module specification

MS7029 - Drug Discovery Technology (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Drug Discovery Technology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 200
33 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
167 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Oral Examination 40%   Seminar Presentation (10-minute)
Coursework 60%   Dissertation (3000 words)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

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

This module aims to provide:

  1. students with knowledge and understanding of how chemical and biological technologies are used in drug discovery process
  2. an opportunity for extensive in-depth research and critical assessment of a topical issue

Prior learning requirements

B.Sc in Chemistry/Pharmaceutical Sciences/Pharmacology/Biochemistry
Available for Study Abroad? NO


Overview of global trends in drug development (L.O 1)

Introduction to drug discovery: define key stages of drug discovery (L.O 1-2)

Structure based drug-design: Molecular modelling, bioinformatics. (L.O 3-4)
Trends in QSAR: From data analysis and model validation to drug design and discovery.
Virtual screening
Chemical information & computing systems in drug discovery. (L.O 3-4)
Combinatorial chemistry and multiple parallel synthesis (L.O 3-4)

Validation and development of receptor targets and bioassays. High throughput screening technology (L.O 3-4)

Cutting edge technologies in drug discovery: X-ray crystallography, NMR, mass spectrometry, fluorescence spectroscopy and recombinant DNA technology (L.O 3-4)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching and learning sessions include lectures (22 h) and tutorials (11 h).

Tutorials have an emphasis on problem solving based on pre-set work with student participation. 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. Self-managed time and private study (167 hours) should be spread out over the semester and not left until the final weeks.

Lectures are used to set context and to deliver subject material and are linked to tutorials and problem 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. Describe and define the key stages of discovery process.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of new technologies in combinatorial chemistry and bioassays.
  3. Evaluate and validate molecular targets.
  4. Analyse and interpret target-drug binding data from different cutting-edge technologies.

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by two coursework components; a 10-minute seminar presentation (40% of the overall mark) and a dissertation (60% 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%.