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Medicinal Chemistry with Pharmacology with a Year Abroad

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Although the UCAS equal consideration date has now passed, many of our courses are still accepting applications from UK students for 2024 entry through UCAS.

The deadline for international students is 30 June 2024.

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Master of Chemistry

Master of Chemistry (MChem) is an integrated master’s degree which combines undergraduate and postgraduate study into a single course.

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Course overview

Chemistry graduates are at the heart of science, underpinning some of the world’s most dynamic and exciting industries. Combining the study of chemistry with pharmacology, this MChem qualification makes an ideal foundation for a wide range of career pathways or to study for a PhD.

Introduction

This programme will give you a broad and detailed understanding of every aspect of advanced medicinal chemistry and pharmacology. On completion you will be ready to embark on a PhD in either chemistry or pharmacology or on a career in the pharmaceutical industry.

All our programmes have a common chemistry core which provides a good measure of flexibility and choice for you during the first two years. This programme shares this common chemistry core but you devote around 25% of your time to studying pharmacology and biomedical sciences.

The first two years of this programme are identical to the first year of the BSc Medicinal Chemistry (F1B2) programme. There are no optional modules, instead students take designated modules in biomedical and biological sciences and medicinal chemistry. These first two years progress rapidly, with a mix of theory and practical modules to give you a solid grounding in the subject.

Since students enter the Department with a wide range of experience in mathematics (which is essential for studying chemistry to a high level) we provide a flexible tiered maths for chemistry course allowing you to develop your skills at your own pace.

During your year abroad, you will gain transferable skills that come with living and adapting to life in a different country; skills that will help with your employability and career prospects.

In year four, you continue with the Inorganic and Organic sections of the MChem Chemistry (F102) programme but instead of physical chemistry, you take designated pharmacology modules. You will start to apply your knowledge of chemistry and pharmacology to pharmaceutical problems, with particular reference to drug design and development.

Your final year brings you to the frontiers of chemistry and pharmacology and the basic concepts of both subjects are fully integrated. You will take core organic chemistry modules as well as core pharmacology modules such as drug metabolism and drug response, and cancer pharmacology.

Chemical research is particularly important in year four and involves you conducting a significant project with a strong medicinal chemistry theme as a member of one of the research groups in the department.

This degree programme has a year abroad option. The year abroad is an incredible new opportunity to spend one academic year at one of our partner universities expanding your academic and cultural horizons. You’ll spend this time abroad in between your second and third years of study and your degree will extend by one year.

The Department of Chemistry is committed to continuous improvement of our curriculum. We are undergoing a curriculum review to further prepare our graduates for the next stage of their career by developing our degree programmes to incorporate knowledge and skills for the future workforce and ensure a positive learning experience for all students. Module and programme structures may change as we further develop an inclusive curriculum with enhanced sustainable, digital, and analytical chemistry elements. These aspects will sit alongside all the expected core chemistry components including organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry and professional skills.

What you'll learn

  • Maths for Chemistry
  • Drug design and development
  • How drugs metabolise
  • Cancer pharmacology
  • Problem solving
  • Computational modelling
  • Molecular visualisation

Accreditation

This programme has master accreditation from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

Accreditations in detail

Teaching Excellence Framework 2023

We’re proud to announce we’ve been awarded a Gold rating for educational excellence.

Accreditations

This programme has master accreditation from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Year one

Compulsory modules

Foundations of Medicinal Chemistry (CHEM141)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will introduce the area of medicinal chemistry and the underpinning cellular biology where it is applied. The course will delve into the chemical aspects of molecular and cellular biology and the processes that allow life to exist, and subsequently discuss the key cellular targets of interest to a medicinal chemist in the drug design process. This material will form the foundations needed to progress onto higher years of medicinal chemistry where modern case studies and the principles of pharmacology will be looked at in greater depth.

INTRODUCTION TO PHYSIOLOGY AND PHARMACOLOGY (LIFE106)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module introduces students to the fundamentals of human physiology and pharmacology and how they complement each other. The lectures will be supported with a range of learning support materials, for example multimedia and text based resources. Students will also be provided the opportunity to consolidate and extend their learning through a variety of assessments. The module will be assessed via two assessments; the first in week 6, which is a group poster worth 25% and an individual abstract for the poster worth 15%; the second at the end of the module, after week 12, which is a MCQ / MAQ assessment worth the remaining 60% for the module.

This module has a focus on the fundamental principles of physiology such has homeostasis and control of normal function, including examples such as the cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems, plus others. In addition, the module introduces the underlying elements required to develop an understanding to study pharmacology in more detail. Its systems approach provides a solid foundation upon which a number of Biological and also Biomedical degrees can flourish.

Introductory Inorganic Chemistry (CHEM111)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module gives an introduction to the chemistry of the main group elements, using the periodic table as the underpinning framework for understanding this chemistry, and develops students’ analytical chemistry skills including volumetric and spectrophotometric techniques applied to materials that are familiar in everyday life.

Introductory Organic Chemistry (CHEM130)

Credits: 30 / Semester: whole session

An Introduction to Organic Chemistry consisting of lectures, workshops and laboratory classes assessed continuously and by four class tests

Introductory Physical Chemistry (CHEM152)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 2

This module builds on the thermodynamics and kinetics that students have studied prior to University. Learning is supported by both problem-solving workshops and undertaking experiments in the laboratory

Introductory Spectroscopy (CHEM170)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

This module will provide an introduction to a variety of spectroscopic techniques. Students will explore the theory underpinning various spectroscopic methods, how they are put into practice when acquiring spectra, and the interpretation of spectra to identify unknown substances.

Key Skills for Chemists 1 (CHEM180)

Credits: 15 / Semester: whole session

The aim of this module is: (i) to equip students with the basic quantitative transferable skills required for the first year of a Chemistry degree programme. (ii) to broaden a student’s perspective of chemistry whilst developing their general transferable skills focusing on communication and employability. The overarching learning outcome is for students to have the key skills that will equip them to perform well in the rest of their chemistry degree programme.
Quantitative Key Skills will be taught using a lecture/workshop format involving problem solving classes, using computers where necessary. General Key Skills will involve a series of lecture-based presentations given by staff from the Department of Chemistry and the Careers Service together with a database workshop and small group tutorials. Extensive use of online platforms will be made.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Course options

Studying with us means you can tailor your degree to suit you. Here's what is available on this course.

Language study

Every student at The University of Liverpool can study a language as part of, or alongside their degree. You can choose:

  • A dedicated languages degree
  • A language as a joint or major/ minor degree
  • Language modules (selected degrees)
  • Language classes alongside your studies

Read more about studying a language

Study as a master's degree

This course is also available as a four year MChem programme.

View Medicinal Chemistry with Pharmacology MChem

Your experience

Our excellence in research strongly influences our teaching, and ensures that you are engaged in frontier science in optional modules and in project work. Our state-of-the-art Central Teaching Laboratories offer a unique environment in which to study Chemistry.

Your course will be delivered by the Department of Chemistry.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

What students say...

The research that takes place in the chemistry department here in Liverpool is internationally leading, and makes a huge impacts around the world.

, MChem Chemistry

Careers and employability

Visits to the department by leading companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever ensure that you make contact with prospective employers at key stages in your final year. Graduates find employment in many areas, from the pharmaceutical industry to business management.

Typical careers of our graduates include:

  • assistant analyst
  • development chemist
  • research assistant
  • site chemist.

Recent employers of our graduates are:

  • AstraZeneca
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • IOTA Nansolutions Ltd
  • Johnson Matthey
  • Perstorp Caprolactones
  • Shell
  • Towers Watson
  • Unilever
  • United Utilities

4 in 5 chemistry students find their main activity after graduation meaningful.

Graduate Outcomes, 2018-19.

Meet our alumni

Hear what graduates say about their career progression and life after university.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £9,250
Year in industry fee £1,850
Year abroad fee £1,385
International fees
Full-time place, per year £27,200
Year abroad fee £13,600
Fees are correct for the academic year 2024/25. Please note that the Year Abroad fee also applies to the Year in China.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

Your tuition fee covers almost everything but you may have additional study costs to consider, such as books.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

Your tuition fee covers almost everything but you may have additional study costs to consider, such as books.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to provide tuition fee discounts and help with living expenses while at university.

Check out our Liverpool Bursary, worth up to £2,000 per year for eligible UK students. Or for international students, our Undergraduate Global Advancement Scholarship offers a tuition fee discount of up to £5,000 for eligible international students starting an undergraduate degree from September 2024.

Discover our full range of undergraduate scholarships and bursaries

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

A levels

AAB Two science A levels including Chemistry and a second science. Acceptable second sciences are: Mathematics, Further Mathematics, Physics, Biology, Geography, Geology, Computing, Computer Science and Economics.

Applicants with the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) are eligible for a reduction in grade requirements. For this course, the offer is ABB with A in the EPQ.

You may automatically qualify for reduced entry requirements through our contextual offers scheme.

T levels

T levels considered in a relevant subject and specialism. Additional test required

Applicants should contact us by completing the enquiry form on our website to discuss specific requirements in the core components and the occupational specialism.

GCSE 4/C in English and 4/C in Mathematics
Subject requirements

For applicants from England: Where a science has been taken at A level (Chemistry, Biology, Geology or Physics), a pass in the Science practical of each subject will be required.

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

Not accepted – applicants should apply for F1B2

International Baccalaureate

35 points including 6 points from Chemistry at higher level and 5 points from one other science at higher level

Irish Leaving Certificate H1, H1, H2, H2, H2, H3 (including Chemistry and one other Science)
Scottish Higher/Advanced Higher

Not accepted without Advanced Highers

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Accepted at gradeB, including 2 science A levels at grades AA including Chemistry
Access Not accepted – applicants should apply for F1B2
International qualifications

Many countries have a different education system to that of the UK, meaning your qualifications may not meet our direct entry requirements. Although there is no direct Foundation Certificate route to this course, completing a Foundation Certificate, such as that offered by the University of Liverpool International College, can guarantee you a place on a number of similar courses which may interest you.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5
TOEFL iBT 78 overall, with minimum scores of listening 17, writing 17, reading 17 and speaking 19
Duolingo English Test 105 overall, with no component below 95 
Pearson PTE Academic 59 overall, with no component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 65 overall, with no skill below 60
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0500 Grade C overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking and listening. Speaking and listening must be separately endorsed on the certificate.
Cambridge IGCSE First Language English 0990 Grade 4 overall, with Merit in speaking and listening
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0510/0511 0510: Grade C overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0511: Grade C overall.
Cambridge IGCSE Second Language English 0993/0991 0993: Grade 5 overall, with a minimum of grade 2 in speaking. Speaking must be separately endorsed on the certificate. 0991: Grade 5 overall.  
International Baccalaureate Standard Level grade 5 or Higher Level grade 4 in English B, English Language and Literature, or English Language
Cambridge ESOL Level 2/3 Advanced 169 overall, with no paper below 162

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.5 6 weeks On campus
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.0 10 weeks On campus and online options available
5.0 overall, with no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.0 overall, with no component below 4.5 20 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.0 overall, with no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.0, with no component below 5.5, for further details.

Contextual offers: reduced grade requirements

Based on your personal circumstances, you may automatically qualify for up to a two-grade reduction in the entry requirements needed for this course. When you apply, we consider a range of factors – such as where you live – to assess if you’re eligible for a grade reduction. You don’t have to make an application for a grade reduction – we’ll do all the work.

Find out more about how we make reduced grade offers.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new UCAS cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

Recent changes to government policy which determine the number of students individual institutions may admit under the student number control also have a bearing on our entry requirements and acceptance levels, as this policy may result in us having fewer places than in previous years.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. For this reason, we consider a range of factors in addition to predicted grades, widening participation factors amongst other evidence provided. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted in the prospectus and on the website.

Alternative entry requirements

Changes to Medicinal Chemistry with Pharmacology with a Year Abroad MChem

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

7 June 2022: New course pages

New course pages launched.

6 December 2022: Module changes

Year 4 optional module list updated – See course page