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The University of Southampton

BIOL2017 Pharmacology B

Module Overview

This module provides the second year student with an introduction to general pharmacology. It builds on the general principles taught in the first semester module Pharmacology A (BIOL 2016).

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain the mechanism of action of several classes of antibiotics which act at different targets (metabolism, protein synthesis, cell wall synthesis and nucleic acid synthesis)
  • Explain the use of drugs to treat heart failure, oedema and hypertension. Name the major classes of diuretics and describe their mechanism of action.
  • Outline the main methods by which drugs have been developed and designed and describe some specific examples.
  • Outline the biological roles of prostaglandins and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Outline the concepts involved in the sensation of pain and describe the pharmacology of two major classes of analgesic drugs.
  • Explain how local anaesthetics act to block nerve conduction.
  • Explain the various theories for the mechanism of action of general anaesthetics.
  • Outline of the pharmacology of the endocrine system; the role of the hypothalamic pituitary axis; corticotrophin and adrenal steroids; the female reproductive system and contraceptive drugs; the endocrine pancreas and the control of blood glucose
  • Describe, with examples, how drugs interact at both the pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic levels.


This unit covers a variety of major topic in Pharmacology and progresses logically from the material covered in BIOL 2016. The unit includes practical work that is linked to the lectures which are on antibiotics, cardiac pharmacology, diuretics, drug design, anaesthetics, pain, steroids and drug interactions.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lectures, practicals and a library project.

Practical classes and workshops9
Independent Study117
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Rang, Dale, Ritter and Moore (eds.) (2016). Pharmacology. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Library project 12.5%
Practical write-ups 12.5%
Written exam 75%


MethodPercentage contribution
Library project 12.5%
Practical write-ups 12.5%
Written exam 75%

Linked modules

BIOL1007 OR BIOL1008 OR BIOL1010 OR BIOL1011 OR BIOL1012 OR BIOL1013 OR BIOL1014 OR BIOL1022 OR CHEM1039 OR CHEM1041 OR CHEM1043 OR CHEM1044 OR CHEM1045 OR CHEM1031 OR CHEM1033 OR CHEM1035 OR CHEM1032 OR CHEM1034 OR CHEM1036

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