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Unit information: Pharmacology of the Nervous System in 2014/15

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

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. Usowicz
Open unit status Not open

PHAR20001 Principles of Pharmacology 2A PHAR20002 Principles of Pharmacology 2B


20 cp Concepts and Skills (pharmacology) 20 cp Pharmacology of ion channels and synaptic transmission 20 cp Receptor signalling and non-drug therapies 40 cp Pharmacology Introduction to Industrial study (MSci) 80 cp Pharmacology Industrial Study (MSci) 40 cp Pharmacology Research project (BSc/BSc with SiI) 40 cp Pharmacology Research proposal (MSci)

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

Description including Unit Aims

Students study advanced topics covering the pharmacology of the main neurotransmitters and neuromodulators in the central nervous system. Lectures cover the roles that the different transmitters and their receptors play in pain, drug addiction, and psychiatric disorders, as well as the fundamental mechanisms of drugs used clinically to alleviate these conditions.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • 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 specialist ion channel and metabotropic receptor pharmacology in the development and treatment of pain, in behavioural and psychiatric disorders, and in addiction.

Teaching Information


Assessment Information

The unit will be assessed through an in-course essay (1000 words) (10%) and one 3 hour examination in May/June (90%).

Reading and References

Reviews and primary articles from the current scientific literature.