Degrees and courses for international students
You are viewing information for England.  Change country.
Laboratory worker

Postgraduate Diploma in Medicinal Chemistry

Please note that the final enrolment date for this qualification will be 13 September 2018 after which it will no longer be available to new students. You must complete your study by 31 December 2021. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our advisers, please contact us.

This qualification enables you to further your studies on aspects of medicinal chemistry that explore the links between disease, mechanisms of action and the development of safe, effective commercial drugs. You have to opportunity to pursue these topics across a number of major health areas including cancer, heart disease, infectious diseases, neuropharmacology and inflammation.

Key features of the course

  • Develops your understanding of how drugs are designed 
  • Builds a wide range of skills associated with postgraduate study 
  • Gives you the opportunity to top up to the MSc in Medicinal Chemistry in just one more year. 

Diploma

Course code
E68
Credits

Credits

  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.
120
How long it takes
2–3 years
Read more about how long it takes
Study method
Distance learning
Find out more in Why the OU?
Course cost
See Fees and funding
Entry requirements

Find out more about entry requirements.

Download a brochure

Explore our subjects and courses.

Download your copy today

Course details

Modules

To gain this qualification, you need 120 credits as follows:

Compulsory modules Credits Next start
Developing research skills in science (S825)

This module helps you develop your knowledge and understanding of the research skills and techniques relevant to scientific study at postgraduate level.

See full description

Register
30 06 Oct 2018 FINAL
Concept to clinic (S827)

This module provides an overview of the drug discovery and development process from a modern and historical perspective and introduces you to a range of issues in drug discovery.

See full description

Register
30 26 Jan 2019
{Molecules in medicine [S807]}
?[S807]?
60 06 Oct 2018

1If you don't study S825 in October 2018, from October 2019 you may study Evaluating contemporary science (S350) instead.

You should note that the University’s unique study rule applies to this qualification. This means that you must include at least 40 credits from OU modules that have not been counted in any other OU qualification that has previously been awarded to you.


We regularly review our curriculum; therefore, the qualification described on this page – including its availability, its structure, and available modules – may change over time. If we make changes to this qualification, we’ll update this page as soon as possible. Once you’ve registered or are studying this qualification, where practicable, we’ll inform you in good time of any upcoming changes. If you’d like to know more about the circumstances in which the University might make changes to the curriculum, see our Academic Regulations or contact us. This description was last updated on 8th June 2018.

Learning outcomes, teaching and assessment

The learning outcomes of this qualification are described in four areas:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Cognitive skills
  • Practical and professional skills
  • Key skills
Read more detailed information about the learning outcomes.

Credit transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards this qualification, reducing the number of modules you need to study. You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. Up to 60 credits of module exemption can be allowed for either S807, or S827 and/or S825. For more details and an application form, visit our Credit Transfer website

 


On completion

On successful completion of the required modules you will be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Medicinal Chemistry, entitling you to use the letters PG Dip Med Chem (Open) after your name.

You may continue your studies and take the 60-credit MSc project module (S810) to gain the MSc in Medicinal Chemistry (F62).

Recognition in your country

If you intend to use your Open University qualifications to seek work or undertake further study outside the UK, we recommend checking whether your intended qualification will meet local requirements for your chosen career. Read recognition in my country.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the qualification-specific regulations below and the academic regulations that are available on our Essential Documents website. 

Entry requirements

To study for the Postgraduate Diploma in Medicinal Chemistry you must normally hold a UK honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in science or a science-related subject relevant to this qualification. We strongly recommend that you check whether or not your background and experience are sufficient to give you a sound basis on which to tackle this qualification, since we have found that students who are appropriately prepared have the best chance of completing their studies successfully. Our booklet Preparing for S807 and S827 provides more detailed guidance; this can be viewed or printed as a PDF. If you have other study or experience that you believe equips you to take this qualification you can still apply, but must supply evidence of your study or experience. For further advice, email the Science Postgraduate Team.

You will also need good computing skills and a level of proficiency in the English language that is adequate for study at postgraduate level. The following should give you some indication of the basic IT and language skills we expect students to have before enrolling on our postgraduate qualifications in science. Please also refer to individual module descriptions to ensure that you are adequately prepared before starting to study for this qualification.

Basic IT skills: Our science postgraduate modules are delivered online, and consequently rely heavily on the use of IT. For example, you will need to access core reading materials, audiovisual and other online resources, communicate with other students, with your tutors and with module teams, search for information, and produce and submit assignments online. Some IT skills are taught within our modules, but you should have a basic level of competence before starting with us (e.g. be able to search the Web, use email, use word processing packages and take part in online forums).

Proficiency in the use of English: All of our taught modules are in English and your proficiency in the English language should be adequate for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we strongly recommend that you have achieved an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least 7. You can assess your English language skills in relation to your proposed studies by visiting the IELTS website.

How long it takes

This qualification is normally studied over three years:

  • Year 1: S825 Oct–Apr (followed by a study break until the following February)
  • Year 2: S807 Feb–Oct
  • Year 3: S827 Oct–Jun (followed by a study break until November)

It’s possible to study it over a shorter period by overlapping modules. Overlapping modules will create a demanding workload and is only for those with a strong, closely related academic background.

1If you don't study S825 in October 2018, from October 2019 you may study Evaluating contemporary science (S350) instead.

Career relevance

Completing this postgraduate diploma will equip you with key transferable skills which will be relevant to your career and the workplace as well as providing you with a base of postgraduate level science knowledge and understanding. You will learn to critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship within medicinal chemistry, as well as evaluating research methodologies. You will learn to deal with complex issues and make sound judgements and decisions in complex situations.

You will also learn to communicate information and conclusions to specialist scientific audiences, work effectively as part of a team, demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and plan and implement tasks at a professional level.

The qualification will develop your independent learning skills, enhance your ICT skills in locating information and communicating with others in both professional and academic contexts.

Having this qualification coupled with practical experience could open up career opportunities in various scientific and medical research fields in the public and private sectors, for example, in pharmaceutical companies, the NHS, medical research, universities, commercial laboratories, and independent healthcare providers.

Careers and Employability Services have more information on how OU study can improve your employability.