Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

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Course Video

Curricular information is subject to change.

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Why is this course for me?

This degree subject is ideal for students who have an interest in chemistry and its applications in biology. Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology are fields populated by chemists who have a good understanding of biology at the molecular level. They will be of increasing importance for decades to come to address existing and emerging healthcare problems, e.g. cancer, AIDS, TB and avian flu. Chemical biologists and medicinal chemists will develop the next generation of medicines to solve such problems and will have an impact across a wide range of areas, including the development of environmentally friendly approaches to process chemistry.

Course Pathways
What Will I Study

Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology is one of the degree subjects available through the Chemistry stream in the common entry Science course.

Students study similar modules for all degree subjects in the Chemistry stream in first year and will study modules for a minimum of two degree subjects in second year. At the end of second year, students choose their degree major. Assuming students meet all the academic requirements in first and second year, students are guaranteed a degree subject from the stream they are studying in second year. We do our best to ensure that students go on to study their top degree subject choice. As we offer plenty of degree subjects in each stream, students have a number of similar degree subjects to choose from as their degree major. This is a sample set of modules that a Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology student could study each year in UCD.

First Year

  • Scientific Enquiry
  • Basis of Organic & Biological Chemistry
  • Basis of Inorganic Chemistry
  • The Molecular World
  • Cell Biology & Genetics
  • Linear Algebra for Science
  • Calculus for Science
  • Optional Science Modules
  • Elective Module

Second Year

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Basis of Physical Chemistry
  • Basis of Inorganic Chemistry
  • Biomolecular Lab Skills
  • Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Molecular Genetics & Biotechnology
  • Biomolecular Sciences
  • Biomedical Science
  • + modules for 1 other Science Subject
  • Elective Modules

Third Year

  • Chemical Biology of Natural Products
  • Chemical Biology of Macromolecules
  • Carbonyl Chemistry & Synthesis
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Structure Determination & Heterocyclic Chemistry
  • Mechanism & Stereochemistry
  • Biochemist’s Toolkit
  • Option Modules
  • Elective Modules

Fourth Year

  • Research Project
  • Metals in Biology
  • Methods in Organic Synthesis
  • Modern Methods of Catalysis
  • Special topics in Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Timetables & Assessment

Each student will have their own timetable based on their individual module selection. This is a full time course and classes may include lectures, practicals and tutorials, depending on the subjects. Students will also be expected to study independently (autonomous student learning). Assessment varies with each module but may comprise continuous assessment of practicals, written exams and online learning activities.

For detailed information on subject content click here

International Study Opportunities

International Study Options

Students have spent time studying at the following universities:

• University of Lund, Sweden
• University of Virginia, USA
• McGill University, Canada
• University of British Columbia, Canada
• University of Colorado at Boulder, USA
• Villanova University, USA

Career & Graduate Study Opportunities

Graduates of the Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology degree will be equipped with the skills to pursue a career in:

  • Pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals
  • Food technology companies
  • Cosmetic technology companies
  • Fine chemical and chemical development
  • Patenting
Other Entry Routes

“I chose Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology because I have always been fascinated by the intersection of chemistry and biology, and how the knowledge of chemical compounds and reactions can be used to improve human health. One of the things I enjoy most about my studies is the hands-on laboratory work. I find it incredibly satisfying to conduct experiments and see the results first-hand. After I graduate, I hope to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical industry where I can use my knowledge and skills to contribute to the development of new and effective medications. Long-term, I would like to participate in the development and research of new drugs and therapies.”

Meng-Jan Lim, Student

Contact Information

Assistant Professor Marina Rubini
UCD School of Chemistry
Belfield, Dublin 4


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