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Programme & Unit Catalogues

XX50228: Organic, medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Credits: 18 [equivalent to 36 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 360
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: CW 40%, EX 60%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 40%)
  • Jan exam (EX 30%)
  • May exam (EX 30%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Description: Aims:
To provide a core understanding of organic chemistry for the synthesis of drug targets and spectroscopic techniques, and to develop students' ability to implement this understanding in laboratory based practicals.

Learning Outcomes:
After studying this unit, students should be able to:
* Demonstrate knowledge of and competency in key laboratory skills (as listed below);
* Demonstrate skills in planning and executing practical problems in organic chemistry;
* Work in a team allocating and correlating tasks and ensuring accurate collection of data;
* Generate, analyse and interpret data collected;
* Assemble and present the results of an investigation in written report and poster formats;
* Demonstrate experimental skills required for the research project in semester 3.
* Describe a range of current spectroscopic techniques and understand experimental data derived from spectroscopic experiments;
* Compare techniques and bring together results from different experiments;
* Solve problems using the methods introduced including the application of techniques to unseen situations, particularly organic molecules or medicinal relevance.
* Illustrate how the structure and bonding of simple organic molecules explains their chemical behaviour.
* Apply nomenclature, notation and diagrams to describe structures and reactions.
* Explain the mechanisms and reagents required for key transformations.
* Apply retrosynthetic analysis for the synthesis of academically and commercially important target molecules.

Numeracy (F, A); Problem solving (T, F, A), Scientific writing (F, A), Independent working (F); Oral communication (F)


* Structural and electronic properties.
* Stereochemistry and stereospecificity.
* Physical organic chemistry.
* Characteristic reactions of alkenes and haloalkanes, reactions of carbonyls, fundamental metal catalysed transformations.
* (Hetero)aromatic chemistry.
* Applying the core concepts learnt through retrosynthetic analysis of academically and commercially important target molecules.
* Spectroscopy principles and analysis of NMR, IR, Mass Spectrometry, X-ray, UV etc.
* Chromatographical principles for the purification and analysis of compounds.
* Application of techniques to identify compounds, culminating in the identification of a variety of compounds using various forms of analytical data provided.
The practical element of the course will build on the knowledge gained in classes and workshops of organic synthesis for drug targets and spectroscopic techniques. This will begin with pre-set experimental methods to develop laboratory skills in experimental set-up, purification and analysis. Finally, a problem will be set and appropriate experimental protocols will need to be researched and designed. After completion of the work, a variety of reporting formats will be used to emphasise scientific communication skills.

Programme availability:

XX50228 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • 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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