Medicinal Chemistry: Chemical Sciences

B.A. (Moderatorship) Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8)
4 Years Full-Time
CAO Points 532 (2023)
CAO Code TR061


What is Medicinal Chemistry?

Medicinal chemists are the creative talent behind the modern pharmaceutical industry. As well as being expert chemists, they have extensive knowledge of molecular design, drug synthesis, and the biological function of drugs.


Do you enjoy...

  • Finding out how things work?
  • Carrying out laboratory experiments?
  • Analysing problems and finding solutions?

Medicinal Chemistry: The course for you?

Yes, if your dream is to design and prepare new drugs, if you want to understand the biological mechanisms by which they operate, if you have a natural flair for chemistry and are interested in developing the skills and expert knowledge relevant to the pharmaceutical industry.

    Graduate skills and career opportunities

    As with graduates in other branches of chemistry, the skills acquired during this degree programme will make you highly attractive to employers in a wide variety of areas. In addition to the pharmaceutical industry itself, business, finance, administration, publishing, and teaching are all possibilities that are open to you as a medicinal chemistry graduate. Most students progress to postgraduate studies in the School or other top tier institutions abroad.

    Your degree and what you’ll study

    You will study foundation courses in Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics in the first two years.

    Third year

    In third year, the course will provide the fundamentals of medicinal chemistry in drug design and development while maintaining overlap with the Chemistry degree, especially in the realm of organic chemistry. Lectures are complemented by laboratory experiments, where you will gain experience in more sophisticated preparative chemical techniques and will also be able to carry out your own spectroscopic analyses and computer-based modelling. You will also be able to choose two Trinity electives in other areas.

    Fourth year

    In fourth year, in addition to core chemistry modules, you will cover the medicinal chemistry of the cardiovascular and central nervous systems, combinatorial chemistry and drug delivery, as well as computational medicinal chemistry and modern analytical methods. Case studies in medicinal chemistry (focusing on specific diseases or drug types) will also feature in your programme.

    Practical work in the final year will consist of a Capstone project. This may be carried out either in Trinity under the supervision of a member of staff, in a chemistry department at an overseas university, or in a commercial laboratory.

    Click here for further information on modules/subject.

    Study abroad and internship opportunities

    The School of Chemistry has exchange agreements with many universities and research institutions in Europe and North America where Medicinal Chemistry students carry out their final year Capstone research projects from September to December or undertake internships. Individual groups in the School offer summer internships. Further information on study abroad opportunities can be found at:

    Study Chemical Sciences at Trinity

    The TR061 Chemical Sciences degree programme is the new entry pathway to the study of Chemistry, Nanoscience, Medicinal Chemistry, Chemistry with Biosciences and Chemistry with Molecular Modelling at Trinity College Dublin.

    Course Details


    B.A. (Moderatorship) Honours Bachelor Degree (NFQ Level 8)

    CAO Information

    CAO Points 532 (2023) CAO Code TR061
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    Course Options

    Students who wish to study Medicinal Chemistry apply to the Chemical Sciences Stream (TR061) and at the end of second year may select Medicinal Chemistry as their specialist area for the third and fourth years.

    Related courses:

    Science - TR060 Biological and Biomedical Sciences 

    Science - TR062 Geography and Geoscience

    Science - TR063 Physical Sciences

    Course Fees

    Click here for a full list of undergraduate fees.


    To apply to this course, click on the relevant Apply Link below

    EU Applicants

    Read the information about how to apply, then apply directly to CAO.

      Non-EU Applicants

      Advanced Entry Applications

      Read the information about how to apply for Advanced Entry, then select the link below to apply.

        Get in Touch


        Register Your Interest

        Register your interest in studying at Ireland’s leading university, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin.

        Register Your Interest

        Having left school, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in chemistry. I was particularly interested in the pharmaceutical industry and drug research, but more specifically, the underlying chemistry behind them. Medicinal chemistry covers both these areas. It trains students to analyse, understand and develop concepts within the pharmaceutical sector. Medicinal chemistry students obtain an excellent understanding of the organic chemistry processes involved in designing and developing potential new pharmaceutical agents, while also gaining an exceptional knowledge of how these compounds operate biologically. The interface between the two areas of biology and chemistry is what initially drew me to this degree course and is also what has kept me motivated and inspired throughout my studies.

        Deirdre McAdams


        As a first year Ph.D. student in synthetic organic chemistry, I was very fortunate to have chosen Medicinal Chemistry as my undergraduate degree. As the interface between chemistry and biology, the Medicinal Chemistry programme offers its students a unique opportunity to acquire the skillset necessary to bridge the void that sometimes exists with the two disciplines. Throughout my studies, I have been able to offer valuable academic contributions to the teams I have worked with, even in disparate subject areas; everything from bioinformatics to DNA photo-physics and materials chemistry. We, as medicinal chemists, have highly desirable problem-solving skills. I take forward my knowledge of advanced synthetic organic chemistry, in addition to a thorough understanding of how chemicals have the propensity to interact with biological systems into my Ph.D. career. The mindset I have from my undergraduate degree has continued to influence my decisions in the development of metal-free, biomimetic catalysts. I would thoroughly recommend to those who seek a career in any form of pharmaceutical or synthetic chemistry to consider this highly rewarding degree programme, as the range of career opportunities and skills it offers are far ranging.

        Simon Smith