Principles of Pharmacology with Research Methods
Area of Study
Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Life Sciences, Research
Taught In English
? For Study Option 1 and 2, successful completion of level 4 introductory study of
? For Study Option 3, previous experience of pharmacology and aspects of drug
disposition relating to drug absorption/distribution.
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units0
Hours & Credits
Research methods and employability skills are taught within the context of
pharmacological research and associated industries. Students are introduced to the
basic concepts of pharmacodynamics (how drugs take their effect at given targets) and
drug disposition/pharmacokinetics (the effect the body has on administered drugs),
whilst considering the factors which influence such parameters and thus lead to
individual variability in drug response.
The module goes on to discuss the principles of toxicology, how drugs are discovered and
developed, and the role of pharmaceutical sector / regulatory bodies in this process.
Autumn Semester summary: Pharmacolodynamics, Drug disposition (absorption,
distribution) Pharmacokinetics; research skills & statistics.
Topics covered may include:
? Research Methods: further statistics, experimental design & SPSS; use of
research literature; scientific communication and presentation; ethical issues
? Employment skills: career options; investigation of business industry; selfreflection;
? Introductory Pharmacology:
Pharmacodynamics: Basic pharmacological definitions; Targets for drug action;
Pharmacological definition of receptors and receptor superfamilies; Drugs acting
at receptors both as agonists (full and partial) and antagonists (competitive and
noncompetitive); Concept of the dose-response relationship. Phenomena of
tachyphylaxis and desensitisation to drugs.
Spring Semester summary: drug disposition (metabolism, excretion) Pharmacokinetics,
Drug Development & Clinical Trials, Toxicology.
? Introduction to the concept of toxicology: Mechanistic targets of toxicant
action; Measurement of toxicological parameters.
? Drug / toxicant disposition and kinetics: Routes of administration of drugs;
Mechanisms of, and factors influencing, drug / toxicant absorption,
distribution, metabolism and excretion;
Pharmacokinetics: One compartment models; concept of volume of
distribution, half-life, elimination, clearance and steady state. Differences
between intravenous and oral dosing.
? Individual variability in drug and toxicant response: Classification of
response variability (dynamic or kinetic); Effect of age, environment, diet,
disease, genomics and differing physiological states on the response to drugs
and toxicants; Adverse drug reactions.
? Drug development and clinical trials: Overview of the pharmaceutical
industry; Drug design and identification of a target site; Animal usage and the
law; Preliminary drug screening using in vitro and in vivo models; Concept of
risk assessment and preclinical safety testing including the validity of using
animal data; Clinical trials; phase I - IV trials, trial design and the information
gained at each phase; The role of the ethics committee in the clinical trial
process and the relevant regulatory bodies in product licensing and postmarket
Teaching: Lectures, seminars, workshops and laboratory practical sessions
STUDY OPTION 1:
? Exam (50%)
? Practical: Group oral presentation (20%)
? Coursework: Critical review (30%)
STUDY OPTION 2:
? 2 practicals & group oral presentation
STUDY OPTION 3:
? 1 practical
? modified examination
Study Option 1 = Whole Year
Study Option 2 = Autumn
Study Option 3 = Spring/summer
Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.
Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.
Some courses may require additional fees.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.
Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.
Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.