module specification

MS7029 - Drug Discovery Technology (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Drug Discovery Technology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
20 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
140 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 40%   10 minute seminar
Coursework 60%   Essay
Running in 2022/23
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module is to provide an up-to-date understanding of chemical and biological technologies used in the drug discovery process.

The aim of the module is to provide students with knowledge and understanding of how chemical and biological technologies are used in a drug discovery process. To provide an opportunity for extensive in-depth research and critical assessment of a topical issue.


LO 1 - 4

Overview of global trends in drug development.
Introduction to drug discovery: define key stages of drug discovery.
Structure based drug-design: Molecular modelling, bioinformatics. Trends in QSAR: From data analysis and model validation to drug design and discovery, Virtual screening, Chemical information & computing systems in drug discovery.
Combinatorial chemistry and multiple parallel synthesis.
Validation and development of receptor targets and bioassays. High throughput screening technology.
Cutting edge technologies in drug discovery: X-ray crystallography, NMR, mass spectrometry, fluorescence spectroscopy and recombinant DNA technology.
Drug discovery case studies.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will be provided with the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the subject matter through lectures, seminars and tutorials. Students' ability to obtain and critically appraise data, and identify related problems will be developed through directed reading and tutorial-based exercises. Students will be expected to reflect on taught material in order to demonstrate their understanding of the principles and practices of drug discovery technology covered in this module.
PDP: on completion of this module students’ will provide an evaluation of how the module allowed them to develop skills such as information technology, organisational skills, team building, communication, time management, and working under pressure.

Students will receive oral formative feedback on draft materials used in preparation for the seminar presentation. Written summative feedback is provided on both components of assessment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Comprehensively describe, and accurately define the key stages of a discovery process.
2. Demonstrate a deep understanding of new technologies in combinatorial chemistry and bioassays.
3. Critically evaluate and validate molecular targets.
4. Analyse and accurately interpret target-drug binding data from different cutting-edge technologies.

Assessment strategy

The module will be duly assessed by means of a coursework component (40% of the overall mark) and an essay (60% of the overall mark). The coursework component will consist of one seminar presentation (40% of the overall mark).  Coursework elements will also be used to provide formative feedback.

To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 50%.

Component - Learning outcomes
Seminar -      1, 2, 3
Essay    -       1, 2, 3, 4


Where the resource is in the library, the classmark is given in bold. The library contains a large number of texts relevant to all aspects of this module. Those given in the list below are a selection.

Patrick GL (2017) An Introduction to Medicinal Chemistry 6th Ed. OUP.
Rang HP (2006) Drug Discovery and Development, Elsevier.

Castanho M and Santos N (2011) Peptide Drug Discovery and Development: Translational Research in Academia and Industry. Wiley VCH.
Christ D (2018) In Vitro-in Vivo Correlations in Drug Discovery and Development: Concepts and Applications.
Yan Z-G and Caldwell G.W. ed (2013). Optimization in Drug Discovery: In Vitro Methods. 2nd Ed. Human Press.