AP0625 - Natural Product and Medicinal Chemistry

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the chemistry Nature uses to biosynthesise useful natural products and how medicinal chemistry is utilised to combat disease. As you survey Nature’s biosynthetic pathways you will discover how the plethora of naturally occurring molecules are formed from elementary building blocks. In the area of medicinal chemistry you will explore fundamental principles of drug design and learn about the processes through which drugs act to alleviate disease.
Main topics include:
•Biosynthesis of fatty acids, polyketides, terpenes and related biologically relevant molecules
•Drug design, applications and mechanisms of actions

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, tutorials and independent learning. The lectures will outline relevant theories and concepts which will equip you with knowledge and understanding that will enable you to predict and rationalise the outcomes of new situations. The lectures will be supported by tutorials which will enable you to participate in problem solving activities. Directed and independent learning will form a substantial component of this module giving you the opportunity to enrich and broaden your knowledge of the subject area and also to support problem solving activities. Two open book tests will be employed during Semester 1 of the module which will allow you to reflect on your progression and will provide a stepping stone to the more involved formal final exam in semester 2.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your learning journey through this module will be supported by the tutorial sessions in which you will have the opportunity to ask questions and practise problem solving activities under the guidance of a tutor. A tutor-authored booklet outlining the key features Nature’s biosynthetic pathways will be provided to every student to steer you along the journey. A range of other teaching materials that will support, reinforce and extend your learning within the subject area will be available on the module’s eLearning Portal site (Blackboard Ultra).

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1.You will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of the biosynthesis of natural products and advanced concepts in, and the interdependency of the design, synthesis and actions of synthetic medicines.
Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2.You will develop high-level problem-solving and analytical and critical skills in biosynthesis, and medicinal chemistry. You will be able to propose outcomes of novel and important biosynthetic pathways and use advanced concepts to propose the design and synthetic strategies for a range of medicinal drugs targets.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
3.You will be able to think independently, analytically and critically, propose new solutions and justify your own opinions.

How will I be assessed?

This module will be assessed by:
1.An examination (50%). MLO 1,2,
2.Continuous coursework (50%) (2open-book tests, one in each sub-area). MLO 1,2,3,
These assessments will evaluate your problem-solving abilities within the subject area.
1.Feedback from the open-book tests will be given in the tutorial sessions. Marked tests will be returned to you with tutor annotations.
2.Annotated exam scripts will be returned to you after the examination boards have taken place.


Level 5 Organic Chemistry



Module abstract

‘Natural Product and Medicinal Chemistry’ will allow you to discover and appreciate how Nature produces naturally occurring molecules of biological and biochemical importance also how medicines are designed and the way they are utilised to combat disease. You will engage with the subject area through lectures, tutorials and independent learning. ‘Natural Product and Medicinal Chemistry’ will be assessed by an examination and by continuous coursework in the form of open-book tests. These tests will evaluate your problem-solving abilities, thus enhancing employability skills, and feedback from the tests will be given in the tutorial sessions. Independent learning will form a substantial component of this module giving you the opportunity to enrich and broaden your knowledge of the subject area and also to support problem solving activities.

Course info

UCAS Code F115

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023 or September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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