Medicinal and Biological Chemistry with an Assessed Year in Industry MSci


Fact file - 2018 entry

Medicinal and Biological Chemistry with an Assessed Year in Industry | MSci Hons
UCAS code
4 years full-time (year 3 out)
A level offer

If you make The University of Nottingham your firm choice and do not meet the MSci grades in your offer but meet the BSc grades then you will automatically be offered a place for the BSc FC17 degree.  
Required subjects
chemistry A level at grade A; GCSE mathematics at grade 4 or above
IB score
36-34 (including chemistry grade 6 at Higher Level); GCSE maths and English grade 4 or above

If you make The University of Nottingham your firm choice and do not meet the MSci grades in your offer but meet the BSc grades then you will automatically be offered a place for the BSc FC17 degree
Course location
University Park Campus 
Course places
200 across all chemistry courses (except FF31 and FFH1)


This four-year course provides an in-depth study of all of the major branches of chemistry. It has been designed to produce graduates with an excellent practical and theoretical knowledge.
Read full overview

This four-year course provides the broad, in-depth chemistry training of the MSci Medicinal and Biological Chemistry course, with the added opportunity of an assessed year spent in a research laboratory of a major chemical company. The course structure for years one and two is the same as for FC1R MSci Medicinal and Biological Chemistry. The foundation in all areas of chemistry provided by the first two years provide an excellent base from which you can successfully experience research work in a prestigious industrial laboratory.

Transfer between the MSci Medicinal and Biological Chemistry, BSc Medicinal and Biological Chemistry, MSci Medicinal and Biological Chemistry with an Assessed Year in Industry is possible up to the end of semester one in year two.

Year one

In the first year you will follow introductory courses in chemistry, physiology and pharmacology, including practical training. You will spend approximately two-thirds of your first year gaining core chemical knowledge and understanding that builds upon your pre-university studies. If you do not possess A level mathematics (or equivalent) you will take in-house modules to prepare you for this aspect of the chemistry course.

Year two

You will cover topics in physical, inorganic and organic chemistry in more depth, as well as complementary courses in spectroscopy, biological chemistry and pharmacology, which includes a case study on the development of a recent drug. You will apply to potential companies for your year three placement and you will be supported in this process by the School of Chemistry.

Progression onto the third year of the MSci Medicinal and Biological Chemistry with an Assessed Year in Industry degree will depend on a good level of performance in years one and two.

Year three

Progression onto the assessed third year gives you an opportunity to work on a 90 credit research project in a research laboratory of a major chemical company located either in the UK or in mainland Europe where you will be a salaried employee. Three 10 credit distance learning theory modules will develop your core chemistry knowledge; comprehensive academic and pastoral support will be provided. Recent destinations for placement students have included Actelion (Switzerland), AstraZeneca, BP, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen (Belgium) and Lubrizol.

Year four

The final year follows a similar course as for the MSci Medicinal and Biological Chemistry course. You will also undertake a major research project, which provides an opportunity to experience research methods employed in modern chemistry.


Entry requirements

A levels: AAA-AAB, including chemistry at grade A. Typical offers will vary depending on the A level subjects offered in addition to chemistry.

Applicants taking A level biology, chemistry and/or physics are also required to pass the practical element of assessment (where it is assessed separately).

GCSEs: mathematics at grade 4 (or equivalent)

If you make The University of Nottingham your firm choice and do not meet the MSci grades in your offer but meet the BSc grades then you will automatically be offered a place for the BSc FC17 degree.

English language requirements 

IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element)

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you can attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education (CELE), which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English. Successful students can progress onto their chosen degree course without taking IELTS again.

Alternative qualifications 

For details please see alternative qualifications page

Science Foundation Certificate

International students only

International students (non-EU) who do not have the required qualifications or grades to go directly onto an undergraduate degree course, may be interested in the Science Foundation Certificate delivered through The University of Nottingham International College. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met. 

Science with Foundation Year

Home, EU and international students

If you have achieved high grades in your A levels (or equivalent qualifications) but do not meet the current subject entry requirements for direct entry to your chosen undergraduate course, you may be interested in our one year science foundation programme. Applicants must also demonstrate good grades in previous relevant science subjects to apply. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met.  

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, The University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We may make some applicants an offer lower than advertised, depending on their personal and educational circumstances. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.

We value diversity and are committed to equal opportunity.



Typical year one modules


An Introduction to Structure, Periodicity and Coordination Chemistry

This module builds on your previous studies in chemistry and provides a firm foundation in topics including: atomic and molecular structure; the shapes of molecules; chemical bonding; Lewis structures;  molecular shape and symmetry; Intermolecular interactions and periodic trends in the properties of the elements of the s and p-blocks; the chemistry of the transition metal elements and their coordination complexes. You’ll spend around two hours per week studying this module with weekly tutorials.

An Introduction to Spectroscopy, Energy and Bonding in Chemistry

In this module you will learn about the development of quantum theory and the spectroscopy of the hydrogen atom. You will examine the theories used to describe the bonding in molecules and will develop an understanding of microwave and infra-red spectroscopies. The module also introduces you to some of the key concepts in thermodynamics including enthalpy, entropy and free energy and their application in describing equilibria and electrochemical processes. You will develop an understanding of the key concepts in reaction kinetics. You’ll spend two hours per week studying this module.

An Introduction to Organic Molecules and their Reactivity

You’ll examine the fundamental principles of organic chemistry. This will include nomenclature, bonding concepts, orbitals and the shape, stereochemistry and acid-base properties of organic molecules. Later in the module will focus on reactivity and important reactions and transformations in organic chemistry. You’ll spend two hours per week studying this module.

Foundation Laboratory Work

This module introduces you to the essential laboratory skills that are required in inorganic, organic and physical chemistry. You’ll spend around 8 hours per week in laboratory practicals performing experiments, and collecting and analysing data. You’ll present written reports of your experimental work that will form part of the assessment for this module.

Chemistry Study Skills
You’ll follow this introductory module right at the start of your course. It is designed to develop your study skills so that you can work effectively at University. The module will also introduce you to first year undergraduate laboratory chemistry. You’ll spend around four hours in your first week in practical sessions studying this module.
Human Physiology
You’ll be introduced to the physiology and pharmacology of the central nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory and urinary systems in man, including aspects of drug action. Activities will consist of lectures and associated background reading.


Chemical Calculations 1

You’ll gain a firm understanding of the use of mathematical equations in a chemical context through the study of topics including: scientific notation and significant figures; common chemical units and conversions between them; rearrangement of chemical expressions and their graphical representation. You’ll spend three hours per week in lectures and workshops for this module. Please note, if you do not possess a grade A-C in A level mathematics (or equivalent) then this module is compulsory.

Chemical Calculations 2

This module extends the material covered in Chemical Calculations 1. You’ll study topics including trigonometry, differentiation and integration, and differential equations for chemical problems. You’ll spend three hours per week in lectures and workshops studying these topics. Please note, if you do not possess a grade A-C in A level mathematics (or equivalent) then this module is compulsory.

Mathematics for Chemistry 1

You’ll be introduced to topics such as: functions of single variables; differential calculus of a single variable; integral calculus of a single variable; and basic probability and statistics. You’ll spend three hours per week in workshops and lectures for this module.

Mathematics for Chemistry 2

You’ll build upon your knowledge from Mathematics for Chemistry 1 and spend around three hours per week lectures and workshops. Topics you’ll study include: complex numbers; differential calculus; and the algebra of matrices and their applications in chemistry. 

Typical year two modules


Core Laboratory Work

This module builds on the practical, analytical and communication skills developed in the first year and introduces experiments across the range of chemistry, based on your second year theory modules. You’ll spend around 10 hours per week in practicals for this module.

Equilibria, Rates and Interfaces

You’ll build upon the principles of thermodynamics and kinetics developed in your first year, applying this to gaseous and liquid bulk phases, liquid to gas and solid to gas interfaces, and electrochemical cells. You’ll spend around two hours per week in lectures and workshops studying this module. 

General Inorganic Chemistry

You’ll spend two hours per week in lectures studying topics including the synthesis, bonding and reactivity of organometallic compounds, the use of symmetry and group theory to interpret infra-red spectra and NMR spectroscopy in inorganic chemistry. Further support is provided by tutorials every third week.

Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy

You’ll study topics including: particles and waves; vibrating molecules; orbitals; electron spin and spin-orbit coupling; Einstein coefficients; and centrifugal distortion. You’ll spend around two hours per week in lectures and one hour in workshops that run every three weeks for this module. 

Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Biology

This module introduces students to the chemistry of the fundamental building blocks of life; the structures of, and replication processes in prokaryotes; and how these can be disrupted by anti-infectives and harnessed in protein engineering. Fundamental concepts in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery are presented including the mode of action of a number of anti-cancer agents and the basic requirements for drug delivery, metabolism and targeting. You’ll spend two hours each week in lectures for this module.

Synthesis & Spectroscopy

In this module you’ll discuss the reactivity of, suggest synthetic routes for and interpret the spectroscopic characterisation of organic compounds including some natural products. Topics studied include modern spectroscopic techniques, carbon-carbon bond forming reactions, and the influence of heteroatoms on reactivity. You’ll attend two hours of lectures each week in this module and tutorials every third week.

Basic Molecular Pharmacology

You’ll study the mechanisms and gain an understanding of drug action and receptors. Areas of study will include: cell mediators; drug distribution and delivery; toxicology; and genetic factors. You’ll study this module through lectures, seminars and workshops.

Pharmacology Dissertation: Drugs and Diseases

You’ll be given the opportunity to study a disease or class of disease and rational approaches to treatments with drugs. You’ll present a 4,000 word dissertation through 50 hours of research and consideration of the relevant literature.

Typical year three modules
Year in Industry Research Project

In this module you’ll undertake a full-time chemistry research project in industry during the industrial placement year. You’ll review the relevant published work and plan and execute a research topic under the guidance of two supervisors. Your main supervisor will be your industrial contact and your second supervisor will be an academic from The University of Nottingham. You’ll present your results in an oral presentation and a written report.

Organic Chemistry Distance Learning

You'll learn about a range of modern reagents and synthetic methodology, and how these are applied to the synthesis of organic target molecules, such as natural products and active pharmaceuticals. You'll learn about organolithium reagents and how modern palladium-mediated cross-coupling reactions can be used to synthesise complex organic molecules. You’ll follow this module throughout the year through independent study and will be assessed by three written assignments.

Inorganic Chemistry Distance Learning

You’ll study the roles of inorganic elements and molecules in biology, the inorganic aspects of the N and O cycles. You’ll learn about the electronic structure, co-ordination chemistry, and redox properties of d-transition metal ions in biological systems and the roles of metalloproteins in dioxygen transport, electron transfer, photosynthesis and dinitrogen fixation. You’ll follow this module throughout the year through independent study and will be assessed by three written assignments.

Physical Chemistry Distance Learning

You’ll study the relationships between structure and properties of solids, and develop electronic structure theories that account for a wide range of properties of solids. You’ll learn about semi-conductors, photoconductivity, LEDs and solar cells. You’ll also study the modern theoretical methods that are used to calculate the properties of molecules and materials.  You’ll follow this module throughout the year through independent study and will be assessed by three written assignments.

Typical year four modules

You will choose one of the following modules:

Chemistry Research Project

You will be welcomed into one of the research groups within the School of Chemistry to undertake an in-depth research project. All projects will involve a review of relevant published work and the planning and execution of a research topic under the guidance of two supervisors.

Chemistry Research Project (overseas)

You’ll have the opportunity to undertake a research project in chemistry at a university in continental Europe. All projects will require a review of relevant published work and the planning and execution of research.



Advanced Physical Chemistry

Building on your knowledge from the previous years' modules in inorganic chemistry, you’ll study topics including: electron transfer pathways; inorganic chemistry in biological systems; the principles of molecular and supramolecular photochemistry; applications of inorganic photochemistry; and photocatalysis. You’ll spend around two hours in lectures and seminars each week for this module. 

Contemporary Physical Chemistry

You’ll learn about the properties of matter from condensed matter through to gas phase including the novel states of matter such as ultracold molecules in traps and liquid He nanodroplets, microsolvated clusters, and low dimensional carbon structures. You’ll study the dynamics of chemical processes and the capability of modern light sources allowing for the study of time-resolved measurements on timescales ranging from pico to attoseconds. You’ll study this module through two hours of lectures per week.

Contemporary Organic Synthesis and the Construction of Bioactive Targets

You’ll focus on the synthesis of a variety of architecturally complex bioactive targets, with particular reference to the goals and achievements of targeted synthesis. There is a particular emphasis on the use of modern synthetic methodology to address problems such as chemoselectivity, regiocontrol, stereoselectivity and atom economy. You’ll spend around two hours per week in lectures and seminars studying this module.

Medicines from Nature and Pharmaceutical Process Chemistry

In this module you’ll will study the role that natural products from plants, micro-organisms and marine life play in providing leads for today’s drugs and medicines in the fight against cancer, blood pressure, pain, inflammation, bacterial infection, AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other diseases. You'll also study how the discovery of biological activity in a natural product can be turned into a useful medicine, and learn about the biosyntheses and total syntheses of natural products. You will spend around two hours each week in lectures and seminars.

Nucleic Acids and Bio-organic Mechanism

In this module you’ll explore the structure, chemistry and molecular recognition of nucleic acids, together with the chemical reactivity of DNA towards mutagens, carcinogens and ionising radiation and anti-tumour drugs. You will also study the chemistry of the coenzymes derived from vitamins and their biological, together with their roles in nutrition. You will spend around two hours each week in lectures and seminars.

Inorganic and Materials Chemistry

In this module you will explore inorganic photochemistry, electron transport pathways, molecular and supramolecular photochemistry, and artificial photosynthesis together with the principles that underpin green chemistry. You will spend around two hours each week in lectures and seminars.

Self-assembly and Bottom-up Approaches to Nanostructure Fabrication

In this module you’ll study the approaches to the fabrication of molecular assemblies on the nanoscale. You’ll gain an understanding of the nature of intermolecular forces, paying particular attention to their application to self-assembly. You’ll spend around two hours per week studying this module. 

Enterprise for Chemists

In this module you’ll understand how companies within the chemical sector operate and integrate into the economy and learn about their structure and organisation and how these contribute to form a successful business.

You’ll learn about the factors that lead to successful innovation, including evaluation and management of an idea or concept in chemistry. In addition, you’ll consider the factors required to extract value from a product or concept, and the potential marketing routes available from both an academic and industrial viewpoint.

You’ll also develop an understanding of intellectual property, how it is protected and used to create value in the business context. Relevant aspects of intellectual property law will be highlighted, including patents, trademarks, copyright, and trade secrets, with an examination of their relevance and everyday application within the chemistry industries.


The modules we offer are inspired by the research interests of our staff and as a result may change for reasons of, for example, research developments or legislation changes. The above list is a sample of typical modules we offer, not a definitive list.



As a Nottingham chemistry graduate you will be well prepared for a wide range of employment and postgraduate study opportunities. The chemical industry continues to be one of the strongest industrial sectors in the UK and the emerging materials and biotechnology sectors require trained chemists who can generate the new materials, products and knowledge that are needed in these areas.

In addition to equipping you with theoretical and practical skills in chemistry, a degree in chemistry from Nottingham also demonstrates that you can think logically and critically, solve complicated problems and manage your time effectively. Consequently, our graduates may also be employed in professions including those in finance, education, marketing and the media.

Average starting salary and progression

In 2015, 94% of first-degree graduates in the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £21,889 with the highest being £45,500.*

* Known destinations of full-time home and EU first-degree graduates, 2014/15. Salaries are calculated based on those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

Studying for a degree at The University of Nottingham will provide you with the type of skills and experiences that will prove invaluable in any career, whichever direction you decide to take. Throughout your time with us, our Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at our careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  

The University of Nottingham is the best university in the UK for graduate employment, according to the 2017 The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide.



Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 40 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

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This course includes one or more pieces of formative assessment.

How to use the data

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


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