Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Course Information

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2018: 520
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 400

Leaving Certificate:
  • O2/H6 in Mathematics
  • O2/H6 in a laboratory science (Applied Mathematics or Geography may be used instead of a laboratory science subject) and
  • O6/H7 in English, Irish and two other recognised subjects
Click below for equivalent entry requirements information for:

Why is this course for me?

This degree 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’ll 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.

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

Graduates can also pursue a PhD in Ireland or abroad in areas such as chemistry, chemical biology, or medicinal chemistry.

What Will I Study

This is a sample pathway for a degree in Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology. Topics include metabolic biochemistry, reactivity of biomolecules, principles of pharmacology, chemical biology of natural products and macromolecules.

First Year

  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Biology
  • Optional Science modules
  • Elective modules

Second Year

  • Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology
  • + 1 Other Science Subject
  • Elective modules

Third Year

  • Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology
  • Elective modules

Fourth Year

  • Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology (includes a research project)

All Science courses are full time, with many student timetables running from 9.00am to 5.00pm or later. Depending on the subject choices, a weekly timetable can include lectures, practicals and tutorials.

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 the relevant link below:

First Year
Second Year
Third – Fourth Year


“I always knew that I wanted to study Chemistry after taking it for the Leaving Certificate. However, it was only through the flexibility of the DN200 course in UCD that I was able to explore further subjects such as Biochemistry and Pharmacology. This led me to pursue a degree in Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology, and although the material is challenging, it is an extremely rewarding course. The knowledge and practical laboratory skills I’ve acquired are invaluable, especially in terms of drug development and discovery. After my degree, I hope to continue further with my studies and complete a PhD. UCD is an incredibly diverse place, and during my time here I’ve been able to study Chinese, Russian and Japanese, and am now secretary of the Japanese society.”

Amelia Glynn Student

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