BPS1021 - Medicinal Chemistry I: Structure - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Roland Chung


Dr Roland Chung

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)




Previously coded PSC1021 Bioorganic and medicinal chemistry I


This unit introduces students to the principles of molecular structure that determine the chemical properties and mechanism of action of therapeutic agents. After examining how the rules of chemical bonding and molecular shape derive from the electronic structure of atoms, the unit will explore how these rules lead to the complex architecture of organic chemistry and to patterns of molecular reactivity. This will involve a discussion of the following topics:

  • Hydrocarbons (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes)
  • Haloalkanes
  • Chirality
  • Alcohols, ethers and thiols
  • Aromatic compounds (benzene and its derivatives)

Analytical methods (spectrophotometry, NMR and IR spectroscopy) to identify molecules and their structural features will be introduced in theory and practice. In laboratory classes, students will learn how to harness molecular reactivity for the preparation of medicinal compounds using common organic chemical techniques.


At the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Apply the key concepts in chemical structure and bonding, including functional groups, to rationalising the shape, properties and reactions of molecules;
  2. Determine the identity and molecular structure of small molecules using spectroscopic, chromatographic and other experimental data.
  3. Safely and competently perform a basic laboratory investigation using standard laboratory techniques.


Final exam (2 hour):50%; in-semester assessment:50%.

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Twenty four 1-hour lectures
  • Six 3-hour laboratories
  • Six 3-hour workshops
  • Twelve one-hour online preparation modules

See also Unit timetable information

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: