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Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

  • during this course, you will start to appreciate why the diagnosis and treatment of various neurological and psychiatric disorders is both an art and a science; 
  • students will use real-life examples from case studies to help develop and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding; 
  • practical classes will enhance students understanding of why developing new neuropharmaceuticals is challenging and will improve their laboratory and analytical skills; 
  • this course will help students understand why multidisciplinary teams are essential in improving our understanding and treatment of neurological and psychological disorders; 
  • this course will improve your problem-solving, scientific writing, practical and data handling skills

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
  • Dr Derek Scott

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

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

The course will include lectures on functional neuroanatomy, autonomic and neuromuscular pharmacology, neuropharmacology to include functional aspects of excitatory and inhibitory amino acids, monoamines, peptides and nitric oxide. It will explore pain, opioids and narcotic analgesics and drugs depressing CNS function (e.g. cannabinoids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants and antipsychotics), as well as discussing the issues/mechanisms of tolerance and addiction.
We will review applications of various drugs that affect the nervous system and explore how they were discovered and developed, how they are applied in everyday life, what the potential disadvantages of them might be, and also what the future holds for the development of novel drugs used to treat diseases/disorders of the nervous system. We will briefly also review the differences in how medical scientists and psychologists view what goes wrong during such diseases and disorders.
Finally, the course will explain various basic concepts in physiology and pharmacology and show how we statistically analyse data from experiments using novel drugs and what conclusions we can draw from such investigations.

Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: 1 one and a half hour essay examination (70%) and in-course assessment (30%). Continuous assessment comprises: 1 data handling/statistical analysis exercise , one 1500 word essay, 2 case studies. Resit: 1 one and a half hour essay examination (70%) and previous continuous assessment (30%).

Formative Assessment

- Practice exam essay allows students to write under exam conditions and receive feedback on their performance. - Case-study exercise with feedback in preparation for summative assessments. - PRS-based revision sessions allow students to practice for MCQ tests and receive feedback on their performance. - Problem-solving sessions using real pharmacological data will provide feedback as to whether the students are understanding the topics covered within the lecture elements of the course and also if they understand how and why the data are analysed in specific ways. Feedback is given gradually during these sessions, ensuring that all students understand what is covered in that session before we move on to the next.


- Practical reports, case studies and essays will be marked with written comments. Model answers are also supplied via MyAberdeen. - Case study questions will be discussed during a lecture/feedback session. - Written comments will be provided on the mock exam question. - Students are given general feedback on performance during PRS revision sessions.

Course Learning Outcomes


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