Chemistry in Drug Design

Module code: NS2013

Module co-ordinator: Dr Dylan Williams

Organic chemistry is important in many areas of industry and in the field of pharmaceuticals. In this module you will explore some of the key aspects of organic chemistry in the context of the design and delivery of drugs. This brings together issues of fundamental research, industrial scaling up of processes, environmental impact and patent law.

Topics covered

  • Thermodynamics of chemical reactions
  • Transition states
  • Nucleophilic substitution at the carbonyl group
  • Nucleophilic substitution at the saturated carbon
  • The drug discovery process
  • Enzymes
  • Spectroscopy
  • Intellectual property
  • Inorganic coordination complexes and their roles in medicine and beyond
  • d-metal complexes


  • 5 one-hour workshops + 4 two-hour workshops
  • 8 one-hour lectures
  • 4 two-hour tutorials


  • Exam (35%)
  • Continual Assessment (65%) - including 4 sets of core learning exercises, group report, elevator pitch and executive summary of key principles