Pharmaceutical Chemistry BSc/MSci | Middlesex University London
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Pharmaceutical Chemistry BSc/MSci

Learn about the course below
Code
BSc: F111
MSci: F11B
Start
Autumn 2018
Duration
BSc: 3 years full-time, 4 years with sandwich year, 6 years part-time
MSci: 4 years full-time, 5 years with sandwich year, 8 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time
Part-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,000 (INT) *
Course leader
Erika Loizidou

To meet the continuous need for new drug development to combat chronic, emerging and rare diseases, the pharmaceutical industry needs highly skilled graduates with strong backgrounds in chemistry coupled with biochemistry. This course will provide you with an excellent grounding in pharmaceutical chemistry and the skills required to work in the research and development of new drugs.

Why study BSc/MSci Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Middlesex University?

This programme is designed to provide you with a firm knowledge of all aspects of pharmaceutical drug development, including target identification, lead optimisation, synthesis, pre-clinical / clinical testing and clinical trials along with an excellent grounding in the main branches of chemistry. This course is primarily aimed at individuals interested in a career in research and development of new medicines, who also possess curiosity, good imagination and persistence.

You will gain a high quality education with a wide-ranging view of all aspects of chemistry and you'll be prepared for a career in pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology industries. Work placements, available as part of a sandwich year, are an excellent opportunity to gain valuable experience in a relevant industry or organisation, a laboratory or the public sector.

This course has been designed in accordance with Royal Society of Chemistry standards and the academic team has links with the pharmaceutical industry, that include GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Novartis, generics industry and chemical industry such as Johnson Matthey

Course highlights

  • Multi-disciplinary programme covering the main branches of chemistry, along with biochemistry, cheminformatics and specialised topics in pharmaceutical chemistry
  • Work placements with local pharmaceutical companies, or research laboratories in other Universities within the UK and abroad as part of the Erasmus scheme
  • Links with the pharmaceutical industry
  • Receive a free electronic textbook for every module

What will you study on the BSc/MSci Pharmaceutical Chemistry?

Our Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme is divided into four learning themes that are developed through the course of your study:

Core chemistry knowledge
Chemistry subjects are taught throughout the course of the programme with special emphasis given to organic and analytical chemistry. Year 1 begins with foundations of chemistry and analytical chemistry followed by applied physical and inorganic chemistry in year 2 as well as advanced organic chemistry which is further developed in years 3 and 4 (MSci only).

Practical skills
Laboratory work is an integral component in the career of a pharmaceutical chemist and therefore an integral component of your study. Year 1 begins with foundations of practical chemistry, followed by advanced practical chemistry in year 2, specialised organic synthesis techniques and a dissertation project in year 3 and MSci project in year 4.

Pharmaceutical knowledge
Broad understanding of biological functions in diseases and how drugs work will be developed from year 1 with biochemistry, followed by pharmaceutical chemistry in year 2, pharmacology and toxicology in year 3 as well as a dedicated module on drug discovery.

Numeracy and computational skills
Numeracy is an essential skill in chemistry developed from year 1 through the professional development module followed by research methods and statistics in year 2. These modules also provide you with generic computational skills such as processing data, using spreadsheets, word-processing and internet communication. Specialised computational skills related to chemistry and drug discovery are developed in year 3 through the computational chemistry module and in year 4 through cheminformatics (MSci only).

What will you gain?

Upon completion of this course you will have gained the following experience and abilities:

  • Analytical instrumentation application
  • Synthetic organic chemistry skills
  • Compound purification and characterisation proficiency
  • Computational skills with drug discovery tools
  • Research methods and statistics
  • Collection and interpretation of experimental data
  • Enhanced teamwork and interpersonal capacities
  • Communication skills including advanced literacy and presentation skills
  • Problem solving capability
  • Independent thinking, creativity and innovation

BSc Modules

  • Year 1

    • Foundations of Practical Chemistry (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module will introduce you to fundamental laboratory techniques that underpin the study of pharmaceutical chemistry. You will develop skills in practical chemistry and improve your knowledge and understanding of the core areas of chemistry. This module integrates learning from the other first year chemistry modules; Fundamentals of Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry.

    • Fundamentals of Chemistry (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module provides you with the skills and knowledge of chemistry that will underpin your future studies in biochemistry. Emphasis is placed on building a knowledge base around key academic concepts in chemistry and biochemistry using examples from health and the environment to reinforce ideas. You will acquire a range of laboratory practical skills and learn how to analyse and interpret experimental results and put these into context with theoretical concepts.

    • Analytical Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      The aim of this module is to provide you with the theoretical knowledge that underpins fundamental concepts in analytical chemistry as well as the traditional and modern techniques that are used to analyse, separate, and characterise compounds. Emphasis is given to the chemical analysis of pharmaceutical materials and approaches used for green analytical chemistry. Those taking this module will have the opportunity to apply theoretical principles of analytical chemistry to other modules; Foundations of Practical Chemistry and Practical Chemistry.

    • Metabolic Biochemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module will introduce you to the key metabolic pathways of energy metabolism. You will acquire the skills and underpinning knowledge to pursue further studies in biochemistry.

    • Professional Development for Pharmaceutical Chemistry (30 credits) – Compulsory

      The analysis and communication of scientific knowledge is an integral component of chemistry and this module aims to provide a number of key skills used widely by chemists such as mathematics for chemists, communication skills and employability skills.The mathematics component of this module will give you the basic mathematical techniques needed to support your studies in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. In addition to providing the necessary tools to solving quantitative problems in chemistry, it also helps you better understand chemical concepts such as, how and why reactions happen.The communication and employability skills component will aim to develop communicational, organisational and interpersonal skills and promote career awareness in the field of the chemical sciences.

  • Year 2

    • Advanced Organic Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module builds upon the principles and concepts of inorganic and organic chemistry developed through previous modules. In this module, you will develop a more complete appreciation of the chemical reactions relevant to biochemistry with emphasis on common reactions in metabolic processes, integrating mechanisms and arrow pushing.

    • Pharmaceutical Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module provides an introduction into pharmaceutical chemistry. It examines the essential biochemistry on which understanding of medicinal chemistry is built and discusses strategies involved in developing an effective drug.

    • Practical Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module builds upon the practical skills acquired during the first year studies in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. It aims to provide essential skills in experimental techniques in inorganic and physical chemistry, as well as a variety of modern techniques in instrumental analysis.

    • Research Methods and Professional Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module will provide you with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work with focus on preparation for the final year project module. The module also develops core research skills fundamental to a scientific research design, irrespective of discipline. Specific research skills will be explored to meet individual programme requirements.

    • Applied Inorganic Chemistry (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module provides a comprehensive grounding in inorganic chemistry with reference to metal-based drugs. It builds on concepts learned in Year 1 in the Fundamentals of Chemistry module and further explores topics in basic inorganic and organometallic chemistry from a pharmaceutical or biological perspective.

    • Applied Physical Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      < This module provides a wide-ranging knowledge of physical chemistry with a view of providing insight into biochemical phenomena. It builds on concepts learned in Year 1 in the Fundamentals of Chemistry module and explores in more depth thermodynamics, molecular structure and kinetics from a biochemical perspective.

  • Placement year - Optional

    • Work Placement (120 credits) - Optional

      The placement aims to develop your employability skills by achieving the set of agreed learning outcomes in the Three Way Negotiated Learning Agreement and other skills learned in placement. This practical experience module provides the means for you to link academic work with a 'real world' situation in order to conceptualise the meaning of theory in the wider world context. This module facilitates the embedding of transferable and graduate skills necessary for future career paths and employment. It is envisaged you will reflect upon areas of knowledge relevant to the placement learning experience and develop personal knowledge through a review of your own learning. The placement learning experience provides the opportunity to enhance your skills of self-expression, communication, self-reliance and co-operation.

  • Year 3

    • Computational Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce the fundamental theory that underpins computational chemistry. It is designed to help students understand what molecular modelling programs do and how to interpret results from such experiments with an eye for providing insight to discovery chemistry. This is a practical module comprising of weekly workshops where you can learn and practice various methods of energy calculations along with workshops devoted to drug discovery tools.

    • Advanced Organic Chemistry II (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to provide an understanding of processes involved in regulation of gene expression and current laboratory methods available for investigation. It also aims to provide an understanding of how gene expression may be modulated according to changes in the cellular environment, how environmental conditions can trigger changes in these processes and how aberrations in gene expression can lead to disease.

    • Drug Development (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module is designed to provide knowledge of all the key processes involved in bringing a drug to the market and the associated challenges. The first part of the module focuses on the science and technology involved in the discovery process, from identifying a medical need to the discovery of a drug candidate. The second part of the module focuses on the steps required to turn the drug candidate into a product on the market. This module is supported by external speakers covering specialist topics such as preclinical and human clinical trials, economics of drug discovery, regulatory controls, and manufacturing processes.

    • Organic Synthesis (15 credits) – Compulsory

      Organic synthesis is a practical module that aims to provide you with advanced skills in a synthetic laboratory. You will apply a range of important organic reactions seen in Years 2 and 3 and thus strengthen your existing knowledge and understanding of organic chemical transformations.

    • Dissertation (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module will build on the skills you have acquired in previous modules, and from the knowledge gained throughout the programme to date. Further development of analysis, critical thinking and scientific literary style will be promoted. You will be enabled to pursue areas of individual interest in the subject area appropriate to your target award and will have the opportunity of gaining increased theoretical and practical knowledge in a chosen specialist field. Individual research experience will be gained in an area that may provide future employment opportunities. Personal responsibility for own learning through self-directed study and supervised preparation will be fostered. It is an integral part of the degree programme, furthering the development of skills in critical analysis and reflection.

    • Natural Product Chemistry (15 credits) – Optional

      The primary aim of this module is to evaluate the principles of drug development from natural products (including plant species and microorganisms) and their derivatives. It also aims to evaluate the molecular mechanism of action of diverse groups of natural compounds in relation to their molecular features.

    • Pharmacology and Toxicology (15 credits) – Optional

      This module discusses pharmacology, from a cellular and molecular perspective, with particular emphasis on the mechanisms of drug action, clinical application, toxicology and pharmacokinetics.

    • Structural Methods in Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (15 credits) - Optional

      The module aims to extend the coverage of core inorganic and physical chemistry by expanding on topics.

MSci Modules

  • Year 1

    • Foundations of Practical Chemistry (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module will introduce you to fundamental laboratory techniques that underpin the study of pharmaceutical chemistry. You will develop skills in practical chemistry and improve your knowledge and understanding of the core areas of chemistry. This module integrates learning from the other first year chemistry modules; Fundamentals of Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry.

    • Fundamentals of Chemistry (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module provides you with the skills and knowledge of chemistry that will underpin your future studies in biochemistry. Emphasis is placed on building a knowledge base around key academic concepts in chemistry and biochemistry using examples from health and the environment to reinforce ideas. You will acquire a range of laboratory practical skills and learn how to analyse and interpret experimental results and put these into context with theoretical concepts.

    • Analytical Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      The aim of this module is to provide you with the theoretical knowledge that underpins fundamental concepts in analytical chemistry as well as the traditional and modern techniques that are used to analyse, separate, and characterise compounds. Emphasis is given to the chemical analysis of pharmaceutical materials and approaches used for green analytical chemistry. Those taking this module will have the opportunity to apply theoretical principles of analytical chemistry to other modules; Foundations of Practical Chemistry and Practical Chemistry.

    • Metabolic Biochemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module will introduce you to the key metabolic pathways of energy metabolism. You will acquire the skills and underpinning knowledge to pursue further studies in biochemistry.

    • Professional Development for Pharmaceutical Chemistry (30 credits) – Compulsory

      The analysis and communication of scientific knowledge is an integral component of chemistry and this module aims to provide a number of key skills used widely by chemists such as mathematics for chemists, communication skills and employability skills.The mathematics component of this module will give you the basic mathematical techniques needed to support your studies in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. In addition to providing the necessary tools to solving quantitative problems in chemistry, it also helps you better understand chemical concepts such as, how and why reactions happen.The communication and employability skills component will aim to develop communicational, organisational and interpersonal skills and promote career awareness in the field of the chemical sciences.

  • Year 2

    • Advanced Organic Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module builds upon the principles and concepts of inorganic and organic chemistry developed through previous modules. In this module, you will develop a more complete appreciation of the chemical reactions relevant to biochemistry with emphasis on common reactions in metabolic processes, integrating mechanisms and arrow pushing.

    • Pharmaceutical Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module provides an introduction into pharmaceutical chemistry. It examines the essential biochemistry on which understanding of medicinal chemistry is built and discusses strategies involved in developing an effective drug.

    • Practical Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module builds upon the practical skills acquired during the first year studies in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. It aims to provide essential skills in experimental techniques in inorganic and physical chemistry, as well as a variety of modern techniques in instrumental analysis.

    • Research Methods and Professional Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      The module will provide you with the skills necessary to plan, implement, analyse and report project-based work with focus on preparation for the final year project module. The module also develops core research skills fundamental to a scientific research design, irrespective of discipline. Specific research skills will be explored to meet individual programme requirements.

    • Applied Inorganic Chemistry (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The module provides a comprehensive grounding in inorganic chemistry with reference to metal-based drugs. It builds on concepts learned in Year 1 in the Fundamentals of Chemistry module and further explores topics in basic inorganic and organometallic chemistry from a pharmaceutical or biological perspective.

    • Applied Physical Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      < This module provides a wide-ranging knowledge of physical chemistry with a view of providing insight into biochemical phenomena. It builds on concepts learned in Year 1 in the Fundamentals of Chemistry module and explores in more depth thermodynamics, molecular structure and kinetics from a biochemical perspective.

  • Placement year - Optional

    • Work Placement (120 credits) - Optional

      The placement aims to develop your employability skills by achieving the set of agreed learning outcomes in the Three Way Negotiated Learning Agreement and other skills learned in placement. This practical experience module provides the means for you to link academic work with a 'real world' situation in order to conceptualise the meaning of theory in the wider world context. This module facilitates the embedding of transferable and graduate skills necessary for future career paths and employment. It is envisaged you will reflect upon areas of knowledge relevant to the placement learning experience and develop personal knowledge through a review of your own learning. The placement learning experience provides the opportunity to enhance your skills of self-expression, communication, self-reliance and co-operation.

  • Year 3

    • Computational Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce the fundamental theory that underpins computational chemistry. It is designed to help students understand what molecular modelling programs do and how to interpret results from such experiments with an eye for providing insight to discovery chemistry. This is a practical module comprising of weekly workshops where you can learn and practice various methods of energy calculations along with workshops devoted to drug discovery tools.

    • Advanced Organic Chemistry II (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module aims to provide an understanding of processes involved in regulation of gene expression and current laboratory methods available for investigation. It also aims to provide an understanding of how gene expression may be modulated according to changes in the cellular environment, how environmental conditions can trigger changes in these processes and how aberrations in gene expression can lead to disease.

    • Drug Development (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module is designed to provide knowledge of all the key processes involved in bringing a drug to the market and the associated challenges. The first part of the module focuses on the science and technology involved in the discovery process, from identifying a medical need to the discovery of a drug candidate. The second part of the module focuses on the steps required to turn the drug candidate into a product on the market. This module is supported by external speakers covering specialist topics such as preclinical and human clinical trials, economics of drug discovery, regulatory controls, and manufacturing processes.

    • Organic Synthesis (15 credits) – Compulsory

      Organic synthesis is a practical module that aims to provide you with advanced skills in a synthetic laboratory. You will apply a range of important organic reactions seen in Years 2 and 3 and thus strengthen your existing knowledge and understanding of organic chemical transformations.

    • Dissertation (30 credits) – Compulsory

      This module will build on the skills you have acquired in previous modules, and from the knowledge gained throughout the programme to date. Further development of analysis, critical thinking and scientific literary style will be promoted. You will be enabled to pursue areas of individual interest in the subject area appropriate to your target award and will have the opportunity of gaining increased theoretical and practical knowledge in a chosen specialist field. Individual research experience will be gained in an area that may provide future employment opportunities. Personal responsibility for own learning through self-directed study and supervised preparation will be fostered. It is an integral part of the degree programme, furthering the development of skills in critical analysis and reflection.

    • Natural Product Chemistry (15 credits) – Optional

      The primary aim of this module is to evaluate the principles of drug development from natural products (including plant species and microorganisms) and their derivatives. It also aims to evaluate the molecular mechanism of action of diverse groups of natural compounds in relation to their molecular features.

    • Pharmacology and Toxicology (15 credits) – Optional

      This module discusses pharmacology, from a cellular and molecular perspective, with particular emphasis on the mechanisms of drug action, clinical application, toxicology and pharmacokinetics.

    • Structural Methods in Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (15 credits) - Optional

      The module aims to extend the coverage of core inorganic and physical chemistry by expanding on topics.

  • Year 4

    • Cheminformatics (15 credits) – Compulsory

      Computer-aided drug design has become an important element in the drug discovery and development process and an indispensable tool in the pharmaceutical industry. This module gives you the opportunity to use computational techniques most frequently used by the pharmaceutical industry for the purposes of discovering and optimising biologically active molecules.

    • Advanced Organic Synthesis Techniques (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module builds upon the skills acquired in the Year 3 Organic Synthesis module and aims to provide a framework where you can apply existing and new knowledge of chemical transformations to the design and execution of a multi-step synthesis of an organic molecule. You will be exposed to modern synthetic techniques and advanced chromatography and spectroscopy such as stereoselective separations and 2D NMR.

    • Current Trends in Pharmaceutical Chemistry (15 credits) – Compulsory

      This module gives you the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge of a current topic within the area of pharmaceutical chemistry and to critically report on the topic.

    • Nanotechnology (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide an overview of the applications of nanotechnology in drug discovery. Emphasis will be given on the design and characterisation of nanocarriers and their applications in overcoming biological barriers and drug delivery.

    • Advanced Bioanalytical Techniques (15 credits) - Optional

      The module aims to examine advanced bioanalytical techniques that are used in biomedical research, for the analysis of products, for improving diseases understanding and for the analysis of disease biomarkers. It also provides a detailed understanding of the principles, theory and practice of bioanalytical techniques, including safety, instrumentation, sample preparation techniques together with analysis and interpretation of analytical data.

    • MSci Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to develop skills in the planning and execution of an analytical study and in the critical evaluation of real research results, drawing on knowledge acquired from other modules. In addition, the module aims to develop your communication skills to enable you to communicate your findings in written and oral form.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Module and programme information is indicative and may be subject to change.

How is the BSc/MSci Pharmaceutical Chemistry taught?

The teaching of Pharmaceutical Chemistry is delivered through a combination of teaching methods including lectures, seminars, practical workshops, tutorials and guided laboratory work. In addition to teaching hours at University you will be expected to conduct independent study such as following up on lectures, preparing for seminars and practical workshops, completing lab reports and revising.

Assessment

The Pharmaceutical Chemistry degree is assessed by a combination of examinations and coursework designed to appropriately address all learning outcomes. Examples of assessment methods are as follows:

  • Written examinations
  • Oral presentations
  • Lab reports
  • Portfolios
  • Research project reports (Third-year BSc and MSci students only)
  • Coursework
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

How can the BSc/MSci Pharmaceutical Chemistry support your career?

Pharmaceutical chemistry provides the skills for a wide variety of lab opportunities in pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies. Pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Astrazeneca, as well as small biotechnology companies and contract research firms are examples of potential employers. Specific roles within a variety of sectors could include:

Pharmaceutical industry

  • Research and development (drug design, synthesis and biological evaluation)
  • Drug formulation
  • Quality control and assurance (applicable to chemical industry as well)

Academia

  • Pursue a PhD in Pharmaceutical chemistry and related disciplines
  • Pursue industrial PhD in collaboration with a pharmaceutical company

Non-laboratory careers

  • Regulatory affairs e.g developing guidelines and reviewing new drug applications from pharmaceutical companies
  • Intellectual property (patent law)
  • Project management
  • Technology transfer
  • Science publications
  • Research officers
  • Science education
  • Other roles requiring strong analytical/quantitative skills

Dr Erika Loizidou
Senior Lecturer in Chemistry, Programme Leader of BSc/MSci Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Dr Loizidou joined Middlesex University in 2015 having previously worked as a Marie Curie Fellow at Cardiff University and the University of Cyprus. Her research experience involves the total synthesis of natural products of biological importance, molecular docking of small molecules to receptors of known 3D structure, virtual screening and transdermal drug delivery using microneedles.

Dr Ajit Shah
Professor of Bioanalytical Sciences

Dr Shah's research interests involve the development of platforms for metabolomics and applications of analytical techniques for measuring molecules in biological matrices. Professor Shah has over 20 years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry during which he held various positions in GlaxoSmithKline as a Senior Scientist within Drug Discovery, and received a number of awards including an exceptional science award for his work in the area of Neuroscience.

Dr Huw Jones
Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry

Dr Jones is a Fellow of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, where he is a leader in facilitating remediation/mitigation strategies for arsenic contamination in drinking water, a major public health issue in many countries. Dr Jones has worked in a range of environment and human health issues, specialising in applying his knowledge of chemistry and statistical analysis. Specific areas of interest include the biokinetics of aluminium and plutonium in the human body, analysis of constituents and contaminants of herbal medicines, the effects of heavy metals on nitrogen fixation in agricultural soils and the development of novel field biomonitoring and statistical techniques to assess the ecotoxicology of hydrocarbons in freshwater.

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