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Pharmaceutical Chemistry BSc Honours

Gain the skills and practical placement experience needed for a successful career in the research and development of new drugs
September 2024
3 years full-time
4 years with sandwich year
6 years part-time
£9,250 (UK)*
£16,600 (INT)*
Course leader
Neville Hall

Our Pharmaceutical Chemistry BSc degree is designed to the standards of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Why choose Pharmaceutical Chemistry BSc at Middlesex?

Combining chemistry with biochemistry will give you a grounding in pharmaceutical chemistry and the skills needed to work in this incredibly important field.

You’ll cover all aspects of pharmaceutical drug development, such as target identification, synthesis, clinical testing and trials, alongside building your knowledge of the main branches of chemistry.

During the course, you’ll be taught by a highly experienced academic team with links to the industry that include GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, and Johnson Matthey.

What will you gain?

This degree will prepare you for career opportunities with pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies. Previously, graduates have gone on to work with GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly and more.

Build your skills in the lab

Divided into four broad themes, you’ll cover all aspects of chemistry including core chemistry knowledge, practical skills, pharmaceutical knowledge, and numeracy and computational skills. You’ll build your analytical and research skills so you can collect and interpret experimental data.

Valuable placement experience

You will also have access to a work placement, gaining crucial industry experience in a medical organisation or laboratory.

What you will learn

You’ll develop your chemistry skills in a high-tech laboratory. You will have access to a bioscience suite with a scanning electron microscope, microbiological and molecular equipment, as well as a host of other analytical technologies.

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.

3 great reasons to pick this course

  • Exciting career prospects
    This degree will prepare you for a range of opportunities in pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies
  • Access to high-level tech
    You will have access to a bioscience suite with a scanning electron microscope, microbiological and molecular equipment, as well as a host of other analytical technologies
  • Fantastic work experience opportunities
    Work placements with local pharmaceutical companies, or research laboratories in other universities within the UK

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This Pharmaceutical Chemistry degree 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 year 3.

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. This element will be supported through a range of on-campus laboratories where available. Virtual laboratories and pre-recorded demonstrations will also be made available so that the programme outcomes and your skills development can be achieved.

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.


  • Year 1 - Compulsory

    • Introduction to Biochemistry (30 credits)

      This module aims to provide you with an introduction to the biomolecules of life, including structure and function. This leads to an overview of molecular processes involved in disease and associated targets for therapeutic drugs.

    • Professional Development for Pharmaceutical Chemistry (30 credits)

      The analysis and communication of scientific knowledge is an integral component of chemistry and this module aims to provide you with a number of key skills used widely by chemists. These include mathematics for chemists, communication skills and employability skills.

      The mathematics component of the module provides you with 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 of this module aims to develop communicational, organisational and interpersonal skills and promote career awareness in the field of the chemical sciences.

    • Foundations of Practical Chemistry (30 credits)

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

    • Analytical Chemistry (15 credits)

      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. When you take this module you will have the opportunity to apply theoretical principles of analytical chemistry to the Foundations of Practical Chemistry or Practical Chemistry modules.

  • Year 2 - Compulsory

    • Research Methods and Professional Practice (30 credits)

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

    • Practical Chemistry (30 credits)

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

    • Applied Physical Chemistry (15 credits)

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

    • Applied Inorganic Chemistry (15 credits)

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

  • Placement year - Optional

    • Work Placement (120 credits)

      The module considers current approaches to genetic manipulation and the widening fields of application. You will learn how to use vectors and tools for DNA/RNA manipulation for modification of prokaryotes and eukaryotes organisms for biotechnology, research and detection. Ethical issues and regulation of the field of gene technology will be explored.

  • Year 3 - Compulsory

    • Dissertation (30 credits)

      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.

    • Drug Development (30 credits)

      This module is designed to provide you with 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 i.e. from identifying a medical need to the discovery of a drug candidate and 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 online resources/videos and external speakers covering specialist topics to cover specialist topics such as, preclinical and human clinical trials, economics of drug discovery, regulatory controls and manufacturing processes.

    • Organic Synthesis (15 credits)

      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.

  • Year 3 - Optional

    • Pharmaceutical Polymers (15 credits)
    • Structural Methods in Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (15 credits)

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

To find out more about this highly regarded course, please download the Pharmaceutical Chemistry BSc specification (PDF).

We review our courses regularly to improve your experience and graduate prospects so modules may be subject to change.

  1. Teaching and independent learning
  2. Assessment and feedback

The Sheppard Library

Our library is open 24 hours a day during the term and includes:

  • Over 1,000 study areas with rooms for group study and over 600 computer spaces
  • 350,000 books and e-books and more than 24,000 online journals
  • Free laptop loans, Wi-Fi and printing.

Student support

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.


Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above. Visit the Middlesex Unitemps page.

Financial support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

How can the BSc in Pharmaceutical Chemistry support your career?

Pharmaceutical chemistry provides the skills for a wide variety of lab opportunities in pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies.

Graduate employers

Pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, and AstraZeneca, as well as small biotechnology companies and contract research firms, are examples of potential employers.

Graduate job roles

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 the chemical industry as well).


  • 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.


Our employability service, MDXworks will launch you into the world of work from the beginning of your course, with placements, projects and networking opportunities through our 1000+ links with industry and big-name employers in London and globally.

Our dedicated lifetime career support, like our business start-up support programme and funding for entrepreneurs, has put us in the top 20 UK universities for business leaders and entrepreneurs – Business Money 2023 and a top 10 university for producing CEOs (Novuana, 2023).

Global network

You’ll study with students from 122 countries who’ll hopefully become part of your global network. And after you graduate, we'll still support you through our alumni network to help you progress in your chosen career.

Work placements

Placements and internships can greatly improve your future job prospects after you graduate. They usually boost your confidence and academic results by giving you the opportunity to practice what have learned in a professional setting.

Our specialist employability service will help you find placement opportunities.

  1. UK entry
  2. International entry
  3. How to apply

The fees below are for the 2024/25 academic year:

UK students1

Full-time: £9,250

Part-time: £77 per taught credit

International students2

Full-time students: £16,600

Part-time students: £138 per taught credit

Additional costs

The following study tools are included in your fees:

  • Free access to resources, learning materials and software you need to succeed on your course
  • Free laptop loans for up to 24 hours
  • Free specialist software for your course
  • Free printing for academic paperwork
  • Free online training with LinkedIn Learning.

Scholarships and bursaries

To help make uni affordable, we do everything we can to support you including our:

  • MDX Excellence Scholarship offers grants of up to £2,000 per year for UK students
  • Regional or International Merit Awards which reward International students with up to £2,000 towards course fees
  • Our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

Find out more about undergraduate funding and all of our scholarships and bursaries.

Fees disclaimers

1. UK fees: The university reserves the right to increase undergraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International fees: Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

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

Dr Loizidou supervises a wide range of research projects across both the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, exploring questions that relate to drug development. She teaches across all three years of the BSc Pharmaceutical Chemistry and all four years of the MSci Pharmaceutical Chemistry programmes.

Her current research interests are in the interface of chemistry and biology focusing on studies of bioactive molecules including, drug design, synthesis, interactions with biomolecules and drug delivery. She has experience in multi-step synthesis and molecular modelling techniques including docking, virtual screening and finite element analyses.

Dr Shaun Mutter
Lecturer in Chemistry

Dr Mutter’s current research interests are modelling how drugs and metals bind and interact with biomolecules. He has particular interests on the binding and effect of natural metals to proteins associated with Alzheimer’s disease, transition metal anti-cancer drugs, and simulations relating to distinguishing chiral compounds. He has expertise and experience in many areas of computational chemistry, including quantum chemical simulations, molecular dynamics, and calculation of molecular properties. Dr Mutter teaches across all three years of the BSc Pharmaceutical Chemistry and all four years of the MSci Pharmaceutical chemistry programmes

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 Cristina Russo
Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Dr Russo became a lecturer at Middlesex University in February 2020 after completing a PhD and post-doc at Sheffield Hallam University. Her research is focused on drug absorption and metabolism, as well as biomarker discovery using proteomics strategies. It involves using a variety of analytical techniques, with a particular emphasis on the MALDI-MS technique, including imaging. Dr Russo currently teaches undergraduate students topics in analytical and pharmaceutical science.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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Pharmaceutical Sciences BSc

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Duration: 3 years full-time, 4 years full-time including foundation year, 6 years part-time

Code: B200

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