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Organic Chemistry: Drug Discovery - MRes

Course Description

The Organic Chemistry: Drug Discovery MRes at UCL offers students the opportunity to follow an integrated course of research and interdisciplinary study. Students gain outstanding training in synthetic organic chemistry applied to drug design, together with a breadth of experience in several areas of synthetic methodology and chemical biology.

Degree information

The programme provides a thorough foundation in drug design, advanced organic synthesis and molecular modelling, together with modules on research techniques, professional development and entrepreneurship. Students will carry out a substantial research project on organic/medicinal chemistry or chemical biology over a ten-month period.

MRes students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two modules from the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research (30 credits), one Master's level chemistry module (15 credits) two transferable/research skills modules (30 credits) and the research project (105 credits).

Core modules - students take 30 credits of transferable/research skills and submit a research dissertation (105 credits).
-Transferable/Research Skills
-Research Dissertation

Optional modules - students take 45 credits from the following options:
-Target Identification
-Biological Molecules
-Biophysical Screening
-Fragment Based Drug Design
-Target Selection (Scientific)
-Target Selection (Commercial)
-Principles of Drug Design
-Biological Chemistry
-Stereochemical Control in Asymmetric Synthesis
-Synthesis and Biosynthesis of Natural Products
-Organometallics and Catalysis
-Structural Methods in Modern Chemistry

Students will undertake a laboratory-based research project lasting ten months. An interim report is submitted after five months, and at the end of the project each student writes a dissertation, gives a short presentation and has a viva voce examination.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, problem classes, workshops and projects. Assessment is through unseen written examination, coursework, project reports and presentations.


The MRes has been developed in response to the needs of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors for highly qualified students as leaders in the discovery of new medicines. The pharmaceutical sector is a major employer in the UK and high-quality graduates with an understanding of the sector are always in demand. Our recent graduates have taken up PhD positions, are working in industry and have entered teacher training.

Top career destinations for this degree:
-PHD Chemical Biology, University College London (UCL)
-PhD Radiochemistry, University College London (UCL)

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is taught in collaboration with the Wolfson Institute of Biomedical Research (WIBR) which brings together scientists and clinicians from both academic and pharmaceutical industry backgrounds. The institute's strength is in its multidisciplinary approach to research, with the goal of identifying novel targets for drug development.

Visit the Organic Chemistry: Drug Discovery - MRes page on the University College London website for more details!

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Student Profiles

Brown Family Bursary - No. of awards TBC

Selection criteria:
The bursary will be awarded based on financial need only as determined by the Student Funding Office.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The value of the bursary is £15,000. The payment is to be applied to tuition fees in the first instance, with any remainder being paid to the successful applicant towards maintenance in termly instalments.
- The bursary is tenable for one year only.
- The bursary may not be held alongside other tuition fee only awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- prospective full-time UK Master's students who are undertaking a one-year programme of study in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences or Mathematical & Physical Sciences (BEAMS) in 2015/16
- currently holding a first-class Bachelor's degree; and
- in financial need.

Application Procedure

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/UK-EU-Master/uclalumniandfriends

Further Information


Entry Requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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