharmaceutical industry.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

COMPULSORY MODULES

Introduction to Modern Chemistry 20 credits
Fundamentals of Physical Chemistry 10 credits
Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry 10 credits
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry 10 credits
Mathematical and Physical Concepts for Chemists 10 credits
Practical Skills in Chemistry 30 credits
Studying in a Digital Age (Chemistry) 5 credits
DISCOVERY MODULES

You will also study 30 credits of discovery modules. Students with Grade C or less in Mathematics A-level (or equivalent) will be required to study CHEM1181 Mathematics for Chemists (10 credits) as one of their discovery modules.

Year 2

COMPULSORY MODULES

Introduction to Organic Synthesis 10 credits
Structure and Spectroscopy 10 credits
Introduction to Drug Design 10 credits
Organic Structure and Mechanism 10 credits
Organometallic and f-block Chemistry 10 credits
Equilibrium and Analysis: from Ions to Proteins 10 credits
Foundations of Physical Chemistry 20 credits
Laboratory Work 2c 30 credits
OPTIONAL MODULES

You will also study 10 credits from the following option modules.

Structure and Synthesis of Materials 10 credits
Science and Society: The Critical Interface 10 credits
Chemistry: Idea to Market 10 credits
Advances in Colour and Polymer Sciences 10 credits

Year 3

COMPULSORY MODULES

Advanced Organometallics and Catalysis 10 credits
The Medicinal Chemistry of Drug Development 10 credits
Organic Synthesis 10 credits
Chemistry at the Molecular Level 10 credits
Extended Literature-based Project Work 15 credits
Lab Work with Integrated BSc Project (Medicinal) 35 credits
OPTIONAL MODULES

You will also study 30 credits from the following option modules.

Atmospheric Chemistry 10 credits
Chromatography and Analytical Separation 10 credits
Reactivity in Organic Chemistry - Principles and Applications 10 credits
Soft Matter: Self-Assembling and Polymeric Materials 10 credits
Solid State and Materials Chemistry 10 credits
Fundamental Supramolecular Chemistry 10 credits
Chemistry: Making an Impact 10 credits
Ethical Issues in Chemistry 10 credits
Characterisation and Analysis of Polymers and Colorants 10 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Medicinal Chemistry BSc in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

As a chemistry student at Leeds we ensure that you benefit from a wide range of teaching methods.

These different methods of teaching, together with the continuous support of our teaching staff, enable you to effectively apply what you have learnt through a series of exams, coursework, and continuous assessment. This means that you graduate with the correct mix of knowledge and transferable skills for a successful future career, whatever you choose to do.

Read more about learning and teaching methods.

Assessment

The types of assessment used for each module aim to measure the learning outcomes we want you to achieve. Although formal end-of-semester examinations are predominant, often accounting for 80% or more of the formal assessment, many modules include a significant coursework element. You are also continuously assessed through practical work.

Entry requirements, fees and applying: Medicinal Chemistry BSc

Entry requirements

A-level: ABB

including Chemistry

Where an A-Level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.

Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking

GCSE:

English Language grade C and Mathematics grade B

Alternative Qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, 30 credits with Distinction and the remaining 15 credits with Merit or above. Must contain a significant number of Chemistry and Mathematics modules.

BTEC

DDD with a significant number of Chemical and Scientific Modules

Cambridge Pre-U

D3 M2 M2 in 3 principal subjects including Chemistry

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall with 16 at Higher Level including 6 in Higher Level Chemistry

Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

H1 H1 H1 H2 H2 H2 including higher level Chemistry

Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

Suitable combinations of Scottish Higher and Advanced Highers are acceptable, though Chemistry must be presented at Advanced Higher level. Typically AABBB including Chemistry at Advanced Higher.

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative Entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

Foundation year

If you have the ability to study for a degree but don’t have the qualifications to enter directly to level one, you might consider studying a foundation year. We have formal links with the following foundation year programmes:

- University of Leeds International Foundation Year (IFY)

- Northern Consortium of UK Universities (NCUK)

- Study Group Leeds International Study Centre (LISC)

If you are applying from an alternative foundation year provider, please contact our admissions team to find out if your qualification is suitable for entry to our courses.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in any one component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

How to apply

Apply to this course through UCAS. The institution code for the University of Leeds is L23. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

After you apply we will assess your application based on the information on your UCAS form. On the basis of this information we will decide whether to invite you to one of our informal interview days which, for UK based applicants, are an essential part of the admissions process.

Read more about how to apply on our School of Chemistry website.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Biological Sciences Undergraduate Admissions Policy

Fees

UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £21,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.

Read about our range of additional scholarships available in the School of Chemistry.

Career opportunities: Medicinal Chemistry BSc

Our BSc graduates have expert understanding of all of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry and are experienced researchers. You’ll develop the ability to communicate effectively to a range of audiences and be equipped for a wide variety of careers both in and beyond science.

For further information on career paths and employability please see our careers pages.

Careers support

Throughout your degree we will make sure that you have the support and opportunity to develop the skills and experience you’ll need to make the most of your career choices.

Our industrial placement scheme helps you gain valuable work experience that can help you stand out from the crowd. You could also secure a part-time job that you can feature on your CV through the students’ union's Joblink.

Our study abroad scheme allows you to experience another culture and develop life skills, which many employers value. The students’ union also provides volunteering opportunities which can help you in your personal development.

We teach problem-solving and high level thinking at all stages of your degree. Our programmes provide you with opportunities to develop the core subject knowledge and skills that you need to progress to a career in a particular area. Additionally, we offer skills development modules and modules that will give you an insight into industrial new product development, from concept to market, in the chemical and allied industries. These modules lead you through the various stages of setting up a new social enterprise, from the inception and development of the idea itself, through preparation of a business plan to creating a funding proposal for potential investors/grant awarding bodies.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Spending a year living and studying in another country is a unique experience. Unlike the passing tourist, you have the chance to totally immerse yourself in another culture. You will gain unforgettable experiences and memories that you will draw upon in your working and personal life for years to come. In addition to this, the proven ability to live and work in an international context is an asset that employers actively seek.

On this course you have the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad. As a BSc student you may include your study abroad experience as an additional year of your studies, or, subject to satisfactory academic performance, transfer to our MChem degree scheme in which your study abroad year replaces your third year at Leeds.

During your year abroad, you will follow the chemistry course at your host institution. Many students find it valuable to undertake an extended practical project during this year which can be presented as part of your assessment for the year.

If you wish to study at an institution where the course is taught in a foreign language, such as French, you don’t need to be fluent in the language before you go. We will help prepare you with a specialist language module at Level 2 which introduces you to scientific vocabulary and enhances your conversational and comprehension skills.

Students who spend a year in Europe through the ERASMUS programme also receive a maintenance grant for their year away and pay a reduced tuition fee for the year abroad.

Work placements

Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.

Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.

The industrial placement (“Year in Industry”) scheme provides you with the opportunity to experience salaried work before you graduate. Employers actively seek graduates who already have work experience and it can make all the difference in interviews. In addition, the opportunity to work every day with scientists who are experts in their field is an incredible opportunity to enhance your knowledge of chemistry.

An industrial placement will boost your self-confidence, not only in your chosen subject area, but in the marketplace generally. You will be able to choose from a range of pharmaceutical, oil, fine chemical, colour, polymer and other chemistry-related industries in which to work. In previous years, students have worked at many prestigious companies, including:

  • AstraZeneca
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Pfizer
  • Roche
  • Unilever

During your industrial placement you will have an industrial supervisor from within the company, plus an academic supervisor who will keep in touch throughout your placement.

If you are not sure right now whether or not an industrial placement is right for you, don't worry - you will not have to start applying for placements until the beginning of your second year.