Organic Chemistry: Drug Discovery MSc

London, Bloomsbury

This programme offers students the opportunity to follow an integrated course of research and interdisciplinary study. Students gain outstanding training in synthetic organic chemistry and computational docking applied to drug design, together with a breadth of experience in several areas of synthetic methodology and chemical biology.

UK students International students
Study mode
Full-time
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£14,100
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£35,000
Duration
1 calendar year
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 03 Nov 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

If you are intending to apply for a time-limited visa to complete your UCL studies (e.g., Student visa, Skilled worker visa, PBS dependant visa etc.) you may be required to obtain ATAS clearance. This will be confirmed to you if you obtain an offer of a place.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

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 six-month period. Projects will include a substantial computational component for the design and docking of synthetic targets.

Who this course is for

This MSc is aimed at students who wish to gain a detailed understanding of the context of organic chemistry research within the drug discovery setting. It is suitable for chemistry graduates with an interest in the drug discovery process wishing to enhance their research and synthetic skills. It is also suitable for those in industry wishing to expand their research experience. Applicants who have related degrees to chemistry will be considered on an individual basis.

What this course will give you

This degree involves a cutting-edge research project under the supervision of a member of staff at UCL and industry experts. Students will initially learn about the drug design process via a number of taught courses and in silico docking studies. They will then progress to the synthetic laboratory where they will prepare the compounds that they have designed in order to evaluate them experimentally as potential drug candidates.

The foundation of your career

Recent alumni from our postgraduate Chemistry programmes have taken up PhD positions, or are working in industry (including manufacturing and scientific research, development and analysis), while others have entered teacher training.

Employability

The MSc 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.

Accreditation

This degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Accreditation of degree programmes by the Royal Society of Chemistry is a mark of assurance that teaching and learning meet the standards expected from a university. Furthermore, accredited programmes ensures the needs of employers and students are fulfilled.

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.

On average it is expected that a student spends 150 hours studying for each 15-credit module. This includes teaching time, private study and coursework. Modules are usually taught in weekly sessions (approx. 2 hours per week) over 10 weeks each term.

Modules

Students take Principles of Drug Design (15 credits, code CHEM0033) plus Topics in Modern Chemistry (15 credits, code CHEM0077). If students have already taken Principles of Drug Design in a previous degree, they will take Topics in Modern Chemistry instead (30 credits, code CHEM0078). Within the Topics in Modern Chemistry modules, students will select topics in consultation with the programme director once term starts.

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: UCL Institute for Materials Discovery

Join our Virtual Graduate Open Event to learn more about our range of Master's programmes, how our programmes are taught, and what it's like to study at UCL Chemistry. In these online sessions, you'll have the opportunity to hear from academic staff and ask any questions you might have about studying at UCL.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £14,100
Tuition fees (2023/24) £35,000

Additional costs

There are no programme-specific costs.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

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.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 8 June 2023
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Deadline: 13 December 2022
Value: Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

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.

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 MSc. - 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 MSc 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 MSc? 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.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

Got questions? Get in touch

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