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Unit information: Pharmacology 1B in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Pharmacology 1B
Unit code PHPH10004
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Abdala Sheikh
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)

Pharmacology 1A(PHPH100003) or Mechanisms of Drug Action (PHPH10015)

Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one
School/department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Unit Information


This unit builds upon the principles introduced in Pharmacology 1A and focuses on more applied/systematic aspects of pharmacology. Students gain an understanding of the processes involved in drug design and development, from molecule to the clinical evaluation of new therapeutic agents. The pharmacology of autonomic and endocrine systems are described and drug selectivity, in particular selective toxicity, is further pursued with the study of antimicrobial and cancer chemotherapy. Students undertake a group-based clinical and web-based pharmacological dissertation, designed to develop transferable skills including teamwork and effective time management.


To understand:

  • The principles of neurotransmission and target sites for drug action
  • The pharmacology of the autonomic system
  • The molecular basis of how drugs interact with proteins including the different forces and bonds involved
  • The importance of stereoisomerism in pharmacology
  • Key concepts involved with drugs in solution for instance their hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity and acid/base properties
  • How drug design is performed using a number of illustrative examples
  • The processes involved in drug development from discovery to making a prescription drug
  • The biochemical foundations underlying antibacterial drugs, their clinical use and problems associated with bacterial resistance
  • The mechanisms of action of drugs, clinical uses and adverse effects of drugs that modulate the function of the major endocrine glands
  • To explain the mechanisms of action and adverse effects of drugs used in the treatment of cancer, fungal infections, protozoal infections and helminth (worm) infestations
  • The basic ways in which drug binding can be investigated, analysed and presented using radioligands

Your learning on this unit

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

  • Recognise and apply theories, concepts or principles pertaining to the topics covered in the unit
  • Recognise basic experimental techniques used in Pharmacology; and prepare, process and interpret experimental data, using appropriate quantitative techniques
  • Apply knowledge and understanding of the topics covered in the unit to address familiar and unfamiliar problems

How you will learn

  • lectures
  • practicals
  • small group tutorial

How you will be assessed

  • Exam (end of unit) 70%
  • DSE 10%
  • Full practical write-up 10%
  • Practicals (eBiolabs) 10%


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. PHPH10004).

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.