Module Overview

Medicinal chemistry for nutraceuticals

Medicinal chemistry is a discipline at the intersection of synthetic organic chemistry, and pharmacology that is involved with design, chemical synthesis and development for market of pharmaceutical agents, or bio-active molecules (drugs).


The module will explore various steps in the process of modern drug discovery and development with a particular emphasis on the role of the medicinal chemist along the pipeline. The processes of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics will be explored along with techniques to improve the rational design and development of modern pharmaceuticals/nutraceuticals.


This module also provides an overview of non-nutritive dietary/food/plant components which have biological functions above that of energy, macro/micro nutrient provision. The postulated function of these components will be discussed in relation to disease prevention and treatment. The module aims to provide an understanding of recent advances in novel/functional foods and nutraceuticals.

A series of relevant plant extractions using green analytic tools and computational lab sessions shall reinforce these concepts.

Module Code

CHEM 4001

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

An introduction to medicinal chemistry.

An introduction to drug design and development



Quantitative structure activity relationships

Bioactives from plant origin

Bioactives from animal origin

 PRACTICAL EXERCISE: This unit will comprise 6 x 3 hr practical sessions during which students will carry out a variety of plant based extractions relevant to the production of nutraceuticals and wet chemical analysis of the products. The role of greener solvents for these extractions will be explored.

Additional computer based sessions will utilise medicinal chemistry techniques to explore the interactions of such compounds with their protein targets.

This module would be taught through the media of lectures, laboratory practicals and self-directed learning exercises.

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