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

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4 years

UCAS code:



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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.

The foundation year will cover basic chemical, biological, physical and mathematical skills needed to help you progress on to your degree studies. This course will help you to further a career in scientific research or in the pharmaceutical industry.

Why study Chemistry for Drug Discovery with Foundation Year?

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.

During the foundation year, you'll learn essential study skills that you'll need as you progress through the degree. You'll also learn the fundamentals of chemistry, biology, physics and maths, so that you are prepared to study science in depth from Year 1 onward. 

Throughout the degree, 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

Applicants should normally have 32 UCAS Tariff points. We will also welcome applications from students with few or no formal Level 3 qualifications who wish to return to education and applicants may be asked to attend an interview.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

During the foundation year, you'll study the core sciences of biology, chemistry and physics, as well as introductory level maths. You'll also develop essential study skills to help you throughout your degree.

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 in the foundation year and 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 team consists of highly qualified academics that have 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  webpage. You should note members of the teaching team might change.

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

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 2020/21 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK / EU Overseas
Full-time - Foundation Year 0 £7,050 £9,910
Full-time - years 1-3 * £9,250 £13,000
Part-time - years 1-3 * £4,625 N/A
Full-time - placement year * £1,850 N/A

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

* The tuition fees of £9,250 / £13,000 / £4,625 / £1,850 relate to 2020/21 only.

Please read the 2020/21 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2020/21 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

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4 years

UCAS code:



Apply via UCAS
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