PM2BM-Therapeutics and Medicines Optimisation B: A Journey Through the GI Tract (UoRM Campus)

Module Provider: Pharmacy
Number of credits: 35 [17.5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites: PM1AM Fundamentals of Physiology (UoRM Campus) and PM1BM Medicines Discovery, Design, Development and Delivery (UoRM Campus) and PM1CM Introduction to Professionalism and Practice (UoRM Campus)
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: PM2A2M Therapeutics and Medicines Optimisation A: Molecules and Medicines (UoRM Campus) and PM2DM Delivering Pharmacy Services (UoRM Campus) and PM2C2M Therapeutics and Medicines Optimisation C2: Therapeutics and Patient Care (UoRM Campus)
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Kenneth Shankland


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module teaches many broad aspects of Pharmacy, introducing administration routes of medicines, use of excipients and pharmacokinetic concepts. The module focuses particularly on the gastrointestinal tract, from the oromucosa, to the rectum. Students learn about: the normal structure and function of the GI tract; pathology of diseases that affect it and how they are managed therapeutically; how medicines are delivered to, and through, the GI tract; and pharmaceutical care and patient management issues. The formulations employed for administration to the GI tract (e.g. tablets, capsules, oral solutions/suspension etc.) are thoroughly analysed within this module. Drug delivery concepts include local administration to the mouth, stomach and colon, alongside sublingual, enteral and rectal systemic delivery, covering biopharmaceutics concepts related to the GI tract. Physicochemical concepts, and opportunities for the design and synthesis of known and novel drugs, are illustrated throughout. Patient management issues include responding to symptoms, social and behavioural pharmacy (e.g. patient concordance) and health promotion (e.g. obesity management and nutritional advice).


This module aims to provide students with an understanding of pharmaceutical concepts with reference to the GI tract. The module aims to teach core science and practice concepts as listed in the summary above using an integrated learning approach.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Students will be able to:

• Discuss the core science underpinning GI tract therapeutics 

• Discuss aspects of pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutics in relation to drug delivery 

• Describe the physiology and medical conditions of the GI tract and the delivery of medicines to the GI tract 

• Discuss the different administration routes of the GI tract for systemic circulation of medicines, including responding to symptoms 

• Describe the role of excipients in medicines and know how to ensure quality of ingredients in medicines and products 

• Demonstrate how the science of pharmacy is applied in the design and development of medicines and devices towards the packaging and storage of, and safe and rational use of medicines 

• Recognise the role of nutrition in health management towards promoting healthy lifestyles 

• Prepare patient information leaflets for the instruction of safe and effective use of medicines 

• Within the Medicine Design project: communicate effectively within a team and in the presentation of their finding to a wider audience; Fully integrate knowledge by means of case studies (from chemistry to pharmacy practice knowledge) to perform the task

Additional outcomes:

In addition to the assessed outcomes, this module develops students’ skills towards additional learning outcomes that are summatively assessed in other Part 2 modules or later in the programme. These are skills relating to health and safety, quality management of medicines and maintaining records (PM2A; integrated Part 2 practical series)

Outline content:

Introduction to module (1 lecture): Put module in context with Part 2 teaching, and explain the key concepts covered in the module as part of investigating therapeutics of GI tract and drug delivery to and via the GI tract. Introduction to pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutics (5 lectures): Pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutics are introduced in context to drug delivery via the GI tract and via delivery routes covered in other Part 2 modules (pulmonary, parenteral). Pharmaceutical materials (6 lectures): definition of ‘dosage form’ and use of excipients and polymers in medicine formulation. Lectures introduced polymer chemistry also provided. GI tract (taught as mixture of lectures and workshops): Series of lectures covering anatomy, physiology of GI tract, drug delivery via GI tract for local and systemic systemic effects, and therapeutics of the GI tract. To include: • Food absorption and nutrition (8 hours): anatomy and physiology of GIT. Introduction to nutrition and health that link to other health problems (e.g. diabetes in PM3B and cardiovascular disease in PM2C2) • Oral delivery (22 hours): anatomy, physiology of GI tract that impact on drug absorption; factors influence medicine design (pKa, log P, ionization state etc.), dosage forms related to the GI tract, including the various formulation and manufacturing aspects (manufacturing of tablets, including milling, granulation etc; capsules; oral solutions and suspensions etc.) and introduction to modified release; local and systemic action. • Oromucosal (2 hours): includes oral health, drug administration (lozenges, buccal, gingival, sublingual), tablets and spray formulations. • Rectal (2 hours): anatomy, physiology of rectum; local conditions; suppositories, enemas; local conditions and systemic delivery. • Conditions of the GIT (20 hours): Impact of disease on GI tract; drug delivery and patient care to treat disease of GIT (e.g. crohn’s disease) and other organs. Elements of chemistry/drug design (e.g. antacid). Patient centred skills towards responding to symptoms of the GIT and supporting use of medicines delivered via GI tract (oral, oromucosal and rectal). Administration routes and patient compliance (4 hours): Students are asked to consider how choice of administration route and dosage form is guided by characteristics of different patient populations (e.g. consideration of patients with swallowing difficulties). Practical classes and workshops (18 hours): Practical classes form part of the Part 2 integrated practical series that link across all four Part 2 modules. Students work in groups on a case study towards the development and quality assurance of a medicine that include developing practical skills in formulation and product analysis using British pharmacopeia methods. Certain aspects of the practical classes are formative in reinforcement of the material covered in the lectures. Medicine design project (20 hours): A fully integrated group project where each group is provided with characteristics of an active pharmaceutical ingredient that impact on the chemical, formulation, and pharmacological properties of the medicine, as well as potentially impacting on patient behaviour towards taking the medicine. The group must develop the most appropriate dosage form, its packaging and the patient advice leaflet.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Teaching and learning methods are through lectures, workshops, practical classes, problem based learning and directed private study. There are two additional workshop style sessions linked to supporting students with their personal and academic development (PAD) portfolio and independent study time allocated to this activity. Three two-hour tutorial/feedback sessions are also timetabled to support students in their preparation for assessments.  

Attendance to all teaching sessions is required and poor attendance will be recorded in the student’s personal file. Students failing to complete and engage with interprofessional education sessions will not be permitted to complete the programme.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 35 35
Seminars 2 2
Tutorials 2 2 2
Practicals classes and workshops 8 8
Supervised time in studio/workshop 10 10
Guided independent study 100 100 34
Total hours by term 157.00 157.00 36.00
Total hours for module 350.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 70
Project output other than dissertation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Three-hour written examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Elements of formative assessment and associated feedback are present in the module, with students being provided with tutorials and online assessments to help them prepare for the final examination.

Formative assessment methods:

Elements of formative assessment and associated feedback are present in the module, with students being provided with tutorials and online assessments to help them prepare for the final examination.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Students must obtain an overall module mark of 40% and obtain at least 40% in the written examination.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-examination by written examination in August.

    Failed coursework may be reassessed by an alternative piece of work, before or during the August examination period.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    1) Required text books 2) Standard laboratory protective clothing 3) Printing and binding 4) Computers of appropriate specification for preparation of reports and poster

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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