Pharmaceutical Chemistry BSc, 3-4 years

Start date:

2018
2019

This is for you if... you love chemistry and want to understand the way chemists develop new drugs. From curing cancer to treating malaria, chemists are at the forefront of drug design.

Typical offer
ABB-BBB
UCAS code
F154
Department
Chemistry

Admissions enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 5281
seadmissions@le.ac.uk

Course enquiries
+44 (0)116 252 2100
chemadmiss@le.ac.uk

Department of Chemistry website

Course description

Course description

The pharmaceutical industry needs scientists with a firm understanding of chemistry together with a knowledge of biochemistry, disease action, and drug behaviour. Our Pharmaceutical Chemistry degrees provide you with an excellent grounding in all these areas. They have been designed to cover all aspects of pharmaceutical drug development, from target selection, through to drug discovery and optimisation to clinical trials and marketing.

If you choose to study for a BSc or MChem degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry you will, on graduation, be equipped with the skills to work in the pharmaceutical industry or in the health and biomedical sectors. Pharmaceutical Chemists are at the forefront of drug development, design, synthesis, trials and marketing, and as one of the largest employer sectors in the UK, a diverse range of careers will be open to you.

The Department of Chemistry at Leicester is one of the best in the UK for both teaching and research. We have a reputation as a friendly, supportive department that produces highly trained graduates with skills valued by employers. This is because we offer high quality courses that are designed to give you a wide range of employment opportunities, and are carefully structured to ensure you will cover all the relevant topics.

Whichever degree you study, you will always benefit from our excellent teaching, our well-equipped laboratories, our high-quality welfare provision and academic support. You will also reap the benefits of the cutting-edge research being carried out in the department by our academics – the same academics who teach you.

Our specialist research areas include atmospheric chemistry, chemical biology, materials and interfaces, spectroscopy and dynamics, and sustainable synthesis and catalysis. You can be sure of learning about the very latest breakthroughs in each area throughout your course. In your final year, you will carry out your own personal research project, working under one of our academic staff and applying the knowledge and practical skills which you have gained on the course – placing you at the cutting-edge of chemistry research.

What's the difference?

Study for a BSc and you will receive rigorous training in chemistry and related, transferable skills – which will put you in a strong position to apply for a range of different employment sectors. Or you may want to continue your studies by applying for a Masters degree (MSc).

If you specifically want to find work as a chemist, whether in industry or the public sector, you should consider an MChem. The extra depth of experience and knowledge you will gain is valued by prospective employers that use chemical processes, and will keep you competitive in the job market against graduates who may have studied for the longer degrees taught in some European countries. Alternatively, an MChem provides a solid basis for progressing to a PhD.

Each of our three MChem degrees share a common first two years with the respective BSc, during which you can switch between them (transfer from BSc to MChem is subject to satisfactory progress). Both the MChem and BSc degrees are taught and assessed to the same high standards. The difference is one of content, not quality.

Also please note that the Year Abroad option is not available on our BSc degrees.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

  • A/AS-levels: ABB-BBB including Chemistry.  The lower offer is given to students studying Chemistry and a second science (Maths, Physics, Biology) Two AS-levels considered in place of one A-level. General Studies accepted.
  • EPQ with A-levels: BBB-BBC + EPQ at grade B
  • GCSE: Grade B/5 Maths (if Maths or Physics not held at A/AS-level)
  • Access to HE Diploma (Science): Pass Diploma with a minimum of 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Distinction. To include 15 credits at Distinction in Chemistry Level 3 modules.  If A-Level Chemistry is not held an additional entrance exam will be required.
  • International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 28-30 points (with grade 5 in Higher Level Chemistry), with a minimum of 15/16 points at HL. The lower offer is given to students studying Chemistry at HL and a second science at HL (Maths, Physics, Biology) 
  • BTEC Nationals: BTEC Diploma in Applied Science with DDD,  If A-Level Chemistry is not held an additional entrance exam will be required. 

Please note: If you do not have grade B at Chemistry A-level, you will need to take a Chemistry assessment test.

Other national and international qualifications considered.

If you do not meet the entry requirements for this course, you can apply for the International Foundation Year run by our dedicated International Study Centre. The ISC provides academic and English language support to help you progress to your chosen undergraduate degree at the University of Leicester.

Second year entry may be possible with suitable qualifications.

Selection Process

When considering your application, we will look for evidence that you will be able to fulfil the objectives of the course and achieve the standards required. We will take into account a range of factors including previous exam results.

Applicants are not normally interviewed. If you receive an offer you will be invited to visit the department.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.0 or equivalent. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and funding

Fees and funding

UK and EU Students

Starting in 2019

Tuition fees for 2019/20 are yet to be confirmed.

As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2018/19 were:

  • Tuition fees were £9,250 in the first year
  • Year in Industry fees were 15% of the full-time tuition fee that applies in that year

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Additional costs

You will need to have your final year research project professionally bound. The cost of binding 2 copies of your project is included in your tuition fee.

Please note that you will need to pay a refundable deposit for a locker padlock (£10).

International Students

Starting in 2019

Tuition fees for 2019/20 are yet to be confirmed.

As an indication of what you might pay, the fees for students who started in 2018/19 were:

  • £19,705 per year
  • Year in Industry: £2,955.75, which is 15% of the full-time tuition fee

Find out more about scholarships and funding.

Additional costs

You will need to have your final year research project professionally bound. The cost of binding 2 copies of your project is included in your tuition fee.

Please note that you will need to pay a refundable deposit for a locker padlock (£10).

Accreditation

Accreditation

This degree is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Careers and employability

Careers and employability

Many of our graduates seek employment in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, which are the largest employers of scientists in the UK and are among the country’s leading manufacturing exporters.

As well as gaining detailed knowledge of different aspects of chemistry you will gain a range of transferable skills from your degree in areas such as problem solving, data analysis, numeracy, computing and time management. This combination of chemistry knowledge and transferable skills means that after you graduate your job prospects are extremely good.

Each of our Chemistry degrees includes a specialist module with guidance on searching and applying for jobs, and on writing CVs and application letters. Plus we have a dedicated Careers Tutor organising careers events throughout the academic year.

Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Related courses

Related courses

Course structure

Year 1

Year 1

During your first year you will be taught a range of fundamental chemistry theories and techniques. In addition to this, you will begin to look at the aspects of chemistry that form the foundations of pharmaceutical chemistry.

Modules

This is the same as the first year of the MChem.

NB. It is possible to switch at the end of your first year to a regular Chemistry degree, but not to a degree in Chemistry with Forensic Science because of the specialised modules taught on that course.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year 2

Year 2

You will learn more advanced practical techniques, increase the number of specialised pharmaceutical modules you are taking and begin to reflect on your career ambitions and how to go about realising them.

Modules

This is the same as the second year of the MChem.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Year in Industry (optional)

Year in Industry (optional)

If you want to, you can spend your third year working in an industrial placement (eligibility is dependent on your academic performance in Years 1 and 2). Alternatively, you can opt to continue studying at the University and complete your degree in three years.

NB. A year spent on an industrial placement still incurs a tuition fee, but this is much lower than for a normal year at Leicester. See our Fees and Funding section for details.

You will carry out a year long project in the research and development section of your host company, such as developing new drugs or exploring new analytical techniques for testing the purity of petroleum products.

In addition to getting paid, throughout your industrial placement you will have all the same entitlements as other employees in the company. Salaries vary but the average is around £15,000-17,000 per year.

Recent host employers include: GlaxoSmithKline, Astra Zeneca, 3M, BASF, the Ministry of Defence, Lubrizol and Reckitt Benckiser.

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Final Year

Final Year

In your final year you will gain advanced knowledge in core areas of chemistry and specialist fields of pharmaceutical chemistry.

Core modules

Option modules

Choose two option modules from:

Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Why Leicester?

All of our degrees involve an independent research project in the final year. Some of these academic-led research projects have resulted in previous students having their work published in leading scientific journals.

Students are trained as high-level users of state-of-the-art equipment such as UV/Visible spectrometers, gas/liquid chromatographs (GC/MS and HPLC), NMR spectrometers, atomic force microscopes, fluorimeters, FTIR, refractometers, mass spectrometers and X-ray diffractometers.

We focus on high-quality, technically innovative and interactive small group teaching activities. The highlights of these are weekly level 1 and 2 tutorials and an excellent staff to student rations for problem classes, laboratory sessions and our C/PBL activities.

You will benefit from our high teaching standards and dedicated academic and pastoral support structure. Personal, careers, industrial placement, study-abroad and accessibility tutors are all here to ensure that each student has a chance to reach their full potential.

Chemistry at Leicester

Multipurpose labs helped Angus turn the theory he learned in lectures into practical applications.

Teaching and learning

Teaching is a mixture of lectures, tutorials, exams, lab reports, essays, oral presentations, poster design and problem based learning. A typical week might include nine hours of lectures, seven hours of lab work, and two or three workshops or tutorials. You will also be expected to spend several hours each week on private study which might include answering problem sheets, preparing for tutorials or writing up lab reports.

All of our courses are linked to Blackboard – a virtual learning environment that gives you access to lecture notes, self-test exercises, supplementary information and background literature about the course.

We place a strong emphasis on small group tutorials, in which half a dozen students meet with a member of staff to discuss questions arising from the lectures. Often you will go over a set of problems handed out a few days earlier. Tutorials are also an ideal opportunity to discuss any aspects of the course that you don’t fully understand.

Chemistry is, of course, a very practical subject, so strong emphasis is placed on the acquisition of laboratory skills. In Years 1 and 2 you will spend about four to six hours each week in the lab. In your third year, work on your research project will increase your lab time to about 10-12 hours per week.

You are assessed on your performance through exams at the end of the semester or at the end of the year and through continuous assessment throughout your modules.

NB. All lab work is continually assessed - there are no practical exams.

You will have regular meetings with your personal tutor to discuss progress in your studies. Your personal tutor will also provide a sympathetic ear for all matters of personal concern, whether they are academic, financial, housing, career or social issues.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. To help with your independent learning, you can access the Library and our social study spaces in halls of residence.

Overall workload

Typical workload hours for Department of Chemistry courses in 2016/17:

Year 1: 30% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 360 hours
  • Independent learning: 840 hours

Year 2: 31% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 372 hours
  • Independent learning: 828 hours

Optional year abroad: If you're spending a year abroad, your contact hours will vary depending on the institution you're studying at.

Final year: 26% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

  • Teaching, learning and assessment: 312 hours
  • Independent learning: 888 hours

While your actual contact hours may depend on the option modules you select, the above information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities for each year of your course.

Academic support

Our Student Learning Development Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study and exam skills
  • academic writing
  • presentations
  • dissertations
  • numerical data skills
  • referencing sources

Our AccessAbility Centre offers support and practical help for students with dyslexia or other specific learning difficulties, including physical, mental health or mobility difficulties, deafness, or visual impairment.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. PhD research students who have undertaken teacher training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. Our teaching is informed by the research we do. You can learn more about our staff by visiting our staff profiles.

Apply now

Course Qualification Duration UCAS Code Availability
Course Pharmaceutical Chemistry Qualification BSc Duration 3 years full-time UCAS Code F154 Availability Apply Now