Chemistry for Biomedicine

15 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 3FK162

Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Biomedicine G1N, Chemistry G1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Board of the Biomedicine Programme, 4 March 2013
Responsible department
Department of Medicinal Chemistry

Entry requirements

General entry requirements and Biology 2, Physics 2, Chemistry 2, Mathematics 4 or Biology B, Physics B, Chemistry B, Mathematics D

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the student should be able to:

  • account for the structure and properties of atoms and molecules and be able to apply this knowledge for problem-solving concerning biological relevant molecules.
  • account for basic thermodynamics concerning chemical reactions and processes and be able to apply this knowledge for problem-solving and in calculations.
  • account for the importance of chemical equilibria for the development, control and transport of drugs and be able to apply this knowledge for problem-solving and in calculations.
  • account for basic physico-chemical principles of intermolecular forces, the structure of biomolecules and properties of liquids and solutions and be able to apply this knowledge for problem-solving and in calculations.
  • account for basic physico-chemical principles of reaction kinetics and apply this knowledge for problem-solving and in calculations.
  • account for basic physico-chemical principles of surface and colloid chemistry and molecular spectroscopy.
  • translate rational chemical names to structure and construct rational names of simple organic molecules.
  • predict the acid/base strength and the reactivity of molecules guided by inductive effects, resonance and resonance effects.
  • account for the basic reactions of organic molecules and their reaction mechanisms and be able to apply this on simple biologically relevant molecules.
  • account for and apply the safety directions that are essential in chemistry laboratory work and carry out and present basic practical laboratory work within chemistry.
  • plan for and carry out synthesis of simple pharmaceutical substances, keep adequate records of their laboratory work, and make correct risk analyses.


The course treats the basic and preparatory chemistry that is required for further studies within biomedicine. The course consists of three equally large parts of general-, physical- and organic chemistry with special focus on biomolecules and drugs and chemical methods and areas within chemistry that are of biomedical interest.

During the course, chemical binding, intermolecular interaction, the structure of biomolecules, the properties of liquids and solutions, chemical reaction kinetics, chemical thermodynamics, surface and colloid chemistry and molecular spectroscopy are treated. Further, chemical equilibria are treated, acid/base-, solubility- and connected equilibria, buffers and titrimetry and the equilibria importance for drugs fate in the body - dissolution, absorption and transport. Furthermore, the the most important classes of organic compounds in a biological context are treated and their chemical properties such as acidity/basicity, intermolecular forces, isomerism, aromaticity and reactivity.

In addition, organic-chemical reactions and reaction mechanisms are treated including applications of chemical thermodynamics and reaction kinetics, stereochemistry and organic-chemical nomenclature.

Laboratory sessions are included in each course module and contain the following parts.

  1. Laboratory safety and general chemical laboratory technology.
  2. The surface activity and colloidal properties of pharmaceutical substances.
  3. Organic synthesis of pharmaceutical substance and purifying and identification by means of chromatography and melting point.


The teaching is given as lectures, group exercises, seminars, demonstrations and laboratory sessions. Compulsory parts are course introduction and all parts in connection with laboratory sessions. Laboratory sessions may be held in the evenings.


For a Pass grade in the course, both passed results of all compulsory parts of the course and passed results in the written individual examination are required. The laboratory sessions are examined in writing in groups and orally individually.

A chance to finalise a failed laboratory course can be given only at the next course occasion and only in case of a vacancy.

Students who did not pass the examination have the right to retake the examination at 4 additional occasions (= a total of 5 examinations). If special circumstances apply, the programme committee may grant additional examinations. Each time the student participates in an examination counts as one examination. Submission of a so called blank exam is counted as one examination.