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Last modified: 31 May 2022 13:05

Course Overview

The course will focus on small molecule drug discovery. Receptor theory and cell communication and signalling will be revised to facilitate understanding of the remainder of the course. The basis of the drug discovery process will be described and the phases of drug development discussed. A range of targets for drug discovery will be identified and how small molecule drug affect these will be described. Issues around drug regulation will be raised.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Wael Houssen

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?


Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This applied course will cover the latest developments in small molecule drug discovery and development. The course will progress logically through the process of identifying and characterising lead drug candidates to the point when they enter clinical trials. Much of the course will focus on the two main areas:

  1. The latest screening protocols for lead identification from large compound libraries.
  2. The inherent toxicity problems of synthetic, small molecule drugs.

The second component of the course will cover in detail the steps taken to minimise any unwanted side effects in drugs used for therapy. Wherever possible the course will use real clinical examples to deliver its applied message effectively and clearly. The course will also include presentations from industry professionals.

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Tutorial during University weeks 9 - 12, 12, 15 - 18
  • 3 Tutorials during University week13

More Information about Week Numbers

Details for second half-session courses, including assessments, may be subject to change until 23 December 2022.

Summative Assessments

Alternative Assessment

2x 25% Online Oral Exam

25% Individual Poster

25% Individual Presentation

Alternative Resit Assessment

30 minute oral exam examining all ILOs. Two examiners would be present.

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
ConceptualUnderstandTo demonstrate understanding of the different phases of drug discovery and the key processes run through each phase.
ProceduralCreateTo be able to deduce and identify what should be considered in designing a new drug against a specific target.
ProceduralApplyTo be able to identify druggable targets.

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