Course Title: Medicinal Chemistry

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Medicinal Chemistry

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


135H Applied Sciences


Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 1 2016

Course Coordinator: Trevor Rook

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 3361

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.9.14A (Wed, Fri); 3.2.10B (Mon, Tue, Thu)

Course Coordinator Availability: Appointments by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

CHEM1240 Chemistry for Life Sciences and ONPS2423 Introduction to Medical Biochemistry or equivalent courses.

Course Description

You will be introduced to further chemical principles that are required to understand the action and behaviour of drug compounds and hence the relationship between the structure and stereochemistry of a compound and its chemical and therapeutic properties, and thus the chemical considerations in drug design: size, physico-chemical properties and ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion). Structure activity relationships - historical and current understandings - will be explored through case studies. Methods of drug discovery will be described, including the development of drugs from natural products, computer modelling and rational drug design. Instrumental methods of drug analysis - spectroscopy and chromatography - will be explored.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

You will become adept at literature searching and using the program MarvinSketch. There will be further development in your skills in communication, in working independently and working in a small group.

This course contributes to capability development in the following Domains of the National Competency Standards Framework for Pharmacists in Australia:

  • Domain 5 - Prepare pharmaceutical products
  • Domain 7 - Promote and contribute to optimal use of medicines

It is expected that you will acquire the skills to:
• design a chemical synthesis;
• describe the sources of drug compounds;
• describe methods of drug development including design and discovery;
• explain the relationship between drug’s chemical structure and its therapeutic properties;
• predict a drugs properties based on its structure;
• describe the factors that affect its absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, and hence the considerations to be made in drug design;
• describe the common methods of spectroscopic and chromatographic analysis, and discuss how they can be applied to pharmaceuticals.

Overview of Learning Activities

Lecturer inputs: A range of learning experiences are planned for you including lectures, tutorials, computer workshops and individual assignments. The workshops and individual assignments in particular develop your analytical skills, drawing on knowledge and frameworks offered in the lectures and tutorials.
Your inputs as learners: Your active and constructive participation your own learning is expected in addition to weekly reading, workshop exercises and careful planning and completion of assessment tasks.

Overview of Learning Resources

You have access to extensive course materials on myRMIT Studies (Blackboard), including detailed learning objectives, lecture notes, digitised readings, worksheets, external internet links and access to RMIT Library online.

Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed through an end-of-semester exam (60%), a literature assignment (20%) and workshop performance and reports (20%).