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Unit information: Pharmacology of the Nervous System in 2020/21

Unit name Pharmacology of the Nervous System
Unit code PHPH30004
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Dodson
Open unit status Not open

PHPH20011 Principles of Pharmacology 2A



School/department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences


Lectures discuss current and future treatments for a number of important diseases of the nervous systems including neurodegenerative conditions, psychiatric disorders and the neural control of breathing. Students study advanced topics covering the pharmacology of key neurotransmitter and neuromodulatory systems as well as the fundamental mechanisms of drugs used clinically to alleviate these conditions. The unit also considers the limitations associated with current treatments and how the latest research is being used to develop new medicines.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • An in-depth knowledge and understanding of the advanced topics covered in the unit and an ability to keep abreast with recent developments in the relevant field.
  • The ability to gather information from the primary scientific literature and to critically evaluate the material and appraise competing theories.
  • The ability to integrate information from multiple sources and disseminate it in written accounts
  • An understanding of the importance of specific ion channels and/or metabotropic receptor pharmacology in disease aetiology and as current or novel drug targets.

Teaching details


Assessment Details

Timed assessment 90%

The unit will be assessed through a timed assessment in May/June, which contributes 90% of the unit mark.

Coursework 10%

Essay or Data Analysis or Figure Interpretation question.

Reading and References

Reviews and primary articles from the current scientific literature.