module specification

CY5054 - Drug Discovery (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Drug Discovery
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
10 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
107 hours Guided independent study
33 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Practical report (1000 words)
Coursework 40%   Paper review and data analysis exercise (1200 words)
Group Coursework 30%   Presentation (15 mins)
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module gives a comprehensive overview of the drug discovery and early development process. An understanding will be acquired of all the key steps in the process and the importance of appropriate decision making early in the lifetime of a drug discovery project.

Prior learning requirements



An overview of the drug discovery process; natural products as pharmaceutical lead compounds; SAR and QSAR studies; modern medicinal chemistry laboratory techniques, such as combinatorial chemistry and HTS including structure-based drug design. The course will also cover modern biotherapeutic approaches including peptides and small therapeutic proteins, non-immune proteins and therapeutic antibodies. A number of case studies will be discussed on the development of drugs.

LO1 - LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching and learning sessions include lectures and tutorials (21 h), practicals (12 h) with feedback where appropriate.
Tutorials have an emphasis on problem solving based on pre-set work with student participation and group activities. Students will be expected to prepare in advance for tutorials to develop problem-solving skills using worksheets provided. Feedback from these sessions facilitates the learning process. Lectures are used to set context and to deliver subject material, and are linked to tutorials and practical sessions. Students will be expected to reflect on the learning experience and develop their own understanding of the material.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Understand the modern drug discovery process, from start to finish, including both small molecule and biological agents
2. Have a detailed understanding of modern medicinal chemistry techniques
3. Understand the emerging methodologies of biotherapeutics
4. Describe a number of therapeutic case studies.

Assessment strategy

The module will be summatively assessed by means of a practical report (30%), a Paper review and data analysis exercise (40%) and a presentation (30%). To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.  If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.


Core Text: Davis A. and Ward S.E. (2015) The Handbook of Medicinal Chemistry. RSC, Cambridge

Other Texts: Hill R.G. and Rang H.P. (2012) Drug discovery and development: technology in transition 2nd Edition. Elsevier, Churchill, Livingstone

Blass B (2015).  Basic Principles of Drug Discovery and Development, Elsevier, Academic Press. SBN: 978-0124115088


Websites: Specific links to websites will be given on Weblearn