What is Medicinal Chemistry?

5 minute read
What is Medicinal Chemistry

The vast discipline of Chemistry entails immense scope for research with a plethora of career opportunities on offer. Over the years, it has expanded and intersected with other disciplines with an aim to shape and further broaden the scientific horizons in other fields. One such interdisciplinary combination, Medicinal Chemistry is concerned with pharmacology and characterisation of various drug-related substances and is integral to the process of quality control of substances. Much like other branches of science, the importance of medicinal chemistry also resides within the fact that it drives the progress of the healthcare sector. If your interest has been further roused to choose this as your career field, then you have come to the right blog. This blog aims to explore the question of what is Medicinal Chemistry, the courses offered in this field and its career scope.

What is Medicinal Chemistry?

Medicinal chemistry as a discipline finds itself at the very centre of chemistry. It is primarily concerned with the design and synthesis of chemical substances. Its importance lies in the process of design and development that it teaches which results in the formation of new synthetic drug compounds. It also works towards improving the whole system that is used to develop the pharmaceuticals. It aims at making new discoveries in drugs and medicines to treat various ailments.

Subjects Covered in Medicinal Chemistry

For a prospective student, being privy to the subjects that are covered in the course helps in preparing for the challenges that await in this field. After understanding the basic fundamentals of what is medicinal chemistry, take a look at the core subject offerings in this field:

  • Stereochemistry and Mechanisms
  • Kinetics and Thermodynamics in Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysical Techniques
  • Synthetic Organic Chemistry
  • Drug Design and Development
  • Chemistry of Drug Action
  • Medical Biochemistry and Immunology

Now that you are familiar with the concept of What is Medicinal Chemistry and its core subjects, let’s look at the various courses that are offered in this field at different levels of education. Being acquainted with the options available can facilitate the decision of which course to pursue. Different sections are provided below each dealing with top undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate degrees in this field:

Undergraduate Courses

Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biomedical Science BSc (Hons) Astrophysics and WGA
Bachelor of Medical Sciences Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Medicine – Chemistry BSc (Hons) Medicinal Chemistry and Geology
Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Honours) Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biopharmaceutical Science BSc (Hons) Medicinal Chemistry and Neuroscience
Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Food Science Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biomedical Science – Cellular and Molecular Medicine Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry – Pre-Pharmacy
Bachelor of Science (Honours) – Green Chemical Science Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biomedical Science- Bioanalytical Science (Research Focus) Bachelor of Science in Chemistry – Material Chemistry
Bachelor of Science in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery BSc (Hons) (NFQ Level 8) Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology BSc (Hons) Human Biology and Medicinal Chemistry

Postgraduate Courses

Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences – Health Outcomes Research and Pharmacoeconomics MSc – Medicinal and Biological Chemistry Master of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences – Pharmacology /Toxicology
Drug Chemistry MSc Master of Scientific Studies – Biomedical Science Master of Arts in Chemical Biology
Chemical Biology and Drug Design MSc MSc by Research in Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry Master of Science in Computational and Medicinal Chemistry
MSc Biomedical Science MSc Synthetic Organic Chemistry Master of Science in Chemistry – Organic/ Medicinal Chemistry

Doctorate Courses

Doctor of Philosophy in Medicinal Chemistry PhD Drug Design, Development and Delivery  Doctor of Philosophy in Integrated Biomedical Sciences – Chemical Biology and Molecular Pharmacology
Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacy PhD Novel Cyclic Peptides for Biomedical Imaging and Therapeutic Targeting Doctor of Philosophy in Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery
PhD in Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences – Pharmacometrics PhD Chemistry – Catalysis and Synthesis

Top Universities in Medicinal Chemistry

Merely being aware of what is Medicinal Chemistry isn’t enough, and for a prospective student, it is quintessential to be familiar with top-notch universities offering the course. Listed below are the popular universities that offer quality level degree programs in various sub-domains of Chemistry to its students. 

Eligibility Criteria

It is imperative to be aware of the eligibility requirements one has to meet to be selected for the course. Every institute has specific eligibility criteria for admission into the program which tests the skills of the individual and their suitability for the course. Here are some of the common requirements that have been mandated by various universities of the world for Medicinal Chemistry courses:

  • To apply for a program in this field, it is compulsory to complete 10+2 in science stream with Physics and Chemistry as the core subjects.
  • For some graduate programs, a person is eligible only if the individual is a registered pharmacist or has worked in a pharmaceutical firm.
  • For master’s and doctorate programs in Medicinal Chemistry, you will also to provide GRE scores.
  • For students applying to a foreign university, the score of language proficiency test is a necessary requirement. You will have to provide scores of any of the standardised language proficiency tests that are globally accepted like IELTS or TOEFL, etc.
  • Letter of Recommendation and a Statement of Purpose will form a necessary part of the application process. 
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Career Prospects

With a diverse range of courses and programs available in this field, there is absolutely no doubt in regard to the career opportunities available after students successfully complete their study program. With a host of possibilities and large avenues yet undiscovered, pursuing a degree in medicinal chemistry comes with a large number of job profiles to choose from. Listed below are some of the top career choices.  

  • Analytical Chemist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Pharmacologist
  • Healthcare Scientist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Research Scientist

Hence, we hope that this blog has helped you with all the essentials for building a career in Medicinal Chemistry. Planning to pursue a course in this specialisation? Our Leverage Edu experts are here to assist you in finding the best course and university and sorting out the admission process thus making sure that you send a winning application! Sign up for a free career counselling session!

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