BI2BE4-Pharmacology and Toxicology

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: BI1BEC1 Building Blocks of Life
Non-modular pre-requisites: Recommended for students with an interest in Clinical or Food Microbiology
Modules excluded: PM2C2 Therapeutics and medicines optimisation C2: Therapeutics and Patient care
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr David Leake


Summary module description:
The module aims to give an understanding of how drugs act by binding to receptors for endogenous signalling molecules and how drugs reach these receptors. The ways in which new drugs are developed are discussed and the mechanisms by which exogenous substances can damage the body are explained.

•To provide students with an understanding that drugs act by binding to receptors for endogenous signalling molecules
•To provide an understanding of how drugs are absorbed, metabolised and excreted
•To improve an appreciation of how new drugs are developed
•To provide an understanding of the mechanisms by which exogenous substances, including drugs, can damage the body

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes
At the end of the module the student should be able to:
1. describe how drugs work by binding to receptors in the body;
2. describe the concepts of agonism and antagonism at receptors;
3. describe how drugs are absorbed, metabolised and excreted;
4. describe how drugs are developed;
5. define toxicology and describe its basic concepts.

Additional outcomes:
Students should improve their team working skills by working in small groups in a practical class.

Outline content:
The lectures cover:
• the definition and scope of pharmacology
• the ways in which drugs act by binding to receptors
• pharmacokinetics (i.e. the absorption, metabolism and excretion of drugs)
• drug-drug interactions
• the definition of toxicology and the mechanisms by which exogenous chemicals can damage organisms.

There is a practical on arterial vasodilatation caused by nitric oxide.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will usually be two lectures for ten weeks and one practical.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 23
Practicals classes and workshops 2
Guided independent study 75
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Report 30

Other information on summative assessment:
Individual practical report on the nitric oxide/arterial vasodilatation practical (30%).

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One-and-a-half hour examination

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By examination, in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: In compliance with the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) 1992 Act, while studying this module students will be expected to wear the following item/s: Lab coat / Safety glasses / Safety gloves
    The Department/School can provide students with this/these at an approximate cost of £12 (for lab coats). Safety glasses and gloves are provided in the classes, though students may wish to purchase their own glasses at £3.
    Students who choose not to purchase from the University must ensure that that their PPE meets the latest British/European Safety Standards.

    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

    Things to do now