Drugs and Disease - BIOS5140

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 5 15 (7.5) Jose Ortega Roldan checkmark-circle


Introduction and basic principles of drug action: key drug targets including major receptor subtypes, ion channels, transporters, and structure-function relationships
Systems pharmacology: the biological basis of diseases states affecting different physiological systems, therapeutic approaches to treating these diseases, and the cellular/molecular mode of action of drugs used. Indicative diseases may include hypertension, asthma, Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, infertility, depression and anxiety.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 29
Private study hours: 121
Total study hours: 150


It is required that you have taken all the core modules within stage 1 of one of our Bioscience programmes in order to take this module. It is also recommended that you have taken BI307 Human Physiology and Disease.

Method of assessment

Data analysis (one problem question and five short answer questions) – 20%
In-class clinical case study (3 hours) – 20%
Examination (2 hours) – 60%

Indicative reading

Neal MJ, Medical Pharmacology at a Glance, 8th Edition, Blackwell Pub., 2015
Rang and Dale's Pharmacology, 8th Edition, Churchill Livingstone, 2015

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate a critical understanding of receptors, ion channels, enzymes and carrier molecules as drug targets.
Describe drug-receptor interactions at the molecular level.
Demonstrate a critical understanding of systems pharmacology – e.g. cardiovascular and central nervous systems – and the action of therapeutic agents in diseased states.
Demonstrate theoretical and applied knowledge of pharmacological techniques.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Extract and interpret information at an intermediate level.
Analyse and evaluate data at an intermediate level.
Have acquired skills in written communication and receiving critique.
Have acquired skills in working as a team to solve problems.


  1. Credit level 5. Intermediate level module usually taken in Stage 2 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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