5 ECTS credits
150 h study time

Offer 1 with catalog number 1021450ANR for all students in the 2nd semester at a (A) Bachelor - preliminary level.

2nd semester
Enrollment based on exam contract
Grading method
Grading (scale from 0 to 20)
Can retake in second session
Enrollment Requirements
Om een inschrijving te kunnen nemen voor 'Gevorderde chemie' moet men ingeschreven of geslaagd zijn voor 'Algemene en anorganische chemie', 'Algemene en anorganische chemie practicum' en 'Organische chemie-theorie en practicum'.
Taught in
Faculteit Geneeskunde en Farmacie
Pharmaceutical and Pharmacological Sciences
Educational team
Hendrika Jaspers
Kenno Vanommeslaeghe (course titular)
Anissa El Arfani
Linus Donvil
Jeremy De Plecker
Jordy Peeters
Julie Vandewalle
Activities and contact hours

28 contact hours Lecture
33 contact hours Seminar, Exercises or Practicals
Course Content


The 1st year Ba curriculum in Pharmaceutical Sciences (PS) contains 4 basic chemistry courses:

  • General and Inorganic Chemistry (1st semester)
  • General and Inorganic Chemistry - Practicals (1st semester)
  • Organic Chemistry - Theory and Practicals (2nd semester)
  • Advanced Chemistry (2nd semester)

The encompassing goal of these 4 courses is to learn/train the necessary chemical background, analytical skills and scientific attitude to (1) be prepared for the further curriculum PS and (2) be able to function successfully in the PS major's diverse prospective jobs and lines of research. Therefore, the course is more focused on developing a deep intuitive understanding of a number of core chemistry concepts than on enumerating at length all possible applications of those concepts and the special points of attention that play a role in these applications. Nevertheless, applications that are of great pharmaceutical importance are mentioned as illustrations where possible. More generally, links to other disciplines are accentuated so that Chemistry can function as a bridge between Physics and Biology, among others. Special attention is also paid to the limits of the applicability of the relevant mathematical relationships as well as the limits of current scientific knowledge. This way, the student is encouraged to question the correctness of scientific results at all times, and more generally to approach given "facts" with a critical mind.

Advanced Chemistry for the Pharmaceutical Sciences

In this course, the students PS deepen their skills in aspects of chemistry that are of specific relevance to their later curricula and job prospects. Subjects from the courses "General and Inorganic Chemistry" and "Organic Chemistry - Theory and Practicals" are explored in more depth and new subjects are introduced. Among others, a number of chemical relationships are taught that play an important role in Analytical Chemistry, Pharmacology, Drug Development,... More generally spoken, this course completes the broad chemical background that is expected from persons with an university diploma in the Pharmaceutical Sciences.



  • Excited states, absorption spectrophotometry and photochemical reactions
  • Conductivity and ion activity
  • Aggregation states and phase equilibria
  • Colligative properties
  • Radioactivity; structure and stability of the atomic nucleus
  • Kinetics of consecutive reactions
  • Polymers
  • Orientation with multiple substitution reactions on an aromatic hydrocarbon
  • Amino acids, peptides, and proteins
  • Carbohydrates

Guided exercises

The guided exercises are held in groups of roughly 25 students. Here, the concepts from the lectures are applied to more concrete chemical questions. The main aim of the guided exercises is to train problem solving skills in the context of the theory outlined above. Indeed, the ability to "think chemically" determines success in applying the knowledge from this course to later courses and professional outcomes (and accordingly, it plays an important role in the exam). Moreover, performing exercises with chemical concepts gives the student the opportunity to verify whether he/she has correctly processed the subject matter from the lectures.


In the practicals, the phenomena that were described earlier in the lectures are observed on simple systems. Aside from the necessary illustration of the theory, the practicals have a goal in and of themselves: to familiarize the student with a number of basic methods for quantitative analysis as well as to learn to process data with a critical attitude with regard to precision and above all to handle laboratory equipment and organic and inorganic compounds in the context of safety, precision and yield.


  • Absorption spectrophotometry
  • Electrical conductivity of solutions
  • Study of phase equilibria:
    • eutectic systems
    • distillation/azeotropes
  • Use of computers in (medicinal) chemistry:
    • Drawing organic molecules
    • Quantum mechanical properties and conformational freedom
    • Calculating physicochemical descriptors; ligand-based drug design
    • Visualisation and comparative study of protein structures
Course material
Practical course material (Required) : Labojas L, VUB, 2220170002590
Practical course material (Required) : Labojas XL, VUB, 2220170002583
Practical course material (Required) : Veiligheidsbril Overzetmodel duikbril, VUB, 2220170005928
Practical course material (Required) : Veiligheidsbril Standaard Budapest, VUB, 2220170005911
Practical course material (Required) : Pipetpeer, VUB, 2220170005935
Practical course material (Required) : Labojas XS, VUB, 2220170002620
Practical course material (Required) : Labojas S, VUB, 2220170002613
Practical course material (Required) : Labojas M, VUB, 2220170002606
Additional info

The aforementioned volumes include all relevant tables and representative series of exercises from which the problems treated during the seminars are chosen. They also contain the numerical solutions to the problems and detailed solutions for selected problems, along with hints for solving select problems.

The recommended volumes can be viewed or loaned at the Medical Library. Molecular Model Building Sets (for the study of molecular geometry, polarity, stereochemistry,...) can be used locally at the Medical Library. The students are given access to software packages for 2D and 3D visualisation of organic molecules.

It is mandatory to bring an own lab coat, safety goggles and pipet bulb starting from the first practical.

Learning Outcomes

General Competences

  • The student has a deep intuitive understanding of core concepts in chemistry (further elaborated below).
  • The student approaches given facts and scientific results with a critical mind.
  • The student understands how the same laws and relationships that govern the behaviour of dead matter also lie at the foundation of structures and processes in living organisms.
  • The student understands what excited states are and how they arise and return to the ground state. She/he has notions of the specific properties of photochemical, free-radical and polymerisation reactions.
  • The student can perform calculations on the physical phenomena that occur when a potential difference is applied to an ionic solution.
  • The student is familiar with the physical properties of matter in different phases, the equilibria between these phases, and colligative properties.
  • The student understands the driving forces of nuclear reactions at a basic level, how these give rise to different types of radioactive decay, and which emitted particles and decay products are associated therewith.
  • The student can apply the integrated rate equation for consecutive 1st order reactions to multi-step reactions in chemistry, radioactive decay chains and basic pharmacokinetic questions. He or she recognises the conditions for secular equilibrium and understands the connection between the ratios of the rate constants and the equilibrium concentrations of the intermediary products.
  • The student has notions of polymer chemistry.
  • The student understands how a substituent that is present on a benzene ring determines the direction of a subsequent electrophilic aromatic substitution. She or he can use this understanding to propose a simple synthetic strategy for a polysubstituted aromatic hydrocarbon.
  • The student is familiar with amino acids, peptides and proteins. He/she understands the stereochemical implications of different processes involving carbohydrates and can draw these efficiently and unambiguously.
  • The student has acquired a number of experimental skills such as the usage of a spectrophotometer, conductometer and distillation apparatus.
  • The student can write down experimental conditions for problems that are analogous to those encountered during the practicals.
  • The student has a correct lab attitude in terms of execution, group- and individual work and safety hazards.
  • The student is able to process and present experimental data.
  • The student can efficiently input organic structures into a computer and calculate a number of properties thereof (IUPAC name, approximate physicochemical properties)
  • The student can use a computer to explore the conformational freedom of organic molecules
  • The student can use a computer to visualize protein structures that contain ligands


The final grade is composed based on the following categories:
Written Exam determines 75% of the final mark.
PRAC Lab Work determines 25% of the final mark.

Within the Written Exam category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • Examen Schriftelijk with a relative weight of 75 which comprises 75% of the final mark.

Within the PRAC Lab Work category, the following assignments need to be completed:

  • WPO LABO with a relative weight of 25 which comprises 25% of the final mark.

    Note: Bevat computerlabo's

Additional info regarding evaluation
  • Partial grades in first session:
    • Day-to-day performance in the practicals is scored during the academic year based on a number of short tests as well as preparation, lab-attitude, teamwork, execution and reporting. Non-legitimate absence lowers this score proportionally to the number of missed practicals. A student who effectively participated in only half or less of the practicals (regardless of whether the absence was legitimate or not) is not allowed to take the exam and consequently does not pass.
    • In the exam period, a written exam takes place about the theory and exercises. This written exam consists largely of open questions (knowledge, insight and exercises). A limited number of multiple choice questions may be included, following the same principles.
  • The final grade is the weighted average of the written exam of the theory and exercises (75%) and the day-to-day performance in the practicals (25%). Warning! If a partial grade was lower than 8.00/20, the final grade cannot be higher than 8.00/20!
  • Second session: the partial grade for the theory and exercises is transferred to the 2nd session if it was ≥ 9.50/20; the partial grade for day-to-day performance is always transferred to the 2nd session.
  • Next academic year: the partial grade for the theory and exercises is transferred to the next academic year if it was ≥ 9.50/20; the partial grade for day-to-day performance is transferred to the next academic year if it was ≥ 12.00/20. In the latter case, the student is exempt from participation in the practicals.
Allowed unsatisfactory mark
The supplementary Teaching and Examination Regulations of your faculty stipulate whether an allowed unsatisfactory mark for this programme unit is permitted.

Academic context

This offer is part of the following study plans:
Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences: default (only offered in Dutch)
Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences: Initial track (only offered in Dutch)