Module Overview

Medicinal Chemistry & Chemical and Pharmaceutical Processes

The processes part of the module is concerned with the application of science and technology in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. The module aims to give the student an appreciation of the steps involved from chemical development to a scaled up industrial processes for both fine chemicals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. 
The medicinal chemistry part of the module is at intermediate level and builds on the introductory module completed in year 1 of the programme.  It deals with basic principles of drug action and focuses on drugs that target proteins. It includes an overview of some of the relevant aspects of human physiology and pharmacology. Drug action at receptors and inhibition of enzyme by drugs is described in more detail.

Module Code

CHEM 2025

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Chemical and Pharmaceutical Processes.

Introduction to chemical and pharmaceutical processes, Explanation of APIs, Bulk and fine chemicals. 

Chemical development , drug discovery and synthesis, Considerations for scale up including synthetic pathway 
Intellectual Property, Orphan drugs 
Processing consideration for key pharmaceutical products. 
Chemistry information and steps in a chemical process scale up, Process flow diagrams, Solvent selection, Reactor types, Fluid flow properties, Mass balance calculations.  
Medicinal Chemistry  
A brief overview of human physiology and pharmacology for the purposes of understanding drug action: The central and autonomic nervous system, the structureand function of receptors and enzymes. 
Drug-target interactions: Binding (role, nature, quality), binding site, regions and groups, desolvation penalty, hydrophobic effect.  Lock and key mechanism and induced fit. 
Drug action at receptors: agonism, antagonism, inverse and partial agonism. Inhibition of enzymes by drugs: competitive, non-competitive and allosteric. Mechanism of action of selection of drugs, for example: salbutamol, aspirin, penicillin, the sulfa drugs, fluoxetine, paclitaxel. 
Laboratory component: 5 x 3 hour laboratory sessions.  Laboratory work, sourced from the School of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences Laboratory Manual, will support the theory and build on student learning. 

The module will be delivered through lectures, case studies, problem solving and tutorials in addition to a number of laboratory practicals. 


Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination45
Other Assessment(s)55