Medicinal chemistry - XS0025

Medicinal chemistry

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Medicinal chemistry represents the intersection of biology and chemistry, and involves the development of new pharmaceutical agents, from their original conception through to their clinical use.

You will study how drugs work and how they are designed and made. By applying the principles and techniques of organic chemistry, medicinal chemists discover and develop compounds that prevent, treat or cure disease.

Your ambition to make an impact on improving people's health and wellbeing will come to the fore when you embark on this specialisation.

As a student of Medicinal chemistry you will learn to work in a multidisciplinary, interative feedback cycle of design, synthesis and biological testing to explore innovative ways to optimise the potency, selectivity and absorption of a compound in the body.

You will learn to apply the principles of drug action; design and implement approaches to synthesising bioactive molecules; and analyse chemical structures and interactions using computational, spectroscopic and analytical techniques.

You will also develop advanced skills in research and analysis, learning to use sophisticated analytical techniques to synthesise and test new drug products and to develop the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly means of production.

A range of units enables you to progressively focus and move your studies in the direction of your career aspirations. Areas of study include:

  • molecular basis of drug action
  • synthetic organic chemistry
  • spectroscopy
  • drug discovery and development
  • synthetic medicinal chemistry
  • medicinal chemistry research project

Upon completion of your studies, you will be equipped to apply the principles of drug action and design in the industrial, academic or commercial sectors. Rewarding possibilities include:

  • private pharmaceutical companies
  • industrial pharmaceutical manufacturing organisations
  • research and development institutions
  • food and drug administration
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Interested in this Specialisation?

Refer to the courses below for specific details on locations offered, duration, and entry requirements.


This specialisation is offered in the following courses. Entry requirements may differ depending on the course you choose, so click through to see the full details.

Hear how researchers from the Medicinal Chemistry theme are collaborating with industry leaders to drive innovation in drug design.

"Pharmaceutical Science is an industry that is growing right around the world and with that growth, comes the opportunity to use your degree to travel. I had an internship at a lab in Germany for 4 months, and after I finish my PhD in Medicinal Chemistry I plan to go overseas again to do more of my own research in a synthetic organic chemistry research lab." - Rohan V…