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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

BMSC1216 Introduction to Pharmacology

10 creditsClass Size: 350

Module manager: Dr Alex Holmes
Email: .

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

A-level (or equivalent) in biology and/or chemistry

This module is mutually exclusive with

BMSC1216TIntroduction to Pharmacology (Teaching)

Module replaces


This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will introduce students to the foundational concepts underpinning pharmacology: pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical pharmacology, and drug discovery and development. The concepts will be explained using examples drawn from different pharmacotherapeutic approaches, disease states and pathophysiology's.


Learners should have a basic understanding of the core concepts of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical pharmacology, and drug discovery and development.

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the science of drug action. To explain these concepts, examples will be drawn from drugs used to treat common diseases and conditions, with a deeper understanding developed through exploring individual concepts and sub-concepts in greater depth.

These objectives will be achieved through a combination of pre-recorded screencasts (which will deliver core content) and interactive workshops (which will apply core concepts to research and clinical scenarios in order to strengthen student understanding).

Learning outcomes
By the end of this module, students should be able to:

1. Describe the core concepts of pharmacokinetics & pharmacodynamics

2. Explain the key principles of clinical pharmacology

3. Relate how drugs are discovered and developed within the modern pharmaceutical industry.

4. Recall examples of drugs and how they can be used to treat and modify the pathophysiology of various common diseases and conditions.

5. Demonstrate understanding of how concepts covered in this module link to concepts covered elsewhere in the programme.


To explain and promote the four foundational concepts of pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, clinical pharmacology, and drug discovery and development which underpin pharmacology, the following examples will be covered:

- Pharmacokinetics (including quantitative pharmacokinetics): routes of administration; absorption; distribution; metabolism; excretion; elimination; and bioavailability

- Pharmacodynamics: drug targets, mechanism of action, affinity, concentration-response, drug efficacy, potency, selectivity, and tolerance.

- Pathophysiology and drug treatment of common acute and chronic diseases

- Principles of drug discovery and development

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours10.00
Private study hours65.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Fortnightly workshops (conducted by the academics teaching into this module) will include formative MCQs related to the materials taught for the two weeks relating to each workshop. This will provide students opportunity to examine their level of knowledge of core content and revise specific learning materials where necessary. During these workshops, case studies will be presented and discussed which will also allow students to apply their knowledge and identify areas that require additional learning. In addition, two formative MCQs will be conducted outside of the workshops which will examine students on a wider range of learning materials to assist in their preparation for the summative assessment.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 00 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 12/05/2023 15:37:57


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