Medicinal chemistry is concerned with the discovery, design and synthesis of new drugs for clinical use. This BSc includes courses in biochemistry, biology, physiology and pharmacology, along with the fundamentals of chemistry necessary to design and synthesize drugs. These provide an understanding of the link between chemical structure and clinical effectiveness.
- Degree Programme
- Medicinal Chemistry BSc
- UCAS code
- 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2016
- Chemistry plus either one, or preferably two from Biology (preferred), Mathematics or Physics.
- AS Levels
- For UK-based students a pass in a further subject at AS level or equivalent is required.
- English Language at grade C plus Mathematics at grade B. For UK-based students, a grade C or equivalent in a foreign language (other than Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew or Latin) is required. UCL provides opportunities to meet the foreign language requirement following enrolment, further details at: www.ucl.ac.uk/ug-reqs
- A score of 17-18 points in three higher level subjects including Chemistry and either Biology (preferred), Mathematics or Physics, with no score lower than 5.
UK applicants qualifications
For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:
Not acceptable for entrance to this programme.
Pass in Access to HE Diploma, with a minimum of between 18 and 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.
D3,D3,D3 - D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including Chemistry plus either one, or preferably two from Biology (preferred), Physics or Mathematics
AAA-AAB at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher - AA at Advanced Higher and BBB at Higher). Chemistry plus either one, or preferably two from Biology (preferred), Physics, Mathematics required at Advanced Higher
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Diploma, plus 2 GCE A levels at grades A*A-AA, including Chemistry plus either one from Biology (preferred), Physics or Mathematics.
In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.
Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates
UCL offers intensive one-year foundation courses to prepare international students for a variety of degree programmes at UCL.
The Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
For more information see our website: UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificate.
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. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.
The English language level for this programme is: Standard
A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.
- Consistently regarded as one of the best chemistry departments in the UK, we maintain a position of international excellence in teaching and research in medicinal chemistry.
- Strong links have been developed with the pharmaceutical sector of the industry, and UCL's strength in medicine and life sciences has led to exciting new areas of research collaboration.
- Life sciences are taught throughout the programme ensuring you build up a broad understanding of biological systems to which the chemistry courses are applied.
- We offer access to state-of-the-art facilities, enhanced by our strong affiliation to other centres of excellence such as the London Centre for Nanotechnology.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual courses, normally valued at 0.5 or 1.0 credits, adding up to a total of 4.0 credits for the year. Courses are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional courses varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 1.0 credit is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).
This programme is offered either as a three-year BSc or as a four-year MSci. The first two years of study are identical, so you can defer which to opt for until the end of your second year. We advise you to select the four-year MSci initially as this keeps more options open.
The Medicinal Chemistry programmes are quite different from the others offered by the department as the courses are split equally between chemistry and the life sciences. You will take courses in all aspects of chemistry, but organic chemistry is developed to the greatest extent.
Specialist courses such as Principles of Drug Design, and Principles and Methods of Organic Synthesis are compulsory. Compulsory courses are also taken in a number of life sciences including biochemistry, biology, pharmacology, and physiology. You will have the opportunity to take optional courses in year three.
Basic Organic Chemistry
Basic Physical Chemistry
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Introduction to Chemical Principles
All first year courses are compulsory.
Further Topics in Biochemistry
Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry
General and Systematic Pharmacology
Introductory Statistical Methods and Computing
Physical Chemistry for Medicinal Chemistry and Life Sciences
All second year courses are compulsory.
An Introduction to Research Methods for Medicinal Chemistry
Pathways, Intermediates and Function in Organic Chemistry
Principles of Drug Design
Principles and Methods of Organic Synthesis
Drug Design and Development
Plus a further 1.0 credits from a wide range of Chemistry and other approved undergraduate options.
Your learning will combine lectures, practical classes and group workshops. In addition you will attend tutorials in groups of four to six students which provide specialised support for the core courses.
Each course will usually involve at least two methods of assessment. These may include coursework (problem sheets, essays or poster presentations), an examination, or laboratory classes. We believe in providing feedback to students, such as face-to-face marking in laboratories. Your third-year project will be assessed through a written report.
Detailed course descriptions are available on the department website: Medicinal Chemistry BSc.
As a UCL Chemistry graduate you will have developed both discipline-based and highly sought after analytical skills, for example in logical thought and numeracy.
On completion of your degree you will have the obvious option of pursuing a career within the chemical industry. This is recognised as one of the most exciting and successful contributors to the UK economy, for example in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and nanotechnology sectors.
Many recent graduates have continued as researchers at universities including PhDs at UCL, Imperial, Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Edinburgh, Harvard, Manchester and NUS Singapore.
Our graduates are in great demand in many other fields such as management, the financial sector, information technology, scientific journalism, patent law, the scientific Civil Service, and in education.
First career destinations of recent graduates (2010-2013) of UCL Chemistry programmes include:
- Full-time student, PhD in Drug Discovery at UCL (2013)
- Technical Consultant, IBM (2013)
- Researcher, GlaxoSmithKline (2013)
- Investment Banking Analyst, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (2013)
- Deployment Chemist, Shell Infineum (2011)
*Data taken from the 'Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education' survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2010-2013 graduating cohorts six months after graduation and, where necessary, department records.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers, UCL Advances and other entrepreneur societies here: Careers and skills.
Fees and funding
- UK & EU fee
- £9,000 (2015/16)
- Overseas fee
- £20,700 (2015/16)
Details about financial support are available at: Fees and funding
UCL Chemistry offers a number of scholarships, including the Bader Bursaries, GSK Bursary, UCL Chemistry Entrance Scholarships and the Kathleen Lonsdale Bursary.
Scholarships listed below are relevant to the department. Please read the details carefully to check they are relevant to the degree and your own circumstances.
- Up to £2,000
- UK, EU, Overseas
- Based on financial need
- UK, EU, Overseas
- Based on academic merit
- Based on academic merit
The Scholarships and Funding website has a comprehensive list of scholarships and funding schemes available for UCL students. These can be available for specific nationalities, regions, departments or open to all students.