Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery BSc (Hons)

  • For Entry: September
  • Duration: 4 years
  • School: School of Life Sciences Learning & Teaching

If you're interested in one of the biggest fundamental issues in healthcare - the design and creation of smarter, safer and better drugs against diseases such as cancer, diabetes, malaria and AIDS - our Biochemistry and Drug Discovery degree is for you. It involves the design, chemical synthesis and testing of new medicines.

You can also choose to take a five year degree, with one year spent on a related industrial placement.

Why study Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery at Dundee?

The College of Life Sciences is superbly placed to deliver this Drug Discovery degree, having recently formed the Drug Discovery Unit. The University of Dundee's world-renowned research activities in molecular and cell biology and drug design mean that students are taught by a team of experts who work at the cutting edge of their field.

You have the option to take the honours degree as either a five-year programme with a year in industry or a four-year programme without a year in industry.

What is Drug Discovery?

Drug discovery is a practical science at the interface between chemistry, pharmacology and biology that includes modern computational methods combined with chemical and molecular biology techniques.

We live in a new era with detailed knowledge of genes and the abilities to determine three-dimensional molecular structures and to create complex molecules. The Drug Discovery degree utilises these facets to identify drug targets against diseases such as cancer, diabetes, malaria and AIDS and to design and create new cures and safer, more effective drugs whilst also equipping you with extensive knowledge of assay design and development.

What's so good about Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery at Dundee?

Year in Industry

If you choose to take the degree with a year in industry, this provides an exciting opportunity for work experience with a leading local or international biotechnology or pharmaceutical company with which the University of Dundee has close links. You will acquire skills that are in great demand in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

The Medical School is part of the Ninewells Hospital and it is a wonderful opportunity for us students to be able to go on wards, ask for advice from doctors, see patients from the very beginning of our studies. The curriculum at Dundee Medical School suits my learning style perfectly and I am so glad I am a Medical student at the University of Dundee!

Degree Combinations

  • Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery (with a year in industry) BSc

Related Courses

This course is taught by staff based in the College of Life Sciences.

There are regular meetings of staff-student liaison committees. While this provides a forum for formal contact, there is also opportunity for informal contact between you and academic staff, whom you will find friendly and approachable.

We use a variety of teaching methods, with lectures and practicals forming the core. In addition, we use workshops, tutorials, computer-aided learning, and field excursions, as appropriate to each module.

Typical Degree Programme

Levels 1 and 2

All Life Sciences degree programmes share common core modules at Level 1 that provide a general introduction to the life sciences through an integrated programme of lectures, tutorials, practical work and field excursions.

Please refer to the Biological/Biomedical Sciences degree structure and overview webpagefor details of the common curriculum in Levels 1 and 2.

Level 3

Specialist topics cover biochemistry, synthetic chemistry, analytical techniques and pharmacology.

  • You will study synthetic organic chemistry with reference to biological and pharmaceutical applications.
  • In analytical techniques you will cover the theory and applications of NMR spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, spectroscopic and chromatographic analysis, protein structure prediction & modelling.
  • You will also study drug metabolism and kinetics, drug design and screening technologies, mechanistic enzymology, drug targets & drug leads, pharmaceutical development, metabolism & drug interactions.
  • The study of biochemical pathways and processes and molecular interactions at the cellular level will expand your understanding of disease processes.
Between Levels 3 and 4

A year working in industry if you have chosen the degree programme with a year in industry.

Level 4

At level 4, you will carry out more advanced study of topics in the field of drug design and development, these will be at the level of current research in your chosen subject area.

You will choose units from a range of topics that include:

  • drug design and discovery
  • advanced synthetic organic chemistry
  • bioinformatics
  • advanced instrumental analytical techniques
  • protein structure and pharmacokinetics

You will be able to choose additional topics from a wide range of specialist research areas within life sciences according to your personal interests.

Your studies will involve extensive use of scientific literature and the opportunity to attend a regular programme of seminars given by invited speakers from Britain and abroad.

  • Research project - several formats are available including laboratory-based research under the supervision of a leading scientist, computer modelling, multimedia teaching packages, literature and electronic database review.

All modules are assessed by a combination of in-course and end-of-course procedures. Regular in-course assessments (e.g. practical reports, computer-based exercises, essays and data processing exercises) provide feedback on your progress and help you prepare for end-of-module examinations.

On-line assignments are used extensively at Levels 1 and 2, with access via a PC on or off campus. Peer assessment operates in many team projects.

Careers

The Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery degree can lead to a wide range of careers including research and development in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries; chemical, pharmaceutical or biomedical research in universities or research institutes; teaching in further or higher education; scientific publishing; scientific patenting or further professional education and training.

The interdisciplinary nature of the programmes also provides generic skills that are applicable to many careers.

The degree is recognised by The Royal Society of Chemistry for associate membership (AMRSC).

Postgraduate Study

Some of our students proceed to higher degrees (MSc or PhD) and go on to undertake or supervise original research, and others go on to take a degree in Medicine.

We offer a number of Masters level courses in addition to PhD research opportunities in the College of Life Sciences.

Professional Recognition

The BSc (Hons) Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery is recognised by The Royal Society of Chemistry for associate membership (AMRSC).

The following are the minimum requirements, please note qualifications have to be obtained at the first sitting of examinations.

Please note that the entry requirements in our printed prospectus may be subject to change. The entry requirements listed below are up to date and should be referred to in case of any discrepancy.

Courses starting September 2015

Level 1 Entry

Qualification Minimum Grade Typical Grade
SQA Higher AABB AABB
GCE A-Level
ILC Higher AABB
IB Diploma 30 points (including 5, 5, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Biology and Chemistry (Higher, ILC Higher, IB Higher Level) plus Mathematics and Chemistry (Standard Grade at 3, Intermediate 2/National 5 at C, ILC Ordinary Level at C or IB Subsidiary Level at 4)
EU & International Visit our Your Country webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HNC with grade A in the graded unit with appropriate Science units
Scottish Baccalaureate
SWAP Access Relevant science subjects with AAA grades to include Chemistry and Biology/Human Biology at SCQF Level 6
EDEXCEL A relevant BTEC Extended Diploma with DDM
Advanced Diploma
Welsh Baccalaureate
European Baccalaureate 70% overall with 7 in Biology and Chemistry

Courses starting September 2015

Advanced Entry (to Level 2)

Qualification Grade
SQA Advanced Higher AB (AH) + BB (H) in different subjects
GCE A-Level AAB
IB Diploma 34 points (including 6, 6, 5 at Higher Level)
Essential Subjects Biology and Chemistry (AH or A-Level or IB Higher level) plus Mathematics (Standard Grade at 3, Intermediate 2/National 5 at C, GCSE at C, or IB Subsidiary Level at 4)
EU & International
Other Qualifications
SQA A relevant HND with grade AA in the graded units with appropriate Science units
Scottish Baccalaureate Distinction with AB at AH Biology and Chemistry. Mathematics at SG (grade 3) or Intermediate 2 (grade C)
SWAP Access
EDEXCEL A relevant HND with Merits in appropriate Science modules
Advanced Diploma Grade A with ASL-A Level Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE C
Welsh Baccalaureate Pass with A-Levels in Biology and Chemistry at AB. Mathematics at GCSE grade C
European Baccalaureate 75% overall with 7.5 in Biology and Chemistry

There have been many changes to the arrangements for funding students entering higher education in recent years, yet a degree from the University of Dundee, with its high rate of employment success, remains a cost-effective option.

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application. Find out more about fee status.

Fee categoryFees for students starting September 2015 or January 2016
Scottish students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Rest of UK students £9,000 per year of study. See our scholarships for rest of UK applicants."
EU students £1,820 per year of study (for Sept 2014 entry). Fees for September 2015 will be confirmed by the Scottish Government in early 2015.
Overseas students (non-EU) £15,950 per year of study. See our scholarships for international applicants."

Scottish and EU students can apply to the Students Award Agency for Scotland (SAAS) to have tuition fees paid by the Scottish Government.

Rest of the UK students can apply for financial assistance, including a loan to cover the full cost of the tuition fees, from the Student Loans Company.

Tuition fees for Overseas (non-EU) students are guaranteed for the length of your course. This means that the tuition fee you pay in your first year (shown above) is the same fee you will pay for each year of your course. We guarantee that this will not increase while you are studying with us. The only exceptions to this are our MBChB Medicine and BDS Dentistry degrees which charge a different tuition for the clinical years.

Your personal statement should demonstrate an interest in the subject you are applying for and a commitment to the study of that subject. How did your interest in the subject arise, and do you have a particular career path in mind?

You should comment on your participation in both school/college/work and extracurricular activities and on the extent to which they have aided in your personal development and the acquisition of skills that will be of value to you as a life sciences student.

  • Do you have an enquiring mind?
  • Do you have good analytical skills and problem-solving ability?
  • Are you self-motivated and able to work independently?
  • Are you a good team player?
  • Do you have good communication skills?

Give careful consideration to both the style and content of your personal statement as it can be an indicator of your ability to communicate as well as providing an account of your personal achievements and skills.



  Degree UCAS Code KIS Data
Apply NowBiological Chemistry and Drug Discovery BSc (Hons)F151
Apply NowBiological Chemistry and Drug Discovery (with a year in industry) BScF154