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Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): F152 (full-time); F151 (sandwich)
  • Start Date(s): September 2022
  • Duration: Three years full-time / four years with placement
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time / Sandwich
  • Campus: Clifton Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

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 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.

Course accreditation

  • Royal Society of Chemistry

What you’ll study

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.

Structure and Function

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

Inorganic Bonding and Solid-State Materials

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

Physical States of Matter

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

Spectroscopic and Chromatographic Analysis

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.

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

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

An opportunity for you to gain valuable transferable skills working as a ‘student-tutor’ with teachers in local schools or to work on a community-based project.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Andrew Robbins

Chemistry

Do what excites you and if something does not work it is important to learn from it. Making mistakes is how we learn!

Video Gallery

Watch our facility tour video to get an insight into the equipment you'll use and what you'll study on the course.
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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.

Contact hours

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

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.

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.

Staff Profiles

David Robinson

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Dr. Robinson is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Chemistry, in the department of Chemistry and Forensics.

Lee Martin

Associate Professor

School of Science & Technology

Lee is Associate Professor in Materials Chemistry. Lee is Section Leader for the Inorganic Chemistry team Lee is Module Leader for BSc Final Year Project, Year Two Inorganic Chemistry, and

John Hearn

Reader

School of Science & Technology

John Hearn

Warren Cross

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Warren Cross

Emma Smith

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Emma Smith

David P A Kilgour

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

David P A Kilgour

Christopher Garner

Senior Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Christopher Garner

Gareth Cave

Principal Lecturer

School of Science & Technology

Gareth Cave

Ray Leslie

Student Academic Experience Manager

School of Science & Technology

Ray Leslie

How you’re assessed

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

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:

  • Scott Bader
  • Alpha Analytical
  • Eurofins Laboratory
  • SATRA Technology Centre
  • AkzoNobel
  • Institute Medical Research

They have gone into a wide variety of job roles including:

  • Research Assistant
  • Trainee Ink Chemist
  • QA Analyst
  • Site Chemist
  • Technical Support Chemist
  • Logistics Analyst

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.

Campus and facilities

You cannot fail to be impressed with the Chemistry facilities on-campus. We have worked hard to create a stimulating and creative environment that will give you the knowledge and skills to put you ahead of the graduate crowd. Take our virtual tour and see our facilities for yourself.

Take a virtual tour of our Chemistry facilities

Our first-class facilities support our high-quality teaching and world-leading research across subjects and disciplines. As a Chemistry student you will have access to the:

  • Rosalind Franklin laboratory facility
  • Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research facility
  • Natural Sciences Research facility
  • on-campus crime scene training facility
  • British Olympic Association-approved environmental chamber.

Outside of our science facilities, we have a dedicated teaching and learning building which is home to lecture theatres and innovative teaching spaces. The Clifton Pavilion sits at the heart of the campus and provides a contemporary study and social space, where you can relax, grab a coffee, and work on projects independently or in groups.

Entry requirements

120 UCAS Tariff points

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

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Undergraduate preparation courses (Foundation)

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before.  This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

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)

Tuition fees 

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government. See our fees for 2022 entry.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

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)

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!

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  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.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

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