Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons) - 2023/4

Awarding body

University of Surrey

Teaching institute

University of Surrey


FHEQ Level 6

Final award and programme/pathway title

BSc (Hons) Medicinal Chemistry

Subsidiary award(s)

Award Title
Ord Chemistry
DipHE Chemistry
CertHE Chemistry

Professional recognition

Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
Accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry for partially meeting the academic criteria for Chartered Chemist (CChem).

Modes of study

Route code Credits and ECTS Credits
Full-time UCJ10005 360 credits and 180 ECTS credits
Full-time with PTY UCJ10018 480 credits and 240 ECTS credits

QAA Subject benchmark statement (if applicable)

Chemistry (Bachelor)

Other internal and / or external reference points


Faculty and Department / School

Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences - Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Programme Leader

TURNER Scott (Chst Chm Eng)

Date of production/revision of spec


Educational aims of the programme

  • To develop appropriate practical skills taking into account an awareness of health and safety issues
  • To enhance students' employment potential by encouraging them to put their subject knowledge into practice, enhance their problem-solving and analytical skills, and further develop transferable skills within a working environment. (4-year programme only)
  • To give students a well-grounded understanding of chemical theories, the analytical tools necessary to evaluate and conduct chemical research, the capacity to initiate independent thought and enquiry, and the confidence and knowledge to apply these skills in their careers after graduation.
  • To give students a well-grounded understanding of investigative concepts and methods.
  • To prepare students for possible careers as professional chemists in industry, as academic researchers and for a wide range of related professions requiring critical and analytical skills.
  • To provide students with a knowledge of techniques, substances and molecular structures that are important in treatment and diagnosis of disease.
  • To provide students with a range of key and transferable skills, integrated into the subject material, including team-working, information technology, communication and problem solving.
  • To provide students with a well-founded education in the principles of chemistry, which reflects the QAA subject benchmark statement for Chemistry and provides access to qualified membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry and forms a basis for partially satisfying the academic requirements for the Chartered Chemist (CChem) award through further study or continuing professional development.
  • To provide students with a well-founded education in the principles of chemistry, which reflects the QAA subject benchmark statement for Chemistry and provides access to qualified membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry and forms a basis for partially satisfying the academic requirements for the Chartered Chemist (CChem) award through further study or continuing professional development.

Programme learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Awards Ref.
Demonstrate an appreciation of chemistry and medicinal chemistry as empirical sciences K CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Understand the distinction between the major branches of chemistry: inorganic, physical, analytical and organic. K CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Become familiar with the fundamental or generic techniques used in chemical laboratories. KP CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Appreciate how experimental results are reported in technical reports PT CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Be able to use relevant generic information technology PT CertHE, DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Demonstrate an understanding of the major theories and principles in the core areas of chemistry and medicinal chemistry KC DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Develop an understanding of the concepts of medicinal chemistry in the context of diagnosis and treatment of disease KC DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Understand the relationship of medicinal chemistry theory and developments in drug design. K DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Conduct chemical studies across a broad range of tutor-guided experiments and report on the results KCPT DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Be aware of the health and safety issues involved in using chemicals and equipment in experimental science KPT DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Be able to use specialised information technology related to chemistry or medicinal chemistry KC DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Apply statistical and numerical skills to the interpretation of physicochemical data. KCPT DipHE, Ord, BSc (Hons)
Appreciate the relevance of chemistry to real problems in professional and employment settings, in the context of medicinal chemistry KCT Ord, BSc (Hons)
Analyse, define and develop generic learning skills for independent problem solving CPT Ord, BSc (Hons)
Communicate ideas, chemical and medicinal principles, and theories effectively by oral, written and visual means CPT Ord, BSc (Hons)
Develop the ability to promote oneself through maintenance of professional development profiles and CV CPT Ord, BSc (Hons)
Generate scientific data from open experimental inquiry (a project) and discern and establish connections between the data in the context of theory. CPT BSc (Hons)
Synthesize, analyse and evaluate primary and secondary data from a variety of scientific literature sources CPT BSc (Hons)
Be able to design experimental investigations to answer scientific questions in chemistry and medicinal chemistry CPT BSc (Hons)
Learn to work independently or as a member of a team towards a common goal, to solve a problem efficiently CPT BSc (Hons)
Become self-motivated with the ability to study independently CT BSc (Hons)
Work effectively and efficiently in a professional work environment (PTY 4 year programme) PT Ord, BSc (Hons)
Be able to leverage subject and transferable skills in a work environment to acquiring knowledge of new techniques as appropriate (PTY 4 year programme) PT Ord, BSc (Hons)

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Programme structure


This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over three academic years, consisting of 360 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5 and 6). All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Full-time with PTY

This Bachelor's Degree (Honours) programme is studied full-time over four academic years, consisting of 480 credits (120 credits at FHEQ levels 4, 5, 6 and the optional professional training year). All modules are semester based and worth 15 credits with the exception of project, practice based and dissertation modules.
Possible exit awards include:
- Bachelor's Degree (Ordinary) (300 credits)
- Diploma of Higher Education (240 credits)
- Certificate of Higher Education (120 credits)

Programme Adjustments (if applicable)



Professional Training Year (PTY) - Professional Training Year

Module code Module title Status Credits Semester

Module Selection for Professional Training Year (PTY) - Professional Training Year

No Options

Opportunities for placements / work related learning / collaborative activity

Associate Tutor(s) / Guest Speakers / Visiting Academics N
Professional Training Year (PTY) N
Placement(s) (study or work that are not part of PTY) N
Clinical Placement(s) (that are not part of the PTY scheme) N
Study exchange (Level 5) N
Dual degree N

Other information

Global and cultural capabilities are integrated into the programme since the chemical industry is global, encompassing aspects of the very large multinational mega-industries such as petrochemicals oil & gas, pharmaceuticals, mining, bulk chemical manufacture. The subject is crucial to a myriad of other industries that sell consumer products from hair-care to breakfast cereal and to more niche small specialty chemical companies. The history of progress in the chemical sciences is rooted in international cooperation, and often tied to the location of resources. Therefore, working in the Chemistry-related professions requires being able to engage effectively with people from different backgrounds while being respectful of different cultures. This is fostered in this programme with opportunities to work in mixed teams in every year of the programme. The team-working often happens in a laboratory setting which requires safe cooperation to achieve common goals. The programme also includes progression of these skills. For example, early on in year 1 students are tasked with working in a small team to produce reports and presentations on familiar topics, which is progressed in year 2 by working in larger team to explain unfamiliar problems, progressed to year 3 or 4 where the research projects are often completed in small teams to solve open problems. Where applicable assignments and case-studies are introduced that reflect the range of diverse contributions to the subject area. The origin of raw materials, and effect on local communities is discussed at various points such as in the synthesis-based modules.

Digital capabilities are embedded throughout this programme at each level. Chemistry is a physical science and relies on the correct use of data, in terms of creating and collecting, analysing and presenting that data. As such the discipline relies on graduates being confident with many digital skills. The training in this programme involves extensive use of standard software suites for collecting, organising, analysing, storing and presenting data, such as appropriate use of MS Office and alternatives. In laboratory classes the use of specialist equipment involves understanding the associated specialist software capable of reliably measuring and analysing data. These practices are enhanced with the use of specialist chemistry software and external databases, such as the Web of Science, Scopus, Reaxsys and ChemDraw. Each student will experience training in these digital methods throughout year 1 and 2, and can practice the application in formative and summative exercises. The training culminates in each student having the opportunity to show proficiency in their digital capability during the final year research project, which allows freedom to apply learnt methods in any way they deem appropriate for the task. Thus, there is opportunity to learn, opportunity to practice, opportunity to be assessed and opportunity for open expression using a wide range of digital tools.

Employability of the student is considered by providing ways to learn and practice professional skills that are directly related to becoming a professional chemist, scientist, or to enter a range of professions that employ numerate scientifically educated graduates. The student will also be equipped to progress their education to Masters or Doctoral level. For those on the 4-year course a major part of the degree is the professional training year (PTY) where students are in a professional environment and work as part of an industrial team to solve real-world, commercially relevant, problems. The PTY provides many opportunities to improve skills that are attractive to commercial organisations. These include giving professional presentations, working to briefs, working in multidisciplinary teams, contributing to commercially sensitive projects and working to inter-dependant deadlines. On both the 3 and 4-year programmes a student will be exposed to a range of assessments that reflect professional problems. Students are encouraged to join the Chemistry professional body, The Royal Society of Chemistry, and this degree programme leads to partial satisfaction of the criteria to become a Chartered Chemist. Students will also learn a range of laboratory skills especially those elated to analytical chemistry, which are important in industrial settings. Beyond that there are opportunities to write formative and summative professional reports, working to a brief, to give oral presentations, work in teams and consider the economics of how the chemical industry works. From year 1 the programme also has opportunities to practice writing CVs, applying for virtual jobs and learning about best practice in interviews and assessment centres. Various modules also have external speakers who work in industrial or other non-academic settings. All students can discuss options with previous PTY students and their industrial managers at an ┬┐Industry Day┬┐ that celebrates employability success.

Resourcefulness and resilience of the student is embedded in this programme by providing a wide variety of assessments that allow opportunities for the student to adapt to unfamiliar or dynamic situations. The student will be expected to become self-sufficient in their ability to solve problems and confidently make sensible decisions that are appropriate for the situation. This is provided by supporting the student ro become confident working in challenging environments. For example, this is clearly expressed in all laboratory classes where the confident use of specialist equipment and safe handling chemicals is important. The laboratory environment requires lots of complementary skills, involving the student having a good theoretical understanding or the work, a keen practical ability and awareness of health & safety, but being able to apply these skills in an environment which is dynamic. Students also have many opportunities to become confident in presenting data in the form of oral and written presentations with opportunities to self-reflect on performance.

Sustainability is clearly expressed in the Chemical Sciences by promoting a detailed awareness of the efficient use of limited resources, since the entirety of the Chemistry discipline is reliant on using such resources, whether originating from petrochemicals, water sources, the air or extracted in the form of metals and minerals. This programme also embeds understanding of the consequences of using these resources and being aware of solutions to mitigate against their use. In every chemistry module, to a lesser or greater extent, the uses and consequences are explored. For example, in the compulsory laboratory classes the efficient uses of chemicals is prioritised together with instructions on minimising and recycling waste. All students will take the Environmental and Industrial module, which connects the positive aspects of industry with the potential negative consequences. Aspects of sustainability and recyclability are further explored in the Materials module, Polymer module and all organic modules.

Quality assurance

The Regulations and Codes of Practice for taught programmes can be found at:

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.