Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Course Information

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

CAO Code: DN200
CAO Points Range 2021: 566
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 420

Leaving Certificate:
  • O2/H6 in Mathematics
  • O2/H6 in a laboratory science (Applied Mathematics, Computer Science 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 module

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)

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


“I always enjoyed Chemistry and Biology at Leaving Certificate level but was unsure which to pursue. Through guidance from academic staff and my peers, I decided that Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology would suit my abilities and interests best. Throughout my years at UCD, I have discovered new interests and passions. From my involvement with UCD Juggling Society, captaincy of UCD Athletics Club and work as a Science Student Leader, I have unique experiences and memories that would not have been possible without UCD. After I graduate, I will begin a graduate programme with a major pharmaceutical company, which will hopefully be the beginning of a rewarding and successful career.”

Ruth Comerford, Student

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