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Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery (MCDD)


Admission requirements

Core course MSc Chemistry – Chemical Biology, elective course MSc Life Science and Technology.
For students with a BSc in MST, LST or equivalent. Students should have basic knowledge of protein structure as well as knowledge of organic chemistry at the level of Synthetic Organic Chemistry (4012SOCH5).
This course was previously given under the name Advanced Medicinal Chemistry (AMC), uSis code 4423ADMC6. This course cannot be combined with AMC in a programme.


The course introduces the students to the theory and methods of medicinal chemistry and its role in drug discovery.

Course objectives

The aims are:

  • to raise students’ interest & enthusiasm for the field of medicinal chemistry & drug discovery.

  • to give an introduction of the most important concepts and methods used in rational drug design and their application in drug discovery in relation to (molecular) pharmacology, toxicology and structural biology.

  • to give the student sufficient background to interpret structure-activity relationships and fundamental principles governing the molecular interactions of a drug with its target.

  • to introduce the latest developments and insights in the field of medicinal chemistry & drug discovery.

  • to allow students to solve problems that are rooted the biological domain with chemical tools, which are found and optimized through a medicinal chemistry approach.


Schedule information can be found on the website of the programmes.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Lectures (on campus).

Assessment method

Written exam

Reading list

Basic Principles of Drug Discovery and Development, Benjamin E. Blass ISBN 978-0-12-411508-8, 2nd print.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Prof.dr. Mario van der Stelt and Dr. Anthe Janssen


Assignment deadlines are communicated via Brightspace.

A laptop is required for the tutorials.

According to OER article 4.8, students are entitled to view their marked examination for a period of 30 days following the publication of the results of a written examination. The date, time and location of an inspection session will be announced on Brightspace.