Medicinal Chemistry


Medicinal chemistry is one of the most rapidly developing areas within the discipline of chemistry, both globally and locally. It is the study of the design, biochemical effects, regulatory and ethical aspects of drugs for the treatment of disease. The aim of this programme is to produce graduates with an appropriate background in biology and pharmacology, built upon a strong chemistry foundation

Areas of study

Medicinal chemistry is a multidisciplinary subject that integrates knowledge from a wide variety of fields including chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology and computing.

You can study Medicinal Chemistry in the following programmes:

What you will learn

Graduates are equipped with a unique combination of skills: you will be trained in synthesis, reactivity and analysis of organic compounds, but in addition will have a valuable insight into the pharmacological aspects of bioactive compounds. Training in genetic and molecular biology will stand you in good stead for employment in drug design, which is driven by genomics and proteonomics.

Career opportunities

The global market for ethical pharmaceuticals is around a trillion dollars ($NZ) annually and medicinal chemists are in great demand in all the research and development sectors that produce these products (sectors such as Research Institutes and Universities, global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and also the business sector developing emerging new technologies). In New Zealand alone there are exciting career opportunities in New Zealand's developing pharmaceutical companies. Neuronz, an Auckland based pharmaceutical company, has indicated a strong need for graduates of this type of programme and is supporting it with a limited number of student scholarships.

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