Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds BSc (Hons)

Fact File

Course Code: CK402

Course Title: Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds

College: Science, Engineering and Food Science

Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds

Duration: 4 years

Teaching Mode: Full-time

Qualifications: BSc (Hons)

NFQ Level: Level 8

Costs: Full-time EU/EEA/Swiss State undergraduate students may be exempt from paying tuition fees. The State will pay the tuition fees for students who satisfy the Free Fees Criteria. In 2016/17 the Student Contribution Charge will be €3,000 and the Capitation Fee will be €165.

Entry Requirements: Refer to CK402


BSc Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds (CPC) is an interdisciplinary course focusing on the chemistry and biology of the pharmaceutical industry and includes a five-month industrial placement.

The course is an excellent pathway to careers in the pharmaceutical industry and is accredited by the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Industry experts lecture on pharmaceutical technology, regulatory issues and the industry in Ireland. Our placement scheme includes application and interview training. Interviews with companies will be organised.

Core subjects include organic, analytical and pharmaceutical chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology and toxicology, supported by modules on physical and inorganic chemistry, physiology, mathematics and physics.

Final-year research projects are written on pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmaceutical bio-science.

Course Details

On completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • analyse and solve problems relating to pharmaceuticals
  • outline the fundamental chemistry and biology of pharmaceuticals
  • design experiments in pharmaceutical chemistry and biology
  • communicate with pharmaceutical scientists
  • engage with the pharmaceutical manufacturing process, and appreciate the opportunities and challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry

Year 1 Modules:


BL1002 Cell, Biomolecules, Genetics and Evolution (5 credits);

BC1001 Introduction to Biochemistry and the Biological Basis of Disease (5 credits);

BL1004 Physiology and Structure of Plants and Animals (5 credits);

MB1003 Microbiology in Society (5 credits);

CM1200 Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry 1 (10 credits);

MA1001 & MA1002 Calculus for Science I & II (5 credits each);

PY1010 Physics for Biological and Chemical Sciences (10 credits)


BL1005 Introduction to Ecology (5 credits);

BT1001 Biotechnology (5 credits);

CM1201 Fundamentals of Modern Chemistry 2a (10 credits)

Year 2 Modules:

Biomolecules;  Principles of Metabolic Pathways ;  Main Group and Transition Element Chemistry;  Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry;  Energetics and Kinetics;  States of Matter; 
Structures and Reactions of Main Group Compounds;  Aromatics, Carbonyls and Alkenes;  Spectroscopy;  Structure, Bonding and Quantum Mechanics;  Introductory Molecular Biology; 

Year 3 Modules:

Structural Biochemistry;  Molecular Biology;  Synthesis, Structure and Reactivity of Organic Compounds;  Analytical Chemistry;  Natural Products and Reaction Mechanisms; Pharmaceutical Chemistry;  Pharmaceutical Solids and Technology;  Pharmacology;  Toxicology;  Chemotherapy and Pharmacology of Inflammation

In addition, you will undertake an industrial placement between Years 3 and 4 over the five-month period June-October.

Year 4 Modules:


Protein Science;  Advanced Organic Synthesis, Biosynthesis and Reactivity;  Physical Organic Chemistry;  Advanced Pharmaceutical Chemistry;  Pharmaceutical Chemistry Drug Design and Development;  Work Placement;  Neuropharmacology;  Applied Pharmacology & Toxicology


Range of Research Projects

See the College Calendar for further information on the Programme and the Book of Modules for further details on module content.

Course Practicalities

Expected lecture hours: Lectures usually take place in the mornings between 9am and 1pm. You will usually have between 8-12 lectures per week.

Expected lab/practical hours: Laboratory practical classes are generally in the afternoons between 2pm and 6pm. You will usually have three laboratory classes per week.


Written exams will take place before Christmas and in May.  Not all modules will have formal Examinations.  Many modules use other types of assessment including laboratory practical reports, written assignments, interactive small-group tutorials, and by poster and oral presentations.

Who Teaches This Course

The CPC course is taught by staff from the Departments of Chemistry, Physiology, Biochemistry, and Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Experts from the pharmaceutical industry lecture on pharmaceutical technology and regulatory issues.

The course covers both chemical and biological disciplines.

The UCC Careers Service supports students in the preparation and organisation of industrial placement interviews.

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