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Programme Specification: Part IB Pharmacology

This course is taught by the Department of Pharmacology


  1. to offer a course of lectures in the qualitative aspects of Pharmacology;
  2. to offer practical exercises in the quantitative aspects of Pharmacology;
  3. to assess student progress and attainment by formal examinations and mini-project poster presentation.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students should

  1. explain the principles of ligand-receptor interaction, local and intracellular messengers and integration of signalling pathways;
  2. identify the major classes of drug receptors and sites of drug action within the body;
  3. identify typical examples of drugs which are used to restore physiological functions in the cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, digestive, peripheral nervous and central nervous systems;
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the use of drugs to control inflammation and immune responses or to kill bacteria, viruses or malignant cells;
  5. apply the basic principles that govern the absorption, distribution and elimination of drugs to predict the time course of drug concentrations in the body and consider the implications of these principles for the therapeutic use of drugs;
  6. recognize the fundamental methods used in pharmacological research and be able to use basic pieces of research equipment.

Teaching and Learning Methods

These include lectures, practical classes, and seminars.


Assessment for this course is through:

  • two unseen written examinations (for aim 1 and learning outcomes 1-5);
  • one unseen practical examination (for aim 2 and learning outcomes 1, 5 and 6);
  • presentation of a poster with data gathered in a mini-project (for aim 3 and learning outcomes 1-6).

Courses of Preparation

Essential: A Level Biology and/or Chemistry.

Recommended: Part IA of the NST, including any of Biology of Cells, Chemistry or Physiology of Organisms.

Additional Information

Further information on each subject is available in the Subject summary and on the Course Websites pages.