Principles of Pharmacology VETSCI3010

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Biodiversity One Health Vet Med
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 3 (SCQF level 9)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will provide the student with knowledge and understanding of the principles of pharmacology applicable to the broad veterinary science field.


Weekly lectures supplemented with practicals, tutorials and self-directed study.

Requirements of Entry

Students must have attained the minimum requirements for entry into level 3 of the Veterinary Biosciences [Hons]/MSci Programme as specified in the Veterinary Biosciences [Hons]/MSci Programme Supplementary Regulations.

Excluded Courses



In course summative assessment (55%): Two experimental findings papers (10% and 20%), one critical review paper (10%) and one group poster presentation with individual oral component (15%)

End of course summative assessment (45%): written exam that may include questions of following types - SAQ, MCQ and data interpretation.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of this course are to:

■ introduce students to the use of pharmacological terminology and techniques

■ provide students with a broad understanding of the principles of pharmacology

■ provide students with detailed knowledge of the pharmacology of specific systems/ targets

■ develop the student's ability to research a topic independently and extend the skill of critical appraisal

■ promote the development of scientific writing and presentation of an evidence-based argument

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ critically evaluate the mode of interaction of drugs with their cellular targets and the consequences of these interactions at a cellular and whole-body level

■ discuss the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacokinetic models

■ discuss how drugs are used to manipulate function within specific body systems (e.g. autonomic and cardiovascular systems)

■ discuss how drugs are used to control pathogens e.g. bacteria, helminths and ectoparasites

■ evaluate how drugs bring about an analgesic effect

■ explain how drugs can have toxic effects of drugs on the whole animal and the environment

■ critically interpret, analyse and evaluate a range of pharmacological data from diverse sources

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.