BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry

With study abroad and sandwich year options

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply


Our Pharmaceutical Chemistry degree not only offers a firm grounding in general chemistry, research methods and laboratory techniques, but also provides the specialist skills and understanding you’ll need to pursue a future in pharmaceutical chemistry. We’ve developed the course with the pharmaceutical industry in mind – ensuring that our curriculum covers all the skills and strengths that employers demand, and that our placements offer the practical experience on which you can build a career.

You’ll focus on areas like drug testing, drug efficacy, computer-based drug design and the quality control of pharmaceuticals – equipping you for a role in the drug discovery industry.

This course is also available with a Foundation Year.

Features and Benefits

  • This course is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, reflecting our professional standards and standing within the discipline of chemistry.
  • We’ve invested over a million pounds in upgrading our synthetic chemistry and materials laboratories.
  • Our teaching is supported by a range of technological innovations including videos to support the learning of key concepts and problem-solving practice.
  • You can opt for a four-year route, with the third year of your degree spent on an industry placement or studying abroad with one of our partner institutions in Europe, North America or Australasia.
  • Apply for the BSc (Hons) course now and you can choose the MChem later, at the end of Year 2. As long as you’re working to a high enough standard, you can then switch over to the MChem route.
"Analytical, pharmaceutical and quantum chemistry have been very interesting for me to learn. The content of the course built up my knowledge from A-Level and gave it more depth. The lab classes gave me a practical approach on how the theory is applied." Ahmed Abdul Rahim, BSc (Hons) Chemistry

Accreditations, Awards and Endorsements

“I chose theoretical chemistry as it was the most challenging subject I could think of. Now, I get to research a wide range of applications, from olfactory proteins and biosensors, through to designing drugs and functional materials.”

Dr Lindsey Munro, Head of Division, Chemistry

Career Prospects

Chemistry graduates may be employed in the chemical, pharmaceutical, materials, food and drink, utility, healthcare, aerospace, automotive, information technology and telecommunications industries.

A pharmaceutical chemistry degree will also equip you with a wide variety of transferable skills that can be applied to non-subject specific career pathways such as local government, teaching, law, journalism, business and finance.

Learn more about graduate careers


of Science and the Environment graduates are employed/in further education six months after graduating.*

*DLHE survey 2017

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points/grades required


104-112 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BCC-BBC) to include A2 A-level Grade C in Chemistry (and a Pass in Chemistry A level Practical)/Applied Science.

BTEC National Extended Diploma/Diploma in Applied Science (grades DMM/D*D). To include four Chemistry units at grade Merit or above.

Recommended Chemistry Units as follows:

01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 13, 14, 19

Pre 2016 BTECs:

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma/Diploma in Applied Science (grades DMM/D*D). To include 60 Chemistry L3 credits at grade Distinction.

Recommended Chemistry Units as follows:

01, 03, 04, 06, 07, 08, 10, 13, 14, 19, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 45, 48, 52

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE grade C or grade 4 in English Language, Science and Mathematics. GCSE Science and Mathematics requirement may be met through the Level 3 requirements for the course. Please contact the institution if further information is required.

Level 2 Functional Skills English and Mathematics also accepted. BTEC Level 2 in Applied Science also accepted.

Non Tariffed Qualifications

Pass Access to HE Diploma in a relevant subject (Science) with a minimum 106 UCAS tariff points.

International Baccalaureate points

26 Diploma Pts (Chemistry HL grade 5)

IELTS score required for international students

6.0 with no element below 5.5

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

Course details

Chemistry is often called the ‘central science’ because its applications form the basis for so many different scientific disciplines. The same applies to your future. Study chemistry with us now and you’ll open up a vast range of pathways and possibilities. Whether you’re looking ahead to a career in the pharmaceutical, materials, food and drink, utility, healthcare, aerospace, automotive or telecommunications industries – to name just a few – you can make your start with us.

As a physical science, chemistry considers the origins, behaviour and properties of materials from the atomic level to the macro scale, and how they affect our daily lives, from health and wellbeing to the material world. Ultimately, chemistry tells us how the material world works – so studying it will give you the power to understand and engage with its processes to improve the world around us.

We offer a selection of different chemistry degrees, offering the chance to focus on areas like medicinal, biological or pharmaceutical chemistry, or to concentrate on the core elements of the discipline. All our BSc programmes offer the option to study abroad, in Europe or further afield. And, all are designed and led by research-active staff, in fully-equipped specialist labs – because we believe that learning skills first-hand is the best way to help you prepare for a range of rewarding careers.

On our BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry you will acquire the necessary skills and knowledge in drug discovery, computer-based drug design and the quality control of pharmaceuticals.

In Year 1, you will gain a broad in-depth understanding of the principles of chemistry including fundamental chemistry concepts and introduction to chemical analysis.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Inorganic and Organic Chemistry

You will be introduced to atoms, molecules, bonding, structure and periodicity. Identification of functional groups, isomerism and stereochemistry, reaction intermediates, basic reactions and mechanisms, IR and 13C-NMR spectroscopy.

Chemical Equilibrium and Mathematical Methods

This unit covers key physical chemistry concepts underpinning the behaviour of acids, bases and electrochemistry, alongside the mathematics and transferable skills that underpin these concepts.

Introduction to Thermodynamics and Kinetics

You will be introduced to the fundamental physicochemical principles of thermodynamics and kinetics along with underpinning mathematical and transferable skills. 

Introduction to Chemical Analysis

The unit will provide an introduction to key concepts required for the study of analytical chemistry. You will explore two main themes: analytical approaches in chemistry, and an introduction to spectroscopy and statistics.

Laboratory Techniques 1

This unit provides an introduction to basic laboratory techniques and associated practical and analytical skills for interpreting data in inorganic, organic, physical, analytical and computational chemistry.

Introduction to Drug Discovery

This unit will provide an introduction to drug discovery and key concepts required for further study of medicinal chemistry.

In Year 2 you will focus on subject areas including formulation and biological processes, pharmaceutical analysis and quality control.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Laboratory Techniques 2

This unit provides an introduction to some laboratory techniques and associated practical and analytical skills for interpreting data in inorganic, organic, physical, analytical and computational chemistry.

Solid State, d-block and f-block Chemistry

This unit covers transition metal complexes, molecular symmetry, crystallography, solid-state chemistry and f-block chemistry.

Chemistry of the Carbonyl Group

This unit covers the use of carbonyl groups as enabling functionality and will be illustrated by discussion of a range of chemical transformations of these functional groups.

Thermodynamics and Kinetics

You will explore concepts required for study of physical chemistry including the study of interfaces, kinetics and thermodynamics.

Structure and Spectroscopy

This unit covers fundamental spectroscopic principles and structural elucidation using NMR, mass spectrometry and infra-red techniques and determination of molecular physical parameters from vibrational and rotational spectroscopies.

Pharmaceutical Analysis and Quality Control

This unit provides an integrated approach to the principles of analytical/bioanalytical techniques in the quantitative/qualitative analysis of drugs and related substances/samples (including biologicals).

Formulation, Fate and Biometabolism

This unit covers the principles of drugs and medicine formulation, the interaction of biomolecules/drugs within biological systems, pharmacokinetics and toxicology in the context medicinal chemistry and drug discovery.

If you opt for the four-year sandwich route, Year 3 will be spent on placement in industry. If you opt for the four-year study abroad route, Year 3 will be spent at a university in Europe, North America or Australasia.

In your final year, you will undertake a research project and study advanced chemistry concepts, advanced pharmaceutical chemistry and laboratory techniques.

Please note that the following list of units is indicative and may be subject to change.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Drug Target Interactions

This unit will follow a pharmacological case study based approach of the investigation of drug targets, drug target binding, drug design and drug development.

Advanced Pharmaceutical Chemistry

This unit will cover advanced concepts in medicinal chemistry, including synthesis and optimization of clinical drugs and drug discovery pathways.

Advanced Physical Chemistry

This unit will provide an introduction to advanced concepts in kinetics, surface science and quantum chemistry for measuring and predicting the rates and mechanisms of chemical reactions.

Advanced Organic Chemistry

You will consider a suite of advanced organic chemistry transformations and strategies in targeted synthesis.

Advanced Inorganic Chemistry

In this unit, you will explore the role played by metal ions in key life processes and advanced concepts in coordination/organometallic chemistry.

Advanced Laboratory Techniques

In this unit, a selection of laboratory experiments/mini-projects covering the disciplines of inorganic, organic, physical and analytical chemistry appropriate to the course title will be undertaken.

Project and Personal Development

In this unit, you will plan, develop and implement an individual research project. You will critically analyse published literature and own data. You will also develop research and employability skills.

Assessment weightings and contact hours

10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises of 360 credits (120 credits per year). The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:



Optional foundation year

Additional information about this course

Students are expected to comply with the Schools codes of conduct and behaviour, in accommodation, placements and exchanges. Students are also expected to follow Health and Safety guidelines and COSHH when working in the laboratory. Placements and study exchange opportunities are dependent on passing each stage at the first opportunity and being of good standing. Progression to MChem Pharmaceutical Chemistry final years is subject to achieving an average mark of 60 at the end of Year 2 (RSC requirement).

Placement options

The four-year sandwich route gives you the opportunity of spending your third year on industrial placement. The School offers help with finding a suitable placement and experience has shown that placements can lead to improved performance in the final year and improved employment prospects after graduation.

The four year study abroad route gives you the opportunity to study overseas during your third year in Europe, North America or Australia.

Department of Natural Sciences

Our Department of Natural Sciences is a research-rich academic community with a well-established reputation in biology, chemistry, geography and environmental science.

The department works with research institutions, industry partners, national organisations and NGOs worldwide to address the challenges posed by environmental, socio-economic, cultural and political change, as well as health and advanced materials.

More about the department

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


Foundation Year students

Fees for this course have yet to be confirmed and will be updated as soon as more information is available. The standard tuition fee for home, EU, and Channel Island students is set by the University subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students. For reference, the home fee for the full 120-credit 2017/18 academic year is £9,250.

UK, EU and Channel Island students

UK, EU and Channel Island students: Full-time fee: £9,250 per year. This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation and may increase each academic year in line with inflation or UK government policy for both new and continuing students.

Non-EU international students

Non-EU international students: Full-time fee: £16,000 per year. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of your course providing you complete it in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional Information

A degree typically comprises 360 credits, a DipHE 240 credits, a CertHE 120 credits, and an integrated Masters 480 credits. The tuition fee for the placement year for those courses that offer this option is £1,850, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study). The tuition fee for the study year abroad for those courses that offer this option is £1,385, subject to inflationary increases based on government policy and providing you progress through the course in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Additional costs

Specialist Costs

Students often choose to buy a laptop or tablet and occasionally a printer for their degree but there are drop-in computer labs and printing facilities on campus and laptops for loan in the library. Personal protective equipment i.e. lab coats, and protective glasses are provided free of charge in the first year of entry and are expected to last for the duration of the course. Students will have to purchase replacements for lost or damaged PPE. Disposable gloves are provided free. Specialist chemical software is freely available at the University, and remotely via internet access through the University Virtual Desktop. All chemical consumables, glassware etc. are provided free, and we do not require a breakage deposit. Textbooks are recommended by the School but are optional purchases. Textbook costs tend to increase through the academic years as they become more specialised. In the final year students are encouraged to use academic journals provided free by the University. The school arranges a core year 1 book chemistry deal with a local supplier to reduce costs. All recommended texts are available in the Manchester Met library, and several are available as e-books through the library for remote access via internet.

Placement Costs

1) Students opting to study abroad in third year. If you are studying at one of our partner universities on an approved exchange programme, you will continue to pay tuition fees to Manchester Metropolitan University and you will not pay any tuition fees to your partner university. Some partner universities may charge additional fees for mandatory administrative and recreational services, non-mandatory language classes, courses including fieldwork or non-mandatory project costs. If this is relevant to you, the partner university will inform you of any additional costs during the application process. During your study exchange abroad, you will need to budget for the general cost of living as well as additional costs for visas, travel, medical insurance and vaccinations (depending on your destination). Applicants should visit the MMUi web pages ( for more details including sources of travel funding. 2) Students choosing to undertake a placement (sandwich) in third year. The sandwich year involves full-time work experience work placement. This lasts for a minimum of 36 weeks and normally attracts a salary/weekly wage but this is not guaranteed. Placements are competitive and based on successful interviews with the placement provider. Students will have to pay travel and accommodation costs (including for interview) plus personal insurance. 3) Students partaking in Student Ambassador Scheme in Year 3, placed in local schools. Students should expect to pay travel expenses to placements.

Professional Costs

Through negotiation with the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), chemistry students are offered optional Affiliate Membership at a reduced annual rate. It is not required but is useful. For students who follow our student ambassador programme in year 3 working in schools, DBS checks are free.

Other Costs

MMU now provides free travel insurance for students when they travel in connection with their programme of study, for example, placements, field-trips, exchanges etc. However, students should also take out personal insurance cover for belongings as items such as mobile phones are not covered by this policy. Students will be expected to print out assessments (including Year 4 dissertations (with comb binding) and posters). Travel expenses associated with the optional final year student school ambassador projects are not reimbursed by the School. The School works to ensure these projects are based locally to minimise these costs. There is an additional third year cost of £30-50 for students following the student ambassador project.


Find out more about financing your studies and whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships.

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

F151 - BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry

F158 - BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry with Study Abroad

F157 - BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry with Sandwich Year

F159 - BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry with Foundation Year

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Manchester Metropolitan University is regulated by the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. More information on the role of the OfS and its regulatory framework can be found at

All higher education providers registered with the OfS must have a student protection plan in place. The student protection plan sets out what students can expect to happen should a course, campus, or institution close. Access our current Student Protection Plan.