Chemistry with Medicinal Sciences at University of Southampton - UCAS

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Course summary

Combine your passion for chemistry with the study of biology and prepare to play a role in the discovery of life-saving medical treatments. You’ll learn about every aspect of the drug development cycle: the design of molecules with the potential to treat disease, understanding how they will interact with the body, and testing the effectiveness and safety of new treatments. The degree includes a six-month placement which could see you undertaking a research project at a pharmaceutical company, or at a university overseas. A university placement could take you to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the USA, Singapore or almost anywhere in the world. Most placements within industry are paid, and whichever type you choose you’ll gain specialist experience and transferable skills which will impress employers. You’ll study in recently refurbished labs and learn from inspiring academics. In the recent Guardian University Guide (2023) Chemistry placed 1st in the Russell Group for satisfaction with teaching. This demonstrates our commitment to providing an excellent learning experience. You’ll be well placed to take advantage of the many career opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector. This course is also excellent preparation for a PhD, which is the next step for over 40 per cent of our chemistry graduates. It is also a pathway for graduate entry into medicine. Supporting your studies You’ll be part of a supportive Chemistry community, with a personal academic tutor to provide any extra help you need, both academically and personally. During the first two years we limit small group tutorials to a maximum of five students, so you’ll have plenty of time and attention from your tutors. Between classes, the Chemistry department will be your ‘home’ on campus, where you can grab a coffee in the common room, catch up with friends and talk to staff. CV and interview skills workshops will help you secure your placement and future employment after your degree, and we’ll support you with regular catch-ups throughout the six months that you’re on your placement. Outstanding undergraduate laboratories Study in recently refurbished laboratories, which opened in 2019 as part of a £12m investment in Chemistry’s facilities. In this spacious, bright and modern environment you’ll gain hands-on practical experience with equipment such as NMR and IR spectrometers and X-ray diffractometers. There are also laptops for each student to record their practical work. It’s the same high-tech equipment you’ll find in industry or academic labs, and you’ll learn to make and analyse your own samples, with full support and training – all excellent preparation for your placement and future career. For your biology studies, you’ll use purpose-built facilities in the Life Sciences Building, which have benefited from a recent £50m investment. Learn about research as it happens We’re a Russell Group university and Chemistry at Southampton is joint first in the UK for research intensity (Complete University Guide 2022). This means you’ll learn from staff who are changing the world through research – for example by designing new cancer drugs and developing synthetic DNA for use in COVID-19 testing. Our academics will share their expertise with you, bringing the most up-to-date knowledge to your seminars and lectures. In addition, the breadth of their research activities gives you plenty of choice for your third-year project topic.


This degree is made up of 75 per cent chemistry modules and 25 per cent biology modules. Sustainability is a key theme in our chemistry courses – you’ll learn about new technologies that are making drug manufacturing more environmentally friendly, as well as using the latest ‘green’ practices in your own lab work. Years one and two: You’ll gain a foundation in the fundamentals of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, as well as practical lab techniques, as a basis for your specialist studies in years three and four. You’ll also take one of two biology modules: Fundamentals of Biology or Fundamentals of Cell Biology and Physiology. Core modules in the first and second year are shared across most of our chemistry degrees. This makes it easy to transfer if you decide you’d like to join our MChem Chemistry or MChem with placement degrees. Year three: You’ll undertake an individual research project linked to medicinal science, and take Medicinal Chemistry, Advanced Organic Chemistry (Bioorganic) and Pharmacology modules. You’ll also choose from biology and chemistry options including: • Cancer Chromosome Biology • Molecular Cell Biology • Selective Toxicity • Sustainable Chemistry • Synthetic Methods in Organic Chemistry Year four: You’ll spend six months doing a research project at your placement organisation. You’ll also have a choice of chemistry and biology options including: • Advanced Chemical Biology; • Biomedical Technology; • Molecular Pharmacology; • Neurodegenerative Disease; • The Molecular and Structural Basis of Disease; • Supramolecular Chemistry of Functional Molecules and Materials; • Advanced Spectroscopy Applications. For a full list of options, please visit: https:

Assessment method

There are written examinations at the end of each semester to test your knowledge and understanding of material presented in the lectures and workshops. The practical work is continuously assessed primarily through written reports. Project work is assessed by dissertation and oral examination together with a report on your relevant skills from your supervisor. A written literature review related to the project is also assessed. Coursework exercises based on the lecture material are set each week and feedback is provided promptly. In some cases coursework marks are used in calculating your overall mark for the particular module of study. However in most cases coursework is simply to give you an indication of your progress. The research project will be assessed via a variety of means including review of your laboratory notebook, your assessments of the risks and hazards of your work, written reports, oral presentations, the production of a dissertation, and an oral examination.

Professional bodies

Professionally accredited courses provide industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification.

  • Chemistry, Royal Society of

How to apply

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Main Site - Highfield Campus
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1

International applicants

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Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

If you are not sure that your qualifications meet the requirements of this course please contact our Admissions Teams.

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English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6.5with no component below 6.0

All programmes at the University of Southampton are taught and assessed in the medium of English (other than those in modern foreign languages). Therefore, all applicants must demonstrate they possess at least a minimum standard of English language proficiency.

Find out more about the University’s English Language requirements

Student Outcomes

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Employment after 15 months (Most common jobs)
Go onto work and study

The number of student respondents and response rates can be important in interpreting the data – it is important to note your experience may be different from theirs. This data will be based on the subject area rather than the specific course. Read more about this data on the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
EU £27400 Year 1
International £27400 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
Channel Islands £9250 Year 1

Additional fee information

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Chemistry with Medicinal Sciences at University of Southampton - UCAS