Biomolecular Science and Medicinal Chemistry PhD/MRes


Fact file

PhD/MRes Biomolecular Science and Medicinal Chemistry
Three/four years
Entry requirements
2:1 (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject.
6.0 (5.5) If these grades are not met, English preparatory courses are available
University Park
Other requirements

Research overview

If you would like to apply to join this research division by undertaking a PhD or MRes, please complete the online application form including the name of a potential supervisor and mentioning the name of the division in your personal statement.

The discovery and development of new drugs has been revolutionised over the last two decades by advances in synthetic medicinal chemistry coupled with the rapidly developing areas of cellular, molecular and structural biology. The Biomolecular Science and Medicinal Chemistry division in the School of Pharmacy provides a unique multidisciplinary environment for PhD study, giving graduates from a wide variety of backgrounds in the physical and life sciences the opportunity to contribute to the development of new treatments for many different diseases. Working in this group allows students to work with those with a proven track record in understanding the molecular basis of disease and taking new molecules from discovery to clinical trials, and on to the market.

Ongoing research within the group is focused on therapeutic areas such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 1 diabetes, narcolepsy and infection and Immunity. Our research is aimed at identifying new targets for these and other diseases using post genomic technologies and systems biology applications to investigate the control of gene expression and protein production in diseased and healthy cells. X-ray crystallography and protein structure elucidation links newly discovered biochemical targets through to chemical approaches for new molecule drug discovery. From here assay design, synthetic medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry and molecular pharmacology help expedite the generation of new compounds targeted towards specific molecular entities or cells.



The School of Pharmacy is based in three buildings on University Park, each housing state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and equipment. A directory of our facilities and techniques, and associated staff, is available. 

The Boots Science Building is home to a large part of our research laboratories and is the base for our EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training. The Centre for Biomolecular Sciences brings together some 300 scientists from across the University. The Pharmacy School Building is our main teaching building with three teaching laboratories and innovative simulated pharmacy facilities.  

Equipment across the School's buildings provides a range of research facilities including those for:

  • protein expression and purification
  • tissue culture
  • chemical synthesis and characterisation
  • surface analysis
  • genetic modification, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics
  • bioinformatics.

Research support

All PhD students are loaned a new laptop for the duration of their studies and allocated write-up space in a shared office. We are proud of the flexible training programme provided for our postgraduate students. As well as a comprehensive induction week, you will agree an individual training programme with your supervisors to run throughout your studies. This will provide training in key transferrable skills, via the University’s Graduate School, and in more specialised areas via bespoke courses run by the School.

You will also attend weekly seminars presented by external and internal speakers, and will be encouraged to develop your own communication and presentation skills.

A number of University support services exist to assist you during your time at Nottingham and beyond. The Postgraduate Students' Association (PGSA) are a particularly important source of support.


Find a supervisor

We encourage you to get in touch with a member of academic staff about your research proposal before submitting an application. They may be able to help you with your proposal and offer support to find funding opportunities in your area. Details of research supervisors at the University can be found on our research A to Z.



UK/EU Students

For UK students the research councils (BBSRC, EPSRC and MRC), the University, industry and various charities provide studentships covering tuition fees and subsistence. Research council studentships may be CASE awards, which are joint with an industrial partner. Other sources for Pharmacists include scholarships from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Students from Northern Ireland should also contact the Department of Education for Northern Ireland.

Research council studentships may be taken up by EU citizens but only tuition fees will be covered. Studentships from industry, charities and the University vary but will often cover tuition and subsistence. EU citizens may also apply for scholarships in advance through your current university EU office.

The University Graduate School operates two schemes of its own to help support current postgraduate research. The Graduate School Travel Prize and Universitas21 funding. The Graduate School also holds a list of other sources of funding. Studentship opportunities are also available.

International Students

As an international student you will require tuition fees and you will also need to provide living costs.

Please visit the following webpage to find out about the tuition fees.

Further information regarding funding opportunities can be obtained from the International Office, or you can email:

The following websites may also be useful: 

Some international organisations such as United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) or World Health Organization (WHO), operate their own schemes. Details are available through your own governments' education department or Ministry of Education.

Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP)

Assists students from Commonwealth Countries for research postgraduate degrees. Nomination of candidates is by local committees in the Commonwealth country concerned. Final selection is made in the UK by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission.  Applicants should apply through the Commonwealth Scholarship Agency in the Commonwealth countries involved.  Applicants should be resident in their own country at the time of application.

Please visit the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) website to find out more about their awards.

English language requirements

IELTS  6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each element.



Visit the School page for additional opportunities.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 100% of postgraduates from the School of Pharmacy who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £31,562 with the highest being £39,000.* 

*Known destinations of full-time home postgraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK. 

Career Prospects and Employability

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers** and 
can offer you a head-start when it comes to your career. 

Those who take up a postgraduate research opportunity with us will not only receive support in terms of close contact with supervisors and 
specific training related to your area of research, you will also benefit from dedicated careers advice from our Careers and Employability Service

Our Careers and Employability Service offers a range of services including advice sessions, employer events, recruitment fairs and skills 
workshops – and once you have graduated, you will have access to the service for life.

** The Graduate Market 2013-2017, High Fliers Research.


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.

Prof Barrie Kellam
School of Pharmacy
The University of Nottingham
University Park
NG7 2RD 

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