Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery - BSc (Hons)

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Why study this course?

The UK has a solid pharmaceutical sector that is driven by innovation and the desire to make a real difference. The pharmaceutical industry has a need for highly skilled graduates with a strong background in organic chemistry, coupled with an understanding of drug discovery and biochemical areas.

Our Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery BSc course has been designed to ensure you have the skills needed to succeed in the pharmaceutical industry.

More about this course

Our Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery BSc degree offers the opportunity to study chemistry as a major subject along with subjects allied to the pharmaceutical industries.

This exciting course will allow you to develop technical and transferable skills and competencies in a range of specialist areas. For instance in Year 1 of the degree you will develop a sound understanding of the core chemistry principles, while in Year 2 you will deepen your knowledge of the drug discovery process with an emphasis on topics relevant to the pharmaceutical industry. In Year 3, you can specialise further in medicinal chemistry and molecular modelling. You will also undertake a research project in medicinal or synthetic chemistry.

A typical week involves a minimum of 12 hours' contact time with academic staff in a variety of forms including lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops or practicals. You will conduct practicals and projects in one of the largest and most advanced science teaching facilities in Europe.

Our Learning Centre has many areas for group or independent study with Wi-Fi and computer facilities, as well as a café where you can take a break and relax with friends over a coffee. We've also invested in additional interactive, digital laboratory resources, which will help you prepare for practical classes and written practical reports.

There is also the opportunity to become a member of the Life Sciences society, which in turn can provide you with the opportunity to attend several social and professional events. This welcoming society will help you build the skills you'll need for a career within life sciences and provides support to help make life sciences fun and enjoyable to study.

Assessment

The way you're assessed will vary depending on the module. Examples of assessment methods include coursework, such as problem solving exercises, written assignments, practical reports or dissertations; practical exams, such as poster presentations or oral examinations; and written exams, such as formal examinations or in-class tests.

The weighting given to each assessment method may vary across each academic year. We aim to ensure that lecturers return in-course assessments promptly – usually within 10 working days after the submission date.

Fees and key information

Course type
Undergraduate
UCAS code MC10
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • at least a minimum of grades BCC with CC expected in Chemistry and Biology (or a minimum of 104 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Progression Diploma or Access to HE Diploma with 60 credits) but must also meet the science entry requirements described above. You should take level 3 qualifications in Chemistry and Biology in addition to your Advanced Diploma.
  • GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C (or grade 4) or above (or equivalent)

If you don't have traditional qualifications or can't meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing our Sciences (including foundation year) BSc (Hons).

To study a degree at London Met, you must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. If you require a Tier 4 student visa you may need to provide the results of a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

If you need (or wish) to improve your English before starting your degree, the University offers a Pre-sessional Academic English course to help you build your confidence and reach the level of English you require.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2019/20 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday afternoon

    Description: This is a module which provides students with an understanding of basic cell structures and an awareness of different cell types and relates the structure and activities of cell components to their functions and to cellular activities as a whole. An overview of the organisation, expression, and replication of genetic information will be provided and the principles of Mendelian inheritance will be investigated. The consequences of mutation on gene expression are examined together with an introduction to techniques of gene analysis and manipulation.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualification. This module aims to expose students to some of the key questions of cell biology concerning cell structure and intracellular activities; provide students with practical experience in a range of laboratory-based biological techniques; enhance students' ability to manage themselves and to develop organisational and analytical skills which are applicable to the workplace; provide an overview of the organisation, expression, and replication of genetic information in prokaryotes and eukaryotes together with principles of Mendelian inheritance; examine the consequences of mutation on gene expression together with an introduction to techniques of gene analysis and manipulation. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Monday morning

    Description: This module is a companion module to CY4002 (General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry). It covers the fundamentals of inorganic and physical chemistry needed for students of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Science. Students will undertake practical exercises and practice problem solving skills based on the material taught.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    Description: The module provides an introduction to core aspects of chemistry - concepts of naming and drawing chemical formulae, isomerism, moles, reaction processes, and interactions between particles are enumerated. The second half of the module is concerned with the fundamentals. It introduces basic chemical concepts within the context of Organic Chemistry, and starts to develop the more specialist knowledge of organic reactions required for later modules of organic chemistry.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    This module will introduce students to safe contemporary (GLP) practice in the laboratory environment, practical bioscience techniques, simple chemical techniques and the discipline of accurate laboratory record keeping. Professional issues, study skills and data analysis will be integrated in the module. In some practical sessions the techniques are related more specifically to the degree area the student is studying.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of some personal responsibility. More specifically the module aims to give students an introduction to the laboratory environment by exposing them to simple bioscience and fundamental chemical procedures. Further it aims to: introduce and familiarise the student with/to the laboratory environment, including its capacity to harness cutting edge technology (e.g. laboratory informatics systems, deployment of software for use in virtual experiments). These aspects are intended to enhance both the student experience and pedagogic quality of the provision. The module also aims to develop basic lab practice: personal safety (as expedited by COSHH and Risk Assessments), awareness of others and where appropriate to consider ethical issues that can have an impact on the execution of a given experiment. It is intended that students will become competent in writing laboratory records and scientific reports where emphasis is placed on: contemporary scientific record keeping, style, recording data, interpreting data and drawing a conclusion from results. Students will be introduced to basic lab procedures such as: handling of scientific apparatus, handling, purification and analysis of biological and chemical agents, including their safe handling and an introduction to microbiological and biomedical techniques. The development of study skills and the analysis of data will be a core component of the module. This will be fostered by integrating statistical analysis within practical sessions allowing students to analyse generated data and link theory to practice. Professional issues will also be integrated into the module. The transferable skills that will be developed will not only enable students to derive maximum benefit from their chosen courses of study, but to also allow them to consolidate and inculcate these in preparation for employment and employability.

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Year 2 modules include:

  • This module gives a comprehensive overview of the drug discovery and early development process. An understanding will be acquired of all the key steps in the process and the importance of appropriate decision making early in the lifetime of a drug discovery project.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    The module aims to develop an understanding of the relationships between structure, bonding and reactivity of metal compounds and complexes in d- and f- block. The knowledge gained will give students an understanding of the role of metals and metal compounds in disease, diagnosis and treatment. The practical aspects of the module will enable students to acquire skills and experience of preparative, analytical and instrumental methods which are essential to inorganic chemistry. The module offers students from BSc Pharmaceutical Science to increase their knowledge of inorganic chemistry and the role in drug development etc. A key discipline throughout the BSc Chemistry degree it builds and reaffirms whilst allowing students to appreciate the whole of the periodic table.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    This module relates the physical and chemical behaviour of polyfunctional acyclic and cyclic organic compounds and biomolecules to their structures and electronic properties. Taught classes will be reinforced by practical exercises and spectroscopic problems.

    Assessment: 4 Semester 1 Mini-Tests (20%), Practical Portfolio (30%), 10-minute Presentation (15%), Unseen Exam (35%)

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    This module will equip students with a fundamental understanding of the actions and fate of drugs in the human body, linking this with drug formulations and different routes of administration. Throughout the module students will develop an ability to collect, manipulate and interpret experimental and simulation data important to the subject matter.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    Description: This module will develop problem solving and report writing skills in qualitative analytical chemistry and will enable students to identify analytical substrates on the basis of combined analytical results from a variety of sources. Key areas to be explored are principles of analysis, chromatographic separation techniques, and electroanalysis. The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the QAA’s the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    Description: This module will develop problem solving and report writing skills in qualitative analytical chemistry and to enable students to identify analytical substrates on the basis of combined analytical results from a variety of sources.

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Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    This module aims to enable students to develop an understanding of the relation between structure, bonding and reactivity of organometallic and main group compounds. It also will show students how fundamental topics in inorganic chemistry can be applied to the interpretation of the roles of metal ions in biological systems. In addition, the module aims to develop students understanding of modern characterisation in solid state chemistry. Allied to this, the module will develop an awareness of the spectroscopic techniques available to an inorganic chemist and provide them with contexts that will allow them to develop problem solving skills in this area. Contemporary topics of importance in inorganic chemistry, such as supramolecular chemistry will also be introduced via a research exercise and the students practical skills will be enhanced by exposure to specific techniques from organometallic and bioinorganic chemistry.
    In addition the module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment. They will be required to exercise initiative and personal responsibility, as well as decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts. Finally the module aim to provide students with the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    Description: This module builds upon, and extends, material taught in the 2nd year, specifically in organic chemistry. It provides students with a deeper understanding of organic chemical reactivity.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday afternoon

    The module uses online public databases and software to extract, analyse and interpret nucleic acid and protein sequences and to model the structures of RNA and protein sequences. Genomics, in particular, with an emphasis on pharmacogenomics and phylogeny are covered.
    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. The module aims to provide familiarity with the primary and secondary databases used to analyse DNA, RNA and protein sequence, expression and structure, within and across genomes. Students will be given the opportunity to develop informatics skills for extracting, analysing and presenting data to extract biological knowledge. The principles of macromolecular, and in particular protein structure will be applied to the building of molecular models using modelling and graphics software. Applications of modelling will emphasise the importance of protein-protein interactions and protein-drug interactions. This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility; decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts; and, the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Thursday morning

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

    This module will enable students to develop an understanding of the various strategies used in drug design and the molecular mechanisms by which drugs act in the body.

    The module aims to: deepen students’ awareness of the major influence chemistry has had on the treatment of various diseases and debilitating conditions; enable students to assess critically the methodologies and strategies that govern whether or not a synthetic compound (i.e. new chemical entity, NCE) may be regarded as a good drug candidate.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Wednesday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Friday afternoon

    This module will enable students to demonstrate the skills necessary to carry out a scientific programme requiring significant research. It will allow students to demonstrate the final development of their subject knowledge, skills and understanding through extended research based on laboratory, literature or field work, or meta-analysis of databases. This research will lead to the presentation of a detailed written report and a Powerpoint presentation of results. This module aims to encourage the student to reflect and build upon their subject knowledge and expertise by means of a specific investigation requiring significant research; develop the skills necessary to plan, carry out, analyse and report upon the results of an experimental or analytical programme on a scientific topic; allow the student to demonstrate that s/he has achieved a high level of personal development through working independently with the minimum necessary supervision; allow the student to demonstrate their understanding and application of safe and considerate working practices, particularly within the laboratory.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Friday morning

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.
    The module aims to develop students’ understanding of advanced bioanalytical techniques and to enable students to determine which analytical technique is suitable for a particular type of sample. The module will reinforce and build on analysis skills introduced in CH5007 and provide an opportunity for students to interpret more advanced data, particularly spectra and chromatograms and to solve defined problems. The students will gain practical experience in selected analytical techniques.
    This module aims to provide students with the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility and decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts. The module should also help students to gain the learning ability needed to undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday morning

    The aim of this module is to provide students with an appreciation of neurotransmitter receptor physiology, with the aim of using this to gain understanding of the mechanism of action of drugs which are used to treat key neurological disorders of the central nervous system including depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Students will also gain experience at generating, handling and analysing neuropharmacological data. The module provides students with fundamental pharmacological knowledge and skills.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)

    One year of work based learning. Work experience based full-time in an organisation with roles relevant to the academic programme of study and at an appropriate level of responsibility. Relevant organisations include; NHS, research, industrial and private medical laboratories. Learning would be driven by practical experience in the work place. Progress and development will be assessed against an agreed framework of objectives as defined in the learning agreement. For part-time students in appropriate employment they can complete the module over an extended period during their degree rather than take a year out.

    The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

    The module aims to: Provide experience of the technical expertise, knowledge, pressures and opportunities within the context of the scientific workplace; increase awareness of the scope, structure and operation of the host organisation, from a career perspective; develop generic competencies as outlined in the registration portfolio or work based learning portfolio; maximize employabilty by developing the student’s ability to work (at a certain threshold level) in a proffesional capacity.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester
    • autumn semester - Thursday morning

    This module provides the student with the opportunity to consolidate and complement their academic learning with vocational experience in medical or related laboratories or within a field related to studies. The placement provides supervised training and work experience in a relevant field. Placements should give students the opportunity to gain skills specific to their subject or industry of choice as well as the employability skills required for real-life work. It also increases their knowledge of an industry or sector, allowing them to make better informed decisions about future career choices.

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After the course

On graduation you will be equipped to take up an exciting role in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology or consulting industries, or progress to postgraduate study.

Careers include roles in medicinal chemistry, drug design, pharmaceutical analysis and research. The strong emphasis on developing transferable skills, with extensive analytical and mathematical skills, could alternatively lead you to pursue a career in teaching, finance or management.

You may also want to progress to further study, opting to undertake an MSc or a PhD.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Discover Uni – key statistics about this course

Discover Uni is an official source of information about university and college courses across the UK. The widget below draws data from the corresponding course on the Discover Uni website, which is compiled from national surveys and data collected from universities and colleges. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, information for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants looking to study part-time should apply direct to the University. If you require a Tier 4 (General) student visa, please be aware that you will not be able to study as a part-time student at undergraduate level.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

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