Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

HLTH6239 Neonatal Clinical Pharmacology (Online)

Module Overview

This module is designed to provide you with the underpinning scientific basis on which you can use to further develop your pharmacological knowledge as applied to neonatal clinical practice. You will have access to renown clinical pharmacology specialists who are working at the cutting edge of research and pharmacological management of the neonate.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of pharmacology and related clinical sciences which can be applied to your assessment and management of neonates.
  • Evaluate critically the effectiveness of drug actions and demonstrate expertise in applying this knowledge to prescribing practice and/or medicines management in neonatal clinical practice.
  • Critically explore evidence based practice, clinical governance and safe clinical practice and regulation with regard to neonatal prescribing.
  • Consider strategies that build, develop and maintain concordant partnerships that enhance adherence, safe, ethical and effective medicines management and show originality in identifying how these factors can be used to inform prescribing practice in the neonatal context.


This module will focus on the principles of clinical pharmacology. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic relationships and will learn how to apply these principles in clinical practice. The following topics will be covered: Clinical pharmacology including the effects of co-morbidity • Pharmacology, including pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics and pharmacotherapeutics • Anatomy and physiology as applied to neonatal prescribing practice • Basic principles of drugs to be prescribed, and drug handling e.g. absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, including but not limited to adverse drug reactions (ADR) and interactions with other diseases. Interactions, reactions and drug response specifically related to the neonatal patient. • Impact of physiological state on drug responses and safe prescribing practice, for example, in neonates • Ordering, interpreting and responding to laboratory investigations • Selection of drug regimen in well neonates and vulnerable sick neonates • Pharmaco-therapeutics related to controlled drugs Evidence-based practice, clinical governance and ethics in relation to prescribing • Knowledge of sources of evidence based prescribing including international, European, national and local guidelines, protocols, policies, decision support systems and formularies – including rationale for, adherence to and deviation from such guidance. • Critical analytical skills • Identify and report unexpected and adverse drug reactions and near misses • Clinical Trials of Drugs Used Off-label in Neonates: Ethical Issues

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will take a broad-based learner centred approach to teaching and learning methods, intending to promote deeper learning whilst meeting a range of learning styles. The core theoretical material will be delivered as online text “lectures” within a “Virtual Learning Environment” (VLE) and you will be allocated to discussion groups (“Discussion Forums”) which will be tasked with reflecting on, and discussing within the VLE clinical scenarios which relate to the theoretical material. The groups will each include approximately 12 participants and discussions will be directed and modulated by experienced tutors – two per group. While most of the discussions will be asynchronous – by leaving comments within the Discussion Forums - each group will also hold synchronous discussions, possibly once every two or three weeks, when they will “meet” together either online or using media such as Webex or Zoom. Where appropriate, “Plenary Sessions” and Guest Lectures will be included, which will allow you to share in discussions on current research and best available evidence. A range of resource material, including links to relevant online sites, will be made available on the VLE. These methods will facilitate learning from text-based material, from participation in discussion and reflection with peers working in a range of different cultural environments. Specially developed case based studies will be explored to focus on the application of the lecture materials. Topics including the use of specific medications will be debated and evaluated.

Preparation for scheduled sessions80
Completion of assessment task30
Wider reading or practice50
Follow-up work20
Total study time250

Resources & Reading list

A Textbook of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Neal, M (2015). Medical Pharmacology at a Glance. . 

Rang, H.P., Dale, M., Ritter, J.M. and Flower R.J. (2007). Pharmacology. 

Clinical Pharmacology Online.

Neonatal clinical pharmacology.

Paediatric prescribing principles - online learning.

Constable, S., Winstanley, T.and Walley, P. (2007). Medical Pharmacology: A Clinical Core Text for Integrated Curricula with Self Assessment (Master Medicine). 

Preston CL (2015). Stockley's Drug Interactions Pocket Companion. 

Ritter JM et al (2019). Rang and Dale's Pharmacology. 

British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (2019). British National Formulary & or BNF for Children. 


Assessment Strategy

The formative strategy will enable iterative formative written feedback to be provided with regard to your online activity. This will be completed by your online tutors and the module lead half way through the module, in addition examples of the MCQ questions will also be provided within the Assessment Office of the VLE. The summative approach to assessment is designed to enable you to demonstrate your depth and breadth of neonatal pulmonology knowledge as well as your ability to demonstrate your ability to use higher cognitive skills. It includes the following: 1. An unseen 2 hour online written examination comprising 30 “best-of-five” questions. This contributes 80% of your final mark. (these questions consist of a descriptive stem, a specific lead-in question and 5 options from which one best answer must be selected). 2. Qualitative and quantitative evaluation of your online activity and participation within your learning group. This contributes 20% of your final mark. All elements of the assessment must be attempted and an overall pass mark of 50% or more must be achieved for successful completion of the module.


MethodPercentage contribution
Multiple choice question 80%
Qualitative evaluation 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Summative assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings