University of Sydney Handbooks - 2016 Archive

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Medicinal Chemistry

Medicinal Chemistry is a multi-disciplinary major offered by the Discipline of Pharmacology in the Sydney Medical School and the School of Chemistry in the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this major are available at standard and advanced level.

Program structure and content

Medicinal Chemistry is an interdisciplinary major offered within the Bachelor of Science degree program. It is concerned with the chemistry underpinning the design, discovery and development of new pharmaceuticals, and is jointly administered by the School of Chemistry and the Discipline of Pharmacology.

Medicinal Chemistry examines why some types of chemical compounds are toxic, why some have therapeutic value, and the mode of drug action at the molecular level.

A major in Medicinal Chemistry includes the study of natural and synthetic compounds of biological and medicinal importance, how molecules interact with each other and how specific molecules can influence metabolic pathways in living organisms.

A student seeking to complete this major will study Junior and Intermediate Chemistry, and also Intermediate Pharmacology, as prerequisites for the Senior units of study. Refer to Table 1 for an enrolment guide and to entries under the contributing schools and departments for unit descriptions.

First year planning for a Medicinal Chemistry major

Essential: 12 credit points of Junior Chemistry and 6 credit points of Junior BIOL or MBLG.

Requirements for a major

For a major in Medicinal Chemistry, the minimum requirement is 24 credit points comprising:
(i) PCOL3011/3911 & PCOL3012/3912; and
(ii) CHEM3110/3910 & CHEM3115/3915.


Students undertaking Honours do so in specific projects in Pharmacology or Chemistry.

Contact and further information


T +61 2 9351 4504