Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology

Course Information

Full Time - Undergraduate Studies

BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8)

CAO Code: DN200 CCS
CAO Points Range 2016: 510 - 625
Length of Course: 4 Years
Average Intake: 402

Leaving Certificate:

Passes in six subjects including English, Irish, Mathematics (Min O3/H6 in LC or equivalent), one laboratory science subject (Min O3/H6 in LC or equivalent.) Applied Mathematics or Geography may be used instead of a laboratory science subject) & two other recognised subjects.

You must obtain a minimum of Grade H5 in two subjects and a minimum of Grade O6/H7 in the remaining four 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 had an interest in Science and the fact that you get to make drugs in a laboratory is also something which I found fascinating. Chemistry was the only science subject which I studied before entering University. I chose Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical Biology because I wanted to learn about drug discovery, the different synthetic methods you can use and the reactions and effects the drug has. Being a student at UCD is really enjoyable. I am on the committee for An Cumann Gaelach as well as UCD Volunteers Overseas. I was also lucky to get the opportunity to travel to Tanzania in July with UCD Volunteer Overseas. I will be teaching computers having been to Haiti last year doing construction work and teaching children.”

Jamie Flannery, Student