Medicinal and biological chemistry is the foundation of modern medicine. The life sciences industry is one of the largest industrial sectors in the UK, where you could use your skills to have a positive eﬀect on health and wellbeing worldwide.
This is a truly multidisciplinary science. While chemistry forms the core of this Medicinal and Biological Chemistry degree, you’ll also study biology, physiology, biochemistry and pharmacology to understand the links between human disease and its prevention and treatment through drug design.
To prepare you for the workplace there’s a significant amount of simulated work-based learning as part of this course, as well as employability and professional development activities. In your final year, for example, you can complete a major project in the workplace or pursue an industry-linked project.
The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.
The first year provides an excellent grounding in all three branches of chemistry – inorganic, organic and physical – as well as fundamental biology topics. In your second and final years, you’ll progress to study topics at the interface of chemistry and biology, such as drug design, toxicology, biochemistry and heterocyclic chemistry.
A blended learning and teaching approach is utilised to provide the students with subject specific and key skills. Typically all chemistry modules consist of a mix of lectures, tutorials, workshops and practical laboratory sessions.
Students are provided with numerous learning activities including written coursework, project work, group work, practicals (with group sizes tailored to the activity); problem solving sessions, selfstudy assignments, oral and poster presentations. independent study, work related learning, on-line self assessments etc. Student will receive around 15 contact hours per week and will be expected to conduct at least one hour of individual study for every one hour of contact.
Teaching staff draw on research interests and scholarly activity, including conferences, to enhance lectures, laboratory work and develop final year projects. In general, final year projects are often of an applied science nature or involve the use of a range of synthetic techniques and analytical instrumentation in line with individual teaching staff research interests.
Assessment is by examinations; in class tests; online pre-laboratory assessments; laboratory/practical reports and skills; oral presentations; themed portfolios of work; attendance at specific events; essays and dissertations; computer assignments; project work (including planning, conducting, documenting and reporting); and overall monitoring of safe practice in the laboratory.
Students are encouraged to undertake a work placement as part of their final year project, and those wishing to do so are supported by the University's Work Placement Team and the Careers Service.
The Chemistry/Analytical Facilities are on a par with those found in industry. Students make full use of the laboratories during their studies and gain hands on experience using the extensive analytical equipment. Built to the latest standards of safety, our laboratories cater for moderate class sizes to ensure students receive a more personal practical experience. All the laboratories are equipped with AV teaching equipment and have Wi-Fi coverage.
The Chemistry/Analytical suite of laboratories comprise:
The laboratories are fully equipped with chemicals and consumables, glassware and equipment as expected to run a Chemistry degree course.
Biology facilities include newly refurbished biology laboratories; newly built category II microbiology laboratories and facilities for handling of pathogenic organisms PCR and DNA analyzers and an extensive range of anatomical models for teaching of Anatomy and Physiology dedicated microscopy laboratories with access to electron microscopy.
Dr Natasha Galea, course leader. Dr Galea's research is concerned with computational chemistry; particularly the molecular modelling of gas-phase catalysis, and solid state materials (mainly SOFCs).
Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.
BCC - CDD including Chemistry and Biology but to exclude General Studies
Pass the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate Diploma with Grade C/D in the Skills Challenge Certificate and BC - CD at A Level (this is equivalent to 104-80 UCAS tariff points). Must include Biology and Chemistry modules and excludes General Studies
Applicants taking Science A levels in England will need to pass the practical element alongside achieving the requested grade(s)
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit - Merit Merit Pass in a relevant subject which must include Biology and Chemistry modules
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including a score of 5 in Chemistry and Biology at Higher Level. You will also need to obtain a score of 5 or above in English at standard level.
Pass an Access to HE Diploma in Science and obtain a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent, but consideration is given to individual circumstances.
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
Find out how to pay your tuition fees in full or by payment plan.
This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.
International Scholarships are available for self-funding international students.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
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Students are encouraged to equip themselves with a suitable cotton laboratory coat, suitable for working in a chemical laboratory, and a pair of personal protective laboratory goggles, although the School does provide these items. Students who are successful in securing an industry-based project may, in a small number of cases, be required to purchase additional personal protective equipment as specified by the specific organisation or company.
Students who successfully secure a placement in industry to complete their project would be expected to pay their own travel costs to and from the venue during the period of placement. The cost of this will of course vary and some students have also paid for accommodation close to their place of work for the duration of their placement.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
Graduates will be ready for a career as a scientist, researcher or technician in the life sciences, which includes the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries. You could also explore opportunities in the chemical industries and other medical-related employment. You’ll also develop a wide range of transferable skills as part of your studies, including analytical problem solving, team work and communication. As such, graduates from chemistry-based degrees can find employment in alternative disciplines such as teaching, management, law, finance and business.
Graduates can also progress to a PhD or research degree.