module specification

CH6009A - Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Faculty of Life Sciences and Computing
Total study hours 150
102 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Written practical report (2000 words)
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen exam (1 hour)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module focuses in detail on the structures and chemical reactivity of a selection of the important groups of natural products (alkaloids, flavanoids, terpenes, carbohydrates).

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

The module aims to give an in-depth understanding of the principal roles played in biology by each different group of natural products. The module aims to enhance students’ awareness of the major role played by chemistry in the treatment of diseases. The module aims to provide students with the skills needed to critically assess the whether or not a natural product or a synthetic compound may be regarded as a potential drug candidate.


An in-depth look at the different classes of natural products, in particular alkaloids, flavanoids, terpenes, carbohydrates and peptides. There will be particular emphasis on their key roles in living systems, especially their medicinal applications.

Learning and teaching

Acquisition of knowledge of the subject matter of this module will be promoted through  lectures (30 hours) and tutorial workshops (10 hours); laboratory practical classes (8 hours) and through the guided use of student-centred learning resources (102 hours). Self managed time and private study should be spread out over the whole module and not left until the final weeks.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module the students will be able to:
1. Assess how the physico-chemical properties of the various natural products are directly related to their molecular structures, and predict in detail how a newly discovered natural product might behave in a biological system.
2. Evaluate and appraise the current literature in applications of natural products, current developments in this field, and proposing future developments.

Assessment strategy

This module will be summatively assessed by a piece of coursework (laboratory practical report) and a final, unseen exam (1 hour).
To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.  There will be an attendance requirement for the practical sessions. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded for the assessed component will be 40%.

Component                             Marks     Learning outcomes
Written practical report           50%         1, 2
Unseen Examination              50%         1, 2


Corey EJ., Czako B. and Kurti L. (2007) Molecules and Medicine, John Wiley and Sons.
Koskinen A. (1998) Asymmetric Synthesis of Natural Products. John Wiley and Sons.
Heinrich, M., Barnes, J., Gibbons, S., Williamson, E.M. 2004. Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy & Phytotherapy. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh UK.