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Unit information: Principles of Pharmacology 2B - Pharmacology of Body Systems in 2018/19

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Unit name Principles of Pharmacology 2B - Pharmacology of Body Systems
Unit code PHPH20012
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Mundell
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit addresses how drugs are handled by the body at the molecular, cellular and systems level. Major topics include: administration of drugs and their fate in the body; cellular signal transduction mechanisms; systematic pharmacology.


At the end of this unit students should be able to explain the basic principles of pharmacokinetics (how the body handles drugs), describe a wide range of signaling processes and how they operate, understand the processes involved in inflammation and allergy and the drug treatment for inflammatory diseases, describe the rationale for pharmacological treatment of gastrointestinal disorders, nausea and vomiting, understand the mechanisms of action, clinical uses and adverse effects of drugs affecting the renal and cardiovascular systems.

Intended learning outcomes

1.Function and pharmacology of known receptor subtypes;

2.Composition and pharmacology of cell signalling pathways;

3.Drug use in exemplar disease states;

4.Modern electrophysiological, biochemical and molecular biological techniques;

5.Drug Toxicology;

6.How drugs are handled by the body (pharmacokinetics);

7.Synthesise information from a variety of sources (textbooks, lectures and tutorials, practical classes, original and review scientific papers, databases);

8.Learn experimental practice and design;

9.Interpret and manipulate experimental data, and draw logical conclusions from the results;

10.Plan and design projects.

11.Communicate clearly both orally and in writing;

12.Work effectively as part of a team, demonstrating organisation, leadership, decision-making and time management;

13.Retrieve and manage information, making appropriate use of library and web-based facilities;

14.Utilise appropriate computer / keyboard skills;

Teaching details

Lectures (31)

Practicals (10x3hrs)

Small group tutorials (4)

e-learning (eBiolabs pre- and post-practical assignments; CALs)

Assessment Details

The final mark for each Pharmacology Level 2 unit is made up as follows:

  • Written papers 75%
  • Practicals 15%
  • Tutorial work 10%

Please note also that the final marks from your level 2 Pharmacology Units together with the final marks from your other level 2 units will contribute 25% of the total marks for your Final Pharmacology Honours degree mark at the end of Year 3.

Reading and References

The recommended textbook for this course is :

Pharmacology, (Seventh Edition) including Student Consult Online Access H.P. Rang, M.M. Dale, J. Ritter & P.K. Moore Churchill Livingstone.

Other books you may wish to consult are :

Instant Pharmacology, K Saeb-Parsy, RG Assomull, FZ Khan, K Saeb-Parsy & E Kelly. A textbook partly written by Eamonn Kelly, containing concise descriptions of the different drug classes as well as an extensive dictionary of drugs which you may find useful.

The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics (Ninth Edition). L.S. Goodman & A. Gilman. Pergamon. You can consult this book in the library.

Basic & Clinical Pharmacology (Seventh Edition) B.G. Katzung. Appleton & Lange. (has a lot of clinically-orientated material).

Integrated Pharmacology, CP Page, MJ Curtis, MC Sutter, MJA Walker & BB Hoffman. (has a lot of clinically-orientated material).

Medical Pharmacology at a Glance (Third edition) M. Neal, Blackwell Scientific Press (a revision aide, not a complete textbook).

Multiple copies of most of the above are present in the Medical library. You may come across other textbooks in the library or bookshops - ask one of the staff for their opinion about these, since not all books are good books.