CHEM30190 Chemistry of Biomolecules

Academic Year 2024/2025

The student will acquire an understanding of the three major classes of biomolecules, i.e. protein, carbohydrate and nucleic acid, the nature of their structures, synthetic methodology and the role which they play in biological systems. Topics discussed include structures of proteins; peptide chemistry; solid phase peptide synthesis; protein synthesis via native chemical ligation; structures of monosaccharides; synthesis of oligosaccharides; structure of nucleic acids; synthesis of oligonucleotides. In addition students will gain an understanding of the chemistry of functioning of biomolecules in cellular and living systems. This will include an introduction to aspects of molecular recognition, enzyme mechanism and mechanisms of biological catalysed reactions, interactions of biomolecules with each other and small molecules and the outcomes in biological systems, design of inhibitors of biological processes. Aspects will be illustrated with selected case studies (e.g. proteases, glycosidases, bacterial cell wall biosynthesis and inhibition), The module is directed towards students majoring in chemistry and related disciplines.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to: draw structures of biomolecule monomers, such as amino acids, monosaccharides and nucleosides; design solution-phase synthetic routes to simple peptides; explain how to synthesize peptides on solid supports; design synthetic routes to simple oligosaccharides and oligonucleotides; describe and explain non-covalent interactions and role in moleculear recognition; describe some chemical mechanisms for biological catalysed processes; explain how inhibitors work and how inhibitors are designed; display a grasp of the thermodynamics of small molecule-receptor interactions; write organic mechanisms for selected processes and understand the basics of drug design.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures + Problem-Solving Classes 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Requirements:


Learning Recommendations:


Module Requisites and Incompatibles
CHEM30270 - Chem.Biology of Macromolecules

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade

Not yet recorded.

Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

The students are asked to submit their answers to tutorial questions during the course. The answers are corrected and returned then to the students, together with relevant feedbacks.

Organic Chemistry by McMurry, 8th Edition, Chapters 25, 26, 27 and 28
Name Role
Assoc Professor Eoghan McGarrigle Lecturer / Co-Lecturer