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Important: prior to 2016 this program was known as 3992 Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry. Students must follow the Handbook of the year they commenced their program, so continuing students should refer to the relevant Handbook here.

The Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Honours) is a professionally oriented, truly interdisciplinary program taught as a joint initiative between the Schools of Chemistry and Biotechnology & Biomolecular Sciences (Faculty of Science), and the Pharmacology section of the School of Medical Sciences (Faculty of Medicine).

Medicinal Chemistry is an exciting, rapidly-expanding area within the broad discipline of Chemistry that has seen enormous growth recently both within Australia and globally. It is, quite simply, the development of new pharmaceutical agents, from Concept to Clinic. Many different stages are involved; from the design and synthesis of novel drug candidates, to their biochemical effects, testing regimes and regulatory and ethical considerations. The Medicinal Chemistry (Honours) program had been designed to ensure that graduates will have a strong background in contemporary biology, biochemistry and pharmacology, based upon a solid foundation of essential chemistry.

Graduates from the Medicinal Chemistry(Honours) program will be equipped with a unique and wide harmony of skills, ranging from fundamental chemistry enabling the synthesis and analysis of drug candidates, through to relevant pharmacology and molecular biology skills. This combination will see graduates in high demand both locally and globally in pharmaceutical companies involved in modern drug design. In addition, the multidisciplinary nature of the program will mean that graduates will also be highly marketable within other science-based industries and related fields. The research focus in the Honours year, which provides projects that emphasise the interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of the area, will also enable students to progress seamlessly into a higher degree if they wish.

Graduates will obtain a broad education across a range of relevant scientific areas, as well as a strong grounding in advanced biological and chemical techniques. There will be particular emphasis on the medical sciences. The first year of the program will provide solid foundation knowledge in some fundamental areas of science, chemistry, mathematics, and biology- as well as specific graduate attributes courses. Year two and three will focus on chemistry, pharmacology, and biochemistry, with a number of recommended electives to broaden a student's knowledge in relevant fields (physiology, anatomy, genetics). The fourth (Honours) year provides a substantial research experience.



Study Level


Typical duration

4 Years

Delivery Mode


Intake Period

Term 1

Academic Calendar

3+ Calendar

Minimum Units of Credit


Award type

Bachelors Honours


Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Honours) - BMedChem(Hons)

UAC Code




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Program Structure

Students must complete 192 UOC as a standalone program.

Students in the Medicinal Chemistry (Honours) program are expected to complete 192 UOC of courses.

168 UOC Medicinal Chemistry courses
- 108 UOC of core courses in Stages 1, 2 and 3
- 12 UOC of electives from the List of Approved Electives defined below
- 48 UOC Honours year
12 UOC Free Electives. These courses can be taken from any Faculty of the University at any stage of your program.
12 UOC General Education courses. Please see the rules regarding General Education below. These courses can be taken at any stage in your program.

Please click the Sample Programs link below to view a typical enrolment pattern for this program.

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Course Information Rule

GEN# courses cannot count towards the free elective component, or towards science core courses or science electives in the program. Any exceptions to these rules must be approved by the Associate Dean (Academic Programs) or nominee.

Medicinal Chemistry Electives

Recognition of Prior Learning
Progression Requirements

University Medal

Honours Classes

Additional Information

University Medal

Nominees for the University Medal will be determined by Schools within the Faculty of Science in accordance with UNSW University Medal policies and procedures. The top student in any year may be eligible for nomination for a University medal however additional criteria will also need to be met, such as Honours result > 95%, and WAM in Stages 1 to 3 of over 80%.

Definition of 'Science' courses

Table 1

Science Handbook Rules and Editions

Students must follow the program rules and requirements in the UNSW Handbook published in the year they commence their studies with the Faculty of Science.

Students who transfer from another UNSW Faculty into Science (for example, from a Bachelor of Arts into a Bachelor of Science) must follow the program rules and requirements in the UNSW Handbook published in the year of their transfer.

Students, who are readmitted to UNSW after a period of unapproved absence or deferment, or after exclusion, must satisfy the program rules in the Handbook published in the year of their readmission. In addition, these students may be subject to restrictions on which courses taken at UNSW may be counted on their return. In some cases, students returning from an unapproved absence may be required to repeat courses. See the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and Advanced Standing section below for more details. Students who take approved leave or deferment will follow the Handbook for the year of their original commencement unless otherwise approved by the Associate Dean (Academic Programs). 

Program Fees

At UNSW fees are generally charged at course level and therefore dependent upon individual enrolment and other factors such as student's residency status. For generic information on fees and additional expenses of UNSW programs, click on one of the following:

Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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