module specification

BM7112 - Introduction to Toxicology (2016/17)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2016/17, but may be subject to modification
Module title Introduction to Toxicology
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 10
School School of Human Sciences
Total study hours 100
100 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 30%   On-line quizzes (300 words)
Coursework 30%   Reflective learning log (750 words)
Coursework 40%   Written assignment (ECA) (1000 words)
Running in 2016/17

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year LMET Distance Learning Not applicable -

Module summary

This module provides information and guidance to faciliatate an indepth understanding and knowledge of the theory and practical applications of toxicology. It explains the underlying mechanisms of xenobiotic (drug) metabolism and enables these ideas to be expanded to the understanding of human health and disease.
Semester: Autumn, Spring, Summer (10 credit)
Required prior Learning: None
Assessment: Quizzes (300 words)(30%), reflective learning log (750 words)(30%), coursework (1000 words)(40%)

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The aims of this module are aligned with the qualification descriptors within the Quality Assurance Agency’s Framework for Higher Education Qualifications. To provide, through in depth study, knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of toxicology and to reinforce analytical, evaluative and communication skills. Additionally to research a topical issue in depth and present it at an appropriate level and to reflect on the topics studied and their application in biomedical, pharmaceutical or forensic practice.


This module provides an understanding and knowledge of the theory and practice of toxicology
It will include an introductory background to toxicology, scope of subject, central role of drug or xenobiotic metabolism is determining toxicity, methods for establishing levels of toxicity, techniques of measurement including HPLC, GC and coupled mass spectrometric detection. Application of the principles to the understanding of specific toxicities inter alia ethanol, paracetamol, carbon monoxide, ethylene glycol, redox-cycling drugs.

Learning and teaching

Information pertaining to the subject matter will be presented through an integrated programme of lectures and supporting exercises, together with some use of a problem-based learning approach and the guided use of student-centred learning resources.  Lectures will be used to provide a conceptual framework.  Student centred assignments will enable students to reinforce and expand their knowledge, and develop subject specific skills and competence.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:
1. Describe the scope of toxicology, in particular the key roles of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion as determinants of toxicity.
2. Relate toxicology theory to laboratory, clinical and forensic practice, including awareness of factors affecting sample integrity, sample clean-up procedures and limitations of analysis.      
3. Demonstrate understanding of key aspects of toxicology inter alia drug metabolism, free radical biochemistry, tests for toxicity, structure-function relationships and the detection of toxic substances in bulk and in biological matrices. 
4. Understand principles of quality control and quality assurance in relation to toxicology and critically interpret and evaluate information from a particular case study.
5. Demonstrate through the reflective learning journal that the student has reflected on their own performance as an independent professional learner.

Assessment strategy

The module will be formatively assessed by in-course online quizzes (30%) and two coursework components. A reflective learning log (750 words)(30%) and a written assignment (40%; 1000 words). Criteria for assessment will include an understanding of the subject matter; an ability, both orally and written, to explain, describe and discuss the work; completeness and conciseness of written reports and essays with emphasis upon critical ability and scientific rigour. To pass the module students need to achieve a minimum aggregate mark of 50%.

Component   Learning outcomes
Quizzes   1,2
Reflective learning log 3,4,5
Written assignment  3,4,5


Hodgson E (2010)  A textbook of Modern Toxicology, 4th Ed. Wiley.
Lu FC (2003) Lu’s Basic Toxicology, 4th Ed. Taylor and Francis.
Timbrell JA (2002) Introduction to Toxicology, 3rd Ed. Taylor and Francis.
Timbrell JA (2009) Principles of Biochemical Toxicology, 4th Ed. Informa Healthcare.