Pharmacology BSc/MSci

Personalised Medicine & Clinical Trials 4C option BIOL4284

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Cardiovascular and Metabolic
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The concept of personalised medicine is based on the premise that the effective treatment of human disease requires a patient-by-patient approach rather than the "one size fits all" strategy that has typically been employed until now. This course will explore the theory and application of personalised medicine as it relates to the drug treatment of common clinical conditions and will be delivered by leading experts in the field. 


This option is assigned to block S2-C. There are normally 3 hours of teaching on Thursdays, which may be split over more than one session. 

Excluded Courses



The course will be assessed by a 2-hour examination (70%) and in-course assessment consisting of 2 components: an individual five-minute flash presentation (10%) and a take-home written assignment (20%). 

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

This course aims to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the scientific basis for personalised medicine and its current place and future potential in human healthcare. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Differentiate conventional and personalised strategies for the treatment of human disease;

■ Assess the relative contribution of genomic and other biomarkers to the personalisation of drug therapy;

■ Critically appraise the current and likely future contribution of personalised medicine to the treatment of common human diseases;

■ Evaluate the challenges and opportunities afforded by personalised medicine in the context of future drug development.

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.