Module summary

Module code: PHAR1020
Level: 5
Credits: 15
School: Engineering and Science
Department: Science
Module Coordinator(s): Michael Leach



To provide a fundamental pharmacological knowledge of the principles of drug action including the concept of drug action at cell, tissue and system levels.

To introduce malfunctions in normal physiology that contribute to pathophysiological conditions and relate mechanisms of drug action to therapeutic intervention of these diseases

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:

1 Demonstrate a fundamental pharmacological knowledge of the principles of drug action and principles of drug-receptor interactions at a the receptors, ion channel, enzyme and carrier molecule level
2 Be able to relate normal physiological processes to abnormal change and discuss therapeutic use of drugs in various diseases / disorders;
3 Use appropriate IT skills (e.g. on-line search facilities (e.g. Pathweb, Medline, Science Direct) and apply the knowledge derived from scientific journals and other sources in a critical manner
4 Development of problem solving and analytical skills (using case study and problem-solving exercises); Analyse, synthesise and summarise information and to present a critical review thereof
5 Develop the critical analysis of obtaining and analysing scientific data and report writing with appropriate referencing / cite work appropriately and synthesise appropriate literature
6 Design, plan and conduct practical pharmacological investigations; teaching team work, time management and undertake investigations in a responsible, safe and ethical manner

Indicative content

Principles of drug action; drug targets and non-receptor mechanisms; dose / response relationships, receptor theory, agonists/antagonists. Measurement in pharmacology; principles of bioassay; Schild analysis, receptor binding and Scatchard analysis. Selected topics in pharmacology, (selected from for example: drugs from natural products, drugs and the cardiovascular system; drugs and the immune system; drugs and the central nervous system; drugs and the endocrine system; chemotherapy).Aspects of drug abuse / toxicity.

Teaching and learning activity

Underlying principles will be explained in lectures and tutorials will establish an understanding of these principles and their application. Some topics and practical sessions will be supported by interactive computer learning exercises (PCCAL). Independent reading by students will be strongly encouraged. Case study and problem-solving exercises will be used in tutorial / workshop sessions to build students analytical and problem-solving skills, and student-centred learning activities will contribute to this.


Pharmacology coursework - 25%
Grading Mode Numerical
Verbal and written feedback.
1500 words.
LOs - 1,2,4.5
Timed essay 2 hours.

Pharmacology practical report - 25%
LOs- 1,3,4,5,6,7
Grading Mode Numerical
Pharmacology data assignment ( PCCAL supported).
A virtual pharmacology lab experiment write-up.

Exam - 50%
LOs - 1,2,4
Grading Mode Numerical
3 hour examination held in the formal May examination period. Students to answer 3 essay questions.

Pass mark - 40% overall