Medicinal chemistry is concerned with the discovery, design and synthesis of new drugs for clinical use. This BSc includes modules in biochemistry, biology, physiology and pharmacology, along with the fundamentals of chemistry necessary to design and synthesise drugs. These provide an understanding of the link between chemical structure and clinical effectiveness.
- UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
- Application deadline
- 15 January 2019
- London, Bloomsbury
- Chemistry plus either one, or preferably two from Biology (preferred), Mathematics or Physics.
- AAB (more about contextual offers)
- AA in Chemistry plus either one, or preferably two from Biology (preferred), Mathematics or Physics.
- English Language at grade C or 5, plus Mathematics at grade B or 6. For UK-based students, a grade C or 5 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 18 points in three higher level subjects including 6 in Chemistry and either Biology (preferred), Mathematics or Physics, with no score lower than 5.
- 36 (more about contextual offers)
- A score of 17 points in three higher level subjects including 6 in 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 23 credits awarded with Distinction in the Level 3 units, the remainder of the Level 3 units awarded with Merit.
D3,D3,D3 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects, including Chemistry plus either one, or preferably two from Biology (preferred), Physics or Mathematics
AAA at Advanced Highers (or AA at Advanced Higher and AAA at Higher). Chemistry plus either one, or preferably two from Biology (preferred), Physics, Mathematics required at Advanced Higher
Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A-Levels at grades AAA. Subjects required include: 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 Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.
Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.
For more information see: www.ucl.ac.uk/upc.
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 modules are applied.
We offer access to state-of-the-art facilities, enhanced by our strong affiliation with other centres of excellence such as the London Centre for Nanotechnology.
In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module 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 modules are split equally between chemistry and the life sciences. You will take modules in all aspects of chemistry, but organic chemistry is developed to the greatest extent.
Specialist modules such as Principles of Drug Design, and Principles and Methods of Organic Synthesis are compulsory. Compulsory modules are also taken in a number of life sciences including biochemistry, biology, pharmacology, and physiology. You will have the opportunity to take optional modules in year three and undertake a literature project
An indicative guide to the structure of this programme, year by year.
Core or compulsory module(s)
Basic Organic Chemistry
Basic Physical Chemistry
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Introduction to Chemical Principles
All first year modules are compulsory.
Core or compulsory module(s)
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 modules are compulsory.
Pathways, Intermediates and Function in Organic Chemistry
Principles of Drug Design
Principles and Methods of Organic Synthesis
Synthesis and Characterisation Techniques in Chemistry
Drug Design and Development
Plus a further 0.5 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 modules.
Each module 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 in research 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 (2013-2015) of this programme at UCL include:
- Full-time student, PGCE Secondary Teaching (Biology) at Goldsmiths, University of London
- Data Analyst, Evalucom and studying DPhil Organic Chemistry, University of Oxford
- Healthcare Assistant, Royal Berkshire Hospital (NHS)
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 2013-2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL is commited to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.
Fees and funding
The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2019/20 academic year. The UK/EU fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2019/20 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below.
- UK/EU students
- £9,250 (2019/20)
- Overseas students
- £26,740 (2019/20)
Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website.
Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.
UCL Chemistry offers a number of scholarships, including the Bader Bursaries, GSK Bursary, UCL Chemistry Entrance Scholarships and the Kathleen Lonsdale Bursary.
If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc. on this programme, please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).
The scholarships listed below are for 2018 entry. Funding opportunities for students applying for 2019 entry will be published when they are available.
The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.