Introduction to Drug Synthesis - LABS5130

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Year 5 15 (7.5) checkmark-circle


A synopsis of the curriculum
• Introduction to key organic functional groups; revision of previous modules.
• Concepts of chemo-, regio-, and stereoselectivity in synthesis.
• Introduction to protecting groups
• Survey of key functional group transformations, illustrated with examples from the pharmaceutical industry. Focus on carbonyl chemistry, enolate chemistry and aromatic & heteroaromatic chemistry.
• From the laboratory to the factory; green chemisty.
• Examples of drug synthesis in action: case studies of drug discovery from discovery to manufacture.


Contact hours

Blended Distance learning:
Contact Hours: 120
Private Study Hours: 30
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

2 assignments 20% (10% each)
Portfolio 30% - composed of individual assignments where topics are applied to the workplace
2 hr Exam 50% - composed of MCQs (20%) and standard-length questions (30%)
The pass mark for each individual assessment is 40%. All assessments must be passed in order to pass the module.

Indicative reading

Clayden, J., Greeves, N., and Warren, S. (2012) Organic Chemistry. Oxford University Press: New York.
Stoker, H.S. (2015) General, Organic, and Biological Chemistry (7th ed.). Cengage: Boston.
Neal, M.J. (2012) Medical Pharmacology at a Glance (6th ed.). Wiley-Blackwell: Hoboken New Jersey.
Li, J.J., Johnson, D.S., Sliskovic, D.R., et al. (2004) Contemporary Drug Synthesis. Wiley: Hoboken, New Jersey.
Li, J.J. (2013) Heterocyclic Chemistry in Drug Discovery. Wiley-Blackwell: Hoboken, New Jersey.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate a clear understanding of the reactions of key organic functional groups.
Appreciate the applications of common functional group transformations in the synthesis of complex molecules.
Appreciate the importance of selectivity (chemo-, regio- and stereo-) in the synthesis of complex molecules.
Design a synthetic route to a simple drug target.
Appreciate the similarities and differences in small scale (laboratory) and large scale (plant) reactions for drug synthesis.
Discuss the importance of 'green chemistry' considerations during drug manufacture.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate the development of practical/technical skills
Analyse, evaluate and correctly interpret data
Communicate and present data effectively
Obtain and use information from a variety of sources as part of self-directed learning.
Manage their time and use their organisation skills within the context of self-directed learning.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 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.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.