Course Overview

Toxicology is the study of poisons, drawing heavily on life and physical sciences, as well as being an applied practically-based subject. It is designed to acquaint students with the breadth of Toxicology, with a considerable emphasis on its practical application. The first semester consists of a foundation in Pharmacology and Toxicology and their applications. Workshops provide students with a theoretical basis in data handling and interpretation.

The second semester consists of lectures in advanced topics such as Risk Assessment, Target Organ Toxicity, Reproductive and Regulatory Toxicology. In addition there is more emphasis on laboratory mini-projects (in vivo, in vitro & molecular projects) that introduce students to the practical elements of toxicity testing and data interpretation. There are also a number of written projects on toxicity testing used in the drug industry as well as recent advances in toxicity assays which involve self-directed learning.

In the third semester, there is a 3-month research project to investigate an aspect of toxicology and deliver a seminar on this area. This involves the student preparing a research proposal, carrying out the lab-based project and preparing a thesis on the findings.

Programme outcomes include:

  • Demonstrating a detailed knowledge of the principles and concepts of toxicology and pharmacology
  • Demonstrating an in-depth knowledge of the recent developments and applications in the field of toxicology
  • Demonstrating a high skill level in a wide range of laboratory skills for toxicological investigations
  • Communicating experimental findings in toxicology effectively, using a variety of verbal, written and visual means.
  • Designing, conducting, analysing and presenting their original laboratory‐based research.

Applications and Selections

Applications are made online via The Postgraduate Applications Centre (PAC). Relevant PAC application code(s) above. Selection is based on the candidate's undergraduate marks, as well as their aptitude for the programme following interview.

Who Teaches this Course

Requirements and Assessment

A variety of different assessment strategies are used, including written examinations, laboratory practicals and mini-project reports, assignments, data-handling computer exercises, experimental reasoning, essays, posters, oral presentations and a research project thesis.

Key Facts

Entry Requirements

Successful students will normally hold at least a Second Class Honours Level 8 degree, or equivalent international qualification, from a diversity of undergraduate disciplines. Students are also considered who have a Level 7 degree, or equivalent international qualification, and three years’ relevant postgraduate full-time work experience. IELTS score of 6.5 (with not less than 5.5 in any one component).

Additional Requirements

Duration

1 year, full-time

Next start date

September 2018

A Level Grades ()

Average intake

10

Closing Date

 Please refer to review/closing dates website.

Next start date

September 2018

NFQ level

Mode of study

Taught

ECTS weighting

90

Award

CAO

PAC code

GYS18

Course Outline

Programme content (subject to change)

The programme is divided into three trimesters (each of 30 ECTS) in the following manner:

Trimester One

  • Introduction to Toxicology: 5 ECTS
  • Applied Toxicology: 5 ECTS
  • Fundamental Concepts in Pharmacology: 5 ECTS
  • Applied Concepts in Pharmacology: 5 ECTS
  • Experimental Methods in Pharmacology: 10 ECTS

Trimester Two

  • Experimental Toxicology: 15 ECTS
  • Current Topics in Toxicology: 10 ECTS
  • Advanced Toxicology: 5 ECTS

Trimester Three

  • Toxicology Research Project: 30 ECTS

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Modules for 2017-18

Curriculum information relates to the current academic year (in most cases).
Course and module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Glossary of Terms

Credits
You must earn a defined number of credits (aka ECTS) to complete each year of your course. You do this by taking all of its required modules as well as the correct number of optional modules to obtain that year's total number of credits.
Optional
A module you may choose to study.
Required
A module that you must study if you choose this course (or subject).
Semester
Most courses have 2 semesters (aka terms) per year.

Year 1 (90 Credits)

Required PM5108: Applied Toxicology


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

Self-directed learning module to apply the principles of toxicology to the assessment of toxicological catastrophes, individual toxicants and classes of toxicants

Learning Outcomes
  1. Collect/collate toxicological data on specific toxicants or classes of toxicants
  2. Interpret toxicological data
  3. Apply knowledge of toxicity assessment including challenges faced in extrapolating risks to man to interpret risk posed by specific toxciants or classes of toxicants
  4. Apply knowledge of the factors affecting toxic responses, specific mechanisms of toxic action, and knowledge of target organ toxicity to specific toxicants or classes of toxicants
Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PM5108: "Applied Toxicology" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PM209: Applied Concepts in Pharmacology


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

This module introduces students to autonomic pharmacology and drug discovery and development. A combination of lectures, tutorials and workshops will be used.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Describe the process of adrenergic and cholinergic neurotransmission including receptors and transporters.
  2. Relate drug mechanism of action to autonomic neurotransmission
  3. Describe how new molecular entities are discovered and developed into drug candidates for human clinical trials
  4. Summarize the clinical trial process including adverse effects
  5. Derive dose-response curves for agonists and antagonists in the ANS
  6. Interpret clinical trial data
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (30%)
  • Computer-based Assessment (70%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Pharmacology" by Rang, H.P., Dale, Ritter, Flower & Henderson
    Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
  2. "Principles of Pharmacology" by Golan, D.E
  3. "Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews Pharmacology" by Harvey, R.A
The above information outlines module PM209: "Applied Concepts in Pharmacology" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PM208: Fundamental Concepts in Pharmacology


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

This module introduces students to fundamental pharmacological concepts of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. A combination of lectures, tutorials and workshops will be used.

Learning Outcomes
  1. describe the main drug targets
  2. interpret dose response curves for agonists, antagonists, inverse agonists
  3. calculate molarities, concentrations, volumes required in making solutions
  4. access and critically analyse and interpret pharmacological data
  5. describe the processes of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion for specific drugs
  6. explain the effects of different routes of administration on absorption of drugs, and effects of food and drug interactions on drug disposition
  7. derive pharmacokinetic data and use them to predict clinical properties of drugs
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (30%)
  • Computer-based Assessment (70%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Pharmacology" by Rang, H.P., Dale, Ritter, Flower & Henderson
    Publisher: Churchill Livingstone
  2. "Principles of Pharmacology" by Golan, D.E., et al
  3. "Lippincott’s Illustrated Reviews Pharmacology" by Harvey, R.A.
The above information outlines module PM208: "Fundamental Concepts in Pharmacology" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PM311: Introduction to Toxicology


Semester 1 | Credits: 5

A 5ECTS module developed to provide an introduction to Toxicology to third year science students who have an interest in poisons and a background in Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Physiology, Anatomy or Chemistry. The course involves lectures delivered over one semester and is assessed through continuous assessment and a 2 hour written examination at semester's end.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. use the language, terms, and definitions of toxicology
  2. describe the factors affecting toxic responses
  3. describe specific mechanisms of toxic action
  4. apply this knowledge to explain specific examples of target organ toxicity
  5. describe how toxicity assessed and the challenges of risk assessment
  6. collect toxicological information and apply toxicological principles to specific classes of toxicant and specific situations
Assessments
  • Continuous Assessment (40%)
  • Computer-based Assessment (60%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Casarett & Doull's Essentials of Toxicology" by n/a
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
  2. "Principles of Biochemical Toxicology" by n/a
The above information outlines module PM311: "Introduction to Toxicology" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PM5102: Experimental Methods in Pharmacology


Semester 1 | Credits: 10

A practical-based module that aims to develop laboratory skills in conjunction with data analysis and interpretation using computer software

Learning Outcomes
  1. Be proficient in lab skills
  2. Construct graphical representations of data sets
  3. Interpret experimental data
  4. Analyse data using the appropriate methods
  5. Provide rationale for choosing appropriate statistical methods
  6. Critically evaluate scientific data in the literature
  7. Create experimental reports based on the analysis of data sets
Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (70%)
  • Computer-based Assessment (30%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PM5102: "Experimental Methods in Pharmacology" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PM5110: Current Topics in Toxicology


Semester 2 | Credits: 10

This is a self-directed assignment-based module that aims to develop students' capabilities in data analysis, interpretation and presentation and to familiarise them with recent advances and controversial topics in the field of toxicology.

Learning Outcomes
  1. . Evaluate the current safety information for a named drug at various stages of its development
  2. Critically analyse the evidence and synthesise an opinion on a controversial topic in toxicology
  3. Develop a research proposal and design experiments to address a project title
Assessments
  • Department-based Assessment (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PM5110: "Current Topics in Toxicology" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PM5112: Research Project in Toxicology


Trimester 3 | Credits: 30

This is a 12-week individual laboratory-based research project. The aim of this module is to provide the students with experience of conducting scientific research as well as communicating their research via oral presentation and written dissertation.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Design scientific experiments to address a specific research question.
  2. Demonstrate technical skill and competency in relevant scientific procedures.
  3. . Work independently, responsibly and safely in the laboratory.
  4. Generate, analyse, depict and critically interpret scientific data.
  5. Critically review relevant historical and state-of-the-art scientific literature.
  6. Communicate scientific findings through appropriate verbal, written and visual means.
Assessments
  • Research (100%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PM5112: "Research Project in Toxicology" and is valid from 2015 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PM5111: Advanced Toxicology


Semester 2 | Credits: 5

This module is designed to further develop knowledge and understanding of advanced topics in toxicology.
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. To critcally assess and discuss recent advances in the filed of Toxicology
  2. To Interpret toxicological data from the literature on specific toxicants and assess its potential risk to human health or the environment
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (100%)
Teachers
Reading List
  1. "Casarett & Doull's Essentials of Toxicology" by n/a
    Publisher: Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
  2. "Principles of Biochemical Toxicology." by n/a
    Publisher: lnforma Healthcare;
The above information outlines module PM5111: "Advanced Toxicology" and is valid from 2017 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Required PM5109: Experimental Toxiocology


Semester 2 | Credits: 15

This is a practical-based module with the aim of preparing students for their research project. This module consists of mini-projects in topics relevant to toxicology research
(Language of instruction: English)

Learning Outcomes
  1. Design appropriately statistically powered experiments to observe toxicant-induced behavioural effects
  2. 0bserve and record behavioural changes following toxicant exposure
  3. Perform experiments to determine cytotoxicity
  4. Perform experiments to measure changes in molecular events following toxicant treatment in cells
  5. Anaylse and present from scientific data
  6. Interpret and derive conclusions from experimental data
Assessments
  • Written Assessment (20%)
  • Department-based Assessment (80%)
Teachers
The above information outlines module PM5109: "Experimental Toxiocology" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

Optional PM550: Written Examinations


Not applicable | Credits: 0

Assessments
    The above information outlines module PM550: "Written Examinations" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
    Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

    Optional PM560: Course Assessment


    Not applicable | Credits: 0

    Assessments
      The above information outlines module PM560: "Course Assessment" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
      Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

      Optional PM570: Toxicology Research Project


      Not applicable | Credits: 0

      Assessments
      • Continuous Assessment (100%)
      The above information outlines module PM570: "Toxicology Research Project" and is valid from 2014 onwards.
      Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

      Optional PM5114: Screening Molecular Libraries


      Semester 1 | Credits: 5

      The module will provide training in high-throughput and high-content screening technologies to post-graduate students. The course delivers training through a mixture of lectures, practical classes, tutorials, assignments and a training workshop. Students will gain theoretical and practical knowledge of high-throughput and high-content screening and develop proficiency in a range of data analysis techniques. The course will be delivered through the Biomedical Sciences Screening Core Facility at NUI Galway. The facility is fully equipped to deliver all aspects of the course. The course will be open to research MSc students and PhD students in biomedical sciences (College of Science, College of Medicine and other relevant Colleges ) subject to capacity and approval of the Module owner.
      (Language of instruction: English)

      Learning Outcomes
      1. Demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the principles and concepts of screening.
      2. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the recent developments and applications in the field of screening
      3. Demonstrate a competency in a wide range laboratory skills relevant to high-throughput and high content screening activity
      4. Identify the key features important when designing new screens,
      5. Be able to conduct a screen proficiently and to appropriately analyse and summarise screening data.
      Assessments
      • Continuous Assessment (10%)
      • Oral, Audio Visual or Practical Assessment (90%)
      Teachers
      The above information outlines module PM5114: "Screening Molecular Libraries" and is valid from 2016 onwards.
      Note: Module offerings and details may be subject to change.

      Why Choose This Course?

      Career Opportunities

      Previous graduates of this programme have either found employment in toxicological testing and product quality testing within industry or government agencies or in the field of regulatory toxicology within governmental and international regulatory bodies. Graduates have also enrolled in PhD programmes and further academic studies in related disciplines.

      Who’s Suited to This Course

      Learning Outcomes

       

      Work Placement

      Study Abroad

      Related Student Organisations

      Course Fees

      Fees: EU

      €7,015 p.a. 2018/19

      Fees: Tuition

      €6,791 p.a. 2018/19

      Fees: Student levy

      €224 p.a. 2018/19

      Fees: Non EU

      €14,750 p.a. 2018/19
       For further information on postgraduate funding & scholarship opportunities please see here.

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