Faculty of Science


Duration: Full-time MSc - 12 months

Application deadline: 30 June (international) / 31 August (home/EU)

Entry requirements: A first or second class undergraduate degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Language requirements: IELTS 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each of the four components) or equivalent. Applicants narrowly missing this requirement may be eligible for a combined offer.

E-mail: pgtadmissions@bath.ac.uk

Programme catalogue

Tuition fees

MSc in Chemistry for Drug Discovery

The aim of the course is to provide experience and training in the chemical aspects of the drug discovery process, and involves a combination of lecture-based units, research training and a research project.

The course is ideal for someone considering a career in the pharmaceutical industry, or as a stepping stone to a PhD in a related area.

Why study chemistry with us?

  • outstanding publications, substantial grant income from research councils and industrial partners has resulted in a strong demand for our postgraduates and postdoctoral workers
  • outstanding facilities: X-ray powder diffraction, single crystal X-ray diffraction, Mass spectrometry, NMR (250/300/400/500 MHz, multinuclear facility)

What will I learn?

Semester one

  • underlying chemistry that occurs in the cell; knowledge of which underpins the development of new drugs
  • advanced analytical and practical techniques required in the synthesis of new medicinal compounds

Semester two

  • physical properties of drugs
  • the underlying chemistry of the body’s physiology
  • initial preparations for your research project

Semester three

  • independent research project - carrying out cutting edge novel research in drug discovery, honing the skills and techniques you developed in the first two semesters

At a glance

Our drug discovery postgraduate course gives students an understanding of the development of new drugs; from the cellular processes that are important to target, through to the synthesis of new medicinal compounds. You will be given advanced training in our teaching laboratories, which will lead to your individual Masters Drug Discovery research project.

The course is made up of three semesters over 12 months.  Over this time students cover 90 credits worth of units, which include 12 credits of optional units per semester.

The first two semesters consist of taught material, including Advanced Practical Laboratories, with exams at the end of each semester.

The third semester is focused on the student’s practical project which is carried out in our research labs.

Programme structure

Semester 1

Semester 2


Compulsory Taught Units (18 credits) Compulsory Taught Units (30 credits) Research project (30 credits)
  • postgraduate training module (6 credits)
  • advanced group work in practical chemistry (6 credits)
  • chemistry of the cell (6 credits)
  • the chemistry of physiology and drug properties (6 credits)
  • preparation for research project (12 credits)
  • major therapeutic areas (6 credits)
  • blockbuster drugs (3 credits)
  • organic and inorganic aspects of homogeneous catalysis (3 credits)
Optional Taught Units (6 to 9 credits) Optional Taught Units (3 to 6 credits)
  • techniques in drug discovery (3 credits)
  • topics in organic chemistry (3 credits)
  • future of drug discovery (3 credits)
  • synthesis of medical compounds (3 credits)
  • supramolecular chemistry (3 credits)
  • physical organic chemistry (3 credits)
  • inorganic chemistry in biological systems (3 credits)
  • research topics in natural products (6 credits)
  • chemistry beyond the molecule (3 credits)

Career opportunities

Recent Bath graduates have gone on to employment or postdoctoral research in the UK, USA (Princeton, Harvard and Yale), the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg, Norway, Brunei and New Zealand.

Employers include the NIST Center for Neutron Research, Tocris, EPSRC and the Royal Society of Chemistry.