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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

BMSC5230M Animal Models in Drug Development

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr David Lewis

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module will cover the “essentials” of the use of animals in preclinical drug development including national and international legislation, ethical issues and review processes, animal welfare and husbandry, and the critical role of animal welfare on the reproducibility, reliability and translatability of data from pre-clinical studies. You will also gain hands-on experience of working with research animals, pre-clinical safety pharmacological, and other core regulatory approaches and techniques in research animals.


The objective of this module is to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of preclinical drug discovery, develop their ethical awareness and provide experiential learning in core research animal sciences skills.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, learners should demonstrate the following, as evidenced through an ethics application, industry report, practical classes and data analysis exercises:
1. Recall the ethical issues, including the principles of humane experimental technique, surrounding the use of research animals in pre-clinical drug discovery and development
2. Relate animal welfare factors that influence the reproducibility, reliability, and translatability of pre-clinical drug discovery and development studies
3. Design a scientifically robust, and legally and ethically permissible, programme of research which requires the use of research animals
4. Demonstrate competency in core experimental approaches and techniques used in pre-clinical drug discovery and development

Skills outcomes
Experimental & project design; Creativity; Ethical awareness & responsibility; Experimental and technical skills; Service orientation.


Content will include national and international legislation, the ethical issues including the principles of humane experimental technique, national and international ethical review, good practice in animal welfare and husbandry, and experimental design. Learners will then apply this knowledge in the team-based preparation and defence of a project submission to a mock animal welfare and ethical review body.

Learners will also gain experience of core research animal sciences techniques and industry-relevant preclinical drug discovery experimental approaches. This knowledge will be assessed via an industry relevant report evaluating both the science and animal welfare aspects/data

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning13.003.00
Group learning115.0015.00
Independent online learning hours20.00
Private study hours98.50
Total Contact hours31.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Student will be provided with essential content and information in workshops and screencasts. They will supplement this knowledge, as required from publically available research animal sciences educational resources, and apply it, as a team, in the development of an application to an animal ethics committee for a preclinical research study involving the use of research animals.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

There will be an online discussion forum for peer and formative feedback on their draft ethics applications.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectEthics application & presentation60.00
PracticalCore research animal skills10.00
Practical2 page Industry relevant report15.00
PracticalData analysis exercise15.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Principal assessment will be a team-based submission and oral defence of an project application to a (mock) animal welfare & ethical review body, providing both an authentic, real-world assessment of learning and assessment for learning. Assessment in the form of group work will be an individual resit.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:47:37


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