Trinity College Dublin

Skip to main content.

Top Level TCD Links

Medicinal Chemistry

Course Director: Prof. Eoin Scanlan


The interface between chemistry and biology is an outstandingly active and exciting area of science, which is also of great practical and economic importance. The pharmaceutical industry, which is centred at this interface, is one of the largest and fastest-growing business sectors in the modern world. Being among the most knowledge-based of industries, it requires an intensive investment in research and development, much of which is carried out by chemists who participate in the development of new drug molecules or (of particular relevance to the Irish industry) develop the processes needed for large-scale manufacture. The Moderatorship in Medicinal Chemistry affords a broadly based scientific education, applicable to a variety of later careers, but is especially tuned to providing the creative talent needed by this major employer.

A general descrition of the Moderatorship in Medicinal Chemistry (PDF)

Freshman Course Content

The course is based in the School of Chemistry, and provides a good general grounding in Chemistry. However, there is special emphasis on synthetic chemistry (making molecules - the core activity of the Chemical Industry) and on topics related to drug design. Medicinal Chemistry students take a specific combination of courses in the freshman years

Junior Freshman Senior Freshman
Biology I
Biology II or Mathematics

Sophister Course Content

In the third and fourth years, students take elements of the standard Chemistry course, along with Medicinal Chemistry lectures given by specialist academics within the Chemistry Department. Additional courses are also provided by the Schools of Pharmacy, Biochemistry and Microbiology. Practical work focuses on synthetic organic chemistry, with some experiments in inorganic and physical chemistry. A final year project is undertaken in TCD or, circumstances permitting, an external University or industrial laboratory.

Entry and Assessment

The course is accessible mainly through single, separate CAO entry. A small number of sophister places may be made available on a competitive basis through TR071, for students who have taken the necessary options in the Freshman years. Assessment is by a combination of examinations and in-course assessment.

Career Opportunities

Students taking this course will emerge with a sound background in general Chemistry, an appreciation of the biological/biochemical issues, which underlie many of the Chemical industry's activities, and specialist expertise in molecular design and synthesis. They will be attractive employees not just for the Pharmaceutical Industry, but for other companies involved in the invention and/or production of new organic compounds.


Please address enquires to:
Prof. Eoin Scanlan,
School of Chemistry,
Trinity College, Dublin 2.
Tel: +353-1-896-2514


Last updated 24 April 2017 by School of Chemistry (Email).