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Unit information: Techniques in Pharmacology in 2021/22

Unit name Techniques in Pharmacology
Unit code PHPH20015
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Marrion
Open unit status Not open

PHPH10003, PHPH10004, PHPH20011



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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit addresses fundamental techniques used in pharmacology research and appreciation of the application of these methods. Major topics include:

  • Experimental methods and techniques applied to pharmacology
  • Drug discovery and development, including toxicology
  • Research framework and integrity
  • Development of scientific communication and IT skills At the end of this unit, students should have knowledge and/or practical experience of experimental methods and techniques applied to pharmacology. Students should have an understanding of research framework and the importance of research integrity. This unit will develop scientific communication, critical analysis, and IT skills. The overall purpose of this unit is to further develop transferable and scientific skills in preparation for the final year of the programme.

Intended Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate understanding of the principles of practical pharmacology Describe modern electrophysiological, biochemical and molecular biological techniques

2. Describe modern electrophysiological, biochemical and molecular biological techniques

3. Synthesise, understand, manage and summarise information from a number of sources

4. Understand and interpret experimental procedures

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

6. Read and understand scientific literature

7. Communicate clearly both orally and in writing

8. Work effectively as part of a team, demonstrating organisation

9. Use IT facilities for data handling and presentation of written work

10. Plan projects and problem solve

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including lectures, practical activities, workshops and a small group tutorial.

The focus of the unit will be on practical and transferrable skills and these will be delivered in practical sessions (6x3hrs) and workshops (5x2hrs) alongside lectures (1-2hrs per week).

Assessment Information

Coursework 30%

1. Practical report (15%)
2. Comprehension of Scientific literature assessment (10%)
3. eBiolabs practical assessment (5%)

End of unit assessment 70%

1. Short answer question/ MCQ paper (20%)
2. Essay paper (50%)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. PHPH20015).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.