Module Overview

Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Analysis

The medicinal chemistry part of the module is at intermediate level and builds on the material delivered in the year 2 modules.  Learners will discuss drug action in terms of three phases (pharmaceutical, pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic). Drug administration, principles of rational drug design and the chemical and physical processes which a drug undergoes once administered will be discussed.

The aim of the pharmaceutical analysis part of this module is to provide the student with a good grounding in medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical analysis methods. This includes a review of pharmacopoeia techniques applied to Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and oral solid dosages.  The module incorporates a significant amount of experimental techniques as applied to these analytes. 

The laboratory component will further develop learners’ practical skills while supporting and reinforcing the concepts discussed in the lectures. 

Module Code

CHEM 3018

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change





Medicinal chemistry

Phases of drug action and duration. Drug classification. The role of serendipity in drug discovery. Rational drug design, biological evaluation, tools used by the medicinal chemist (including high throughput screening and parallel synthesis), structure activity relationships, the pharmacophore.Relationship between the physicochemical properties of a drug, its pharmacokinetics (ADME) and route of administration.  Barriers to delivery (passive and active transport across cell membranes, blood brain barrier) and methods to improve drug delivery.

Pharmaceutical Analysis

Limit tests for heavy metals and other residual metals, Physical matter testing, Residue on ignition, autotitrators, moisture analysis including: Karl Fischer titration, halogen moisture analysis and loss on drying. Tablet elegance, thickness, hardness, friability, disintegration testing.  Introduction to dissolution and content uniformity testing.

Laboratory component

5 x 3 hour laboratory sessions.  Laboratory work is sourced from the School of Chemical and BioPharmaceutical Sciences Laboratory Manuals.

The module is delivered through a series of lectures (20 hours), tutorials (4 hours), laboratory practical classes (15 hours) and self-study (61 hours).

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Formal Examination60
Other Assessment(s)40