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Pharmacology BSc(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time B210 2018
2019
4 years full time including sandwich year B211 2018
2019
4 years full time including foundation year B212 2018
2019
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2018
2019
Joint honours: see course combinations for UCAS codes

Why choose this course?

This course explores how chemicals in particular, drugs interact with living systems both in health and disease. It focuses on biological rather than chemical processes, and meets the curriculum requirements set out by the British Pharmacological Society. The course includes the option to undertake extended work experience.

You can choose to study Pharmacology on its own or in combination with Business. See the course combinations for more information.

Professional recognition

This course meets the core curricular requirements set out by the British Pharmacology Society (BPS) – the professional association for pharmacologists and one of the leading pharmacological societies in the world.

Foundation year

If you would like to study one of our science degrees at Kingston University but are not yet ready to join the first year of a BSc(Hons) course, you can include an extra foundation year within your chosen degree. Please see the science foundation year course page for details of modules.

What you will study

Year 1 offers essential understanding of how the human body works, providing knowledge to underpin the study of pharmacology. You will gain a comprehensive overview of physiology from cellular to organ-system level, as well as chemistry, genetics and molecular biology. The Scientific and Laboratory Skills module trains you in a number of laboratory techniques.

Year 2 introduces pharmacology as a distinct subject, including the action of drugs at their target sites and the actions of the body on drugs once they have been administered. The Systems Pharmacology module covers drugs acting on the major organ systems of the body, including the cardiovascular, nervous, gastrointestinal, renal, respiratory and endocrine systems. Further coverage of immunology, microbiology and molecular biology enables you to study relevant disease and its treatment. A module in pharmacological principles and research skills and methods prepares you for Year 3's independent research project.

Year 3 provides further in-depth study of pharmacology drugs used to treat cancer and infectious diseases; drugs acting on the brain and peripheral nervous system, such as analgesics and anaesthetics; novel drugs used to treat degenerative brain diseases; and the mechanisms of action of drug abuse. You will be able to investigate current concepts in the biomolecular sciences, as well as the option to study bioinformatics and molecular genetics. Your independent research project enables you to specialise in a particular area of interest.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This module introduces basic cell biology of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, molecular, organismal and population genetics, germ layers and basic tissue types in the human body, and a variety of microorganisms. The laboratory work incorporates selected current techniques used to study cells, tissues, chromosomes and microbial organisms.  

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the major cell components and discuss their functions in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of basic concepts in molecular, population and evolutionary genetics.
    • Perform simple calculations relating to inheritance and population genetics.
    • Display a basic knowledge of the early development and structure and functions of major tissue types in the human body.
    • Recognise and discuss the characteristics of a variety of medically important microorganisms.
    • Demonstrate a comprehension of selected current techniques in light microscopy, histology, cytogenetics and microbiology and explain their relevance in employability.

    Read full module description

     
  • The Chemical Foundations of Life
  • This first year module is a core module for all Bioscience and Forensic Science programmes, and provides a firm foundation in general scientific and laboratory skills that students require to successfully complete their programmes of study.  Students are introduced to the nature of studying in higher education, the need for effective time management and planning of work, the appropriate use of information sources, and to sources of information relating to careers in the biosciences.  Scientific analytical and lab/practical skills are developed, together with essential mathematics and statistical skills for life scientists.  A significant component of the module consists of the development of basic research skills such as practical skills in the laboratory, the principles of experimental design and the statistical analysis of data.

    Read full module description

     
  • This is a core module taken by students studying BSc Biomedical Science, Nutrition, Medical Biochemistry, Biochemistry, Biological Sciences, Pharmacology, and Forensic Biology.

    The module introduces students to fundamental physiological concepts which underpin the coordinated functioning of the human body, including homeostasis, cellular communication and movement of molecules through body compartments. The main physiological systems of the body are then covered, including the nervous, muscle, endocrine, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal and digestive systems. Core material is delivered through lectures, problem solving exercises and directed reading. Laboratory practicals provide experience of selected techniques, experimental design and data analysis used in physiological experimental work.

    On successful completion of this module, you will be able to:

    • demonstrate an understanding of fundamental physiological concepts
    • demonstrate an understanding of the functioning of selected human physiological systems, and an appreciation of some of the experimental observations from which this knowledge is derived
    • be able to write clear explanations of physiological mechanisms
    • understand how to perform simple physiological experiments and clearly and accurately record, analyse and interpret experimental data
    • demonstrate skills which will enhance employability

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Year 2

  • This is a core module taken by student in the fields of Biochemistry, Biological Sciences (Genetics and Molecular Biology route), Pharmacology, and is an option module taken by Biomedical Science and Biological Sciences (General route)

    The module builds on topics covered in LS4001 (Genes, Cells and Tissues) and explores more advanced concepts in cell and molecular biology. The module provides insight into the structure and function of cells, and takes an integrated approach to looking at how cells respond to changes in their environment - from receptor interactions and intracellular signalling pathways through to the regulation of gene expression and changes in cellular processes.

    Formal lectures are supported by laboratory classes, tutorials, workshops, independent study and further resources available on Canvas. The module also includes opportunities to develop both data-handling and written skills.

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  • This is a core module for students studying Biochemistry, Nutrition and Pharmacology. It aims to develop the scientific, academic and research skills that were introduced at level 4, and to relate applications of these skills to study and research in pharmacology. 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.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Appreciate the importance of experimental design in pharmacological research, and select, apply and interpret appropriate statistical tests for data analysis. 
    • Locate, analyse and critically evaluate research papers, and demonstrate an awareness of ethical issues relating to biological and pharmacological research.
    • Present concise, analytical and objective scientific information relating to pharmacology in the form of essays and reports.  
    • Reflect on their personal and academic skills, and to research potential employment opportunities in the pharmacological and related industries, demonstrating an awareness of the attributes and skills needed to achieve their aspirations.
    • Describe the general principles of pharmacology and toxicology, indicating the targets for drug and toxicant action, and the processes by which the body can affect the fate of such agents.
    • Discuss the factors leading to individual variability in drug / toxicant response altering therapy outcomes and adverse drug events.
    • Describe how pre-clinical and clinical evaluation of new drugs is conducted, including ethical considerations, and to be able to critically evaluate data from such studies.

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  • This is a core module for Biomedical Science, Biological Sciences (Medical Biology), Medical Biochemistry, Nutrition and Pharmacology, and an option for Biological Sciences (Human Biology). It is a pre-requisite for the level 6 modules LS6003 (Chemotherapy of Infectious and Neoplastic Disease) and LS6006 (Clinical Immunology and Medical Microbiology).

    This module provides an opportunity to learn more about the structure and function of microbiological agents in health and disease and the immunological responses raised as a consequence by the human body. Through the lectures a number of microbiological processes will be examined along with methods of controlling the organisms responsible in the laboratory environment as well as within a patient. Students will also become familiar with the different cells and organs of the immune system and how these function and interact to protect the body from infection. The module also introduces some of the molecular processes and signalling events that are important in communication between cells of the human immune system.

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  • This module complements concepts delivered in Principles of Pharmacology with Research Methods and its application to a number of physiological system disorders. The main focus of the module is to study and discuss the disease pathophysiology and the types of drugs used in therapy of such disorders, alongside a rationale for their usage and any associated side effects.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Discuss the clinical indications for, mechanisms of action and adverse effects produced by drugs acting on inflammatory responses and the cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine and nervous systems (peripheral and central).
    • Critically evaluate experimental design and results generated.
    • Assess research based literature, and evaluate current state of knowledge of drugs acting on physiological systems

    Read full module description

     

Optional sandwich year

Year 3/4

  • This module considers the scientific basis of recent technological advances in biomolecular science through selected example of contemporary scientific research and its impact on society. The module consolidates previous knowledge in order to demonstrate the application of theory to current research, developments in the bioindustry and the effect of advancements on society. In addition, the module looks at the interaction of science and the media, public engagement and how this can guide scientific policy and the challenges facing the bioindustry, including intellectual property rights, bioethics and enterprise.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the scientific basis underlying selected recent advances in biomolecular science.
    • Identify and critically evaluate the impact of selected recent advances in biomolecular science on society and the challenges facing the bioindustries.
    • Interpret and critically assess the role of intellectual property rights, bioethics and enterprise in translational research.
    • Recognise the role of communicating scientific information to the public and its effect on public engagement and scientific policy.
    • Develop and apply scientific and professional skills to enhance employment opportunities along with a demonstrated knowledge of the diverse employment opportunities within the biomolecular sciences.

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  • This is a core module for Pharmacology and an option for other Life Science degree courses, namely Biological Sciences (Medical Biology route) and Biochemistry.

    This module provides an opportunity to learn about the various chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of both infectious and neoplastic disease. Treatments for infectious diseases will cover drugs that have actions on bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, while the neoplastic disease therapy will include a range of different cancers, including both solid and blood cancers. The lectures will focus on the mode of action, side effects and mechanisms of resistance of both antimicrobials and anti-cancer drugs.

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  • Choose between the following:

    • This module introduces the processes involved in maintaining genome stability, causing genome variability and controlling the coding potential of the genome. Mutation, recombination and transposition, and the interplay between them, are examined as causes of genome instability. The two main themes of the module are the impact of genome instability/change upon gene expression, and its control. An introduction to bioinformatics and sequence analysis with the use of sequence databases and analysis tools permits the analysis of gene/genome variability with an introduction to the importance of bioscience research, including molecular diagnostics and drug development.

      On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

      • Describe the processes by which genetic information may be altered, including by mutation, recombination and transposition.
      • Discuss and explain the regulation of gene expression.
      • Demonstrate practical skills involved in the investigation of the genome and analysis of the regulation of gene expression.
      • Identify and discuss basic bioinformatics databases, including their structures, properties and relationships.
      • Critically evaluate the key techniques used to search databases, to carry out pairwise and multiple sequence alignment and to predict protein or gene structure.
      • Demonstrate appropriate IT skills to enable students to research the theoretical aspects of the module.
      • Produce detailed, coherent, scientific reports.

      Read full module description

       
    • This module is research-driven and will provide a thorough background in the fields of neurophysiology and neuropharmacology and introduce a range of current topics in neuroscience, selected from such areas as cellular and molecular neurobiology, sensory and motor systems, cognitive neuroscience and degenerative neuropathologies. The module implements current research techniques and deals with how to critically evaluate and discuss different ways of studying the brain.

      On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

      • Explain key cellular and molecular processes in neurobiology, and investigate selected processes experimentally.
      • Discuss the function of human sensory and motor systems in health and disease.
      • Carry out and interpret laboratory experiments in selected areas of neuroscience.
      • Critically evaluate current clinical and scientific literature on neurological diseases and their treatments.
      • Assess selected experimental techniques used in neuroscience.

      Read full module description

       
     
  • This is a core module in the Biosciences field for a number of BSc (Honours) programmes. The project module forms a very important part of the degree programme and probably constitutes the largest piece of independent work a student is likely to undertake during his/her undergraduate studies. There are several types of projects that may be offered to students: a laboratory or field-based project, data projects involving acquisition of data and information from surveys, questionnaires, computer simulations or bioinformatics, or a systematic review of research literature that includes the collection, comparison and original presentation of reported research data. The end point is the same in all cases; review and critical evaluation of qualitative and quantitative information and data to address a hypothesis or research question, and the production of a written report.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • devise, develop and implement a plan of research;
    • critically evaluate, analyse and present qualitative and quantitative information and data that address a hypothesis or research question;
    • prepare a structured, critical evaluation of a research topic in the form of a written report;
    • demonstrate a thorough knowledge of a selected research topic both orally and in writing;
    • demonstrate key communication (written and oral), problem-solving, time management and appropriate ICT skills.  Students will be expected to demonstrate independent learning skills throughout the course of the module.  Numeracy skills will also be required to successfully acquire, manipulate and evaluate data;
    • evaluate risk, ethics and health and safety in relation to research projects.

    Read full module description

     

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Most of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

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*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.

Location

This course is taught at Penrhyn Road

View Penrhyn Road on our Google Maps
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