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.
Covid-19 programme updates
Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic the structure and delivery of this programme is currently under review, we advise that you contact the programme lead named in the contact box for more information before you apply
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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 Students website.
A minimum of an upper 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:
About this degree
The programme provides a thorough foundation in drug design, advanced organic synthesis and biological chemistry, together with modules on research techniques and professional development. Students will carry out a substantial research project on organic/medicinal chemistry or chemical biology over a seven-month period.
MRes students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of five core modules (180 credits) including a research project /dissertation (105 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MRes in Organic Chemistry: Drug Discovery.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
Students take five core modules including the flexible 30 credit Topics in Modern Chemistry module - within this flexible module, students can choose to study several topics from a broad range of topics and therefore create a bespoke module tailored uniquely to their own interests.
- Drug Discovery Research Project
- Principles of Drug Design
- Advanced Synthetic Techniques
- Transferable Skills for Scientists
- Topics in Modern Chemistry
Within the flexible 30 credit Topics in Modern Chemistry module, students can choose to study several topics from a broad range of topics and therefore create a bespoke module tailored uniquely to their own interests and research area.
Students will undertake a 105 credit laboratory-based research project. Students submit a formatively assessed literature review in relation to this, deliver an interim presentation and have an interim viva, as well as submit their dissertation at the end of the project.
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 UCL scholarships and funding pages, the European Union, industry or charities.
There are also a number of Graduate School Scholarships and departmental bursaries and prizes available.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- This scheme is now closed for 2020/21
- £15,000 (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
- Applications for this scholarship are now closed for 2020/21
- Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
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 the chemical industry, have joined financial institutions and have entered teacher training.
Why study this degree at UCL?
This degree involves a cutting-edge research project in the laboratory a member of research staff at UCL Chemistry. This is one of the leading research departments in the UK with staff undertaking world-leading research in all areas of chemistry and chemical biology.
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.
NOTE: for applicants holding a UCL Chemistry Batchelors’ degree ONLY, the choice of a Master’s programme must not include one which requires modules previously studied at UCL - contact the Programme Director before applying.
- All applicants
- 11 August 2020
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.
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