Medical Pharmacology

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Medical Pharmacology

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • 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.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Learning objectives:
    - the student understands the general mechanisms behind the actions and adverse reactions of pharmaceutical compounds (pharmacodynamics) and can explain these
    - the student understands the principles behind the ‘receptor theory’ and is able to apply its mathematical workings to determine key pharmacodynamic parameters (pD2, pA2, EC50)
    - the student is able to describe and explain the ways in which pharmaceutical compounds affect neural stimulus transfer in the central and peripheral nervous system (system pharmacology) and to rationally predict the effects of this on cell and/or organ function.
    - the student can describe the processes driving the uptake, distribution, degradation and excretion of pharmaceutical compounds (pharmacokinetics) and the role these processes play in explaining the actions of medications and their toxicity.
    - the student can apply relevant mathematical calculations to derive pharmacokinetic key parameters (bio-availability, distribution volume,
    plasma elimination half-life, clearance) and the relationship between these parameters and explain the dosing schedule of pharmaceutical compounds.
    - the student is able to conduct a brief literature search as part of a group and report findings according to academic standards.
    - the student acquires practical experience in the preparation, execution and reporting of experimental (pharmacological) research in a
    laboratory setting.

    Scientific thinking and research (Academic skills):
    Academic attitude: the student conducts a literature research by reading, analysing and critically reflecting on biomedical literature.
    Research: the student independently sets up a scientific experiment, plan and execute it by making use of the existing methodes, and eventually analyse and evaluate the outcome of the experiment.
    Academic writing: the student writes a scientific report of the own experiments and present its data.
    Presenting: the student presents and defend a scientifically solid presentation of the own data.
    Collaboration: the student collaborates with peers during the PBL and practicals and solves problems with the team. In addition, the students actively participates in the team and contributes significantly to the end product of the group.

    Medical Pharmacology is the science that describes and explains the mode of action of a drug in the body. For the Medical Pharmacology course, the main goal is to obtain insight into the principles and basic concepts of medical pharmacology. In addition, a special emphasis is put on the pharmacology of the (central) nervous system, which closely relates to the parallel course ‘Neurosciences’.

    Lectures: approximately 26 hours
    FTC sessions: 4 hours
    Practicals: approximately 18 hours
    PBL: approximately 8 hours
    Response lectures: approximately 6 hours

    The final mark is build up as follows:
    • PBL assignment (15% of the final mark; is considered as a practical exercise)
    • Exam (85% of the final mark)

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.


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