Programme Director
Dr Christopher John

Pharmacology introduction

Pharmacology introduction
Pathway overview [download pdf]Attend the iBSc Science Fair


This two-week course will provide students with an understanding of the scientific foundations of the study of pharmacology.to the basic principles of drug action, including receptor theory, agonism and antagonism, the principal classes of drug targets and signal transduction mechanisms. Concurrently, the course will provide an introduction to pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism.

The Course Director is Dr Christopher John (c.john@imperial.ac.uk).

The Module leaders are Dr Robert Dickinson (r.dickinson@imperial.ac.ukDr Anabel Varela Carver (a.varela@imperial.ac.uk), and Dr Sohag Saleh (s.saleh@imperial.ac.uk).

Aims and objectives

The course will investigate the following core areas:

  • Receptors as drug targets
  • Hormones as drug targets
  • Enzymes and ion channels as drug targets
  • Data handling and statistics
  • Critical appraisal of scientific writing
  • Scientific writing

At the end of the course the students will be able to:

  • understand the nature and purpose of the scientific method and its relation to the practice of medicine
  • understand the importance of receptors, enzymes and ion channels as drug targets

With the exception of BSc Management and BSc Biomedical Engineering, all of Imperial College's intercalated BSc courses are split into Parts A, B and C. Parts A and B run from September until February and comprise teaching on the BSc course topic. Part C, which runs from March until May, gives students the opportunity to undertake a project.

The BSc project is a ten-week research project, which gives students a valuable opportunity to learn about scientific research. The project is assessed via an oral presentation of the project (25% of Part C marks) and a 5000-word project write-up (75% of Part C marks). Examples of the type of projects available can be found in this list of past BSc project titles (PDF).