Postgraduate Diploma in Medicinal Chemistry
This qualification enables you to study aspects of medicinal chemistry that explore the links between disease, mechanisms of action and the development of safe, effective commercial drugs. You have to opportunity to pursue these topics across a number of major health areas including cancer, heart disease, infectious diseases, diabetes, neuropharmacology and inflammation. Using the innovative teaching methods pioneered by The Open University, you have the opportunity to understand how drugs are designed, study the latest developments in this changing area of contemporary medical therapy, while developing a wide range of skills associated with postgraduate study.
Planning your studies
To study for the Postgraduate Diploma in Medicinal Chemistry you must normally hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in science or a science-related subject relevant to this qualification. If you have other study or experience that you believe equips you to take this qualification you can still apply, but must supply evidence of your study or experience. Your case will be referred to the MSc in Science Admissions Panel. For further advice, email the Science Postgraduate Team.
You will also need good computing skills and a level of proficiency in the English language that is adequate for study at postgraduate level. The following should give you some indication of the basic IT and language skills we expect students to have before enrolling on our postgraduate qualifications in science. Please also refer to individual module descriptions to ensure that you are adequately prepared before starting to study for this qualification.
Basic IT skills:
Our science postgraduate modules are delivered online, and consequently rely heavily on the use of IT. For example, you will need to access core reading materials, audiovisual and other online resources, communicate with other students, with your tutors and with module teams, search for information, and produce and submit assignments online. Some IT skills are taught within our modules, but you should have a basic level of competence before starting with us (e.g. be able to search the Web, use email, use word processing packages and take part in online forums).
Proficiency in the use of English
: All of our taught modules are in English and your proficiency in the English language should be adequate for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend that you have achieved an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7. You can assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies by visiting the IELTS website
We would normally expect you, to take no more than one module a year (although the 30-credit and 60-credit module starts are staggered so you could choose to overlap modules), and to complete the qualification within seven years. However, if you wish to proceed to the MSc in Medicinal Chemistry (F62) you will need to complete this diploma within a shorter period.
We cannot guarantee that the same selection of modules will continue to be available.
You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.
Career relevance and employability
Completing this postgraduate diploma will equip you with key transferable skills which will be relevant to your career and the workplace as well as providing you with a base of postgraduate level science knowledge and understanding. You will learn to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship within medicinal chemistry, as well as evaluating research methodologies. You will learn to deal with complex issues and make sound judgements and decisions in complex situations.
You will also learn to communicate information and conclusions to specialist scientific audiences, work effectively as part of a team, demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and plan and implement tasks at a professional level.
The qualification will develop your independent learning skills, enhance your ICT skills in locating information and communicating with others in both professional and academic contexts.
Having this qualification coupled with practical experience could open up career opportunities in various scientific and medical research fields in the public and private sectors, for example, in pharmaceutical companies, the NHS, medical research, universities, commercial laboratories, and independent healthcare providers.
There is more information about how OU study can improve your employability in the OU’s Employability Statement from our Careers Advisory Service. You can also read or download our publication OU study and your career and look at our subject pages to find out about career opportunities.
For this postgraduate diploma you require:
120 credits from the following compulsory modules
The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes
- Knowledge and understanding
- Cognitive skills
- Practical and professional skills
- Key skills
, and how they are acquired through teaching, learning and assessment methods.
Credit for previous study elsewhere
If you have already completed some successful study at postgraduate level at another institution we may be able to give you credit that you can count towards this Open University qualification. Up to 60 credits of module exemption can be allowed for either S807, or S827 and/or S825. If you make a successful claim for transferred credit it may affect your choice of modules. Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply.
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Medicinal Chemistry, entitling you to use the letters PG Dip Med Chem (Open) after your name.
You may continue your studies and take the 60-credit Masters Project Module (S810) to gain the MSc in Medicinal Chemistry (F62).
As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the following regulations:
These regulations are also available on our Essential Documents website.
How to register
If you want to study for this qualification, read the description and check you meet any specific requirements (for example, some of
our qualifications, require you to be working in a particular environment, or be sponsored by your employer). Then select the
module you wish to study first and ensure it is suitable for you before following the registration procedure for that module.
During the registration procedure you will be asked to declare which qualification you are studying towards.
See a full list of modules available for this qualification