module specification

AS6057 - Toxicology (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Toxicology
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 150
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
120 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Comprehension exercise (60 min)
Unseen Examination 40%   Unseen exam (90 min)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Practical Attendance
Running in 2018/19

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module will enable students to extend their understanding of toxicity. They will study the influences of endogenous  and  foreign compound metabolism on toxicity. Students will learn how these processes can be modulated in the treatment of poisonings.  

Prior learning requirements

AS5004 Metabolism and Microbiology

Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s, Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. This module aims to engage students with problems in toxicology by allowing students study a range of topics including forensic, regulatory and environmental toxicology. It will provide students both with an understanding of the key role of foreign compound (xenobiotic) metabolism in biochemical toxicology and an in-depth study of selected topics in toxicology. 


Introduction: to include-historical perspective and the scope of toxicology such as forensic, regulatory and environmental toxicology.

Mechanisms of biochemical toxicity: to include- the role of ADME, Phase I (functionalisation) and Phase II (conjugation) reactions; factors which modify biochemical toxicity inter alia, age, diet,sex, species, genetic variation, component interaction; free radical mediated processes and heavy metal toxicity.

Experimental basis of toxicity: to include-use and limitations of animal tests such as acute, sub-acute and chronic tests, use and limitations of non-animal tests inter alia Ames test and use of organ, tissue and cell culture.

Selected case studies: that may  include-organ specific toxicity such as cardiotoxicity due to adriamycin, pneumotoxicity due to paraquat and hepatotoxicity due to tetrachloromethane, allyl alcohol or ethanol; mechanisms specific toxicity such as immunotoxicity, radiation toxicity or oxygen toxicity; use of biomarkers to incate specific toxicity; the role of forensic toxicology in solving crimes.

Learning and teaching

Students will be provided with the opportunity to acquire knowledge of the subject material through teacher-led blended learning activities in the form of lectures and tutorials (24 hours, 16%) and practicals (6 hours, 4%). Students' ability to make critical evaluations will be developed through the analysis of source material and case studies (50 hours, 33%) supported by tutorial discussion. Students' ability to obtain and critically appraise data, and solve related problems (36 hours, 24%) will be developed through laboratory-based exercises. Students will be expected to reflect on taught material in order to demonstrate their understanding of the principles and practices of biochemical pathology (34 hours, 23%).

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an appreciation of how biochemistry underpins an understanding of  toxicological processes and treatment strategies.
  2. Research primary sources on toxicity, including published papers and laboratory data; and use that research to produce a synthesis of ideas.
  3. Effectively extract, critically analyse and present information in context.
  4. Undertake laboratory work in order to obtain and critically appraise data, and solve problems .
  5. Work through case studies in order to understand toxic agents, particularly with respect to ethical considerations.

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed by means of  coursework component (60 minutes duration, 60% of the overall mark) and time-constrained unseen test (90 minutes duration, 40% of the overall mark). The coursework will consist of an in-class exercise  based on the comprehension of one or more research papers.
To pass the module, students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 40%.  There will be an attendance requirement for the practical sessions. If the module is passed on reassessment, then the maximum mark awarded will be 40%.

Assessment Learning Outcomes
Comprehension exercise 2,3,5
Unseen test 1 1,3,4,5



Hodgson, E. (2010)  A textbook of Modern Toxicology, Fourth Edition. Wiley.
Lu, F.C (2003)  Lu’s Basic Toxicology, Fourth Edition. Taylor and Francis.
Timbrell, J.A (2002) Introduction to Toxicology, Third Edition. Taylor and Francis.
Timbrell, J.A (2009) Principles of Biochemical Toxicology, Fourth Edition. Informa Helathcare.

Research journals
TRENDS in Pharmacological Sciences
Journal of Chemical Education
Forensic Science International
Clinical Biochemistry
Biochemical Pharmacology