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Course content

The field of medicinal chemistry is becoming increasingly important as we continue to push the boundaries in the discovery of new drugs and applications in healthcare. This MSc in Medicinal Chemistry will allow you to specialise in this area and explore the wider context of drug discovery, business and healthcare.

On the course, you will develop the specific technical knowledge, understanding and laboratory skills needed to design drugs. You will also investigate the relationship between medicinal chemists and drug discovery companies with stakeholders such as patients, investors and governments.

Distinctive features:

• Available on a one year full-time or three year part-time basis.
• Explore medicinal chemistry in a wider industrial context, including how businesses interact with patients and investors.
• Specialise in an area of interest to you with an end of course research project.
• Some industrial and academic placements are available in the UK or abroad for the research project.
• Network and build contacts with industry professionals who are frequently invited to present guest seminars.

Structure

This course may be taken on a one year full-time or three year part-time basis.

There are two parts to the degree. Part one is comprised of core and optional taught modules which you will take during the autumn and spring semesters. In these modules we will provide you with a foundation in the skills required by contemporary medicinal chemists, such as the techniques and trends in modern drug discovery. We will also look in more detail at the modelling of biological macromolecules and drug targets. We will then follow the process of drug development through from laboratory to clinic.

Upon successful completion of part one, you will progress to part two, the summer research project. We will make a range of project options available to you from the field of medicinal chemistry. For this project, depending on the subject you choose, you may work with a research group in the School of Chemistry or our partner, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Studies. You may, if available, also be able to complete this project with one of our industrial partners or within another academic institution in the UK or abroad.

Core modules:

Colloquium
Key Skills for Postgraduate Chemists
Drug Discovery Chemistry
Techniques in Drug Discovery
Drug Targets
Drug Development from Laboratory to Clinic
Trends in Drug Discovery
Practical Medicinal Chemistry
Research Project

Optional modules:

Module title Module code Credits
Modelling of Biological Macromolecules
Structure and Mechanism in Organic Chemistry
Biosynthetic Approach to Natural Products
Biocatalysis I - Modern Approaches to Biocatalysts
Biocatalysis II - Industrial Applications of Biocatalysis
Bioinorganic Chemistry
Asymmetric Synthesis of Pharmaceuticals and Natural Products
Advanced Techniques in Organic and Biological Chemistry
Analytical and Structural Techniques in Chemical Biology
Bio-imaging Applications of Coordination Chemistry
Molecular Modelling

Teaching

The methods of teaching we employ will vary from module to module, as appropriate depending on the subject matter and the method of assessment. We teach using a mixture of lectures, workshops, case studies, computer-aided sessions, practicals and tutorials.

Your research project will be carried out in one of our laboratories under supervision of an academic member of staff with interests in a similar field. You may have the opportunity to complete your project during a placement in industry or with one of our academic partner institutions overseas, depending on availability.

Modules relating to computing frequently take place in our computer rooms, while practical work will be undertaken in our laboratories. We will also invite industry experts for seminars with our students within one of the core modules. Students will also benefit of the weekly seminars organized by the School of Chemistry, where leading experts in various scientific fields are invited to present their work.

Support

All of our students are allocated a personal tutor when they enrol on the course. A personal tutor is there to support you during your studies, and can advise you on academic and personal matters that may be affecting you. You should have regular meetings with your personal tutor to ensure that you are fully supported.

You will have access to the Science Library, which holds our collection of chemistry resources, as well as to the other Cardiff University Libraries.

Feedback:

We will provide regular feedback on your workload, written and oral depending on the coursework or assessment you have undertaken. You will usually receive your feedback from the module leader. If you have questions regarding your feedback, module leaders are happy to give advice and guidance on your progress. We aim to provide you with feedback within two weeks of you submitting an assessment.

Assessment

Taught modules are assessed in a variety of different ways depending on the module content and learning outcomes (found in the module descriptions). We use coursework, assessed workshops and presentations or a combination of these to assess your progress on the course.

Your research project at the end of the course will be assessed through a dissertation, a presentation, and an oral exam.

Career prospects

After completing this course there are usually two career streams open to graduates, research or industry. Within these two fields there are a variety of career options. For example, many of our graduates choose to follow up their MSc and decide to complete a PhD research degree with us. Employment opportunities for successful graduates include the expanding worldwide pharmaceutical industry, where many choose to specialise in the research and development of new drugs. Research-related jobs usually require a PhD, for which this programme provides an ideal preparation.

Placements

For the end of course research project we may have some placements available with one of our industrial partners or at another UK or overseas academic institution that we have an agreement with. Please enquire for further details.

Visit the Medicinal Chemistry MSc page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

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