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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 29/06/2022 15:26:48

Title of Module: Factors Affecting Drug Action

Code: BIOL09014 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Health and Life Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Gary  Boyd

Summary of Module

Assessment methods may be subject to change, pending outcome of professional body review.

The aim of this module is to provide an understanding the factors that affect drug action in vivo including those affecting cardiovascular and respiratory disease states (such as asthma and hypertension).

The module will examine  the phases and targets of drug action (in particular receptor dynamics and transduction mechanisms) as well as examining the effects of drugs on the physiological systems. This will be followed by an evaluation of the effects some drugs can have on specific pathophysiological conditions and disease states (with a focus on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems). Elements of basic quantitative pharmacology; including construction and analysis of ‘dose-response’ curves will be utilised for evaluation purposes.

A combination of lectures and tutorials will be used to deliver the major contents of this module (in particular the targets of drug action), thus preparing students for further study of this area of biotechnology.




Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:




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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Critically evaluate the pharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic phases of drug action.

L2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the underlying mechanisms and pathophysiology of cardiovascular and respiratory disease.

L3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the mechanism of action of drugs targeting the physiological systems of the body.

L4. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the factors that affect drug action within clinical usage.

L5. Quantitatively analyse generated dose-response curves.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Demonstration of a broad and integrated knowledge of the cellular targets of drug action.

Demonstrate a critical understanding of the factors affecting drug action in vivo.

Demonstrate detailed knowledge of specialist areas of pharmacology (such as cardiovascular disease treatment) informed by forefront developments.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Obtaining and evaluating experimentally derived data from computer simulations of pharmacological experiments; explaining the pharmacological basis of these measurements.

Using and referencing literature appropriately; conducting detailed independent research to support the pharmacological findings of experimental work.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Critical analysis and evaluation of detailed information from arrange of sources.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Communicating effectively and appropriately in speech or writing, the results of pharmacological studies and associated analytical work.

Making effective use of information retrieval systems and use information technology applications to analyse and evaluate associated information.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Exercise autonomy and initiative in identifying aims of projects, experiments and reports.

Respecting the views of team members and taking responsibility for the work of others.

Awareness of ethical and professional issues.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The overall teaching approach will focus on developing the ability of the students to describe the mechanism of action of drugs targeting the physiological systems of the body.

The associated laboratory/ tutorial activity will enable development of the level of understanding of general pharmacological principles.

This approach will require supporting lectures to be delivered on pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetic and pharmaceutical considerations as well as the specific therapeutic applications in system disorders.

Complementing this formal presentation of materials to the students, there will be elements of independent research where student centred learning will be developed further.

There will in addition be a final examination at the end of the trimester.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop6
Independent Study164
Asynchronous Class Activity0
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity6
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:


*Rang and Dale’s (2018) Pharmacology (9th Edn) Elsevier IBSN 9780702074479

Saeb-Parsy, K. et al, (1999) Instant Pharmacology (Wiley)ISBN 0 471 97639 3


British Journal of Pharmacology (abstracts available online)

Trends in Pharmacology (library resource)

Computer packages

PCCAL and PharmaCAL-ology computer packages will be available in the laboratory.

Websites as supporting resources:

The student will in addition be referred to contemporary web-based material

British Pharmacological Society site:

British National Formulary:

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Attendance at synchronous sessions (lectures, tutorials and practicals), completion of asynchronous activities, and submission of assessments to meet the learning outcomes of the module.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardBiological Sciences and Health
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelBiology L7-11
ModeratorJane Tobias
External ExaminerD Stobo
Accreditation DetailsN/A
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment methods may be subject to change, pending outcome of professional body review.
Component 1
Covering Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) & Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (60%) of Assessment Element Timetabled Contact Hours 2
Class Test

Component 2
Covering Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (40%) of Assessment
Coursework comprising Lab Report and Infographic
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written)check markcheck markcheck mark  602

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Design/ Diagram/ Drawing/ Photograph/ Sketch   check markcheck mark200
Report of practical/ field/ clinical work   check markcheck mark200
Combined Total For All Components100% 2 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
In line with current legislation (Equality Act, 2010) and the UWS Equality, Diversity, and Human Rights Code, our modules are accessible and inclusive, with reasonable adjustment for different needs where appropriate. Module materials comply with University guidance on inclusive learning and teaching, and specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. Where modules require practical and/or laboratory based learning or assessment required to meet accrediting body requirements the University will make reasonable adjustment such as adjustable height benches or assistance of a ‘buddy’ or helper.
Please refer to the UWS Equality and Diversity Policy at the following link: UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.