Introduction to Biochemistry and Drug Chemistry - CH314

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
Spring 4 15 (7.5) DR S Biagini checkmark-circle


Chemistry in context
Using an organic chemistry perspective, you will study the fundamentals of biochemistry, the chemistry of life, including enzyme reactions, protein chemistry, DNA, lipids and carbohydrates. These topics are underpinned by the role chemical phenomena such as thermodynamics and intermolecular interactions play in a biological context. We then explore the nature and discovery of drugs, how they work, and the potential effects of their misuse.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

24 x 1hr lectures and 4 x 2hr drop-in sessions. This module is expected to occupy 150 total study hours, including contact hours.


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Examination 60%, coursework 40% (comprising 4 assignments).

Indicative reading

Core Text: An Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry, Patrick, Graham L, Oxford University Press 5th Edition, 2013 (ISBN 0199697396)

  • Recommended: McMurry/Simanek, Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry. 6th Edition, 2006 (ISBN 0495125903). 5th Edition is also acceptable.

  • Recommended for Biosciences Students: Wade, Organic Chemistry, International Edition 4th Edition, 1998 (ISBN 0-13-010339-X).

  • Recommended for Forensic Science & Chemistry Students: Solomons & Fryhle, Organic Chemistry 7th Edition, 1998 (ISBN 0-471-19095-0).

  • Recommended: Bruce Alberts, Essential cell biology, 2010.

    See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

    Learning outcomes

    Knowledge and understanding:

  • Core and foundation scientific biological and chemical concepts, terminology, theory, units, conventions and methods in relation to the biochemical sciences.
  • Areas of chemistry including organic functional groups, medicinal chemistry, biochemistry and applications in drug chemistry.

    Intellectual skills:
  • Ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories relating to the subject and to apply such knowledge and understanding to the solution of qualitative and quantitative problems.
  • Ability to recognise and analyse problems and plan strategies for their solution by the evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of scientific information and data.

    Transferable skills:
  • Generic skills needed for students to undertake further training of a professional nature.
  • Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information.
  • Time-management and organisational skills, as evidenced by the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working. Self-management and organisational skills with the capacity to support life-long learning.
  • Study skills needed for continuing professional development and professional employment.


    1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
    2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
    3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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