Chemical Biology and Drug Design MSc

You will study 180 credits in total during your Chemical Biology and Drug Design MSc.  These are the modules studied in 2019. If you are starting in September 2022, these will give you a flavour of the modules you are likely to study. All modules are subject to change.

Compulsory modules

Foundation of Chemical Biology - 10 credits

Fundamental aspects of organic and biological chemistry that underpin the understanding of chemical biology and drug design.

Emerging Topics in Chemical Biology - 25 credits

Appreciating the new techniques relevant to chemical biology, valuing different experimental approaches and recognising the importance of emerging topics in the context of biology as a whole.

Extended Laboratory Project for Chemistry-based MSc courses - 90 credits

Practical research project allowing you to experiment in an area relevant to the course. On completion of this module, you'll be able to formulate hypotheses to be tested experimentally; keep an accurate, formal record of research performed; apply key methods in appropriate chemical technology for the investigation of important problems and/or develop new methodology; and be able to interpret experimental data and to develop new models on the basis of these experiments.

Advanced Topics in Chemical Biology - 30 credits

Provides broad understanding of core areas of advanced chemistry with a focus on chemical biology, to the most advanced level. Topics range from medicinal chemistry of pathways and computational drug design; chemical biology tools; completing the toolbox of organic reactions; metals in medicine and principles of electrochemistry.

Optional modules

Practical Bioinformatics - 10 credits

An overview of the practical problems that bioinformatics tools can be applied to investigate; bioinformatics databases, software and web-based tools; molecular evolution; sequence alignment; dynamic programming and substitution matrices; sequence database searching, methods and statistics; multiple sequence alignment, protein domain families, profiles, patterns and hidden Markov models; iterative searching and PSI-BLAST; phylogenetic tree estimation; protein structure analysis; structural alignment and classification; protein structure prediction, secondary structure prediction, comparative modelling, fold recognition, ab initio; whole genome databases and analyses; gene prediction.

Drug Discovery and Development - 15 credits

Provides exposure to key aspects of the medicinal chemistry process and the pharmaceutical industry including a comprehensive understanding of cutting edge processes and technologies used to identify drug candidates and translate these through to market; and a critical awareness of the current challenges in the drug discovery process. 

Medical Diagnostics - 10 credits

This module will cover techniques used to diagnose disease and decide which therapies will work best for individuals. Three major areas of human disease will be covered including infectious disease, hereditary disease and oncology. Both ‘traditional’ and novel methods of diagnosis will be discussed including PCR, immunological testing, FISH, microarrays, sequencing and the use of medical biosensors.

Advanced Topics in Chemistry - 10-15 credits

Provides a broad understanding of core areas of advanced chemistry, including topics such as energy transduction, sustainability, delivery of functional fluids and physical organic chemistry. Students will choose two free topics to study.

The full list of optional modules can be read in the course catalogue.