Astrophysics and Medicinal Chemistry 

(2018 Entry)

BSc (Hons)

At Keele, studying a combined honours degree will include some modules from both of the single honours degrees. In this case, your programme will be made up of a combination of modules from both Astrophysics and Medicinal Chemsitry.

Combined Honours

Combined Honours degrees allow you to study two different subjects in one degree. Find out more about Combined Honours degrees.


Study abroad
Learn a language
International year
3 years/ 4 years with international year

UCAS code: FF51

View entry requirements

Course Overview

In Astrophysics, you will learn to formulate and tackle problems – from below the level of the atomic nucleus to astronomical scales. Astrophysics is active wherever the laws of physics are being tested to the limit – and beyond. Keele will help you to use astronomical observations, mathematical models and computer simulation to develop theories explaining some of the most complex phenomena. You’ll develop your mathematics and computing skills, and apply them to solving a range of problems in the laboratory and beyond (you’ll have access to Keele’s own on-site observatory). We operate an open-door policy, which enables you to have excellent and flexible access to staff to seek advice or feedback on their work. This course is enriched by our research interests and international collaborative research programmes. This combined course is accredited by the Institute of Physics.

Alongside this you will be studying Medicinal Chemistry where you’ll develop deep understanding of the complex chemical and biological processes involved in the design and manufacture of drugs and other therapies for treating disease. This course prepares you to help solve problems at the intersection of chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology and pharmacology. The goal of medicinal chemistry is to support the search for new drugs to treat conditions such as heart disease and cancer. You’ll work in well-equipped laboratories, and learn to conduct effective independent research. Keele also offers support to find an industrial or research placement for a summer. You’ll develop essential skills for employment, such as problem solving, presentation and communication.

What will this mean for my future?

Keele enjoys high rates of graduate employment, where in 2016, were recognised nationally as 1st for employability in the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education survey. An Astrophysics degree from Keele will prepare you for many different careers, which need not be directly related to astrophysics. You could take up all sorts of roles in industry, management, and public services, including teaching, health and finance. Many employers recognise that the versatility and flexibility of astrophysics means that graduates possess a wide range of very valuable skills, from independent and critical thinking to the solving of sophisticated problems. Through the combined honours degree in Medicinal Chemistry, our Medicinal Chemistry graduates have excellent employment prospects, whether at the cutting edge of drug discovery or in a wide range of related fields. You might go to work for a pharmaceutical company, either as a research scientist or in a more business related role. Alternatively, you might work in a different organisation as a development chemist, a research assistant, or a site chemist.

Indicative modules

First Year

  • Mechanics, Gravity & Relativity 
  • Nature of Matter 
  • Oscillations & Waves
  • Electricity & Stellar Structure

Second Year

  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Optics & Thermodynamics
  • Stellar Astrophysics 
  • Statistical Mechanics & Solid State Physics

Third Year

  • Electromagnetism
  • Astrophysics Project and Communication Skills 
  • Cosmology 
  • Astrophysics Dissertation
  • Particle Physics & Accelerators 
  • Physics of Compact Objects 
  • Binary Stars and Exoplanets 
  • Life in the Universe 
  • Quantum Mechanics II
  • Physics of the Interstellar Medium 
  • Physics of Fluids 
  • Plasma Physics 
  • Atmospheric Physics

Course structure

Our degree courses are organised into modules. Each module is usually a self-contained unit of study and each is usually assessed separately with the award of credits on the basis of 1 credit = 10 hours of student effort.  An outline of the structure of the programme is provided in the tables below.

There are three types of module delivered as part of this programme. They are:

  • Compulsory modules – a module that you are required to study on this course;
  • Optional modules – these allow you some limited choice of what to study from a list of modules;
  • Elective modules – a free choice of modules that count towards the overall credit requirement but not the number of subject-related credits.

Modules Summary

Astrophysics - A summary of the total credit requirements per year is as follows, with a minimum of 90 subject credits (compulsory plus optional) required for each year across both of your Principal Subjects. This document has information about Astrophysics modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

 

Year

Compulsory

Optional

Electives

Min

Max

Min

Max

1

60

0

0

0

0

2

60

0

0

0

0

3*

30

30

30

0

0

* in year 3 there is the option to choose to specialise in one of your subjects, taking a minimum of 90 credits in this subject rather than taking modules from both subjects

 

Medicinal Chemistry  - A summary of the total credit requirements per year is as follows, with a minimum of 90 subject credits (compulsory plus optional) required for each year across both of your Principal Subjects. This document has information about Medicinal Chemistry modules only; please also see the document for your other subject.

Year

Compulsory

Optional

Electives

Min

Max

Min

Max

1

60

0

0

0

0

2

60

0

0

0

0

3*

30-105

15-30

30

0

0-15

* in year 3 there is the option to choose to specialise in one of your subjects, taking a minimum of 105 credits in this subject rather than taking modules from both subjects

 

It is possible to transfer onto the following courses from BSc Medicinal Chemistry. You may elect to transfer between any of the courses tabulated below according to the deadlines given:

Degree Title

Duration

Transfer Deadline

BSc Medicinal Chemistry with International Year (Combined Honours)

4 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

BSc Chemistry (Combined Honours)

3 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

BSc Chemistry (Single Honours)

3 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

MChem Chemistry

4 years

Transfer by week 1 of semester 1 of year 2

 

A summary of the BSc Medicinal Chemistry with International Year programme is provided in Annex A. Please consult the MChem programme specification for full details. Please consult the BSc Chemistry programme specification for full details.

 

Modules - Year One

Year 1 (Level 4)

Astrophysics Year 1 (Level 4)

At level 4, Physics and Astrophysics students require a common knowledge and skills base. Therefore, many of the modules taught at level 4 are common to Physics and Astrophysics disciplines. You will study FOUR lecture-based modules of core Astrophysics.

 

The lecture-based modules are supported by problem classes and assessed problem sheets with an end of semester examination in each. These modules also include lectures, problems classes and tutorials in mathematics, and laboratory classes, which are an essential part of Astrophysics. The module descriptors provide detailed synopses of each module with suggested study reading and are available on the KLE.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Mechanics, Gravity and Relativity

15

None

 

Nature of Matter

15

   

Oscillations and Waves

15

   

Electricity and Stellar Structure

15

   

 

Medicinal Chemistry Year 1 (Level 4)

There are two compulsory 30-credit modules taken by all chemistry students at Level 4.

Whilst laying the foundations of the principles and vocabulary of Chemistry, you will be challenged to question knowledge and the nature of knowledge when you start to encounter problems that have more than one answer or interpretation.  You will be exposed to experimental evidence from a variety of sources and start to learn how such evidence supports, undermines or otherwise, the theoretical models and ideas upon which the subject of Chemistry is built. The practical classes emphasise development of core practical skills through hands-on experience of key techniques and procedures, as well as skills in laboratory safety, maintaining a laboratory diary, observation, information retrieval, IT skills, scientific writing and reporting in a variety of formats.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Chemical Structure and Reactivity

30

None

 

Practical and Professional Chemistry Skills

30

   

 

 

Modules - Year Two

Year 2 (Level 5)

 

Astrophysics Year 2 (Level 5)

At level 5 you continue to be taught the fundamentals of Physics. Modules are common to Physics and Astrophysics in the first semester of the second year, but diverge significantly from the second semester of the second year onwards. In the first semester you take an Optics Laboratory and a short series of classes in developing your mathematical skills. In the second semester you take an Astrophysics laboratory.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Quantum Mechanics

15

None

 

Optics and Thermodynamics

15

   

Statistical mechanics and Solid State Physics

15

   

Stellar Astrophysics

15

   

 

Medicinal Chemistry Year 2 (Level 5)

Students will take three chemistry modules (one 30-credit module two 15-credit remaining chemistry modules.

In Year 2 the knowledge and skills acquired in Year 1 are developed with an increasing emphasis on the need to integrate knowledge and critically evaluate experimental evidence in solving theoretical and practical problems. In practical classes, new practical skills are developed and an increasing emphasis is placed on critical evaluation of experimental design and the analysis of complex data from multiple sources, including computational theoretical calculations and the scientific peer-reviewed literature. Sophisticated analytical techniques are introduced and applied to the investigation of a variety of problems, whilst communication skills are developed to include skills in oral presentation. The first dedicated Medicinal Chemistry module links together the key chemical concepts and applies these to the process of drug design and the interaction of drugs with the body.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules

Credits

Molecular Chemistry and Reactions

30

None

 

Spectroscopy and Analysis

15

   

Medicinal and Biological Chemistry 1

15

   

 

Modules - Year Three

Year 3 (Level 6)

Astrophysics Year 3 (Level 6)

At level 6, you complete a group research project and follow one compulsory module plus two optional core modules of your choice from a list of available modules.

Compulsory Core modules

Credits

Optional core modules

Credits

Group Project and Science Communication

15

Cosmology

15

Electromagnetism

15

Physics of the Interstellar Medium

15

   

The Physics of Compact Objects

15

   

Quantum Physics of Atoms and Molecules

15

   

Polymer Physics

15

   

Particle Physics and Accelerators

15

   

Binary Stars and Extrasolar Planets

15

   

Life in the Universe

15

   

Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics

15

   

Data Analysis and Model testing

15

   

The Physics of Galaxies

15

   

Quantum Mechanics II

15

   

Physics of Fluids

15

   

Atmospheric Physics

15

   

Plasma Physics

15

 

 

Medicinal Chemistry Year 3 (Level 6)

In Year 3, increasingly sophisticated theories and ideas are introduced which require you to draw upon, integrate and extend the fundamental chemical principles introduced during Years 1 and 2. Choice of modules is available to allow you to pursue your specific interests, as well as choice within the Topics in Medicinal Chemistry module. Course work is designed to allow you to develop a range of subject specific skills, focussing on engaging with scientific literature and experimental data sets, and working towards the Graduate Attributes through presentation, interviews and various written reports. You will also carry out a 15-credit Dissertation or Project (selected from a wide variety of research projects on offer) which places increased emphasis on your ability to work independently and to design and critically evaluate practical investigations and the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules1

Credits

Biological and Medicinal Chemistry 2

15

Group 1:

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Research Project

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Dissertation

 

15

 

15

Topics in Medicinal Chemistry

15

Group 2:

Advanced Organic Chemistry

Kinetics, Photochemistry & Inorganic Reaction Mechanisms

 

15

15

1 Students must select one module from Optional Core Group 1 and one module from Optional Core Group 2, to a total of 60 credits in Medicinal Chemistry.

 

Modules - Year Four

  

If you choose to specialise in Astrophysics in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory Core modules

Credits

Optional core modules

Credits

Group Project and Science Communication

15

Cosmology

15

Electromagnetism

15

Physics of the Interstellar Medium

15

Dissertation

15

The Physics of Compact Objects

15

   

Quantum Physics of Atoms and Molecules

15

   

Polymer Physics

15

   

Particle Physics and Accelerators

15

   

Binary Stars and Extrasolar Planets

15

   

Life in the Universe

15

   

Computational Methods in Physics and Astrophysics

15

   

Data Analysis and Model testing

15

   

The Physics of Galaxies

15

   

Quantum Mechanics II

15

   

Physics of Fluids

15

   

Atmospheric Physics

15

   

Plasma Physics

15

 

You may, in addition to modules listed, include in level 6 of your Astrophysics course one suitable programme approved elective module from another Principal Course, provided that you are not taking the Principal Course from which that module is derived as part of your Combined Honours combination.

 

You will find that in teaching you we put emphasis on problem solving. This occurs in examples classes where you solve practice problems in Astrophysics in class with staff to assist you, in laboratory teaching where you will be expected to address practical problems and in your directed work for assessment. You are encouraged to call upon module leaders and the director of study for guidance. The academic staff will be willing to see you at almost any time and you will have one-to-one progress interviews each semester. The teaching team will monitor your progress and we will contact you if we find that you are not achieving all that you should and advise you on how to improve.

 

You will benefit from a flexible approach to learning the mathematical skills that are essential to the learning and application of Astrophysics. You will find that the classes on mathematics in level 4 are presented in a series of blocks. An assessment test is taken at the end of the class blocks. You will also attend supplementary supporting tutorials in mathematics.

 

If you choose to specialise in Medicinal Chemistry in your final year you will study the following modules:

Compulsory modules

Credits

Optional modules1

Credits

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Research Project

15

Kinetics, Photochemistry & Inorganic
reaction Mechanisms

15

Chemistry/Medicinal Chemistry Dissertation

15

Forensic Toxicology

15

Advanced Organic Chemistry

15

   

Medicinal and Biological Chemistry 2

15

   

Advanced Chemical Analysis

15

   

Topics in Medicinal Chemistry

15

   

1 Students must select at least one of the option modules for a minimum of 105 credits in Chemistry.

 

For further information on the content of modules currently offered, including the list of elective modules, please visit: www.keele.ac.uk/recordsandexams/az