BSc Biological and Medicinal Chemistry
|Typical offer||AAB–ABB; IB: 34–32; BTEC: DDD–DDM|
This degree provides training in both biological sciences and chemistry and shows how this multidisciplinary area relates to aspects of medicine and drug design.
Chemistry is at the core of the degree, with options in biochemistry and biology. An emphasis is given to understanding the chemistry and synthesis of small molecules, particularly in medicine and disease.
The first year provides an excellent grounding in all three branches of chemistry – inorganic, organic and physical. Organic chemistry remains a key element in subsequent years of the programme, with an emphasis being the clear link between chemistry and biological sciences. The level and breadth of coverage of organic chemistry is comparable with that normally encountered in a Single Honours BSc Chemistry programme.
The second and final years provide you with a wide range of module choice allowing further specialisation in chemistry, forensic science, cell biology, molecular biology and genomics, and biotechnology, alongside core topics including pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and drug design.
This degree leads to many career opportunities in pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnological and other industries as well as medically-related employment and further study.
- Interdisciplinary degree providing core training in chemistry supplemented with options in biochemistry and biology, and shows how these areas relate to aspects of medicine and drug design. Emphasis is placed on understanding the chemistry and synthesis of small molecules, particularly in medicine and disease
- Module choices in your second and final year allow further specialisation in chemistry, forensic science, cell biology, molecular biology and genomics, and biotechnology
- Many career opportunities in pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnological and other industries as well as medically-related employment and further study
You will develop an understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry and biochemistry, cell structure and physiology, genetics and microbiology. Practical work is designed to complement the lectures.
In addition to core chemistry and biochemistry, you can also take optional modules focusing on the molecular biology of the gene, cell biology, microbiology, genomics and bioinformatics or forensic science.
You will study, amongst other things, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and drug design, and you will choose an independent research project centred on the expertise of academic staff in the areas of biological science, chemistry, biochemistry or clinical research.
- BSc Biological and Medicinal Chemistry with Industrial Experience
- BSc Biological and Medicinal Chemistry with Study Abroad
In contrast to the majority of Biological and Medicinal Chemistry courses, the balance of ‘biology’ and ‘chemistry’ in the courses at the University of Exeter is strongly in favour of the former and are taught within a single life sciences College. This means that Exeter students get a good grounding in chemistry – more than adequate – but it doesn’t dominate the degrees. As such, the biological relevance of molecular science perhaps becomes more apparent more quickly. For students who aspire to go on to a PhD in biomedical research, this combination is extremely useful.
Professor Rob Field, External Assessor for the BSc Biological and Medicinal Chemistry degrees at the University of Exeter.
This course was in a unique position of being chemistry based but being part of the Biosciences department. As a result, the teaching was fantastic. The fundamental chemistry was taught in small groups with expert lecturers.
I have now moved into an engineering environment which requires a number of different disciplines. I have used my biology knowledge, chemistry knowledge and some of the engineering and business concepts that I picked up through my year in industry.
The modules we outline here provide examples of what you can expect to learn on this degree course based on recent academic teaching. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on staff availability and research interests, new topics of study, timetabling and student demand.
The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.
You may take optional modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.
You may take elective modules outside of the programme up to 30 credits in Stages 2 and 3 of the programme as long as you have obtained the explicit permission of the Programme Director, any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.
Entry requirements 2020
AAB–ABB; IB: 34–32; BTEC: DDD–DDM
GCE AL Biology grade B or IB Biology HL5, plus GCE AL Chemistry at AL grade B or IB Chemistry at HL5. GCSE Maths at grade B or 5 and either GCSE Double Award Science or GCSE Chemistry at grade C or 4.
International students should check details of our English language requirements.
If your academic qualifications or English language skills do not meet our entry requirements our INTO University of Exeter centre offers a range of courses to help you reach the required language and academic standards.
International Foundation programmes
Preparation for entry to Year 1 of an undergraduate degree:
Please read the important information about our Typical offer.
For full and up-to-date information on applying to Exeter and entry requirements, including requirements for other types of qualification, please see the Applying section.
Learning and teaching
We believe every student benefits from being part of a research-led culture and being taught by experts. You will discuss the very latest ideas in seminars and tutorials and be an active member of a research team. Our academics bring their results from the laboratory and the field directly to their teaching, and our students also help to collect this data. The complementary expertise of our staff ensures a vibrant, collaborative research culture within our research groups, made up of researchers at all stages, from Masters to Post-doctoral scientists. Learning and teaching is through lectures, seminars, tutorials, field work, laboratory sessions and independent study with internationally recognised, research-active staff. You will have the opportunity to undertake challenging independent research projects dealing with questions and issues at the cutting edge of life science research. Regular research seminars, by our staff and visiting lecturers, bring you the latest issues on a wide range of research topics.
You’ll experience a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, fieldwork, laboratory sessions and independent study. Over the course of your degree, you will participate in a mix of larger lectures to smaller, focused sessions based around the latest research topics. In the teaching laboratory you will develop the necessary skills to become a professional biologist; you will then put these to use while undertaking your independent research project. We encourage students to publish their results in the scientific literature and make a real contribution to the fields of Biosciences.
Our staff have close links with a wide range of industrial, medical and conservation organisations, with whom there may be the chance to collaborate for your final year research project. Many of our students work with these organisations during their vacations and others build experience through one of our four-year programmes with industrial experience. Many of our students also work with these organisations during their vacations.
We frequently introduce We’re actively engaged in introducing new methods of learning and teaching, including increasing use of interactive computer-based approaches to learning through our virtual learning environment, where the details of all modules are stored in an easily navigable website. You can access detailed information about modules and learning outcomes and interact through activities such as the discussion forums.
We pride ourselves on providing a very high standard of care and support to our students. You will have a Personal Tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies. There are also a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit. As well as more than 15 hours per week of direct contact time with your lecturers, all students have a personal tutor who is available for advice and support throughout your studies. There are also a number of services on campus where you can get advice and information, including the Students’ Guild Advice Unit.
Your first year does not count towards your final degree classification, but you do have to pass it in order to progress. All marks after your first year count towards your final classification.
Modules are assessed using a variety of methods including essays, exams, presentations, laboratory reports and a dissertation.
A degree in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry will help you to develop a wide range of essential skills such as analytical problem solving, team work and organising and communicating information. A number of our students continue their studies in the subject by following a further degree and research in their chosen area, or by training as a teacher. Many of our graduates are employed in discipline relevant roles in the UK and overseas including laboratory-based positions, conservation management, ecology, teaching and nursing. Others use the skills gained on their course to enter widely different career paths in law, business or management. Whatever you choose to do after graduation, your Biosciences degree will stand you in good stead, with excellent employment prospects and transferable skills.
We have a dedicated, award-winning Careers Service ensuring you have access to careers advisors, mentors and the tools you need to succeed in finding employment in your chosen field on graduation. We offer the Exeter Award and the Exeter Leaders Award which include employability-related workshops, skills events, volunteering and employment which will contribute to your career decision-making skills and success in the employment market. Our graduates compete very successfully in the employment market, with many employers targeting the University when recruiting new graduates.
Supporting your career in Biosciences
Each year Biosciences students are able to access a huge range of opportunities to support their future career options. Recent events have included career insights with visiting alumni, mock interviews with visiting employers and alumni, postgraduate routes with a Biosciences degree, the Life and Environmental Sciences Careers Fair, and nature and conservation training courses.
Below are a few examples of initial jobs undertaken by graduates of University of Exeter Biosciences undergraduate programmes. This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Surveys 2016/17. Please note that, due to data protection, the job titles and organisations are listed independently and do not necessarily correspond.
Recent graduates are now working for:
- Blue Frog Media
- Cancer Research UK
- Cardiff University
- Civil Service
- Consilium Strategic Communications
- Department for International Trade
- Devon County Council
- Ernst and Young
- Frontera London HayMarket Media Group
- Hazlewoods LLP
- Mars UK
- Southwest Pathology Services
- System Analytic
- The Pirbright Institute
- Thermo Fisher Scientific
- University of Exeter
Recent graduates are now working as:
- Account Executive
- Assistant Tutor
- Assurance Associate
- Brand Activation Executive
- Business Development Consultant
- Cardiac Physiologist
- Civil Service Fast Stream Graduate
- Clinical Exercise Specialist
- Communications and Marketing Executive
- Development Chemist
- HR Advisor
- Management Consultant
- Medical Laboratory Assistant
- Research Technician
- Scientific Officer
- Social Media Risk Consultant
- Software Engineer
- Trainee Accountant
- Transportation Planner
- Waste Management Support Officer
Further study is a popular choice for a number of students following graduation from a Biosciences undergraduate degree. Below are a few examples of further study undertaken by recent graduates of undergraduate programmes. This information has been taken from the Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) Surveys 2016/17.
- Graduate Diploma in Law
- MBBS Medicine
- MPhil Biological Sciences (Biochemistry)
- MRes in Molecular and Cellular Biology
- MSc by Research in Computational Biology
- MSc by Research: Clinical Veterinary Science
- MSc Clinical Science (Cardiac Science)
- MSc Conservation and Biodiversity
- MSc Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences
- MSc Environmental Science (Chemistry, Toxicology and Health)
- MSc Human Nutrition
- MSc Immunology MSc in Biomedical Science (Medical Microbiology)
- MSc in Finance
- MSc in Global Health & Social Justice
- MSc in Marine Environmental Management
- MSc in Molecular Neuroscience
- MSc in Science Communication
- MSc Marketing
- MSc Physiotherapy
- MSc Reproduction and Development
- PGCE Biology Secondary
- PhD in Biological Science
- PhD in Oncology
The majority of our Biosciences undergraduate programmes are recognised by the Society of Biology. The Society website provides useful details for students including information about graduate career paths.
The University of Exeter also has an excellent reputation with graduate recruiters and our students and graduates compete very successfully in the employment market. Whatever path you wish to follow after graduation, we’re here to help and support you with all your career and employability needs.