Without medicinal chemists, life as we know it would be impossible. Modern medicines give us pain relief, cure bacterial infections and fight viruses and cancer. Without the arsenal of drugs at their disposal doctors would be unable to cure many common diseases.
It is the ability of medicinal chemists to have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of millions of people worldwide that motivates many of our students on this course. The course structure shares much with our Chemistry course but you will focus your study more on the organic elements of chemistry with an enhanced level of teaching on drug synthesis, pharmacology and how drugs work in biological systems.
This is a 3 year BSc course.
Enhancing your degree
This course can also be studied over 4 years to achieve an MChem, BSc Integrated Masters degree, which is recommended for students considering a career in chemistry research and development. If you're not yet sure whether to take an additional year, don't worry - it's possible to transfer from the BSc degree to the MChem, BSc degree after your first or second year. You don't have to make a final decision until the end of your second year when you've had more experience of advanced chemistry at university.
This course also offers opportunities to gain industrial experience on a placement year or to study abroad for a year.
Our industrial placement scheme gives you the opportunity to gain work experience in an industry relevant to your degree and interests. Our students often describe this industrial experience as an invaluable part of their degree and one which stands them in good stead for their future careers.
The study abroad year enables you to gain insight into the study of medicinal chemistry at one of our partner universities overseas. Many students have found this to be extremely worthwhile in helping broaden their horizons in terms of learning about a new culture and improving their foreign language skills.
This degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).
Since 1841, the RSC has been the leading learned society and professional body for chemical scientists. It is committed to ensuring that an enthusiastic, innovative and thriving scientific community is in place to face future scientific challenges.
Courses that are accredited by the RSC have been subject to rigorous evaluation of their curriculum and resources. They offer employers a measure of confidence in the competence of recruits, provide universities with a means of communicating their value, and assure students on the quality of their education.
Bachelor accreditation provides access to qualified membership of the RSC and forms a basis for satisfying the academic requirements for the RSC's award of Chartered Chemist (CChem), through further study or continuing professional development.
Benefits of Accreditation
Accreditation helps you to choose a quality degree programme. It also confers market advantage to graduates from accredited programmes when they are seeking employment and when they go on to seek professional qualifications. It also offers assurances to prospective employers.
During your first year you'll be given a solid foundation in the fundamental principles that underpin chemistry. In your second year, you'll explore the essential concepts of drug design and study structure-activity relationships. In your third year, you'll discover how drugs are metabolized and analyse strategies used in the development of drugs in key therapeutic areas such as the treatment of cancer and bacterial infection.
The course allows you to study advanced topics such as cancer chemotherapy and is run in close collaboration with scientists from the pharmaceutical industry.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Entry requirements, fees and applying
Where an A-Level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.
Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking
GCSE: English Language grade C and Mathematics grade B
Our BSc graduates have expert understanding of all of inorganic, organic and physical chemistry and are experienced researchers. You'll develop the ability to communicate effectively to a range of audiences and be equipped for a wide variety of careers both in and beyond science.
For further information on career paths and employability please see our careers pages.
Throughout your degree we will make sure that you have the support and opportunity to develop the skills and experience you'll need to make the most of your career choices.
Our industrial placement scheme helps you gain valuable work experience that can help you stand out from the crowd. You could also secure a part-time job that you can feature on your CV through the students' union's Joblink.
Our study abroad scheme allows you to experience another culture and develop life skills, which many employers value. The students' union also provides volunteering opportunities which can help you in your personal development.
We teach problem-solving and high level thinking at all stages of your degree. Our programmes provide you with opportunities to develop the core subject knowledge and skills that you need to progress to a career in a particular area. Additionally, we offer skills development modules and modules that will give you an insight into industrial new product development, from concept to market, in the chemical and allied industries. These modules lead you through the various stages of setting up a new social enterprise, from the inception and development of the idea itself, through preparation of a business plan to creating a funding proposal for potential investors/grant awarding bodies.
We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That's one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.
Leeds for Life is our unique approach to helping you make the most of University by supporting your academic and personal development. Find out more at the Leeds for Life website.
The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.
Study abroad and work placements
On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
Spending a year living and studying in another country is a unique experience. Unlike the passing tourist, you have the chance to totally immerse yourself in another culture. You will gain unforgettable experiences and memories that you will draw upon in your working and personal life for years to come. In addition to this, the proven ability to live and work in an international context is an asset that employers actively seek.
On this course you have the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad. As a BSc student you may include your study abroad experience as an additional year of your studies, or, subject to satisfactory academic performance, transfer to our MChem degree scheme in which your study abroad year replaces your third year at Leeds.
During your year abroad, you will follow the chemistry course at your host institution. Many students find it valuable to undertake an extended practical project during this year which can be presented as part of your assessment for the year.
If you wish to study at an institution where the course is taught in a foreign language, such as French, you don't need to be fluent in the language before you go. We will help prepare you with a specialist language module at Level 2 which introduces you to scientific vocabulary and enhances your conversational and comprehension skills.
Students who spend a year in Europe through the ERASMUS programme also receive a maintenance grant for their year away and pay a reduced tuition fee for the year abroad.
Practical work experience can help you decide on your career and improve your employability. On this course you have the option to apply to take a placement year module with organisations across the public, private and voluntary sectors in the UK, or overseas.
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.
The industrial placement ('Year in Industry') scheme provides you with the opportunity to experience salaried work before you graduate. Employers actively seek graduates who already have work experience and it can make all the difference in interviews. In addition, the opportunity to work every day with scientists who are experts in their field is an incredible opportunity to enhance your knowledge of chemistry.
An industrial placement will boost your self-confidence, not only in your chosen subject area, but in the marketplace generally. You will be able to choose from a range of pharmaceutical, oil, fine chemical, colour, polymer and other chemistry-related industries in which to work. In previous years, students have worked at many prestigious companies, including:
During your industrial placement you will have an industrial supervisor from within the company, plus an academic supervisor who will keep in touch throughout your placement.
If you are not sure right now whether or not an industrial placement is right for you, don't worry - you will not have to start applying for placements until the beginning of your second year.
Related coursesChemistry BSc
Chemistry and Mathematics BSc
Medicinal Chemistry BSc
Chemistry MChem, BSc
Medicinal Chemistry MChem, BSc