The programme provides specialist training in the field of pharmacology, as well as promoting skills for career and professional development. The MSc in Pharmacology is designed around a strong theoretical education in basic and advanced pharmacology with practical experience of pharmacological and neuropharmacological techniques in the laboratory. Students will gain insight into receptor theory, molecular pharmacology, neuropharmacology and pharmacokinetics /pharmacodynamics. Physiology will also be taught alongside these elements, facilitating crossover of students qualified in non-biological disciplines to the life sciences. This will allow students to offer skills that cross boundaries and provide an excellent foundation for studies at PhD level.
The course is based around the core Systems Pharmacology module which describes the basics of receptor theory, second messenger actions and autonomic pharmacology. Understanding of fundamental aspects of pharmacology of neuromuscular junction and synaptic function are also delivered via the physiological pharmacology module and the actions of drugs and the nature of receptors are then considered at the molecular level, with a focus on the exciting and important field of neuropharmacology. The Drug Discovery module gives an overview of the pharmaceutical industry; an introduction to receptors and drug action and chemical and biological aspects of evaluation and development of new compounds
The supervised research project will last for approximately four months, and will be at the level expected for first year PhD study. Topics might include, for example, the actions of cannabinoids in cortical synaptic plasticity.
The taught modular programme will consider various aspects of pharmaceutical sciences e.g. the biology of disease states, pharmaceutical analytical analysis, pharmaceutical formulation, research methods and exploiting your research. Modules are:
The aim of this module is to provide an overview of the drug discovery process from target to market.
This module covers the basic physiology of neuromuscular junction, ANS and CNS synapses, the basis of neurotransmitter release and action potentials.
The aim of this module is to provide a description of receptor theory, second messenger and G-protein action, and to describe the pharmacology of the autonomic nervous system, the core of any pharmacological understanding of ligand-receptor interactions.
This module covers more advanced topics such as glutamate and GABA receptor pharmacology, central neurotransmission and expands the material covered into areas of CNS function and dysfunction including, for example, the molecular pharmacology of memory formation, anxiety and depression.
This module aims to present cutting edge topics including cannabinoid receptor pharmacology, further molecular aspects of memory formation at CNS synapses, and advanced aspects of GABA function.
The professional skills taught in this module will equip students with a range of professional skills for academia and the biotechnology sector whilst familiarising you with professional issues such as research funding and ethical codes for guiding 'best practice' in research.
This module includes the following - critical analysis of published work, reviewing papers, writing abstracts, writing research papers, preparing poster presentations and oral presentation skills.
The supervised research project will last for four months and be at the level expected for the first year of PhD studies. Examples of potential topics include computer-based drug design of antimicrobial compounds and chemical synthesis of compound libraries for screening and assay development.
There is a clear focus on neuromodulators / neuropeptides using isolated tissue preparations
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