At St George's we offer a broad range of learning environments which include traditional lectures, tutorials, interactive workshops, laboratory and practical activities, workplace visits and web-based delivery. The course is assessed using a variety of different methods, enabling you to demonstrate your capabilities in a range of ways.

An academic working with a student (BSc Clinical Pharmacology).

Course structure

The BSc (Hons) in Clinical Pharmacology is a 3 year course. Throughout the course, students will study 6 main topics:

  • Fundamentals of science – the human biology needed to understand and learn pharmacology
  • Pharmacokinetics –how the body handles drugs
  • Pharmacodynamics –how drugs exert their effects on the body
  • Drug development and clinical trials – how drugs are discovered and developed as medicines
  • Drugs in healthcare –how information from clinical trials and drug development is used to guide the use of medicines for patients in clinical practice
  • Statistics – how to analyse and interpret research data relating to drugs

In the first year, students will learn about the fundamentals of science and will gain a good introduction to pharmacology and statistics. In the second year students will become proficient in pharmacology and statistics and will learn about the fundamentals of genomics. Students will do a practical research project, collecting data in laboratory or clinical experiments and presenting their results in a student symposium. At the end of the year they will do an ‘employability’ block, which will include short work experience placements, meeting visiting lectures from different careers and using simulation to develop expertise in performing clinical trials. the final year, students will learn about cutting edge topics in drug development and do a second research project, designing a research trial. They will specialise in one or 2 areas of clinical pharmacology that particularly interest them and choose optional modules to learn about drugs for a particular disease area in more depth. More details of the course content and assessment are given in the course content section (see menu).

Teaching and learning methods

The course will use a wide variety of teaching methods to suit all learning styles. Face to face lectures will be used to address key concepts. These will be supported by team-based learning (students working in groups to solve problems) and small group tutorials. The course will be underpinned by excellent web-based material, including material to read before teaching (pre-reading), lecture notes and recordings, videos, and weekly quizzes to check knowledge and progress.

Students will have training in presentation skills and will practice these skills with regular presentations. They will be taught to use information technology, including power point, spreadsheets and statistical packages. They will be taught how to write scientific documents including research plans (protocols) and reports (papers) and will develop their expertise through practice. They will learn practical skills for human research (e.g. taking blood, heart tracings (ECG), safety monitoring and basic life support) and laboratory research through regular practical classes.

Students will receive teaching from visiting lecturers and will undertake short workplace placements in the NHS and industry to see pharmacology in practice and learn more about employment prospects.

Assessment methods

A variety of different methods are used to assess the course, enabling you to demonstrate your capabilities in a range of ways. These are laid out by year in the module section (see menu). Assessment methods include weekly quizzes with feedback so students can assess their own progress, in course assessment of written work and presentations, written examinations, skills portfolio and research project write up. In year 1 assessments are used to assess suitability for progression to year 2 but don’t contribute to the overall degree mark. Year 2 and 3 assessments contribute to the final grade.

Teaching staff

The course is led by Professor Emma Baker, Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Professor Iain Greenwood, Professor of Vascular Pharmacology. Professor Baker has been voted ‘best teacher’ eleven times by St George’s students and is a National Teaching Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Professor Greenwood received the 2017 Zaimis prize from the British Pharmacological Society for ‘sustained commitment to the teaching of pharmacology at an outstanding level’.

Professors Baker and Greenwood lead an outstanding course team with considerable expertise in teaching clinical pharmacology. The teaching team currently includes clinical pharmacologists: Dr Dagan Lonsdale, Dr Daniel Burrage, Dr Andrew Hitchings, Dr Teck Khong, Dr Lila Mayahi, Dr Chris Threapleton; and pharmacologists: Dr Alexis Bailey, Dr Caroline Copeland, Dr James Buckley, Dr Vincenzo Barrese, Dr Omar Janneh.

Beyond the course team, teaching and research at St George's is conducted within four Institutes (Medical and Biomedical Education (IMBE), Molecular and Clinical Sciences, Infection and Immunity, Population Health) and the joint Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences. The Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences is a partnership between Kingston University and St George’s.

The course falls within the remit of the Centre for Biomedical Education which forms part of the Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education (IMBE) comprising research-active academic staff from a range of professional disciplines. Colleagues from all institutes also make a significant contribution to both teaching and project work within the course.


Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2019 15:51