Why study pharmacology?
The goal of pharmacology is to develop and study drugs used to combat human diseases. It is an applied discipline based on physiology, to a large extent, but also on other biomedical disciplines. This is a course of choice for all students interested in biomedicine. The course will prepare students for postgraduate studies or for future work witin the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries.
Who should take the course?
This course is optional for a Master's degree in Science with a major in Biology or in Molecular Biology. It is included in the master program in Medical Biology. The pharmacology course will be a very valuable basis for further postgraduate studies or for future work within the fields of biomedicine and pharmaceutical sciences. To obtain maximal benefit from the course, you are recommended to take it towards the end of your master studies.
Aims of the course
The principal aims of the course are:
- to make the students familiar with the essential pharmacological concepts,
- to provide a theoretical background as well as practical training in pharmacological methods,
- to introduce the students to animal experimental techniques,
- to present pharmacology in wider perspective, including its medical applications and its social implications,
- to train the students in in scientific writing, oral presentation techniques, literature search using databases and computer skills.
To some extent, the contents of the course may change each time its is given, but the following will always belong to the curriculum. Animal experimental methods and the care of experimental animals are essential parts of the course, including theoretical aspects as well as practical training. Experimental pharmacological methods are introduced, including operation techniques and in vitro experiments with excised tissues or organs. Molecular biological methods, cell culture and tissue culture are treated to a less extent. For these methods students are referred to our course in toxicology. Within general pharmacology, a number of subjects are treated in some length. These subjects include receptor theory, pharmacokinetics, the mechanisms of drug action and the rationale for the choice of drug treatment.
Within special pharmacology, the topics treated may depend on the interests of the students and available lecturers. Examples of topics that may be included are: endocrine pharmacology, psychoactive drugs, asthma therapy, cardiovascular pharmacology and drug delivery.
Teaching includes both lectures and group discussions. The course is a full-time course where students are also expected to devote much time to studies of their own. Several practicals and one or two project assignments are essential parts of the course. The themes for the project works are chosen by the students themselves after consulting their supervisors.
The examination is carried out throughout the course, after consulting the participants, as well as at the end of the course with a written examination. Course requirements and general instructions for the course are specified in a separate document.
What do you study after this course?
Suitable courses for further studies in related areas include Toxicology, Immunology, Immunology and Infection biology as well as several courses within the Biomedicine programs. You could also carry out a degree project, for instance within physiology or medical biology.
Autumn period 2
Full-time, on campus, in English
Course literature 2021
Golan, D. E. (ed) Principles of Pharmacology – The pathophysiologic Basis of Drug Therapy. Lippincott W & W 4 edition, 2016 ISBN: 9781496320575 (International edition).