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.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2017/18)
- £8,470 (FT)
- £22,850 (FT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
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.
English language requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
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).
Students take 30 credits of transferable/research skills and submit a research dissertation (105 credits).
- Transferable/Research Skills
- Research Dissertation
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.
Students can be self-funded or find sponsorship from funding agencies such as research councils, the European Union, industry or charities.
There are also a number of Graduate School Scholarships and departmental bursaries and prizes available.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
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.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- PHD Chemical Biology, University College London (UCL)
- PhD Radiochemistry, University College London (UCL)
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
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.
Student / staff numbers › 50 taught students › 163 research students
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Chemistry
76% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
This MRes is aimed at students who wish to gain a detailed understanding of the context of organic chemistry research. It is also suitable for professionals working in industry who wish to develop their research skills.
- All applicants
- 28 July 2017
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Organic Chemistry and Drug Discovery at graduate level. Please elaborate on the motivational factors that have drawn you to our subject. Our experience is that applicants from many different first-degree backgrounds participate in the programme and you should explain how your own background leads you to this MRes.
- why you want to study Organic Chemistry and Drug Discovery at UCL. Tell us how UCL can help to improve your career path and what you can bring to the programme
- how your academic background meets the demands of this challenging programme. The MRes is a broadening degree which will lead you into areas that lie outside your first-degree subject. How comfortable are you with that?
- what would you like to be able to do following your MRes?
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to elaborate on your reasons for applying to this programme and how your interests match what the programme will deliver.