Medicinal Chemistry explores the design and creation of new medicinal drugs for the treatment and prevention of illnesses.
This major will take students through the entire lifecycle of creating medicines, from discovering and isolating medicinal agents within natural and synthetic sources, through to clinical trials, ethical and regulatory approvals, and sustainable production and sales.
UC’s programme also includes introductory courses in business and commercial opportunities, such as intellectual properties and patents of new medicines.
The pharmaceutical industry is growing globally, and there is a high demand for more medicinal chemists to create life-changing medicines.
- Te Kura Matū | School of Physical and Chemical Sciences is equipped with excellent facilities, both in undergraduate laboratories and for research work.
- Students in the later years of the major will be able to get involved in the School’s research endeavours, with current research interests focused on the 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.
- Final year courses give an introduction to the drug production and business marketing process, preparing students for work in the pharmaceutical industry or even patenting their own products.
Year 13 chemistry study is recommended preparation for first-year students, but for those who have had minimal preparation in chemistry, we offer CHEM 114 Foundations of Chemistry, an introductory Chemistry course.
Students with outstanding results in NCEA Level 3 (or IB/Cambridge equivalent) may be invited to enter directly into second-year Chemistry courses.
Medicinal Chemistry major
To complete a major in Medicinal Chemistry within the Bachelor of Science, you will need to take the following courses throughout the degree:
- BIOL 116 Human Biology
- BCHM 111 Cellular Biology and Biochemistry
- CHEM 111 Chemical Principles and Processes
- CHEM 112 Structure and Reactivity in Chemistry and Biochemistry
Students who have not taken chemistry to Year 13 level are also strongly advised to take CHEM 114 Foundations of Chemistry.
- CHEM 212 Chemical Reactivity
- CHEM 242 Organic Chemistry
- CHEM 246 Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry
- CHEM 281 Practical Chemistry
- CHEM 342 Aromatic, Heterocyclic, and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
- CHEM 346 Contemporary Medicinal Chemistry
- CHEM 347 Drug Discovery and Development
- CHEM 381 Advanced Synthetic Techniques
Note that students in Medicinal Chemistry are not able to complete a double major with Chemistry, however with careful planning may complete a minor in Chemistry. Contact a Te Rāngai Pūtaiao | College of Science Student Advisor for advice.
Medicinal Chemistry students will have practical experience in synthetic and organic chemistry, pharmaceutics, and microbiology, as well as non-laboratory skills in project management, scientific communication, commercial marketing, and collaboration with a variety of other scientific and business fields.
They will find a variety of rewarding roles within the global pharmaceutical industry, as well as in hospital clinics, private laboratories, biomedical companies, Crown Research Institutes, universities, and among many therapeutic and healthcare services. Graduates may also be interested in reviewing global compliance guidelines and new drug applications, with regulatory bodies such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The major will also prepare graduates for further postgraduate research studies in modern medicine and healthcare.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree from UC.
Levels 3 and 4, Beatrice Tinsley building – see campus maps
Te Rāngai Pūtaiao | College of Science
Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha | University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Browse related subjects to Medicinal Chemistry
Choose an area that you are interested in and learn how UC's extensive range of study options can let you study what you want to.
Chemistry is the central science. It deals with the composition, structure, and behaviour of the atoms and molecules that make up all forms of matter. ...