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CH30210: Future of drug discovery

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Chemistry
Further information on credits Credits: 3      [equivalent to 6 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 60
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 20%, EX 60%, PR 20%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Drug Discovery Business Case (CW 20%)
  • Oral Presentation (PR 20%)
  • Examination (EX 60%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must ( take CH10191 OR take CH10192 ) AND ( take CH20149 OR take CH20150 ) or equivalent.
Description: Aims:
The impact that recent developments in biology, chemistry and automation will have on the drug discovery process will be discussed.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this course the student will be able to:
* Appreciate the range of emerging techniques, scientific breakthroughs and economic factors that define the future of drug discovery;
* Understand how financial, legal, logistical, marketing and political decisions affect the drug discovery process;
* Realize the increasing range of 'biologic' drug molecules that are being developed to treat disease;
* Be aware of a range of cutting edge therapeutic areas and drug discovery programs that are currently being pursued within the pharmaceutical industry;
* Describe some examples of recent research in drug discovery.

Numeracy (F, A), Problem solving (T, F A), Scientific writing (F, A), Independent working (F), Group working (F).

Discuss the new generation of biological drugs (e.g. antibody therapy, siRNA, peptide based drugs, etc), biomarkers. Vaccination. Tools for cellular imaging. Clinical trials and risk assessment. Fragment based drug discovery. Chemical genetics and proteomics. Structural biology and drug discovery. Targeting protein-protein interactions. Systems biology and drug discovery. A 'Dragons Den' like project will be run where the students work in teams to pitch their idea for a new drug candidate.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

CH30210 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Chemistry
  • USCH-AFB07 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery (Year 3)
  • USCH-AAB08 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Study year abroad (Year 4)
  • USCH-AKB08 : BSc(Hons) Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Industrial Placement (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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