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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

BMSC1216T Introduction to Pharmacology (Teaching)

Module manager: Dr Alex Holmes

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

BMSC1216Introduction to Pharmacology

Module replaces

BMSC1212 Introduction to Pharmacology

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will assessed as part of a programme-level synoptic assessment. To view the relevant assessment unit(s) visit
BMSC1322A Evidence Based Reports (Assessment - BMS)
BMSC1320A Application of Knowledge (Assessment - BMS).

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.

Skills outcomes
Learners will be provided with resources to synthesise an understanding of the subject material and will be able to discuss concepts relating to these materials in an active learning environment.

Learners will develop skills relating to teamwork, creative problem solving, integration of knowledge and communication throughout the module through engagement with team-discussions of case studies and evidence-driven reports.


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.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 21/06/2023


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