Core Module Information
Module title: Pharmaceutics: Small Molecules

SCQF level: 08:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: BMS08109
Module leader: Giacomo Russo
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Life Sciences


Description of module content:

This module seeks to develop your understanding of the basis of organic chemistry with a focus on small molecules. After an introduction to the key concepts covering understanding of the reactions of organic compounds, including chemical bonds, valence, molecular orbitals and their interactions, you will become familiar with main functional groups (alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alkyl halides, alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, amines, carboxylic acids, acyl derivatives along with nucleophiles and electrophiles and how to generate them for use in synthesis) in organic chemistry.

Additionally, the module provides skills to graphically represent these molecules in three dimensions and illustrate their reactions by using pieces of software routinely employed in pharmaceutical research and development. These are acquired through hands-on experience in computer labs. Building upon these concepts, fundamental properties, preparation, chemical reactivity, commercial significance, reactions, and characterisation of the main classes of molecules will be explored, with an emphasis on stoichiometry. The module looks at the transformations of key functional groups in organic chemistry, followed by an introduction to equilibrium, acids and bases, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd laws of thermodynamics.

A part of the module is devoted to tackle reaction mechanisms, introduce aromaticity and the main chemical reactions of benzene and study applications of organic chemistry.
Chemical equilibrium will be unravelled, with an emphasis on dynamic equilibrium, the constants Kc and Kp., basic calculations, extent of reaction, solubility equilibria, pH and the main aspects of thermodynamics.

Practical hands-on laboratory activities are planned to enhance your understanding and awareness of the main classes of reaction e.g., acid-base and redox titrations, assays for identifications of functional groups and chemical classes etc.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1:demonstrate an understanding of the main classes of chemicals and of the way of representing their structures and chemical reactions.
LO2: establish an awareness of the reactivity, preparation and commercial significance of the main classes of chemical.
LO3: show competence in the exploitation of chemical reactivity of compounds to conduct quantitative analysis and/or identify key functional groups.
LO4: show understanding of the main aspects of chemical equilibrium and reaction mechanisms of molecules of pharmaceutical interest.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2023/4, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Giacomo Russo
Module Organiser:

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 24
Face To Face Tutorial 12
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 18
Independent Learning Guided independent study 146
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Laboratory report 50 3, 4 9 , WORDS= 1000
Report 50 1, 2 14/15 , WORDS= 1000
Component 1 subtotal: 50
Component 2 subtotal: 50
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Pharmaceutics: Small Molecules