MSc in Medicinal Chemistry
This masters course 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 at postgraduate level. You have the 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.
The MSc includes taught modules and a project module which gives you the opportunity to explore a topic in further depth, and to undertake a substantial piece of independent research based on the knowledge and skills you will have developed in the taught modules.
Planning your studies
To study for the MSc 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 that study or experience. Your case will be referred to our 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 refer to individual module descriptions to ensure that you are adequately prepared before starting to study for this qualification.
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 recommend that you take the modules in the order listed below. Because of the demands that study of the degree will make on you, we recommend that you 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). You must have successfully completed the taught modules in the qualification before you undertake the project module. Your choice of topic for the project module must relate to an aspect of medicinal chemistry.
You will need to complete the qualification within seven years. 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 60 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 qualification 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 act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level.
The qualification will develop your independent learning skills, enhance your 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 masters degree, you require:
180 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 you may be able to transfer credit for this study and count it towards this Open University qualification. If you wish to apply to transfer credit you must do so as soon as possible as it may affect your choice of OU modules. Please note that credit transfer will not apply to the MSc project module (SXM810).
Visit our Credit Transfer site for more information and details of how to apply for credit transfer.
On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Master of Science in Medicinal Chemistry entitling you to use the letters MSc Med Chem (Open) after your name. The degree will be classified as pass, merit or distinction. You will have the opportunity of being presented at a degree ceremony.
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