A combination of hard-work, determination and the right support will see you through. If you’ve got the first two, Christ Church can provide the third.

Marie, current PhD student

How do you want to study?


3 years

UCAS code:



Apply via UCASBook an Open day
TEF Silver


Taught using the “Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate” education method, this course has been designed to help you confidently develop your knowledge and skills and achieve your full potential.

You will learn how to apply scientific knowledge to contemporary challenges and develop your practical skills through a significant amount of laboratory work. This means that you get to spend more time “doing science”, making learning more effective and exciting. 

You will also have the chance to gain further skills as part of our ‘Added Value’ programme and collaborate with biotech companies through the Life Sciences Industry Liaison Lab and advisory companies such as FAST Brogdale.

This course will help you to further a career in scientific research or in the pharmaceutical industry.

Why study Chemistry for Drug Discovery?

Our Chemistry for Drug Discovery course combines biochemistry and chemistry with a strong focus on the development of drugs and pharmaceutical products at both a research and production level. This critical area of the sciences is at the core of the rapidly expanding healthcare sector, making it an excellent choice if you are looking for a career in scientific research or in industry.

Throughout the course, you'll develop a deep knowledge of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology as well as studying maths and computing. You'll gain lots of hands-on experience putting science into practice in our industry standard labs, which will prepare you for undertaking a project in Year 2 where you'll tackle a current issue faced by the science industry.

Entry requirements

For entry to level 4, candidates require 88-112 UCAS tariff points or equivalent of which 32 UCAS tariff points or equivalent (e.g. A level grade C or BTEC grade Merit) are in a science subject: for example, chemistry, biology or physics.

For more information on the IELTS (International English language Testing System) requirements for this course, please click here to visit our dedicated web page.

UCAS Points

All about the course

During Year 1, you'll study modules in chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics and computing, giving you a firm grounding in scientific knowledge, laboratory and analytical skills. You will also contribute to solving a real research problem in a large project that is based on the Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate (CDIO) education approach.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

This course has a strong focus on problem-based learning and it uses approaches based on the Conceive, Design, Implement, Operate (CDIO) education model. There is lots of ‘hands on’ work with real projects, as well as input from industry experts and teaching from staff actively engaged with industry.

Practical experimentation and problem-based learning approaches are supplemented by lectures and seminars/workshops. In addition, you will meet with your academic personal tutor.

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

When not attending lectures, seminars, workshops or other timetabled sessions, you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves reading journal articles and books, undertaking research in the library, working on projects, and preparing for coursework assignments/examinations, workshops and seminars.

For your research project in your final year, you will undertake independent research working under the supervision of a member of the course team, who you'll meet with regularly.

Each 20 credit module requires 200 hours of study, which includes formal contact (lectures, practicals, tutorials, workshops), structured independent learning (prescribed reading and/or online exercises) and independent learning.

In Year 1, each module has 60 hours of formal contact, supplemented with 40 hours of structured independent learning. As you develop and become more independent, formal contact and structured learning reduces to 50 hours of contact and 30 hours of structured independent learning per module in Year 2 and 40 hours of contact and 20 hours of structured independent learning per module in Year 3. 

The teaching team consists of highly qualified academics with a range of expertise and experience.

All our team members hold doctoral and teaching qualifications and are research-active. You will be taught by staff at all academic levels including lecturer, senior lecturer, principal lecturer and professorial level. They have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. You can find out more about the current teaching on our Our Staff web page. 

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules. However, experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars.

You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

Our course aims to inspire, enthuse and challenge you to fulfil your potential and prepare you for a career in the chemical sciences.

Dr Lee ByrneProgramme Director

How you’ll be assessed

Assessment is by coursework and examination, both written and practical. Individual modules are assessed either solely by coursework or by an equally-weighted combination of coursework and examination.

Examination allows assessment of your understanding of important key concepts and accounts for less than half the assessment of the programme. Examinations may take the form of written examinations or practical examinations that assess laboratory skills. Coursework assessments develop key scientific and transferable skills and assignments include: scientific lab/log books, written reports, written scientific papers, discursive essays, PowerPoint presentations and poster presentations.

There are a maximum of two assessments per 20 credit module studied. Exams happen twice a year at the end of each semester.

Your future career

This course has been designed with input from industry and to meet a skills gap in industry for graduates with extensive industry-relevant lab experience in the chemical sciences. Graduates from our other science courses go on to careers in industry, research, teaching and wider areas of the science sector.


The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK  Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £13,000
Full-time - placement year £1,850 N/A
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2021/22 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2021/22 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Specialist Facilities

This course is associated with the university’s Industry Liaison Labs at Discovery Park, Sandwich. You will have the opportunity to undertake laboratory work at this site. The location of these specialist facilities within an industrial setting facilitates access to and collaboration with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

Industry Links

The University’s Industry Liaison Lab works with many companies in healthcare research and development, drug discovery and equipment design and manufacture.

"Venomtech have been very impressed with our partners at Canterbury Christ Church University, this partnership has enabled us to progress projects much faster than we could on our own. This includes being able to generate novel data on the use of our products through student projects, advancing research into new antibiotics and cancer therapies from venoms and increasing the understanding of invertebrate welfare. Generation of this proof of concept data has, and continues to have, a positive influence with our potential customers and therefore our business. I also impart my 10+ years industrial drug discovery experience directly to the students as part of the Drug Discovery and Development module.

As a science employer in the area, Venomtech benefit greatly from being directly involved in the curriculum to make sure the new graduates have the skills useful to employers. This includes an understanding of applied drug discovery that will make CCCU graduates stand out from others in job interviews.”

Steve Trim, CEO, Venomtech Ltd

Regulated by the Office for Students

The Office for Students (OfS) regulates Canterbury Christ Church University. The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. It aims to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers. Further details about its work are available on the OfS website.

Apply now


3 years

UCAS code:



Apply via UCAS

Find out more

Sign up to hear the latest from the University, including upcoming events, useful updates, student life and more!