MChem Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
The Big Killers

Course unit fact file
Unit code PHAR20302
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 5
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Pharmacy
Available as a free choice unit? No


Lectures from staff from the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry and School of Chemistry will discuss the “big killers”.

Part 1 Dr Jill Barber (Division of Pharmacy and Optometry) (11 lectures)

Targets for antibacterial chemotherapy and the discovery and development of antibacterial agents.  Antibacterial drug resistance.  The geography and status of protozoal disease.  The discovery and development of antiprotozoal, especially antimalarial, drugs.

Cardiovascular Disease – coronary heart disease and stroke

Part 2 Dr John Gardiner (School of Chemistry) (5 lectures)

Targets for antiviral therapy and the discovery and development of antiviral agents. Nucleoside analogues (anti-HIV, anti-HSV), non-nucleoside RT inhibitors of HIV-RT, protease inhibitors and neuraminidase inhibitors as anti-influenza drugs.

Part 3 Dr Katie Finegan (Division of Pharmacy and Optometry) (3 lectures)

Molecular targets in cancer




By the end of this module you should be able to discuss:

  • The major diseases worldwide and how they are treated
  • The use of antibacterial drugs to treat TB and other bacterial illnesses
  • The use of antiprotozoal drugs to treat malaria and other protozoal illnesses
  • The use of antiviral drugs to treat HIV and other viral illnesses
  • The use of anticancer drugs and the underlying biology of cancer
  • The causes, prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease

Learning outcomes



Knowledge and understanding

Students will appreciate the importance of poverty in premature death.  The diseases of poverty and of excess will be discussed and students will understand the influence of geography on disease worldwide.  Students should understand the prevention and treatment of bacterial disease (especially TB), protozoal disease (especially malaria), viral disease (especially AIDS), cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Intellectual skills

Students will understand the mechanism of action of several categories of antiviral agents.

Students will be able to match a disease with treatment and/or prevention

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Students with social consciences will appreciate the social responsibility aspects of the module, which maps onto the Social Responsibility section of the 2015 and 2020 agenda.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written exam 80%
Set exercise 10%

Each topic will be taught using lectures and there will be an assessed workshop.


Feedback methods

Feedback is given following the workshop verbally.  Detailed individual feedback is given following the course test using Smallvoice. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 19
Practical classes & workshops 2
Independent study hours
Independent study 77

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
John Gardiner Unit coordinator
Jill Barber Unit coordinator
Katherine Finegan Unit coordinator

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