The search for new medicines has always been an important role for graduate chemists. Traditionally, medicines have been based on relatively small molecules, and the job of the chemist was to use their knowledge of organic chemistry to synthesise potential drug candidates.
With recent advances in technology, the pharmaceutical industry is changing dramatically. This degree course has evolved to reflect this. Areas such as cell therapy, biological drugs, advanced delivery, the use of computational tools are all pushing the industry forward.
A medicinal chemist cannot afford to just have expertise in the synthesis of molecules – many of the most important recent discoveries have been made at the interfaces of chemistry, and a good medicinal chemistry will require expertise across a range of subjects. In recognition of this, our course will equip you with the traditional tools of organic synthesis, for example, but will also give you hands-on experience of areas such as computational chemistry to solve medicinal chemistry problems.
The University of Bradford is home to the Institute for Cancer Therapeutics - one of only a few centres nationally that has all the necessary research tools and expertise in-house to progress anticancer medicines and biomarkers from concept to the clinic. As such you will be taught by scientists who are actively involved in discovering new drugs. One recent example is the ‘smart bomb’ colchicine prodrug which targets solid tumours without harming healthy tissue. This is now moving towards Phase I clinical trials.
During the first two years of study you will develop a sound understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of chemistry, with core content delivered across the traditional areas of organic, inorganic and physical chemistry.
To give you an intellectually fulfilling experience our chemistry courses allow you to take 20 credits of elective modules in stages 1 and 2, with subjects offered from across the University’s teaching portfolio such as mathematics, engineering, economics and more.
The third year we will introduce you to specialist content in medicinal, materials and analytical chemistry. You will also have the opportunity to study a specific subject to a greater depth during an extended dissertation.
It is possible to exit after stage 3 with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry.
In the Master's year you will develop a deeper understanding of the application of chemistry to solving real-world problems. Master's-level training focuses on deploying training in real-world settings. Academic research experience involves students working on their own project as part of a research team alongside postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers at the University.