- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

XX50227: Physiology, pathology and pharmacology

[Page last updated: 15 October 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Further information on credits Credits: 18      [equivalent to 36 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 360
Further information on unit levels Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Academic Year
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 40%, EX 60%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 40%)
  • Jan exam (EX 30%)
  • May exam (EX 30%)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: In taking this module you may not take XX50228 after week 5
Description: Aims:
To provide core knowledge of cellular biology, microbiology, pharmacology and immunology for the identification of biological molecules as drugs and drug targets, and to develop the students' ability to apply this knowledge to carry out laboratory-based investigations. To describe the anatomy and physiology of specific organs and discuss the pathological changes associated with different diseases which impact on function, drug delivery, metabolism and excretion.

Learning Outcomes:
After studying this unit, students should be able to:
* Outline the structure of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, describe the key processes underlying cellular and organ function and how appreciate how these can function as drug targets.
* Describe the general anatomy and functions of the nervous system, the identification, distribution, synthesis and degradation of neurotransmitters, and the pharmacology of ionotropic and metabotropic receptors.
* Describe the anatomy of the lung, skin and gastrointestinal tract and explain the impact on drug delivery
* Describe the structure of the heart, liver and kidney and explain how drugs can affect function
* Demonstrate knowledge of and competency in a range of key laboratory skills, and appreciate their application to drug discovery.
* Work in a team to generate, analyse and interpret data collected.
* Present experimental data and research findings in written reports and poster formats.

Learning and studying (T,F,A), Problem solving (T, F, A), Practical skills, Numeracy (F, A), Analysis (T,F,A), Independent working (F), Scientific writing (F, A), Oral communication (F)


* Cell biology - structure, membranes, intracellular organelles, genes, receptors and functions.
* Biological molecules as drugs and drug targets - proteins, enzymes, receptors, antibodies.
* Cloning, insulin production, vector/ plasmid delivery/ gene therapies
* Receptor Pharmacology - agonist/ antagonist- affinity/ potency/ efficacy
* Receptor signalling mechanisms
* Genes, transcription, cell cycle
* Immunology-basics to understand monoclonal antibody production, targets for inflammation particularly biological therapies/ immunotherapy
* Central and peripheral nervous systems - nerve cells, excitability and action potential, synapses and release of chemical mediators, anatomy of the CNS, BBB and peripheral NS, amino acid and amine transmitters and receptors. Sites of drug action.
* Lung physiology and drug delivery
* Skin physiology and drug delivery
* Gut physiology and drug delivery
* Heart and drug impact
* Kidney physiology and drug excretion
* Liver physiology and drug metabolism

Practicals - to enable the students to develop knowledge of and competency in a range of experimental and data analysis techniques:
* Cell culture
* Biochemical substrate/ enzyme assays
* Radioligand binding
* Agonist and antagonist profiles on biological tissue
* Cloning
* Molecular pharmacology
* Bioimaging.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

XX50227 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology