BSc minor Chemical Sciences (WUCHM)

Biomolecules and their properties are key factors in understanding processes inside cells. Or even in understanding life itself. Fundamental research in the life sciences is based on this knowledge.

Continue to an overview of the courses in this minor in 2017-2018

The programme of this minor will be changed for the studyyear 2018-2019. The programme of the minor in 2018-2019 will be:

Course code Name Offered Period CS/RO Credits
ORC-20306 Bio-organic Chemistry 2MO CS 6
PCC-22306 Driving Forces in Chemistry, Physics and Biology 2AF CS 6
FPE-20806 Mathematical Concepts for Food Technology 1MO RO1 6
ORC-50803 Chemical Biology: Exploring Biology with Small Molecules 1MO RO1 3
TOX-20303 General Toxicology 1MO RO1 3
BNT-50806 BioNanoTechnology; Introduction 1AF RO1 6
ORC-11806 Analytical Methods in Organic Chemistry 1AF RO1 6
HNE-23306 Pharmacology and Nutrition 3WD RO1 6

In fact processes inside cells can only be understood after understanding what is happening between molecules. Why do water and alcohol mix, while water and oil do not mix? Models and theories derived to understand properties of these simple molecules can also be applied to more complex molecules like DNA and proteins. Or parts of proteins. From fundamental laws in chemical thermodynamics it becomes clear why reactions can take place or not. It all depends on the chemical potential of molecules under consideration which can be calculated from interactions in (bond energies) and between molecules The models that are used are not always simple. Therefore you need a thorough mathematical background.

To study molecules, all kinds of analytical methods are needed. Attention is given to the analysis of e.g. preservatives drugs, sugars and pollutants using a variety of chromatographic techniques and capillary electrophoresis. Structural analysis of organic compounds is carried out by using spectroscopy. Special emphasis is placed on the reactions in both nature and the laboratory of life's four major classes of biomolecules; nucleic acids, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids. Reaction mechanisms and stereochemistry are the central topics. In other words: what is the relation between the 3D configuration of molecules and their reactivity? With this knowledge one can design new molecules and ways to synthesise these molecules. It is e.g the basis to develop new medicines.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this minor students are expected to be able to:

  • clarify, explain, interpret and apply concepts from organic chemistry and chemical thermodynamics;
  • apply concepts from chemistry and physics, handle and derive formulas, do calculations, analyse and solve theoretical problems in the fields organic chemistry, thermodynamics and spectroscopy;
  • explain the relationships between structure and reactivity of biomolecules;
  • apply scientific experimental methods in the various fields of chemical sciences;
  • process, present and discuss collected data, both orally and in writing.

Target group

This minor is interesting for:
WU-students of the BSc programmes who seek a challenge

  • BBT Biotechnology
  • BBI Biology
  • BPW Plant Sciences
  • BLT Food Technology
  • Also for students who are interested to prepare for the MSc Molecular Life Sciences

Language of Instruction



First semester (period 1, 2 and 3)

Thematic or programme

Thematic minor