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Description

Programme Specification for the 2019/0 academic year

MSci (Hons) Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMSci (Hons) Biological and Medicinal Chemistry Programme codeUFX4BIOBIO03
Study mode(s)Level 1
Level 1
Academic year2019/0
Campus(es)Streatham (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The MSci (Hons) Biological and Medicinal Chemistry programme provides training in both chemistry and biological sciences to ultimately show how these multidisciplinary areas relate to aspects of medicine and drug design. This 4-year programme mirrors the BSc (Hons) Biological and Medicinal Chemistry programme during the first three years, but also includes an additional fourth year during which you will be able to pursue research interests you have developed during your first three years on the programme. The first year provides a grounding in all three branches of chemistry – inorganic, organic and physical. Organic chemistry then forms a key part the main core of the programme in the remaining years at Exeter, with a focus on the clear link between chemistry and biological sciences. In particular emphasis is given to understanding the chemistry and synthesis of small molecules, particularly those used in medicine. The level and breadth of coverage of organic chemistry is comparable with that normally encountered in a MSci (Hons) Chemistry programme. The second and third years provide you with a wide range of module choice allowing further specialisation in chemistry, forensic science, cell biology, molecular biology and genomics, and biotechnology, alongside core topics including pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and drug design. The final year of the programme then provides you the opportunity to focus on an intensive research project, within one of our leading research groups, together with undertaking advanced modules to further develop your academic and transferable skills.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The general aims of this programme are:

To provide education intended to give you competence in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry, and to encourage you to develop your intellectual capabilities within an institution that is committed to advancing research, scholarship and learning, and to disseminating knowledge.

More specifically, this programme aims:

  • To provide you with knowledge and understanding of an interdisciplinary area at the interface between chemistry and biological sciences, of particular relevance to the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries, from the fundamentals to the frontiers of the subject.
  • To provide you with the basic scientific, intellectual, and practical training that will prepare you for lifelong learning, and, if you wish, for a career in chemical and/or biosciences research.
  • To enable you to think critically, evaluate evidence, analyse, challenge, solve problems, work collaboratively, and communicate effectively.
  • To enable you to experience a supportive learning environment that fosters your academic and personal development.
  • To provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to undertake a significant research project whilst working within our leading research groups.

4. Programme Structure

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

You may take optional modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

You may take up to 30 credits of elective modules outside of the programme in the second or third years of the programme as long as you have obtained the explicit permission of the Programme Director, any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module.

You are also permitted to take the five, ten or 15 credit Professional Development Experience modules BIO3910, BIO3911 or BIO3912 in the second or final years. Registration on these modules is subject to a competitive application process. If taken, these modules will not count towards progression or award calculation.

Stage 1


120 credits of compulsory modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BIO1332 Biochemistry 15No
BIO1333 Fundamental Principles for Bioscientists 15No
BIO1334 Genetics 15No
BIO1337 Microbiology 15No
BIO1339 Cells 15No
BIO1340 Fundamentals of Inorganic Chemistry 15No
BIO1345 Structure and Reactivity of Organic Compounds I 15No
BIO1346 Biophysical Chemistry 15No

Stage 2


75 credits of compulsory modules, 45 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BIO2071 Research Skills and Bioethics 15No
BIO2085 Structure and Reactivity of Organic Compounds II 15No
BIO2086 Metabolism 15No
BIO2090 Analytical Techniques in Biochemistry 15No
BIO2091 Bioinorganic Chemistry 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BioS S2 BSc-MSci BMC opt 2019-0
BIO2066 Forensic Science 15 No
BIO2078 Medical and General Microbiology 15 No
BIO2088 Advanced Cell Biology 15 No
BIO2089 Molecular Biology of the Gene 15 No
BIO2092 Genomics and Introductory Bioinformatics 15 No
BIO2094 Molecular Microbiology 15 No
CSC2005 Introduction to Pharmacology 15 No
BIO2001 Preparing for Professional Placements 0 No

Stage 3


90 credits of compulsory modules, 30 credits of optional modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BIO3096 Biosciences Research Project 45Yes
BIO3041 Pharmacology and Medicinal Chemistry 15No
BIO3089 Organic Synthesis and Drug Design 15No
BIO3090 Secondary Metabolites 15No

Optional Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BioS SF BSc-S3 MSci BMC opt 2019-0
BIO3073 Specialist Topics in Chemical Sciences 15 No
BIO3077 Frontiers in Molecular Cell Biology 15 No
BIO3078 Cellular Basis of Immunity 15 No
BIO3079 Molecular Basis of Infection 15 No
BIO3082 Science Communication 15 No
BIO3085 Horizons of Biochemical Research 15 No
BIO3086 Cell Biology of Disease 15 No
BIO3092 Bioinformatics 15 No
BIO3093 Energy Metabolism 15 No

Stage 4


120 credits of compulsory modules

Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
BIOM518 Research Project 75Yes
BIOM509 Professional Skills 15No
BIOM527 Research Grant Proposal 15No
NSCM006 Advanced Topics in Natural Sciences Chemistry I 15No

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Demonstrate broadly based knowledge and understanding in all areas of biological and medicinal chemistry (organic, inorganic and physical chemistry, molecular and cell biology, microbiology, pharmacology, medicinal chemistry and biochemistry).
2. Demonstrate comprehensive/detailed knowledge and understanding in biological chemistry, pharmacology and medicinal chemistry and aspects of molecular and cellular biology and biotechnology.
3. Describe and critically evaluate aspects of current research in biological and medicinal chemistry with reference to reviews and research articles.
4. Design and undertake experimental scientific research in biological and medicinal chemistry.
5. Develop a rigorous approach to scientific reporting through synthesising information and concepts, exercising evaluative judgement and rational analysis, with respect to biological and medicinal chemistry.

Within the programme, teaching and learning activities are designed to encourage a progressive acquisition of subject knowledge and skills by moving from study methods that have a greater degree of support and assistance towards more independent learning.

The programme uses a diversity of teaching and learning methods: lectures, laboratory classes, research projects, group work.

Typically a 15-credit module would consist of 15-20 x 1-hour lectures in which the core subject material will be provided. The lecture notes will be available via the University of Exeter Virtual Learning Environment and references to outside reading will be made available. Laboratory classes will normally run for either 3 or 5 hours and you will be provided with a written schedule describing in detail the experimental procedures. You will normally work individually or in groups (2-5 individuals depending on stage) with an expectation that the workload is divided equally.

Some laboratory classes form the basis of assessment and require the submission of a final laboratory report. This will sometimes require data analysis in the form of tables and graphs. There is also an expectation that the data generated will be used in some subsequent calculations and analysis. Discussion of the findings or answers to short questions will be used to provide evidence of knowledge gained.

The stage 3 research project will normally take place in the 1st term where you will undertake a project in a research group followed by production of a written report in the 2nd term. If the project is literature-based, you will normally receive feedback on a draft report before production of the written report in the 2nd term.

The stage 4 research project is taken by all MSci students, and normally takes place in the 1st and 2nd term. Research will be followed by the production of a written report and oral presentation. This project is conducted alongside a research group but with a greater degree of independence than the stage 3 project. The stage 3 and stage 4 projects may be conducted alongside either the same or different research groups. However, if continuing to work alongside the same research group, the stage 4 project must be sufficiently distinct, and as a minimum be an extension of rather than a continuation of the stage 3 project.

The programme uses a diversity of formative and summative assessment methods such as: essay and problem-based examinations, short answer and multiple choice tests (MCQ), practical work and reports, quantitative (numerical) problems, project reports, oral presentations.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

6. With limited guidance, deploy established techniques of analysis, practical investigation, and enquiry within biological and medicinal chemistry.
7. Apply a range of appropriate skills to produce an independent piece of work informed by research.

See above.

See above.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

8. Communicate ideas effectively and professionally by written, oral and visual means.
9. Study autonomously and undertake projects with minimum guidance.
10. Select and properly manage information drawn from books, journals, and the internet.
11. Interact effectively in a group.
12. Interact effectively with research staff beyond your peer group.
13. Synthesise information and ideas from disparate subject areas to formulate testable hypotheses.

See above.

See above.

7. Programme Regulations

Programme-specific Progression Rules

To progress to stage 3 you must achieve a credit-weighted stage average of at least 65% in stage 2, otherwise you will be required to transfer to the relevant 3-year BSc programme if progression criteria for this programme have been achieved.

Programme-specific Award Rules

At the end of stage 3, you may be permitted to exit with a BSc (Hons) Biological and Medicinal Chemistry provided that you have achieved 360 credits in total, you have taken no more than 150 credits at level 4 and at least 90 credits at level 6 or 7. If you do exit with a BSc (Hons) the award will normally be based on the degree mark formed from the credit weighted average marks for stages 2 and 3 combined in the ratio 1:2 respectively.

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

You will be allocated a personal tutor for the duration of your studies. Their role is to both instil in you a sense of academic rigour and thinking, and to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme. This includes working with you to decide the appropriate optional module choices, and research project areas, and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. Project supervisors provide further academic and tutorial support once you move on to the research component of the programme in stages 3 and 4. There is also a Programme Director for the MSci (Hons) in Biological and Medicinal Chemistry who follows the cohort through to graduation and who will monitor student absences and progress, and meet any students needing additional support. You can also expect reasonable access to individual teaching staff through appointments. The Biosciences website and online Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) includes the student handbook and learning materials, and you have access to computers and printers within the University. You will also have access to the Biosciences external seminar speaker series where leading researchers are invited to give research seminars. The Biosciences Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(http://as.exeter.ac.uk/support/admin/staff/qualityassuranceandmonitoring/tqamanual/fullcontents/)

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

The programme is not subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of educational provision. The College documents the performance in each of its taught programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Programme Monitoring cycle:

  • Admissions, progression and completion data
  • In Year Analysis data
  • Previous monitoring report
  • Monitoring of core (and optional) modules
  • External examiner's reports and University and College responses (reported to SSLC)
  • Any Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body/accrediting body or other external reports
  • Consultation with employers and former students
  • Staff evaluation
  • Student evaluation
  • Programme aims

Subject areas are reviewed every four years through a periodic subject review scheme that includes external contributions. (http://admin.exeter.ac.uk/academic/tls/tqa/Part%209/9JREVISEDPSRSCHEME.pdf)

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

Not applicable to this programme.

18. Final Award

MSci (Hons) Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

19. UCAS Code

CF72

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits ECTS credits

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

Level 1

23. Dates

Origin Date

10/11/2018

Date of last revision

19/03/2019