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PA10312: Fundamentals of pharmacology: the healthy body 1

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2018/9
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Further information on credits Credits: 12      [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 240
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: EX 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • EXAMINATION (EX 100% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: While taking this module you must take PA10311 AND take PA10313 AND take PA10314
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
To provide the student with an understanding of the normal structure and function of the cells and tissues comprising the major physiological systems of the healthy human body, their integration and regulation, as the basis for the later study of physiological function relevant to pharmacology.
To provide the student with an introduction to the concepts of drug action within living systems at a molecular and cellular level.

Learning Outcomes:
After taking this unit, the student should be able to:
* Define health and illness and the physiological concept of homeostasis
* Describe the normal structure and function of human cells at a molecular, cellular and tissue level
* Demonstrate a foundation knowledge of the differences between bacterial, viral, fungal cells and principles of infection mechanisms
* Explain the principles of the molecular basis of drug action within living systems at a molecular and cellular level (pharmacology)
* Use relevant pharmacological calculations to determine the potency of agonist and antagonist drug action.

Scientific and practical skills (T/F/A)
Study skills, handling information, working with others (T/F)
Problem solving (T/F/A).


* What is health?
* What is a healthy body (Introduction to cell, tissues, and systems)?
* What is a cell? - Structure, function, membranes and organelles of the human cell.
* Lipids / cell membranes, Proteins - amino acids & peptides
* Transporters, enzymes, receptors - cell to cell
* Introductions to bacterial cells, human microflora & infections, viral cells & infections, protozoa & fungi, human microbiome & defences
* Intro to pharmacology & receptor theory, agonists - EC50 - efficacy, co-operativity. antagonists - comp / non- comp IC50, Schild plots
* Introduction to pharmacodynamics
* Enzymes as catalysts. Enzyme role in drug metabolism.
* Enzymes as drug targets - Km, Vmax
* Nucleosides / tides, nucleic acids, nucleic acid biosynthesis
* DNA replication prokaryotes / eukaryotes
* Transcription to translation - drug targets
* Carbohydrates - cellular functions
* Anatomy of the nervous system, nerve cells - membrane potential, communication - chemical transmission & synapses, the brain, the autonomic nervous system
* Reflexes and senses (touch)
* Ears and eyes (Anatomy and function)
* Nose and throat (Anatomy and function)
* Blood cells, blood formation & clotting
* Skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle
* The gastrointestinal system: anatomy, function, digestion.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

PA10312 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
  • USPA-AFB02 : BSc(Hons) Pharmacology (Year 1)
  • USPA-AKB02 : BSc(Hons) Pharmacology with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • USPA-AKM02 : MPharmacol(Hons) Pharmacology with Year long work placement (Year 1)