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Undergraduate subject

Medicinal Chemistry

05 October 2023
Medicinal Chemistry explores the design and creation of new medicinal drugs for the treatment and prevention of illnesses.


Medicinal Chemistry


Medicinal Chemistry explores the design and creation of new medicinal drugs for the treatment and prevention of illnesses.

This major will take you through the entire lifecycle of creating medicines, from discovering and isolating medicinal agents within natural and synthetic sources, through to clinical trials, sustainable production, patents, and sales.

Medicinal Chemistry

What will my study involve?

  • Study how drugs affect the body, synthetic and organic chemistry, and about the global pharmaceutical industry.
  • Practical lab courses synthesising and testing drugs, including an introduction to intellectual property (IP) for designing and patenting your own medicinal products.
  • Opportunities to be involved in medicinal chemistry research at UC like discovery of bioactive molecules for therapies and therapeutic agents.
  • UC’s programme has a unique focus on the bioactivity of Aotearoa and Polynesian flora and fauna, traditional rongoā (Māori medicines), and healthcare issues specific to our bicultural community.

Medicinal Chemistry


See also Chemistry.

Medicinal Chemistry major

For the major in the Bachelor of Science, complete the following courses:


Those who have not taken chemistry to Year 13 level are also strongly advised to take CHEM114 Foundations of Chemistry.



Note that you are not able to complete a double major with Chemistry, however with careful planning you may complete a minor in Chemistry. Contact a Student Advisor for advice.

Medicinal Chemistry

Career opportunities

There is a high demand for more medicinal chemists to create life-changing medicines. As well as practical skills in pharmaceutics and microbiology, your non-laboratory skills in project management, scientific communications, and marketing will prepare you for roles in both the science and business side of creating medicines.

Career pathways could include:

  • biomedical laboratories
  • pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • commercial drug marketing
  • drug regulatory authorities.

Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.

Related brochures

Undergraduate Prospectus

Whakatairanga Ākonga

Download (application/pdf, 7 MB)

International Prospectus 2024/2025

Download (application/pdf, 4 MB)
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