CHEM 735 : Advanced Medicinal Chemistry


2024 Semester One (1243) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

A selection of topics dealing with aspects of medicinal chemistry, including anticancer agents, metals in medicine, antibacterial and antiviral chemotherapy, contemporary topics in medicinal and/or bio-organic chemistry.

Course Overview

In this course, you will cover topics in modern medicinal chemistry that build on the principles taught at the undergraduate level. The lectures will focus on the chemotherapy of psychiatry, focusing on antidepressants, anxiolytic agents, and antipsychotics, along with the medicinal chemistry of antibacterials and antivirals, the latter including developments in the Covid-19 treatment pipeline. CHEM735 provides the foundations for postgraduate research study in medicinal chemistry and rewarding careers in the large global pharmaceutical industry

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 3: Knowledge and Practice
Capability 4: Critical Thinking
Capability 5: Solution Seeking
Capability 6: Communication
Capability 7: Collaboration

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Understand and explain the causes of depression, anxiety, bipolar and psychotic disorders (Capability 4 and 5)
  2. Explain why distinct treatments are used for each psychiatric illnesses (Capability 3 and 4)
  3. Describe and explain the treatment of bacterial and viral infections using chemotherapeutic agents from a chemistry perspective (Capability 3 and 4)
  4. Critique the different types of antibacterial and antiviral agents (Capability 3 and 4)
  5. Evaluate a drug discovery process through group seminar presentations (Capability 5, 6 and 7)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
test 35% Individual Test
Test 35% Individual Test
Presentation 30% Group Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5

A student must pass both the theory component and the seminar component to gain an overall pass. The theory component is composed of term tests. The seminar component is composed of a presentation.


Tuākana Science is a multi-faceted programme for Māori and Pacific students providing topic specific tutorials, one-on-one sessions, test and exam preparation and more. Explore your options at

As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, The School of chemical sciences aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection) and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal introducing the Programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved.

Tuākana Chemistry runs a range of activities for students enrolled in this class. This includes weekly workshops, social activities, and opportunities to engage with senior students and researchers within the School of Chemical Sciences. Tuākana-eligible students will be added automatically to the Tuākana Chemistry program when they enroll in this course. For more information, please see the Tuākana program website or email

Workload Expectations

For this course, you can expect:

  • 20 hours of lectures
  • 2 x 1-hour tutorials
  • 20 hours of reading and thinking about the content
  • 84 hours of work on preparation for tests and group seminar
  • 24 hours of attendance at student seminars

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled lectures and seminars
Lectures will be available as recordings. 
Attendance on campus is required for the tests and seminars
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable

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.

Knowledge of undergraduate medicinal chemistry (CHEM390/392)

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.

The seminar series will return in 2023

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 for potential plagiarism or other forms of academic misconduct, 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.

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.