Pharmacology (Science Option) - LABS5050

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Year 5 15 (7.5) Blanka Hilton checkmark-circle


A synopsis of the curriculum

The aim of this module is to teach pharmacological skills necessary for the drug discovery process. This covers the following elements:
a) in vitro pharmacology, including quantitative drug-receptor interactions, receptor kinetics, studies of G protein-coupled receptors, and how in vitro data can be applied to the in vivo and clinical environment
b) enzymology, including the design of assays to distinguish different types of enzyme inhibitor, enzyme kinetics and the influence of inhibitor selectivity
c) ion channels, including how molecules might inhibit or activate ion channels and techniques for studying ion channel activity
d) basic-science laboratory skills and plate based assay techniques


Contact hours

Blended distance learning:

Contact Hours: 120
Private Study Hours: 30
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Portfolio, two coursework assignments and exam
2 Essay Assignments 20% (10% each)
Portfolio 30% - composed of 5 individual assignments where topics are applied to the workplace
2 hr Exam 50% - MCQs (20%) and standard-length questions (30%)
The pass mark for each individual assessment is 40%. All assessments must be passed in order to

Indicative reading

Rang HP, Dale MM, Ritter JM, Flower RJ (2007) Pharmacology 6th Edition; Churchill Livingston Press.

Becchetti, A. (2010) Integrins and Ion Channels Molecular Complexes and Signaling. Springer New York.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate the knowledge and critical understanding of the pharmacology that underlies the drug discovery process.
Show the capability to use a range of established techniques used in the drug discovery process.
Critically analyse data obtained from a variety of established technical approaches used in the drug discovery process.
Demonstrate the knowledge and understanding of basic- (as opposed to clinical-) science laboratory skills and in vitro pharmacology.
Apply molecular biology approaches used in modern drug discovery and have critical insight into the importance of proteins such as enzymes and ion channels as drug targets.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Analyse proposed experimental strategies.
Demonstrate problem solving skills relating to experimental data.
Plan and formulate concise communications to convey principles of scientific theories and ideas.
Interpret and analyse scientific data by using numeric and statistical skills.
Use a range of study skills to support self-directed learning.


  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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