Skip to main content


PED1003 : Pharmacology

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Lindsey Ferrie
  • Lecturer: Dr Mohammed Shoaib, Dr Vikki Rand, Dr Richard McQuade, Dr Simon Wilkinson, Dr Sasha Gartside, Dr SarahJayne Boulton
  • Owning School: Biomedical, Nutritional and Sports Scien
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


The aims of the course are to:
1. provide students with an understanding of the mechanisms and targets of drug action;
2. relate drug action at the cellular level to overall pharmacological and toxicological effects;

This module introduces the subject of Pharmacology, using well-known drugs to illustrate important principles. The series of lectures is designed to provide an understanding of the mechanisms and targets of drug action at a cellular level to overall pharmacological and toxicological effects. We will consider the various routes by which drugs can be administered, and the factors that affect the distribution and bioavailability of a drug. The course then moves on to consider drugs that work on the nervous system. This section of the course looks at the treatment of Parkinson's disease and depression, and also considers drugs of abuse including cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana. We introduce examples of drugs that act on the endocrine system, including insulin and female hormonal contraceptives and also look at the pharmacology of commonly used anti inflammatories and immunosuppressants, antihistamines, antibiotics, antiprotazoal and anticancer drugs. Finally we learn about different types of adverse drug reactions drawing on the examples of drugs already introduced during the course of the module.

Outline Of Syllabus

The lectures and seminars cover the following topics:

1. Principles of pharmacology: targets for drug action; quantification of drug action; drug disposition; pharmacokinetics
2. Neurotransmission in the nervous system
3. Peripheral Nervous System: drugs acting on the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system; pharmacology of asthma treatment; local anaesthetics
4. Central Nervous System: pharmacology of antiparkinsonion drugs; pharmacology of antidepressants; drugs of abuse
5. Drugs and the endocrine system: the endocrine system; sex hormones and oral contraceptives
6. Drug effects on other systems: Inflammation and anti-inflammatories; antihistamines; anticancer drugs; antibiotics/antiprotazoal, toxins, poisoning and overdose; Adverse Drug Reactions

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion11:001:00Formative class tests
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture261:0026:00
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1120:00120:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures will define the scope of the course and communicate basic knowledge as a basis for further study.
2. Seminars will encourage students to develop their understanding of the subject and interpersonal communication skills. They provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and exchange ideas in a small group setting. Skills practiced include critical thinking, numeracy, communication & team working.
3. Private study is used for self-directed learning and includes: reading lecture notes and texts; preparation for seminars; using learning resources on the Web. Skills practiced include critical thinking, active learning, numeracy, planning and organisation and independence.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination902A100MCQ format: 120 questions
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Computer assessment2MA mid-semester MCQ format exam (formative) will be provided to students under exam conditions.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The end of semester examination assesses knowledge and understanding of the course material. The formative MCQ questions will help students assess their knowledge and understanding of course material as well as familiarise students with the format of an MCQ exam.

Reading Lists