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Bachelor of Science (Molecular and Drug Design)

Degree Type Bachelor

Duration 3 years full-time or part-time equiv.

SATAC Code 324161

CRICOS 047802M

No new admissions into this program for 2017.

This program is no longer offered to Future students. Please search for related degrees that may be of interest. For assistance, please contact Ask Adelaide

Rapid advances are currently being made in new areas of science such as structure-based drug design, proteomics, and personalised medicine. As the mapping of the genomes is now complete, characterising the function of the encoded proteins, including those in humans, is the next challenge. Chemists and biochemists have a central role to play in this endeavour by designing molecules with important medicinal properties and developing an understanding of how these medicines interact with proteins.

Students will gain an understanding of how proteins work and how their function can be influenced by drug molecules. Such knowledge will place graduates at the forefront of this innovative field. The investigation of protein-protein and small molecule-protein interactions has become a significant area of research that promises to provide new approaches to the development of safe and effective drugs to treat a range of human diseases. 


  • Entry Requirements

    No new admissions into this program for 2017.

    Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
    I am a:

    Domestic applicants

    Not a domestic applicant?

    SATAC Code 324161
    2016 CSP ATAR 74.2
    Adelaide Approved Score 75
    2016 CSP IB 25
    Mid-year entry? Yes
    Deferment? Yes - 2 year
    Enquiries Ask Adelaide
    Selection Criteria
    Year 12 applicants
    You must not have completed more than 2 years full time equivalent (48 units) university study. You compete for a place with your Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). Applicants who have studied Chemistry 1 and/or Biology 1 at the University of Adelaide (or equivalent) must have achieved at least a credit grade average for these courses.
    SACE Stage 2: Chemistry plus one of Physics, Mathematical Studies, Specialist Mathematics, Mathematical Methods, Biology, Geology, Scientific Studies, Agriculture and Horticulture, Agricultural and Horticultural Science, Nutrition.

    IB: Chemistry (SL grade 4/HL grade 3) and one other Science subject (SL grade 4/HL grade 3) or Mathematics (SL grade 4/HL grade 3).

    Assumed Knowledge
    SACE Stage 2 Mathematical Studies, Physics

    Alternative entry pathways
    • Higher Education applicants
      You must have completed at least half a year full time equivalent university study. Applicants who have studied Level I Chemistry and/or Level I Biology at the University of Adelaide (or equivalent) must have achieved at least a credit grade average for these courses. A Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated for each separate program you have undertaken (apart from some double degree programs where the GPA is combined). You are ranked on the basis of your best GPA.
    • Special Entry applicants
      You must be 18 years or over before 1 February 2017. If you have studied at higher education level in the last two years (for 2017 entry this means you were enrolled in either 2016 or 2015), you must not have accumulated more than a TOTAL of 2 years full-time (or part-time equivalent) higher education study (ie. including any study prior to 2015). If you meet this criteria, you will be ranked according to your result in the Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT). Your STAT result is not weighted between verbal and quantitative components. Indigenous applicants may be eligible for entry through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access Scheme. See Wirltu Yarlu for further information.
    • Without formal qualifications?
      You may be eligible for our special access schemes.
    • Other Entry Pathways
    How to Apply
    SATAC Code: 324161

    International applicants

    Not an international applicant?

    Not offered to international students.

  • Fees and Scholarships

    No new admissions into this program for 2017.

    Choose your applicant type to view the relevant admissions information for this program.
    I am a:

    Domestic applicants

    Not a domestic applicant?

    Annual tuition fees
    Commonwealth-supported place: $8,975

    More information on Student Contribution Amounts.

    International applicants

    Not an international applicant?


    These scholarships, as well as many others funded by industry and non-profit organisations, are available to potential and currently enrolled students.

    Find a Scholarship.

  • Careers

    Career Readiness

    Employment opportunities exist for graduates in:

    • biotechnology
    • medical research
    • pharmaceutical industries
    • universities.

    The University of Adelaide Careers Service prepares, inspires and empowers students to achieve successful career transitions and connect with industry.

    Graduate Attributes

    The objective of this program is to produce graduates with specific attributes as outlined in University of Adelaide Graduate Attributes.
    1. Deep discipline knowledge
    2. Critical thinking and problem solving
    3. Teamwork and communication skills
    4. Career and leadership readiness
    5. Intercultural and ethical competency
    6. Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Potential careers

    Lecturer, Biochemist, Chemist, Research Assistant, Research Associates, Research Scientist, Science Communicators, Science Educators, Scientific Data Analyst, Scientific Officer, Journalist (Science Communications), Laboratory Manager, Analytical Chemist, Pharmaceutical and Medical Supplies Representative, Pharmaceutical and Scientific Equipment Sales Representative, Geochemist, Pharmaceutical Scientist

  • Global Learning

    A Global Learning Experience is an integral component to your academic journey at The University of Adelaide. The university is committed to offering its students the opportunity to study overseas through a range of degrees offered via the Global Learning Office, including student exchange, study tours, short study degrees, internships and placements. There are many exciting opportunities in Europe, Asia, the Americas, Africa, and Oceania ranging from a few weeks to a full academic year.

    To find Global Learning opportunities available in your study area click Global Experiences.

  • Degree Structure
    This program consists of core training in chemistry and biochemistry. Students learn how proteins interact with each other and with other small molecules, such as enzyme inhibitors and pharmaceuticals (drugs). A number of case studies will be considered to assist students' understanding the process of drug development within the pharmaceutical industry.  Students develop a comprehension of the molecular  aspects of these processes. Students will develop an advanced understanding of chemical synthesis and areas of chemistry that impact on biological systems.

    Academic Program Rules

    The Calendar is a comprehensive handbook of the University's academic program rules.


    Example Study Plan

    Indicative study plan
    Year1S1 BIOLOGY 1101ND: Biology I: Molecules, Genes & Cells (3 units) CHEM 1100: Chemistry IA (3 units)
    CHEM 1101: Foundations of Chemistry IA# (3 units)
    CHEM 1310 Chemistry IA(S)#
    (3 units)
    STATS 1004 Statistical Practice I (Life Sciences) (3 units) Approved Level I Elective 1 x 3 units
    S2 BIOLOGY 1201: Biology I: Human Perspectives (3 units) CHEM 1200ND Chemistry IB* (3 units)
    CHEM 1201 Foundations of Chemistry IB# (3 units)
    CHEM 1312 Foundations of Chemistry IS# (3 units)
    Approved Level I Elective 1 x 3 units# Approved Level I Elective 1 x 3 units
    Year2S1 BIOCHEM 2500: Biochemistry II: Molecular & Cell Biology (3 units) CHEM 2514: Chemistry IIA (Molecular Drug Design) (3 units) CHEM 2530: Environmental & Analytical Chemistry II (3 units) Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units
    S2 BIOCHEM 2501: Biochemistry II: Metabolism (3 units) CHEM 2524: Chemistry IIB (Molecular Drug Design) (3 units) CHEM 2540: Medicinal & Biological Chemistry (3 units) Approved Level II Elective 1 x 3 units
    Year 3S1 BIOCHEM 3000: Molecular & Structural Biology (6 units) CHEM 3111: Chemistry III (6 units)
    S2 CHEM 3213: Advanced Synthetic Methods III (3 units) CHEM 3214: Medicinal & Biological Chemistry III (3 units) Approved Level III Elective 1 x 6 unit
    Approved Level III Electives 2 x 3 units
    *Note: CHEM 1311 Chemistry IB(S) may be presented in lieu of CHEM 1200ND Chemistry IB 
    # Students who successfully complete CHEM 1101 Foundations of Chemistry IA and CHEM 1201 Foundations of Chemistry IB and who wish to continue their study of Chemistry at Level II will be required to undertake an additional course, CHEM 1312 Foundations of Chemistry IS during Summer School before commencing Level II Chemistry studies.


    Varies with individual courses and includes a combination of assignments, presentations, practical work, tutorial work and exams.

  • Related Degrees
  • Further Information

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    Phone: +61 8 8313 7335 (toll free 1800 061 459)

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Last updated: Wednesday, 21 Dec 2016


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