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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 05/04/2022 10:46:19

Title of Module: Forensic Toxicology

Code: CHEM09024 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Ann-Sophie  Korb

Summary of Module

A review of the various biological matrices found in toxicology, phase 1 and 2 metabolic processes and how these affect commonly used drugs within the body. Coverage of drugs includes amphetamines, ring substituted amphetamines, cocaine, opiates/opioids, cannabinoids, benzodiazepines, various forensically important pharmaceuticals.

Extraction of various compounds from biological matrices, instrumental analysis of drugs and poisons. Interpretation of results from toxicological analysis/case studies in post mortem samples and drug/alcohol impaired drivers, including blood alcohol calculations.

In this module we will work to develop the graduate attributes of critical thinker, problem solver, effective communicator and research minded.

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 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Display a knowledge and understanding of the fate of drugs of abuse and alcohols within the body

L2. Show understanding of various extraction and analytical techniques used in the analysis of selected compounds of forensic interest from biological matrices

L3. Demonstrate an ability to review and evaluate toxicological data from a variety of sources including the toxicological literature, instrumental data

L4. Analyse and interpret laboratory data from Toxicologically relevant specimens/substances

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.

Display a knowledge and understanding of the fate of drugs of abuse and alcohol within the body

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Show understanding of various extraction and analytical techniques used in the analysis of compounds of forensic interest from biological matrices

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Interpretation of analytical results with comparison to the scientific literature and forensic toxicology databases.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Discuss and justify interpretation of results to peer group
Searching of databases for toxicological information

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Discuss critically various ethical issues in toxicology eg. Human tissue act

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Chemical Analysis & Evaluation
Other:or equivalent
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module covers a wide variety of theoretical, conceptual and practical areas, which require a range of knowledge and skills at a more advanced level to be displayed and exercised. Delivery of its syllabus content therefore involves a diversity of teaching and assessment methods suitable to the learning outcomes of the module; these include formal lectures, structured tutorials (work closely integrated with the lecture material), laboratory exercises to develop practical skills and familiarisation with equipment and experimental techniques, completion and submission of written coursework making use of appropriate forms of IT and VLE, and independent study
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 Delivery14
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity10
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop24
Independent Study152
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:

S Jickells(Ed), Clarke’s Analytical Forensic Toxicology, Pharmaceutical Press, 2008, ISBN 9780853697053

F.Smith (Ed), Handbook of Forensic Drug Analysis, Elsevier (2005), ISBN 0126506418

O.H.Drummer, The Forensic Pharmacology of Drugs of Abuse, Arnold/OUP (2001), ISBN 0340762578

S.B. Karch (Ed.), Postmortem Toxicology of Abused Drugs , CRC Press (2007), ISBN 1420054511

C.D. Klaassen and J.B.Watkins (Eds), Casarett and Doull’s Essentials of Toxicology, McGraw Hill (2003), ISBN 0071389148

(**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

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPhysical Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelPhysical Sciences
ModeratorDr Mostafa Rateb
External ExaminerI Turner
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
(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) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Unseen open bookcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark602

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essay check markcheck mark 200
Laboratory/ Clinical/ Field notebookcheck markcheck markcheck 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
This module is suitable for any student with appropriate chemistry background, however it should be noted that in order for you to complete this module the laboratory element of coursework will require to be undertaken, special support can be provided where necessary, consequently, if special support is needed to complete this part of the module, then the University’s Health and Safety Officer should be consulted to make sure that safety in the laboratory is not compromised.Current University Policy on Equality and Diversity applies.
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.