PHAR30010 Chemotherapeutic Agents

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module forms part of the core curriculum in the discipline of Pharmacology in the 3rd Year of the BSc Degree programme, in the UCD School of Biomolecular and Biomedical Science. Students from other disciplines may also avail of the course content. The module focuses on the mechanistic basis underlying the drug-based treatment of microbial infection and cancer. Topics covered include fundamental aspects of chemotherapy, along with description of drug action against bacteria, viruses, cancer cells, single-celled protozoa, worms and fungi. Students also acquire practical skills in the assessment of chemotherapeutic agents in the treatment of microbial infection and cancer.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:1. Place into context the impact of microbial infection and cancer and treatment thereof in humans.2. Evaluate central biological differences between infectious microorganisms/cancer cells and the human host, with a view to identifying key targets for therapeutic intervention.3. Describe the fundamental principles of anti-microbial and anti-cancer chemotherapy.4. Outline the mechanism of action of individual classes of chemotherapeutic agents. 5. Describe problematic issues associated with chemotherapy and ways to circumvent these.6. Perform practical assessments of chemotherapeutic agents in disease treatment.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours






Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
lectures; group work; lab work; enquiry & problem-based learning; 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

It is recommended that students have a background (foundation level) in human physiology and biochemistry

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
MEMI30040 - Principles of infection, PATH30190 - Oncology & Immunopathology

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Written exam (Short answers and MCQ) 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded Yes


Practical Examination: Written report and practical examination to be completed after each practical session Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Name Role
Professor Orina Belton Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr David Hughes Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Tara McMorrow Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Paula Ventura da Silva Tutor
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 Mon 15:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - Autumn: All Weeks Wed 15:00 - 15:50
Practical Offering 1 Week(s) - 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 Wed 10:00 - 12:50
Practical Offering 2 Week(s) - 3, 5, 7, 9, 11 Thurs 10:00 - 12:50