Module Catalogue 2024/25

ONC8019 : Pharmacology of Chemotherapeutic Agents (E-learning)

ONC8019 : Pharmacology of Chemotherapeutic Agents (E-learning)

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Ian Hickson
  • Lecturer: Dr David Jamieson
  • Owning School: Pharmacy
  • Teaching Location: Off Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



The module explores the concepts underlying the pharmacological principles that govern the use of drugs in the treatment of cancer. The students will gain a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of action and resistance that underlie antitumour effects and toxicities of the drugs to treat cancer.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module includes the following topics:
•Hallmarks of cancer and targets of therapy
•Introduction to chemotherapy
•Principles of Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics of Anticancer drugs
•Alkylating agents and platinums
•Topoisomerase I and II poisons
•Hormonal therapies
•Antibody-based therapies
•Tyrosine kinase inhibitors
•Drug resistance

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the module students will be able to:
•discuss the clinical context of chemotherapy in relation to other treatment modalities
•explain the pharmacology of most important chemotherapeutic drugs
•describe the mechanisms of action of the major chemotherapeutic agents
•group agents according to their mechanism of action
•describe the influence of cellular and systemic pharmacology on drug action
•demonstrate an understanding of the principles of targeted therapies
•recognise the toxicities produced by chemotherapeutic treatment
•describe the different mechanisms of resistance to chemotherapeutic drugs

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module, students will be able to
•demonstrate the capacity to engage critically and comment on the current and novel approaches to cancer treatment.
•analyse and reflect on the pharmacological factors that need to be considered when designing treatment regimes.
•consider and discuss the different mechanisms of resistance to cancer therapy and how this relates to the mechanism of action.
•synthesise data to present information succinctly and in a visual format.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion310:0030:00Independent assessment preparation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading126:0072:00Online content
Guided Independent StudySkills practice12:002:00Skills practice using Personal Capture software
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity222:0044:00eJournal and Discussion board
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study134:0052:00Supplemental reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Through a series of online tutorials (including videos and recapped PowerPoint presentations) as well as private study (including directed reading), students will gain detailed knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of chemotherapy and pharmacology. Furthermore, students will be encouraged to participate in collaborative learning via the discussion board. Personal development will be encouraged through the use of reflective journal postings, shared only with the module leaders. As the students proceed through the module, they will complete a number of interactive activities that will help to consolidate their understanding of the curriculum. The data compiled will guide their summative assessments.

This will facilitate the development of interpersonal and communication skills as well as team working and peer assessment skills.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Examination1M60Recorded power point presentation (maximum 10 minutes)
Computer assessment1M3060 minute timed online MCQs (Max 1hr - 30 questions)
Portfolio1M10Participation in collaborative e-learning activities throughout the module.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment1MWeekly MCQ Quiz for each topic
Oral Presentation1M1 minute and 1 slide presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The presentation will require students to demonstrate their understanding of a chosen example of a major classes of chemotherapeutic agents and discuss clinical use, toxicities and mechanisms of resistance. The presentation will assess the students' ability to synthesise data and present information succinctly and in a visual format.
This will consolidate the students’ newly acquired knowledge across the whole range of the module as well as their ability to process information.

Multiple choice questions (formative) will help to promote reflection in students in order to identify areas of strength, weakness or misunderstanding. MCQs (summative) will probe specific points of understanding and knowledge of the students across the module.

Should a student fail the assessment they will have to undertake a re-sit.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.