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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM5602M Advanced Topics in Chemical Biology (40 Credit)

40 creditsClass Size: 120

Module manager: Dr Paul Thornton

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is not approved as an Elective


On completion of the module, students will have an advanced level understanding of a wide range of chemistry, with a focus on chemical biology, to the most advanced level. They will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and synthesis of multiple areas simultaneously and be able to explain and solve unseen problems of an advanced nature.

Ultimately the module will prepare them for research either in academia or industry by providing the students with the core basis of advanced knowledge they will require. Through the continual assessment aspects of the module they will receive training in transferrable skills that will aid their future career.

Learning outcomes
The students will have a broad understanding of core areas of advanced chemistry and be able to solve unseen problem-led questions in these areas.

They will also be able to access the primary literature and use their knowledge to make a critical evaluation of this information.


The module will consist of 3 elements, two assessed by exam and one by continuous assessment.

Element 1 (first semester) will consist of 2 compulsory topics and one free choice from a list of options. Students will be required to answer unseen exam questions on 3 topics. The exact topic areas vary year by year to reflect research developments, but a typical list could include:

- Medicinal Chemistry of pathways and computational drug design
- Chemical biology tools

At least one topic from:
- Completing the toolbox of organic reactions
- Characterising Structures and Mechanisms in Inorganic Chemistry
- Metals in Medicine
- Principles of electrochemistry

For Element 2 (second semester) students will be required to study 1 compulsory topic and 2 free choice topics from a list of topics. Students will be required to answer unseen exam questions on 3 topics. Specific topics will vary year by year but a provisional list includes:

- Biosynthesis and synthesis of natural products

- Strategy of synthesis for medicinal chemistry
- Asymmetric and stereoselective synthesis
- Organometallics
- Metals in Biology
- Electrochemical devices
- Self-assembling materials
- Delivery of Complex Fluids

For Element 3 (both semesters) students will be required to study 2 free choice topics from a selection of topics. This element will be assessed by a portfolio of work, based on continuous assessment of 2 of these topics. The exact topics will vary year by year but a provisional list includes:

- Pharmaceuticals based upon biopolymers and drug delivery
- Planning and strategy of complex organic syntheses
- Energy Transduction – Powering the Earth, Life and Society
- Nanomaterials
- Structural Control in Modern Materials
- Sustainability
- Chemical Feedback
- Molecular Dynamics
- Electronic Structure Calculations

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours320.00
Total Contact hours80.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

Students will be presented with a wide range of advanced material and will be expected to spend considerable time consolidating this knowledge.

Additionally, they will be provided with practice problems that form the basis of the seminars for each topic.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored by attendance at classes and by monitoring of coursework marks for continual assessments.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Portfoliosee other information below25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)25.00

Element 3 of the course will account for 25% of the final mark. Each topic will involve one or more of the following types of coursework; Essay or Dissertation, Literature Review, Verbal Presentation, Computer Exercise, Tutorial Performance

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 15 mins37.50
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)2 hr 15 mins37.50
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)75.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 07/08/2020 18:22:57


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