Skip to content

BSc (Hons)

Medicinal Chemistry

Chemistry lab - student working
This course is in clearing: call us now on

Year Of Entry

2021
  • UCAS code(s): F152 (full-time) / F151 (with placement)
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Location: Clifton Campus
  • Starting: September 2021
  • Course duration: Three years full-time / four years with placement


FIND US ON

To help you stand out in the pharmaceutical industry, this course gives you both a solid understanding of the theory and practical skills required to succeed. For working in big pharma, it’s everything you need it to be.

Chemists have been instrumental in ridding the world of killer diseases and developing drugs that improve the lives and outcomes for millions of people worldwide. As a medicinal chemist, you’ll be at the forefront of this battle as you discover how chemicals and drugs work.

Become a specialist

Rather than the broad range of modules and knowledge you’ll get on a traditional chemistry course, this course is designed to give you the specific specialist knowledge to work in the pharmaceutical or drug development industry. The in-depth study of pharmaceutical techniques and xxxx you’ll be learning will support you when you graduate to save lives through the development of the next generation of drugs and treatments.

Relevant to industry

Working with industry and future employers like AstraZeneca, we developed this course and annually consult with them to update it. This gives you the best work-like learning experience, familiarising you with the protocols and processes used in industry all before you graduate.

Get industry experience

Through group work and the Professional Practice module you’ll start designing your own experiments and trying things out. Developing problem solving skills by testing and learning are valuable skills for any chemist to have and we make sure you get this experience right from the start of your course.  We’ve also embedded employability skills in the course so you are not only learning theory and skills, but you know where to find your dream job and how to apply for it.

Fifth in the UK for student satisfaction in Chemistry (NSS 2021)

Accredited by:

Royal Society of Chemistry

What you'll study

What our students say

As soon as I came to the open day and looked around the Chemistry department on Clifton Campus, I knew I wanted to study here. I have a tutor who I saw every month in first year and most of the lecturers do not mind sparing time to go through any problems you have, even if it is not their specific area of chemistry.

My advice to students considering this course? Be prepared to put in the hard work. There are lots of lab reports to write so a mathematical background can be useful. I have enjoyed the course so much that none of the long hours or extra work has bothered me. It also meant I was able to spend longer at NTU with my course mates.

Lucy Hancock
BSc Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Science

Satisfied students

You can be sure you’ll be joining a high-quality course. But don’t just take our word for it - we consistently rank highly in the annual National Student Survey for student satisfaction in chemistry. We have been in the UK’s top 20 for the last 5 years.

Learn a new language

Alongside your study you also have the opportunity to learn a new language. The University Language Programme (ULP) is available to all students and gives you the option of learning a totally new language or improving the skills you already have. Find out more about the ULP.

  • Year One

    In your first year, you will be introduced to the various strands of chemistry, and will start to think about the ways in which social and economic factors influence the way chemical sciences operate.

    Introduction to Organic Chemistry

    Learn about the bonding and structure in organic molecules and functional group chemistry, with an emphasis on reactivity and mechanism.

    Introduction to Inorganic Chemistry

    Learn the fundamental concepts of theoretical and practical chemistry as well as aspects such as inorganic complexation
    reactions, indicator theory and acid-base systems.

    Introduction to Physical Chemistry

    Study physical chemistry including kinetic theory of gases, reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, phase equilibria and distillation processes.

    Introduction to Analytical Chemistry

    Learn basic chemical principles including chromatography, applied optical spectroscopy, statistical tests, electroanalytical techniques and appropriate specialist methods.

    Professional Development

    Engage with real-life examples of how chemistry works, and understand the influence of social, economic or environmental factors on the way chemical sciences operate.

    Introduction to Specialist Areas of Chemistry

    Includes the chemistry of drugs, polymeric materials and environmental issues.

  • Year Two

    This year we will be exploring more advanced concepts and you’ll have the opportunity to take a short placement to get you thinking about the world of work. We’ll also start to explore the processes involved in drug discovery and development.

    Organic Chemistry

    Learn more advanced concepts in synthetic organic chemistry, organic reaction mechanisms and reactivity, as well as advanced structural analysis through organic spectroscopic techniques.

    Inorganic Chemistry

    Develop the concepts introduced in Year One and learn about structural chemistry in relation to chemical behaviour, functionality, reactivity and identification of inorganic molecules.

    Physical Chemistry

    Learn about the basic principles of surface and colloid chemistry, heterogeneous catalysis and concepts of heat and mass transfer associated with industrial processes.

    Analytical Chemistry

    Builds on Year One by focusing on interfering sample matrices, quantitative and qualitative identification of multicomponent samples and measurements under non-ideal conditions.

    Pharmaceutical Chemistry

    Introduces you to the processes involved in drug discovery and the steps taken by the medicinal chemist in order to take a lead compound and develop a drug for market.

    Professional Practice

    Get prepared for the world of work through a short placement. You’ll be able to apply and observe, analyse and evaluate a range of vocationally relevant processes and attitudes.

  • Optional placement year

    Optional year-long work placement.  If you are not taking a placement you will progress directly to your final year in year three.

  • Final year

    We move on to advanced topics, including the applications of medicinal chemistry. You’ll carry out independent research for your final year project, and you’ll have greater input in deciding which modules you study, depending on your own interests and career aspirations.

    Core modules

    Project

    Develop plans and carry out a substantial independent research project of publishable quality. Understand the principles of analytical work and the limitations of experimental design.

    Advanced Chemistry

    Study advanced topics across the spectrum of chemistry including heterocyclic chemistry, reaction mechanisms at metal centres, and molecular self-assembly and polymer chemistry in solution.

    Advanced Medicinal Chemistry

    Integrates academic and industrial aspects of learning and applying medicinal chemistry. You’ll learn about drug action and synthesis as well as gaining an introduction to disease states.

    Advanced Organic Chemistry

    Builds on previous concepts presented in organic chemistry, and introduces you to concepts of total synthesis, asymmetric synthesis and advanced theories in pericyclic reactions.

    Optional modules – choose one of the following:

    Advanced Chemical Analysis

    Develop through advanced topics in the theory and practice of chemical analysis, including method development from first principles through to final presentation, method validation, and group work.

    Nano and Green Technology

    Develop an appreciation of cutting-edge progress in nanomaterials and green chemistry, their use in domestic and engineering applications, and the theory and practice of green chemistry.

    Communicating Science and Technology

    Opportunity to gain academic credit for working as a ‘student-tutor’ with teachers in local schools to help you develop some valuable transferable skills.

How you’re taught

Staff and student community

Whatever the support you need – whether it’s support around your studies or university life in general – you can be sure we’ve got you covered. On the academic and practical side of things you’ll get the support of your lecturers, personal tutors and technical staff, so there’s always someone to turn to. They will get to know you during your course and can help you target support where you need it most.

Our mentoring scheme gives you support from other students on your course. They can give you practical advice on how to tackle a particular part of your studies or more general guidance on life as a student. They’ve been there and can give you a students’ perspective.

Hands-on learning

You’ll get to use our industry-standard equipment, such as our mass specs and x-ray crystallography, right from the very start of your course. From developing risk assessments and COSSH assessments you’ll know how a professional lab works and how to follow laboratory processes and protocols used in industry – all valuable skills to have before you graduate.

Get published

During your project you’ll be working on real research projects often alongside our chemistry researchers. Our research papers are frequently published in international scientific journals with our students named as one of the contributing authors – a great start to your career.

Assessment methods

Because there is a lot of practical work in this course, the majority of assessments will involve reviews of your coursework and practical experience. We will be assessing group projects and laboratory work, as well as the portfolio that you’ll develop throughout the course. You'll also give oral presentations and produce a final year dissertation. Some assessments will be in the form of written exams and in-class written tests.

Year 1 - coursework (73%) and written (27%)

Year 2 - coursework (67%) and written (33%)

Year 3 - coursework (50%), written (40%) and practical (10%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

Year 1 - lectures/seminars/workshops (36%) and independent study (64%)

Year 2 - lectures/seminars/workshops (33%) and independent study (67%)

Year 3 - lectures/seminars/workshops (34%) and independent study (66%)

A placement year may be taken between year 2 and year 3 of study

Careers and employability

Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Accreditations are the seal of approval from professional bodies and are our assurance to you that our courses are relevant to and valued by industry.

Excellent placement opportunities

NTU is one of the most employment-focused universities. Increasingly, employers want to recruit graduates who have real-world work experience. That’s why all of our courses, across every subject area, offer you a work experience opportunity. Our experts help build and support your future with a range of career programmes and events.

On this course, after your second year, you will have the opportunity to take a year's work placement (sandwich placement). This will give you the chance to gain vital experience and put your knowledge into practice. You're also twice as likely to secure a graduate job within six months if you take a work placement.

Our recent Chemistry students have taken placements across a wide range of companies including Scott Bader, Alpha Analytical Laboratory, AkzoNobel and Institute Medical Research. They secured varied roles such as Research Assistant, Trainee Ink Chemist and Logisitcs Analyst.

You'll be supported and assessed throughout your placement year and will write a reflective report and diary at the end of your placement. When you successfully complete your placement you will be eligible to receive an additional award of a Diploma in Professional Practice.

Find out more about work placements.

"I was excited to have the opportunity of a year’s placement, to experience work in industry, make some money, and see if it was something I wanted to do in the future. The academic staff were very supportive in helping me find a placement. This included a mock interview session and CV writing tips.

After the experience of working in industry and working with developing areas of chemistry in the final year, I have begun to pursue a career in analytical chemistry."

Charlotte Boughton
NTU Chemistry student

Your future career

Our Chemistry graduates have excellent employment prospects because they possess a wide range of academic and transferable skills that are suited to a broad range of roles and industries. Your studies at NTU will prepare you well for employment in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and related industries. Over the years we have developed strong links with some of the biggest names in the industry and many of our students have secured work placements and careers with these companies.

Our recent graduates have secured roles at companies including Bupa, H&R Chempharm, Rolls Royce and the NHS Trust. They have gone onto a wide variety of roles including patient testing assistant, lab technician, graduate engineering assistant and medical laboratory assistant.

Many graduates also choose to go onto further study on one of our Masters-level courses or MPhil and PhD research degrees.

NTU Enterprise

You'll also have the opportunity to turn your ideas into a viable business with help from NTU Enterprise, NTU's purpose-built Centre for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, a support centre to help students create, develop and grow their own businesses.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBB including Chemistry; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM, including relevant Chemistry modules; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade B equivalent in Chemistry; and
  • GCSE – English, Maths and Science grade C / 4

Other qualifications and experience

We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

Contextual offers

As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

What are we looking for?

  • A-levels – BBB including Chemistry; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM, including relevant Chemistry modules; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications, including an A-level grade B equivalent in Chemistry; and
  • GCSE – English, Maths and Science grade C / 4

Applicants without A-levels will have their qualifications assessed for subject compatibility. We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see UCAS Course Search for more details.

NTU may admit a student with advanced standing beyond the beginning of a course, through an assessment of that student's prior learning, whether it is certificated or uncertificated. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available to these prospective students, such as recognising experiential learning or transferring to a similar course at another institution, otherwise known as credit transfer.

All prospective students who wish to apply via Recognition of Prior Learning should initially contact the central Admissions and Enquiries Team who will be able to support you through the process.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our UG and PG degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

  • For a list of our language requirements please visit our English language page.
  • If you need to do a pre-sessional English language course to meet the English requirements please visit our pre-sessional English course page.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

You can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year. If you are applying to more than one UK university you must apply through UCAS.

Apply as early as you can so that you have time to prepare for your studies. If you need a visa to study here you need to plan this into your application.

  • For a step-by-step guide on making an application to the University please visit our how to apply page.
  • For advice on applying for a visa please visit our visa information page.
  • For advice on how to write a good personal statement please visit our personal statement page.

Keeping up-to-date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service on telephone +44 (0)115 848 2494.

What do the course fees cover?

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £30.

A deposit is required for laboratory lockers (approximately £5)

We offer prestigious scholarships to new international students holding offers to study at the University.

What do the course fees cover?

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Students will also be required to pay additional costs for printing, poster preparation and final dissertation copies in their final year - estimated costs approximately £20 - £30.

A deposit is required for laboratory lockers (approximately £5)

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418