CHEM 398 : Capstone: Medicinal Chemistry


2022 Semester Two (1225) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Integrates and applies the foundations of medicinal chemistry to popular science-related themes, working individually and in groups and producing written and oral reports. Comprises an open-ended drug discovery research project that will require students to work in groups and individually.

Course Overview

CHEM398 - Medicinal Chemistry capstone is a course designed to provide you with the opportunity to demonstrate core attributes of the graduate profile, to reflect on whole-of-programme learning outcomes and to essentially help you 'join the dots' of your undergraduate courses in the Medicinal Chemistry Specialisation. The underlying theme to the course is an academic inquiry project on developing new antibacterial agents derived from the natural product pleuromutilin. The first half of semester will be spent with students in the other School of Chemical Sciences capstone courses (in Chemistry and Green Chemistry) where you will demonstrate skills in deconstructing a scientific paper and summarising it for a general audience. During this time you will also start background reading and planning for your research project, leading to three weeks in the teaching laboratory making some new antibiotics and culminating in group-wide planning for future research activities to be undertaken by the following years' class.

This course comprises five blocks of assessment including a laboratory component. 

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: CHEM 390 and 15 points from CHEM 310, 320, 330, 340, 351, 360, 380, 392

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Critically evaluate the primary literature on a topic in medicinal chemistry (Capability 1 and 2)
  2. Analyse the current status of a therapeutic drug class and propose new analogues to prepare and biologically test (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Explain discipline specific information to a general audience (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  4. Communicate in a group video on your target compound, how it relates to other target compounds and what should be prepared by next years class. (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)
  5. Be able to use laboratory skills learned in other undergraduate courses to individually safely prepare complex new therapeutic derivatives, to work in a group to characterise these compounds and to prepare a report following a specific writing template. (Capability 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Apply knowledge from your undergraduate courses and new knowledge gained during this capstone course to explain how your work fits into the bigger picture, where the project should head next and why and to reflect on whether your ideas have changed during the course. (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Assignments (Block 1) 40% Group & Individual Coursework
Quizzes (Block 2) 10% Individual Coursework
Presentation (Block 3) 20% Group Coursework
Laboratories (Block 4) 15% Group & Individual Coursework
Assignments (Block 5) 15% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Assignments (Block 1)
Quizzes (Block 2)
Presentation (Block 3)
Laboratories (Block 4)
Assignments (Block 5)

Special Requirements

Laboratory health & safety requirements, as understood from previous undergraduate courses, will be adhered to.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 10 hours of tutorials/informational presentations, 9 hours of laboratory, 40 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 60 hours of work on assignments and presentations.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is required at scheduled activities including labs/tutorials/presentations to receive credit for components of the course.

Seminars and tutorials will be available as recordings. Other learning activities including labs will not be available as recordings.

The course will include live online events including group presentations.

The activities for the course are scheduled as a block delivery.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

All learning resources for this course will be provided.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Covid-19 Alert Level 1: Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode.
Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person. All teaching and assessment will have a remote option. The following activities will also have an on campus / in person option: labs.
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 09/11/2021 09:59 a.m.