Core Module Information
Module title: Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: BMS11110
Module leader: Peter Barlow
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Biomedical Science

There are no pre-requisites for this module to be added

Description of module content:

The module will provide you with an introduction to the major aspects of the scientific study of drugs in man, not just with respect to the design of optimum drug therapy, but also looking at the differences between pharmacology and toxicology. You will learn about how drugs work, their limitations, and the variability of response. You will study how cells transduce messages from the plasma membrane into the cell and nucleus. You will learn about how the body’s endogenous signalling system works and how this informs drug development. This includes the basic principles of receptor theory, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and their relevance to establishing the theoretical and practical basis for the rational clinical application of drugs. You will also examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms of toxicology.

This includes the basic principles of toxicokinetics (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion), and the factors affecting each. You will examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms of xenobiotic toxicity, together with toxicity testing in the pharmaceutical industry. You will gain an insight into how intracellular signalling mechanisms can be manipulated, resulting in new research methodology. You will also engage with the literature surrounding molecular pharmacology and toxicology in order to understand recent developments in research in this area.

You will cover the concept of ion channels and G protein-coupled receptors, intracellular kinase cascades, calcium signalling and linked control of transcription factors. Manipulation of signalling cascades in therapeutics and research. Basic principles of receptor theory, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and rational drug design. Introduction to toxicology. Toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics. Detailed descriptions of specific toxicant and pharmacological examples. In vitro and in vivo models of toxicity. Mechanisms of xenobiotic toxicity and toxicity testing.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: Critically explore signal transduction in excitable cells
LO2: Evaluate the pharmacological principles that are applied to drug behaviour
LO3: Evaluate the importance and role of dose-response relationships in pharmacology and toxicology
LO4: Conceptualise the basis of toxicology using named examples of drugs
LO5: Critically explore the mechanisms underpinning the use of drugs to manipulate signal transduction in research and therapeutics
LO6: Critically engage with the literature surrounding modern molecular pharmacology and toxicology.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2021/2, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Peter Barlow
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
A combination of interactive and online lectures, seminars and tutorials will be used to provide background information and to develop scientific and problem solving skills. Recorded lectures cover LOs 1-3, with lectures covering LO4 and explain core concepts of the module. Tutorials and seminars supplement the lectures by exploring the literature surrounding the subject (LOs 1-6). To ensure that every learner is as active as possible, each teaching session includes a series of tasks or activities that require the students to develop and assimilate the information provided and develop their skills of critical analysis, data analysis, hypothesis generation and study design and suggestions for further study. The module is supported by a VLE (Moodle) which is used to provide class materials (including lectures, tutorials, workshops and laboratory classes), resource such as animations, videos, direct links to relevant web-based resource, e:submission of all coursework, self-assessment test, interactive teaching resource, and independent study materials to cover expected prior-learning. Reflecting the discipline, students use a wide range of technology to accomplish laboratory work and in silico analysis.

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment occurs on a weekly basis by provision of tasks to complete during the lecture and feedback during the seminar/ lecture. Feedback is provided to individual students during the task as well as to the group as a whole on completion of the task. These skills are subsequently assessed along with scientific understanding in the assessments.
Students will also be asked to share their progress on a journal log throughout the duration of the module.
The assessment strategy is outlined in weeks 1/2 both in a written and verbal format in order to allow students the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Personalised feedback is given on the written components of assessment.

Summative Assessment:
Summative assessment occurs in weeks 7 (component 1; LOs 4 & 6) and 11/12 (presentation option) or 14 (exam option; component 2; LOs 1, 2, 3, 5,& 6) with the completion of a journal article comprehension exercise in week 7 and a choice of a group presentation in weeks 11/12 or a formal seen examination in week 14/15. All assessments take the form of interpretation and critical analysis of published data and literature in the areas of pharmacology and toxicology. Students must submit their choice of component 2 assessment (presentation or exam) by week 4. The presentation option comprises a 20 minute group talk on an allocated journal article, answering a set of standard questions. PowerPoint slides indicating individual involvement are to be submitted via Turnitin by week 10, with talks given in weeks 11 or 12. For the seen exam the students are provided with a copy of the research publication in week 12, and the examination questions in week 13. Answers for all summative assessments must illustrate understanding of the subject matter, but also ability to think and research outside of the lecture content by providing evidence of independent research and reading, as well as critical analysis. Personalised feedback will be given on all components of assessment.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Online Lecture 8
Face To Face Lecture 9
Face To Face Tutorial 9
Face To Face Seminar 8
Independent Learning Guided independent study 163.5
Face To Face Centrally Time Tabled Examination 2.5
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 40 4,6 7 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Centrally Time Tabled Examination 60 1,2,3, 5 & 6 14/15 HOURS= 2.5, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 40
Component 2 subtotal: 60
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader