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ABOUT

BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry is a first-of-its-kind degree that offers you rigorous study of pharmaceutical sciences and applied chemistry, combined with learning the primary applications of data analytics, pharmaceutical engineering, and biotechnology.

Pharmaceutical Chemistry Degree

The IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry Degree programme is a combination of pharmaceutical sciences and applied chemistry which introduces students to all aspects of the pharmaceutical and chemical industry and allows them to work in various industries:

  • Pharmaceutical industries – as members of research and development, production, quality control, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, product and technical specialist.
  • Chemical and other industries in the areas of cosmetics and toiletries, oleochemical, polymer, consumer product, food, and biotechnology– assuming active roles in analytical, research and development, quality control, quality assurance, health and safety and product and technical specialist
  • Government laboratories and agencies such as the Chemistry Department, Standard and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia, Malaysian Palm Oil Board, environmental protection unit and forensic science unit.
  • Multinational drug companies – as coordinators of clinical trial studies.

The programme is structured on a multi-prong approach with a formal, informal and hidden curriculum that is implemented by experienced faculty. Students will undergo extensive training in laboratory skills, undertake problem-solving projects and participate in small group learning activities, final year research projects and an industrial attachment (4 months). Students will also be ready to face the workplace with communication and presentation skills, entrepreneurial skills and basic engineering principles.

IMU has emerged as champion in the 2024 Employers’ Choice of University awards for their Pharmacy programme by Talentbank.

The IMU School of Pharmacy is ranked 151-200 this year in the QS ranking by subject (Pharmacy & Pharmacology), securing the top spot among Malaysia’s private universities and ranking fourth among all public and private universities in the country.

This accreditation also gives IMU academic staff free membership to RSC for a year. Staff will be eligible to apply for international research funds, discounts in the registration fee for the international conferences and receive educational information from RSC which can be used in teaching and learning activities. In additional to RSC Graduates of this programme are eligible to apply for IKM membership to practice as a registered chemist (ChM) in Malaysia. Only registered chemists with ChM status can sign or certify any report or certificate of analysis intended for the public.

IMU’s Pharmaceutical Chemistry degree is a 3-year programme, accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), United Kingdom, the world’s leading chemistry community and professional body committed to advancing excellence in chemical sciences. Membership with this society will improve the visibility and recognition of the IMU pharmaceutical chemistry degree and improve the students’ chances to go for higher education and obtain employment overseas.

Key Facts

DEGREE

  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry
    (IMU) * – 3 years
  • Degree from partner universities – 3 - 5 years

Commencement

  • February, April, July and September

total duration

  • 3 years

Why Study Pharmaceutical Chemistry at IMU?

An Established Private Healthcare University

IMU is Malaysia’s first and most established private medical and healthcare university with over 30 years of dedicated focus in healthcare education.

IMU achieved the SETARA-2018/19 Tier 6 status (Outstanding) under the Mature University category.

Build Your Future Healthcare Professional Network

As IMU offers the widest range of healthcare programmes, our students are fully immersed in a vibrant community of students and practitioners from all healthcare fields.

 

This allows for the development of strong friendship amongst peers that will be the foundation of an extensive healthcare professional network upon graduation.

First Malaysian University Offering this Undergraduate Programme

IMU is the first university in Malaysia that provides a complete and specialised undergraduate training in pharmaceutical chemistry.

 

The programme is accredited by Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and recognised by Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM). Graduates of this programme is eligible to register as a Chemist with IKM.

Curriculum Benchmarked to International Standards

IMU’s Pharmaceutical Chemistry curriculum has been developed to meet high international standards and is accepted by University of Sydney for credit exemption in their 2-year Master of Pharmacy programme and credit transfer to University of Dundee.

 

The IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), United Kingdom, the world’s leading chemistry community and professional body, which advances excellence in the chemical sciences.

With exposure to industrial attachment for 16 weeks, students will gain valuable industrial experience and develop their professional network, giving the graduates an advantage in their careers.

Programme Structure

Semester Contents

Semester 1 Semester 2 Semester 3
  • Basic Mathematics and Statistics
  • Biological Science
  • General Chemistry
  • Human Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Organic Chemistry I
  • General Pharmacology
  • MPU-U2 (English for Health Sciences)
  • Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
  • Ethics and Laboratory Safety
  • Cosmeceuticals
  • Pharmaceutical Organic Chemistry II
  • Data Analytics I
  • Formulation Science
  • Basic and Applied Microbiology
  • Data Analytics II
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis I
  • Pharmaceutics I
  • Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry
  • Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Semester 4 Semester 5 Semester 6
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis II
  • Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
  • Pharmaceutics II
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • MPU-U4 (Social Responsibility)
  • Heterocyclic Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis III
  • Pharmaceutical Engineering
  • Pharmaceutics III
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Internship
SHORT SEMESTER MPU SEMESTER
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Research Methodology
  • Research Project
  • MPU-U1
  • MPU-U3

Entry Requirement

Examinations Requirements
A- Levels CCD (including 1 Science subject / Mathematics and minimum C in Chemistry)
STPM CC (including Chemistry and 1 Science subject / Mathematics)
Australian Matriculation ATAR 75 (minimum 60% in Chemistry)
NCEA Level 3 60% aggregate (minimum 60% in Chemistry)
Canadian Grade 12/13 70% aggregate in 6 subjects (minimum 70% in Chemistry)
Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) B in 5 subjects (including 1 Science subject / Mathematics and minimum B4 in Chemistry)
Australian University Foundation Programmes 70% aggregate in 4 best subjects (minimum 60% in Chemistry) or TER / UAI / ENTER / ATAR 75 or GPA 2.00
Indian Pre-University Average of 70% (minimum 60% in Chemistry)
Ministry of Education Matriculation # cGPA 2.50 (including Chemistry and 1 Science subject / Mathematics)
International Baccalaureate (IB) 26 points (Chemistry and 1 Science subject / Mathematics at the Higher Level (HL) with minimum 3 points in Chemistry)
American High School Diploma with Advanced Placement (AP) cGPA 2.70 (Including Chemistry or Mathematics must be AP courses)
Foundation Studies # cGPA 2.00 or 50% (including Chemistry)
(Foundation in Science or equivalent)
Degree BSc in related field:
cGPA 2.00
Diploma Diploma in Science / Diploma in Microbiology
– Overall cGPA 2.00 (with a cGPA 2.50 in 2 subjects including Chemistry and 1 Science subject / Mathematics)Diploma in related field – cGPA 2.00

# The duration of this programme must be a minimum of 1 year in the same accredited institution and foundation in other disciplines are accepted.

Foundation in Science
  • Foundation in Science qualifications from other higher education institutions will be considered on a case by case basis for admission into the local IMU programmes.
  • Students with IMU Foundation in Science can apply into IMU programmes and programmes with selected credit transfer options, upon meeting the entry requirement eligibility. **
    (Please refer to IMU Foundation in Science brochure for more details)
For admissions into the IMU Foundation in Science programme, students will need:
  • Pass SPM / O-Levels with minimum 5 credits in Mathematics, 2 Science subjects and 2 other subjects. Note: Specific SPM / O-Levels requirements may be needed for admissions into IMU programmes.

English Language Requirement

MUET* Band score of 3; or
(For Malaysian students)
IELTS Overall band score of 5.5; or
TOEFL iBT:* Overall score of 46; or
Cambridge English : Advanced (CAE)* Overall score of 162; or
Cambridge English : Proficiency (CPE)* Overall score of 162; or
Cambridge Linguaskill* Overall score of 160; or
Pearson Test of English (PTE)* Overall score of 51; or
Credit Transfer IELTS Overall band score of 7.0

The following categories of students* are exempted from the English requirements:

 

Students who graduated from other institutions where the curriculum is delivered in English Language.

 

Students who are in the Programme which English Language is a medium of instruction (example: A Levels and O Levels, Australian Matriculation, International Baccalaureate, Australian Foundation (MUFY), Canadian Matriculation, Foundation in Science, Foundation in Art, and other Pre-University Programmes from IPTS) and plan to pursue a higher level of qualification.

 

Students who are not from the English Language curriculum, will have to fulfill the English Requirements as stated in the MQA Programme Standards / MOHE requirements.

 

*ONLY applicable to those who are completing the entire degree at IMU, Malaysia.

Note

Please note that achieving the minimum Entry and English requirements as stated does not guarantee you admission into any of IMU’s programmes.

Please refer to our Student Admissions Policy for more information

Application and Registration Fees

Fee Malaysian Student (RM) International Student (RM)
Application Fee 150 500
Registration Fee 850 2,000
Refundable Caution Deposit 1,000 1,000
  • Application fee is payable upon submission of application.
  • Registration fee and refundable caution deposit is payable upon acceptance of the offer letter issued by the IMU Admissions Office.
  • All students who are applying for the NHEF loans are required to pay their semester fees in FULL by the due date stated in the invoice.
  • The fees quoted for partner universities are current estimates only
  • Student must adhere to the Policy on Payment of Fees
  • All tuition and ancillary fees are subject to annual increases, currency exchange rates, and exclusive of levy and bridging fees (if any).
  • All students are required to pay Student Association Fees of RM40 per semester.
  • As stipulated by Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education, international students are required to pay Student Visa Application fee of RM2,500 AND personal bond (depending on nationality) upon registration.
  • * Overseas fees are indicative and subject to annual increase and currency exchange rate. Fees are exclusive of levy and bridging fee.
  • ** It is compulsory to complete the one-year IMU Foundation in Science prior to embarking on this pathway. Fees for Foundation in Science is RM29,400.
    Credit transfer to University of Dundee: Please refer to the Pharmaceutical Chemistry brochure for the degrees available in this pathway.

Fee Structure

malaysian student

Total Duration (years) At IMU University At Partner University (PU)
Years Total Semesters Tuition Fee (RM) Estimated Tuition Fees at Partner University
Per Semester Per Year Years Semesters Tuition Fee Per Year *
Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry 3 3 6 21,000 42,000
Credit transfer to University of Otago (Undergraduate degree)
– BSc Pharmaceutical Science
3 1.5 3 21,000 42,000 1.5 3 NZ$40,088
Credit transfer to University of Dundee (Undergraduate degree) 3 ** 1 2 21,000 42,000 2 4 £24,800
Credit transfer to University of Dundee (Integrated Masters degree) 4 ** 1 2 21,000 42,000 3 6 £24,800
Credit transfer to University of Dundee (Postgraduate) 4 ** 1 2 21,000 42,000 3 6 £24,800
Credit Transfer to University of Sydney
– Master of Pharmacy (MPharm)
5 3 6 21,000 42,000 2 4 A$59,500

International Student

Total Duration (years) At IMU University At Partner University (PU)
Years Total Semesters Tuition Fee (RM) Estimated Tuition Fees at Partner University
Per Semester Per Year Years Semesters Tuition Fee Per Year *
Bachelor of Science (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry 3 3 6 22,000 44,000
Credit transfer to University of Otago (Undergraduate degree)
– BSc Pharmaceutical Science
3 1.5 3 22,000 44,000 1.5 3 NZ$40,088
Credit transfer to University of Dundee (Undergraduate degree) 3 ** 1 2 22,000 44,000 2 4 £24,800
Credit transfer to University of Dundee (Integrated Masters degree) 4 ** 1 2 22,000 44,000 3 6 £24,800
Credit transfer to University of Dundee (Postgraduate) 4 ** 1 2 22,000 44,000 3 6 £24,800
Credit Transfer to University of Sydney
– Master of Pharmacy (MPharm)
5 3 6 22,000 44,000 2 4 A$59,500
Country Estimated Living Costs
(Per Year)
Exchange Rate
(As of Dec 2023)
Estimated Living Cost (Per Year) Australia AUD 21,000 – AUD 30,000 ≈ RM 65,900 – RM 94,200 AUD 1 ≈ RM3.14
Canada CAD 28,000 ≈ RM 98,000 CAD 1 ≈ RM3.50
China RMB 85,000 ≈ RM 56,100 RMB 1 ≈ RM0.66
Ireland EUR 12,000 ≈ RM 62,000 EUR 1 ≈ RM5.17
New Zealand NZD 22,000 – NZD 26,000 ≈ RM 64,500 – RM 76,200 NZD 1 ≈ RM2.93
United Kingdom GBP 10,000 – 22,700 ≈ RM60,000 – RM 136,200 GBP 1 ≈ RM6.00
United States of America USD 16,000 ≈ RM 75,800 USD 1 ≈ RM4.74
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia RM36,000 RM36,000

Partner Universities

As an assurance of a total commitment towards quality education in pharmaceutical chemistry, the IMU maintains its relationship with many partner universities in Australia.

Industrial Partners

The curriculum structure is constantly updated to meet the ever-changing industries’ needs and includes research-led teaching to deliver evidence-based knowledge and practice in the industry. Students will have the opportunity to undergo industrial training in the related sectors in their final semester. They will also be able to collaborate with industry or/and researcher in related project in their final year. The organisations involved in these internships are:

Our Alumni

Our alumni today have embarked on diverse and promising career paths across various industries. They are a true testament to the versatility of their education, as they continue to excel in a wide range of professional healthcare fields.

  • Adastream Sdn Bhd
  • AIA Insurance
  • Alpro Group
  • ALS Life Sciences
  • Analog Devices
  • AstraZeneca
  • Blackmores Group
  • Caring Pharmacy Puchong Utama
  • Carlsberg Group
  • CCM Duopharma Biotech Berhad
  • Ceebee Chemicals Sdn Bhd
  • CK Ingredient
  • Coscolab
  • Doha British School
  • Duopharma
  • Dynacosmos Care Products
  • Dzora Resources
  • Eurofins NM Laboratory
  • Fortune Laboratories
  • Grand Cosmetics Manufacturing Sdn Bhd
  • GSK
  • Guardian Health and Beauty (B) Sdn Bhd, Brunei Darussalam
  • Hairwell Sdn. Bhd
  • Healthlane Pharmacy
  • Henritext (M) Sdn. Bhd.
  • Institute for Research, Development and Innovation (IRDI)
  • Innomed Sdn Bhd
  • Johnson&Johnson
  • Kossan International Sdn. Bhd.
  • Kotra Pharma
  • LFK Medical Co Pte Ltd
  • Malaysian Palm Oil Board
  • Malaysian Pharmaceutical Sdn Bhd
  • Malaysian Rubber Board
  • Manhattan Fish Market
  • Ministry of Health
  • Monash University
  • My CO2 Lab
  • Nampharm Vet Clinic
  • Natural Wellness Group of Companies
  • Novozymes Sdn Bhd
  • Novugen
  • Novugen Pharma
  • Oncogen Pharma (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd
  • Orbiting Scientific & Technology Sdn Bhd
  • Ori Bionature (M) Sdn Bhd
  • Parexel
  • Pfizer
  • Poliklinik Pavillion
  • Prince of Songkla University
  • PWC Malaysia
  • Reddot Brewhouse Pte Ltd
  • Revo Healthcare
  • Rhonema Malaysia
  • RPG Commerce
  • S M C Nutrition Pte. Ltd.
  • Salak South Garden Alpha Pharmacy
  • Sam Ken Sdn Bhd
  • Sanofi-Aventis Malaysia Sdn Bhd
  • Sg Buloh Hospital
  • Shiseido MalaysiaSky Resources
  • Solution Biologic Sdn Bhd
  • Sun Ten Pharmaceutical Manufacturing (M) Sdn. Bhd.
  • Sunward Pharmaceutical Sdn.Bhd
  • TBMC Development Sdn Bhd
  • Theragen Etex
  • Top Glove Sdn. Bhd.
  • UMS
  • Unimed Sdn Bhd
  • University Malaya
  • Vance Bioenergy
  • YSP Industries (M) Sdn Bhd
  • Zuellig Pharma (B) Sdn Bhd
  • Zuellig Pharma Malaysia
  • Zulat Pharmacy Sdn Bhd

Degree Pathways

Track 1

University Duration of the Programme
Years in IMU Years at Partner University Total (Years)
Malaysia
International Medical University 3 3

Track 2

University Duration of the Programme
Years in IMU Years at Partner University Total (Years)
United Kingdom
University of Dundee 1* 2 3

* It is compulsory to complete the one-year IMU Foundation in Science prior to embarking on this pathway.

Degrees from Partner University under Track 2

This track will give students the opportunity to transfer to University of Dundee for the completion of their undergraduate Bachelor degree. The degree that they will obtain from University of Dundee will be one of the degrees listed below

  • BSc (Hons) Biochemistry
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Microbiology
  • BSc (Hons) Molecular Biology
  • BSc (Hons) Molecular Genetics
  • BSc (Hons) Neuroscience
  • BSc (Hons) Pharmacology
  • BSc (Hons) Physiological Sciences

Track 3

University Duration of the Programme
Years in IMU Years at Partner University Total (Years)
United Kingdom
University of Dundee 1* 3 4

* It is compulsory to complete the one-year IMU Foundation in Science prior to embarking on this pathway.

Degrees from Partner University under Track 3

This track will give students the opportunity to transfer to University of Dundee for the completion of their Integrated Master of Science degree. The degree that they will obtain from University of Dundee will be one of the degrees listed below

  • MSci Biological Sciences
  • MSci Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
  • MSci Microbiology
  • MSci Molecular Genetics
  • MSci Pharmacology
  • MSci Physiological Sciences
  • MSci Biochemistry
  • MSci Molecular Biology
  • MSci Biomedical Sciences
  • MSci Neuroscience

Track 4

University Duration of the Programme
Years in IMU Years at Partner University Total (Years)
United Kingdom
University of Dundee 1* 3 4

* It is compulsory to complete the one-year IMU Foundation in Science prior to embarking on this pathway.

Upon completion of the postgraduate degree option, you will graduate with a BSc and a MSc degree as listed below

Undergraduate Degrees (2 years)

This track will give students the opportunity to transfer to University of Dundee for the completion of their Bachelor and Master degrees. The degree that they will obtain from University of Dundee will be one of the degrees listed below

  • BSc (Hons) Biochemistry
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery
  • BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences
  • BSc (Hons) Microbiology
  • BSc (Hons) Molecular Biology
  • BSc (Hons) Molecular Genetics
  • BSc (Hons) Neuroscience
  • BSc (Hons) Pharmacology
  • BSc (Hons) Physiological Sciences

Postgraduate Degrees (1 year)

  • MSc by Research
  • MSc Biomedical and Molecular Sciences
  • MSc Biomedical and Molecular Sciences with Business
  • MSc Biomedical and Molecular Sciences with Management
  • MSc Biomedical and Molecular Sciences with Entrepreneurship
  • MSc Biomedical and Molecular Sciences with Marketing

Track 5

University Duration of the Programme
Years in IMU Years at Partner University Total (Years)
Australia
University of Sydney 3 2 5

Graduates from the IMU’s BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry will be given credit recognition for certain modules having met the criteria set for certain modules of the Master of Pharmacy programme at the University of Sydney (USYD).

Track 6

University Duration of the Programme
Years in IMU Years at Partner University Total (Years)
New Zealand
University of Otago 1.5 1.5 3

Students under this track can transfer to the University of Otago for completion of their undergraduate Bachelor degree, Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science (BPharmSc).

Views from Our Community

ChM Annie Grace Pravena Peter

Alumna, Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Sr. Quality Control Officer (Sr. Executive), DCH Contract Manufacturing Sdn Bhd

Within the course, I was able to build a strong foundational understanding of Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Analysis and Physical/Inorganic/Organic Chemistry modules that enable me to utilise in the working environment today. The theoretical and practical exposure on both pharmaceutical and chemistry during my degree assisted me to understand my task even better and perform better in the job that I am venturing now under the Quality Control Department for Pharmaceutical Over-The-Counter Products. IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme is also recognised by the Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM). Right now, I am a Registered Chemist under IKM and looking forward to being able to contribute more to the industry. Overall, I am proud to be an Alumni of IMU. The curriculum and faculty have shaped my career and the person I am today!

Tan Ching Yee

Alumna, Pharmaceutical Chemistry

I have been fortunate to be offered a position in the In-Licensing Department of Duopharma Innovation Sdn Bhd for my internship. After my internship, I managed to secure a working position in the Analytical Department of the same company, in which I have a great interest in. Modules which I had learnt at IMU including Pharmaceutical Analysis, Pharmaceutical Organic Chemistry and Pharmaceutics have been useful to me in my work as an analytical chemist because these modules have provided me with the basic knowledge on method development and validation. Apart from studies, I also had opportunities to participate in various extracurricular activities through the scholarship programme, such as the IMU Scholar Fund Raising Event, IMU Research Forum and Giving Vision Project.

Zhang YuXin

Alumni, Pharmaceutical Chemistry (R&D Chemist in Cosmeceutical Company)

I was able to cope with my tasks at work and I believe one of the most important reasons is the basic knowledge that I learnt during my Pharmaceutical Chemistry degree. I am very grateful for the diversified modules in my degree programme which prepares me with wide knowledge to cater for more opportunities.

Rayce Lim

Alumni, Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Analytical Chemist in Pharmaceutical Company)

The Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme has equipped me with fundamental knowledge, practical skills as well as soft skills such as multi-tasking and stress management.

Marie Emilie Leiticia Hovah

Alumni, Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Danish Government Scholarship Recipient, PhD Candidate in Pharmaceutical/Medicinal Chemistry)

I think that the Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme lays the perfect foundation for probably any career line you wish to pursue in the field of pharmaceuticals, be it as a pharmacist, a chemist or a sales representative. While being primarily a chemistry-based degree, it still provided glimpses, sometimes very elaborate, on the multifaceted pharmaceutical industry. Hence, we not only learned about the chemistry or formulation of pharmaceuticals but how to also brand or market them. The teaching and learning methods were also interesting with major focus on hands-on practicals. As students, we participated in lab exercises and lectures but were also given a significant level of independence during peer learning hours. This allowed us to forge our personality as professionals. For me, my degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry gave me an edge in my academic career. It allowed me to communicate on a similar level as my fellow pharmacist colleagues during my masters and, now, even more so while networking with fellow professionals as a PhD student. In short, the Bachelors in Pharmaceutical Chemistry is a well-grounded, possibly, full-package degree programme.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Profession & Career Prospects

What is pharmaceutical chemistry?

Pharmaceutical Chemistry is the combination of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Applied Chemistry. The programme is accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) and Royal Society of Chemistry, UK. The programme is recognised by the Malaysian Institute of Chemistry (Institut Kimia Malaysia, IKM). In this programme, the students will learn about manufacturing pharmaceutical and cosmetic formulations (tablets, capsules, injections, ointments, creams, lotions, syrups, vaccines, sera, etc.), design, synthesis and analysis of chemical compounds including medicines and learn how the medicines work in the body. Students will also learn how to develop entrepreneurship skills and transferable skills through the integrated curriculum approaches.

What do pharmaceutical chemists do?

  • All the students are eligible to register with the Malaysian Institute of Chemistry (Institut Kimia Malaysia, IKM) to become a Registered Chemist, with the title of ChM. Institut Kimia Malaysia is a statutory professional organisation incorporated under the Chemists Act 1975 on 1 November 1977. The Chemists Act 1975 gave recognition to the professional practice of chemistry in Malaysia.Under the Chemists Act 1975, only registered chemists of Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM) shall enjoy the following power and privileges:
  • Practice or hold himself out as a registered chemists or as a person of any other like description.
  • Advertise by any means or in any manner as being engaged in the practice as a registered chemist.
  • Adopt, use, or exhibit the term “registered chemist” or its equivalent in any other language or any other term of like description in such circumstances as to indicate or to be likely to lead persons to refer that he is a registered chemist.
  • Sign or certify any report or certificate of analysis intended for the public.Reference: https://ikm.org.my/about-ikm/power-and-privileges/
  • IKM registered chemists is required in accredited laboratories as the approved signatory to certify reports of analysis. This makes you eligible to work in any industry that involves the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and personal care, food and beverages, plant products, biotechnology, and consumer products.
  • Many companies have the units of quality analysis and assurance. A chemist is competent to work in these units.
  • Analytical instrument vendors require the application scientists whose main job is to explain the applications of these instruments. A chemist is competent to work in analytical instrument companies or analytical instrument suppliers as application chemist/application engineer/product specialist.

How do I become (& stay) a much sought-after pharmaceutical chemist?

  • The BSc. (Hons.) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduates do not require a provisional registration to work in any industry. The degree also allows you to work in any country. Nevertheless, having ‘registered chemist’ status would add value to your career.
  • By becoming a member of the professional bodies such as the Royal Society of Chemistry and American Chemical Society, chemists will be able to connect with chemistry professionals from all over the world, access tools and resource to advance their career as well as find the opportunity stay at the forefront of their profession.
  • Chemistry professional organisations also offer several professional designations/registers– each for a specific career stage or type; such professional recognitions include ‘Chartered Chemist ‘and ‘Qualified Person (QP) in Pharmaceutical Industry’.
  • Chartered Chemist is one of the highest recognitions for chemist. It is awarded as recognition on their well-developed skills, knowledge, and professionalism within the chemical sciences. There are high standards of requirements and Professional Attributes for one to be awarded as a Chartered Chemist.

Career Prospects

What are the career prospects and likely demand for pharmaceutical chemists in Malaysia and in the region?

  • Current scenario in the pharmaceutical/cosmetic/biotechnology/food product/plant products industries:
    • Increasing awareness in development of green chemistry products and processes
    • Growth in the development of generic drugs, cosmetics, biotechnology products, nutritional supplements, plant-based medicines
    • Enhancing R&D capabilities to develop novel and higher value-added products locally in Malaysia and overseas
    • Incentives to increase investments and collaborations between public and private corporations in biopharmaceuticals, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), herbal medicines, contract manufacturing and general drugs.
  • Due to the slowdown of economy around the world, healthcare reforms in many countries have made generic drugs, biologics, biotechnology, and plant-based products their preferred choice. The demand for pharmaceutical chemists will remain high.
  • As pharmaceutical chemistry graduates will be trained in all basic chemistry knowledge and skills, they can be employed in:
    • Pharmaceutical, cosmetics and personal care, food and beverages, plant products, biotechnology, consumer products and chemical related industries as members of research and development, production, quality control, quality assurance, regulatory affairs, and product specialist teams.
    • Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduates stand better chance in the pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals (supplements) and cosmeceuticals industries. These three industries have to be compliance to strict pharmaceutical requirements, like Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), Good Laboratory Practice (GLP), Pharmacopeia standards, drug monographs and other standards and guidelines. The Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduates have learnt and are familiar with these requirements.
    • Contract Research Organisation as clinical research associates to administer and monitor clinical trials of new pharmaceuticals/medical devices.
    • Government laboratories such as the Chemistry Department, environmental protection unit and forensic science unit.
    • Careers in chemistry within areas such as law, policy, defence, public health, and the environment. For example, within law and policy, forensic chemist may be called upon to present forensic findings in court. Only the IKM registered chemist can validate the results of the chemical analysis, they can be called to present in court to validate the results.
    • Careers in academic as chemistry teachers or lecturers in universities (after pursuing postgraduate degree) teaching pharmaceutical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and related subjects.
    • Set up own business or company related to pharmaceutical, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, or other pharmaceutical and chemical related fields
  • In time of healthcare crisis, such as coronavirus pandemic, pharmaceutical chemistry knowledge plays essential roles in formulating therapeutic strategies, such as discovery of anti-viral drugs to speed up recovery, and to develop therapeutic remedies to prevent or minimise uncontrolled virus transmission. Pharmaceutical chemists will also work closely with other medical professionals to develop effective vaccines to save lives.
  • The herbal industry has been identified as a new source of economic growth contributor for Malaysia since 2011. This is in tandem with higher demand for herbal products in the world markets. This emerging industry requires services from pharmaceutical chemists in product research & development as well as production and quality control of herbal drugs.
  • The environmental impact of the pharmaceutical industry and its products has also been gaining attentions. To comply with government regulations, many industries have prioritised environmental research to have a better understanding of potential environmental impacts that might arise from the use of a new pharmaceutical, waste management, solvent-free and green synthesis paths.
  • Unlike other health professional degree, Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduates can join the workforce immediately after graduation. There is no houseman ship or any provisional registration requirement. The graduate can easily secure a relevant job in Malaysia or other country, without the need to fulfil the complex licensing requirement.

What opportunities are there for IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduates to work as pharmaceutical chemists outside Malaysia?

  • The BSc. (Hons.) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduates do not require a provisional registration, hence they can work in Malaysia or in overseas due to the degree is being accredited by MQA and Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), UK, as well as recognised by Malaysian Institute of Chemistry (IKM).
  • There are BSc. (Hons.) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduates working in pharmaceutical, pharmaceutical related and chemical industries in Singapore, Australia (U SYD MPharm graduates), Korea, Brunei, Myanmar, and Vietnam.
  • There are BSc. (Hons.) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduates pursued/pursuing postgraduate degrees in Singapore, Australia, UK, US, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. Some received scholarships for their postgraduate studies.
  • The BSc. (Hons.) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry graduates received credit recognition to pursue Master of Pharmacy programme at the University of Sydney (USYD), Australia. The Master of Pharmacy graduates are eligible to work as practising pharmacist in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
  • The BSc. (Hons.) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry launched the new articulation tracks (Sept 2020) with University of Dundee. IMU Foundation in Science students with 1 year BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme in IMU can choose one of the three following pathways to pursue their specialism in University of Dundee and the graduates can work in any country.- 2 years at University of Dundee to obtain BSc degree
    – 2 + 1 (3) years at University of Dundee to obtain MSci, an integrated master’s degree
    – 2 years at University of Dundee to obtain BSc degree followed by 1 year to obtain MSc degree.Specialisms: Biochemistry, Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics, Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Physiological Sciences.

About University of Dundee

University of Dundee (UoD) is one of the leading universities in Europe and the UK for research in Life Sciences. In the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality in UK higher education institutions, Dundee was ranked 3 rd in Biological Sciences behind Oxford and Cambridge. More recent rankings widely recognised as indicators of scientific excellence place Dundee high in their rankings. The Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) Leiden Ranking 2019 for Biomedical and Health Sciences Impact places Dundee is 1st in the UK and Europe, 5th in the World. ‘The State of Innovation’ recent report by Clarivate Analytics ranks Dundee as the most influential scientific research institution in the world for pharmaceuticals for the period 2006-16.

The School enjoys a reputation as one of the most dynamic international centre for molecular cell biology, with outstanding laboratory and technology facilities. It is recognised as one of the most interdisciplinary collaborative drug discovery research hubs in Europe and UK. It received Gold standard (the highest) in Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), a system that assesses the quality of undergraduate teaching in UK universities.

About the IMU BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry Programme

What is the difference between Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Chemistry?

The Pharmacy Programme is to train the graduates fit-to-work in hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy and pharmaceutical industry.

The Pharmaceutical Chemistry Programme is to train the graduates fit-to-work in any manufacturing industry (Pharmaceutical, cosmetics and personal care, food, natural product, biotechnology, consumer products and other chemical related products) or research organisations.

What is the difference between Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Chemistry?

Pharmaceutical Sciences is mainly to train the graduates fit-to-work in Pharmaceutical Industry whereas Pharmaceutical Chemistry is the combination of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Applied Chemistry Programmes. Meaning, graduates are fit to work in any kind of manufacturing industry. Pharmaceutical Chemistry is recognised by IKM and graduates from the IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry are eligible to register with IKM to become a registered Chemist with the title of ChM.

What is the difference between Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry?

Medicinal Chemistry is mainly focussed on drug design and discovery. Pharmaceutical Chemistry covers both drug design and discovery and formulation of medicines/cosmetics/plant products.

What is meant by Hons Programme?

The Hons programme means integration of research component into the course. The research component makes the graduates to think critically, work independently, improve analytical and communication skills, and to identify the gaps in research. In many Universities, Hons programmes are usually involved course duration of more than 3 years, whereas in IMU BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, the course duration is only 3 years. This is due to the unique programme structure of integrating 6 long semesters and 2 short semesters within the 3-year programme.

Is Pharmaceutical Chemistry a double-degree programme?

Pharmaceutical Chemistry is not a double-degree programme. However, the content in this programme is equivalent to double degree programmes in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Applied Chemistry. In general, a double degree programmes are of 4 years duration (consisting of 8 semesters). The Pharmaceutical Chemistry Programme is of 3 years duration (consisting of 8 semesters). In essence, the graduates from this programme do receive only one degree certificate but the content is equivalent to double degree programmes.

What are key features and highlights of the programme?

  • First programme in Malaysia that provides a complete and specialised training in pharmaceutical chemistry.
  • Curriculum StructurePharmChem - Curr. Structure– 16 weeks of internship (overseas/ local/ industry/ research organisation/ academic institution). Four months industrial attachment enables students to gain valuable industrial experience and establish networking with the industry. Students can also take the opportunity to gain internship experience working in pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical companies, and research centres abroad or locally.
    – One dedicated research semester
    – Introduction to computer aided drug discovery (CADD) with hands-on training using the University subscribed molecular docking software. Students who are interested to specialise in CADD could undertake a CADD research project and/or internship training.
    – Field trips and industry visits (Malaysian nuclear agency, wastewater treatment plant, botanical gardens and herbarium, pharmaceutical manufacturing company, breweries industry and other industry/research institutes)
    – Sharing from industry experts
    – Opportunity for research publications
    – Opportunity for a credit transfer option with University of Dundee
    – Opportunity for a credit exemption with University of Sydney (Master of Pharmacy)
    – Significant hands-on practical training, instrumental techniques, basic synthetic chemistry techniques, spectroscopy and chromatography analytical techniques, pharmaceutics (formulation) and pharmaceutical microbiology
    – Extensive training in pharmaceutical analysis, including method development and validation.
    – Introduction to basic engineering principles, which will be useful for chemists working in manufacturing / production environment
    – Strong student support and pastoral care
    – IMU focuses on training healthcare professionals. Pharmaceutical Chemistry students have interprofessional learning opportunities in their MPU modules and community-based projects with students from other healthcare related programmes. They collaborate in organising and/or participating community-based or other university projects.

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Interested in Applying for One of Our Programmes?

You will need to prepare the following documents for your application:

  • Verified copies of your academic qualifications
  • Evidence of English language proficiency
  • A copy of your MyKad or the identification page of your passport

These supporting documents needs to be attached electronically to your application. Please note that all of our programmes require payment of a non-refundable application fee after the application has been submitted. Application will only be processed once the payment for application fee has been made.

We wish you all the best with your application, and hope we will be welcoming you into one of our programmes soon!

A Word from the Programme Director

DR THEN YOON YEE

Senior Lecturer and Programme Director
BSc (Hons) (UPM), MSc (UPM), PhD (UPM)

“The Pharmaceutical Chemistry program at IMU University is meticulously designed to nurture highly proficient and job-ready graduates. It seamlessly integrates theoretical knowledge with practical skills, ensuring students are well-versed in the latest advancements in drug discovery, pharmaceutical analysis, drug formulation, and pharmacology. In the internship semester, students gain invaluable practical insights while actively engaging in educational activities to further enrich their learning experience. Consequently, graduates are work-ready to excel in various sectors, including pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmeceutical, and regulatory affairs, both locally and internationally. Additionally, the programme provides a solid foundation for postgraduate study in relevant fields, empowering students to continue their pursuit of knowledge and life-long learning.”

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