Medicinal Chemistry BSc (Hons) or MChem – 2019 entry
Why choose this course
Our professionally accredited BSc/MChem Medicinal Chemistry programmes, which include modules delivered by our School of Biosciences and Medicine, will teach you the fundamentals of medicinal chemistry and enable you to make your own discoveries.
Benefitting from our research-active academics and strong professional links, you will gain the confidence to translate your ideas into practice. Our small and friendly department offers one of the best staff-to-student ratios in the country, ensuring that you will have an excellent, well-supported academic experience.
By the end of the course you will have the knowledge and skills you need to enter the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries.
Our chemistry programmes are ranked top 10 in the UK by the Guardian University Guide 2018.
What you will study
On our BSc and MChem Medicinal Chemistry courses you will get an integrated training in core and medicinal chemistry, including studying topics such as physiology, pharmacology and cell biology.
You’ll benefit from innovative teaching methods and have the freedom to conduct your own research project using state-of-the-art instrumentation.
We have excellent links with leading pharmaceutical companies in the UK and further afield, and you can choose to take a Professional Training placement year. This will give you the opportunity to gain an invaluable insight into working life as a medicinal chemist – and a real edge over other graduates when you enter the job market.
You can apply to study for either a BSc or an MChem (Master of Chemistry) degree. The MChem builds on the BSc course with a masters year, and is a direct route to a masters qualification which fulfils the academic requirements for chartered chemist status. If you study for an MChem, you’ll spend a year doing research with an industry partner before returning for a final year of masters-level modules.
Depending on your progress, you may have the option to switch to a BSc or MChem during your studies.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UCAS||KIS code|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||F150||View KIS data set|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||F151||View KIS data set|
|MChem||48 months||F150||View KIS data set|
Professional Training placements
As part of this course you have the option to complete a Professional Training placement. These will give you the opportunity to develop your professional, academic and personal potential, equipping you to be adaptable, resilient, globally minded, confident, entrepreneurial and digitally savvy in the workplace. These qualities are widely recognised by employers and a significant proportion of placement students at Surrey are offered graduate-level jobs or go onto postgraduate study.
Find out more about Professional Training placements and discover how these have transformed our students’ lives and career choices.
Medicinal Chemistry placements
Our programmes provide you with the opportunity to undertake a placement year with an industrial leader in the UK or overseas.
A placement will help you to become confident in problem solving and communication, and acquire management and leadership skills. This industry experience will give you a real advantage in whatever career you choose to pursue – whether in science, industry, government or education.
In the increasingly competitive world of graduate employment, research shows that companies are more likely to consider applicants who have had previous professional experience. Many companies hosting Professional Training placements offer our students employment upon graduation.
Companies that participate in our scheme include:
- British Geological Survey
- Institute for Nuclear Research
- Intrinsiq Materials
- Jacobs Douwe Egberts.
The Professional Training year is optional for BSc degrees.
Applying for placements
Professional Training placements are usually applied for and secured via an open and free-to-all process, within which students can select and apply for numerous opportunities. Placement providers use their own recruitment and selection procedures and the majority of students will secure their placement in this way. However, support is also provided to students wishing to source their own placement, subject to university requirements being met.
Students are generally not placed by the University, however they are given thorough support and guidance alongside access to a vacancy portal representing thousands of placement opportunities each year. Please be aware there may be travel costs incurred when attending interviews and assessment centres at the placement provider’s premises.
Graduation, with experience, can lead to Chartered Chemist status (CChem) with an MChem degree, and admission to the Associate Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (AMRSC) professional grade with a BSc degree.
The Chemistry with Forensic Investigation programme has also been accepted into corporate membership of the Forensic Science Society.
Careers and graduate prospects
We offer careers information, advice and guidance to all students whilst studying with us, which is extended to our alumni for three years after leaving the University.
Over the last decade, our employment figures have been amongst the best in the UK, with our graduates securing impressive salaries. We place 70-80 per cent of our graduates into graduate-level jobs, compared with the national average of 66 per cent.
While many of you will enter the chemical industry, as positions often follow naturally from successful Professional Training placements, others will continue to study, opting to undertake an MSc or PhD, or enter teacher training.
Our graduates are very successful, not only in the industrial sector but also in finance, government and education.
Recent graduates have entered employment in roles such as:
- Scientist, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
- Research Technician, Battelle
- Research Technician, Biointeractions
- Analytical Chemist, Dextra Laboratories
- Polymer Technologist, Plascoat Systems
- Chemistry Teacher, Tormead School.
Study and work abroad
We give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities or by completing a Professional Training placement abroad. In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV. Visit our global exchanges pages to check where you can go.
You may wish to consider spending your Professional Training year working in another country. Students have worked in the US, Canada, Brazil, Australia and in many European countries. Students typically work in a research laboratory at a partner institution.
If you work in another part of Europe you will be eligible for an Erasmus+ grant, as well as your full student loan if undertaking an unpaid research placement at a European higher education institution.
This is an excellent opportunity not only to acquire valuable work experience but also to improve or learn another language.
The laboratories in which you undertake practical work have recently been refurbished with modern equipment. Our commitment to the development of your practical skills means that you spend a great deal of time utilising these facilities.
For your final year research project, you will work within our research laboratories alongside active researchers.
Academic year structure
The academic year is divided into two semesters of 15 weeks each. Each semester consists of a period of teaching, revision/directed learning and assessment.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. All taught modules are 15 credits. Project modules and dissertation modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Optional modules for Year 1 - FHEQ Level 4
Choose 1 from the 3 listed optional modules
Optional modules for Year 3 - FHEQ Level 6
Choose 2 from the optional modules marked^
Choose 1 from the optional modules marked **
Optional modules for Year 1 - FHEQ Level 4
Choose 1 from the 3 listed optional modules.
Optional modules for Year 4 - FHEQ Level 7
Choose 2 from the 3 optional modules
Timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
On our programmes you will experience a variety of teaching methods including project-based laboratory work, tutorials, problem-solving classes and assessed coursework, alongside lectures and seminars.
The Transferable and Quantitative Skills modules will develop your oral presentation, graphic presentation, teamwork and leadership skills.
Each week you will spend around 24 hours in lectures, practical classes and tutorials. This provides you with the opportunity to explore topics in small group tutorials and utilise computer-assisted learning packages to enrich your understanding.
Personal study time is primarily taken up with coursework and practical assignments.
There may be occasions when the delivery of your teaching is supported by postgraduate research students. The University has a set of procedures that govern the use of postgraduate research students in this way.
This course is taught by academic staff from the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences.
AMODIO C Dr (Chemistry)
All taught students are assigned a personal tutor before beginning a programme of study. Personal tutors offer support and advice to students in the areas of:
Personal/professional development and employability.
Modules are assessed individually and credits are awarded for the successful completion of each one. Assessment takes place through a combination of examination and/or coursework, practical examinations and reports. Check individual module information to see full details at a module level.
Contact hours can vary across our modules. Full details of the contact hours for each module are available from the University of Surrey's module catalogue. See the modules section for more information.
Policies and regulations
Learning and disability support
We have two services, the Student Personal Learning and Study Hub (SPLASH) and Additional Learning Support (ALS) which can help develop your learning.
Student Personal Learning and Study Hub
SPLASH is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Additional Learning Support
ALS is the University’s disability and neurodiversity service which supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (for example: dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (for example: autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you have a disability, we encourage you to disclose your condition and register with the service so you can be appropriately supported during your studies.
The ALS team can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance and screen students for dyslexia and dyspraxia. Regular study skills and mentoring support is also available.
See the Additional Learning Support website for more information.
What qualifications do you need?
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in each element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
Offers are normally made in terms of grades.
Suitable candidates will be invited to an Applicant Day. During the visit to the University the candidate can find out more about the programme and meet staff and students.
Recognition of prior learning
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the Code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
|Qualification||Course length||Professional Training||UK/EU fees||Overseas fees||Professional Training fees|
|BSc (Hons)||36 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||Not applicable|
|BSc (Hons)||48 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||To be confirmed|
|MChem||48 months||To be confirmed||To be confirmed||Not applicable|
The University will assess your fee status. If you are unsure whether you are likely to be considered a home, EU or overseas student for fees purposes, the UKCISA website offers more information.
There are associated costs with this BSc (Hons) programme:
Safety equipment and/or uniform: £20 - New students are required to purchase a labcoat, marker pen and lab book
Grand total: £20
There are associated costs with this MChem (Hons) programme:
- Safety equipment and/or uniform: £20 - New students are required to purchase a labcoat, marker pen and lab book
Grand total: £20
These additional costs are accurate as of September 2017 and apply to the 2018 year of entry. Costs for 2019 entry will be published in September 2018.
How to apply
Learn how to apply for an undergraduate course, see details about the UCAS application process and determine the steps you need to take if you receive an offer to study.
Our undergraduate admissions policy provides the basis for admissions practice across the University and gives a framework for how we encourage, consider applications and admit students.
Scholarships and bursaries
We're committed to making sure that we offer support for students who might need it.