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MSc-PGDip in Toxicology

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  • Objectives
    Toxicology is the study of interactions of potentially injurious substances with living organisms. It is a science that encompasses a number of disciplines including biochemistry, pharmacology, molecular biology, physiology, pathology and immunology. The programme has been running for more than 30 years and has established an outstanding worldwide reputation. The programme aims to provide suitably qualified graduates with a broad appreciation of the many aspects of toxicology, whilst focusing on the molecular mechanisms of chemically induced toxicity and the assessment of toxicological hazard. It prepares graduates for employment and further education in all aspects of practical and regulatory toxicology. There has always been a great demand for our graduates, many of whom now occupy senior positions in toxicology all over the world. You will be based at the University throughout the taught programme and, in addition, will make visits to industrial and medical toxicology laboratories at regular intervals. These visits are an integral part of the MSc programme and consist of formal lectures and demonstrations. You will undertake a practical research project at either the University or one of the collaborating institutions. To ensure currency and relevance to industrial and ecological issues, the programme is taught in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Unilever.
  • Entry requirements
    Typical entry requirements Applicants should hold a medical, veterinary or good honours science degree in a subject with strong biological, biochemical or chemical content. Non-graduates with appropriate professional or other qualifications may be admitted. Applications from candidates of exceptional merit, but who lack suitable formal qualifications, will be considered, but such candidates may be required to take an entrance examination. Selection is based upon a candidate's application and references. Candidates resident in the UK are normally invited to attend an interview.
  • Academic Title
    MSc/PGDip in Toxicology
  • Course description
    MSc/PGDip in Toxicology Module overview

    Nine compulsory modules are presented over the two semesters and these consist of lectures, practical work and tutorials. They are:

    Principles of Toxicology 1
    Cell and molecular biology; cellular signalling; tissue damage and repair; mutagenesis and carcinogenesis.

    Principles of Toxicology 2
    Xenobiotic metabolism and biological systems as drug targets; general mechanisms of toxicity and pharmacokinetics.

    Target Organ Toxicity 1
    Haematopoietic and immune system; liver and kidney.

    Target Organ Toxicity 2
    Respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, alimentary, integumentary and nervous systems; reproductive system and development.

    Assessment of Toxicity 1
    Medical toxicology and principles of experimental design in risk assessment.

    Assessment of Toxicity 2
    Hazard identification and risk assessment (human, veterinary and environmental).

    Practical Toxicology 1
    Techniques in toxicology.

    Practical Toxicology 2
    Practical toxicity testing study.

    Integrative Skills in Toxicology
    Key skills: information retrieval; data handling, statistical analysis and presentation; effective writing; oral presentation and discussion; career strategies through personal development planning.

    Knowledge and application: appreciation of past, current and potential sources of xenobiotics and impact on human and environmental health; 'hot topics' in toxicology; integration of knowledge and skills to identify, investigate and report toxicological problems.

    Programme length
    The programme is designed as a continuous full-time programme extending over twelve months (starting in September of each year) and consisting of two semesters of 13 weeks each and a three-month research period.

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