Diploma in Pharmacology


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Diploma in Pharmacology

Why Oxford Learning College


Pharmacology involves the study of the effects of chemical substances on the function of living bodies. The subject originated in the nineteenth century as a science, one of many biomedical sciences that were based on experimentation, as opposed to the dogma that existed at that time. Today, modern medicine relies heavily on drugs as a major tool of therapeutics, along with surgery, diet and exercise.

The course is intended for those interested in pharmacology in either a personal or professional context. This course is relevant for those who work in the healthcare sector and would like to develop their knowledge and understanding of the subject. This course is also indicated for those who do not work in the medical industry who would like to further their knowledge and understanding in order to progress to higher levels of study or transfer their knowledge to practical based roles (according to organisational or specific criteria and requirements).

Students will study the major aspects of pharmacology, exploring the origins of pharmacology, how a drug is developed, how it works and targets the body. In the later units this course examines major structures of the body such as the heart, nervous system and endocrine system. Each unit will comprise of 2 sections; the first exploring the anatomy of the structure so that specific pharmacokinetics and drug characteristics are understood; and the second focusing on the common conditions, treatments and drug class. This will enable students to understand fully the principles and practice of pharmacology and the how and why of drug action on different body systems.

Included within the course will be a range of Independent Study Activities and case studies designed to encourage students to develop their knowledge and underpin understanding of the subject.

The guidelines and protocols mentioned in this course are UK based.

Syllabus and Module Specification

Unit 1: What is Pharmacology?

This module examines the science of pharmacology in detail, describing its many features, and looking into its origins. The science has evolved over the years and basis for the practice medicine, nursing, dentistry and veterinarian medicine. There is continuous research by pharmacologists and drug companies to develop new drugs to improve the treatment options for illness and diseases. The three phases of clinical testing and the purpose of a patent will be explained.

Unit 2: The Principles of pharmacokinetics

This unit focuses on the pharmacokinetic process of Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism and Elimination (ADME). The main drug administration sites and their corresponding elimination routes in the body are described. The unit also explores the role of the kidneys and liver in the metabolism and elimination of drugs, and considers the two stages of drug absorption in orally administered drugs.

Unit 3: How drugs act

This unit is going to focus on how drugs work within the body and the mechanisms for drug actions. In order for drugs to have an effect of the body they must target specific receptors such as pain receptors, this unit will explore the classifications of receptors and how chemical messages and cell communication occurs. Side effects of drugs will be explained.

Unit 4: The respiratory system

This unit explains the anatomy of the respiratory system (mouth, nose, trachea, lungs and diaphragm) and the physiology of breathing. The unit also addresses the more common respiratory conditions associated with this system such as Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and how pharmacology can influence them through the use of inhalers etc. The main principles of immunisation are described.

Unit 5: The heart and vascular system

This unit establish a basic understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the heart and the vascular system, and the conditions that can affect each system - such as angina, myocardial infarction, heart failure, systemic hypertension and peripheral vascular disease The different drug classes for treatment of common conditions that affect the heart and vascular systems will be examined and their interactions and effects discussed.

Unit 6: The kidneys

This unit explains the anatomy and physiology of the kidneys, and their specific diseases and treatments available, with a focus on the drugs that affect the kidneys and associated systems. The foremost group of drugs that act on the kidneys are diuretics which are often prescribed for treatment of forms of cardiovascular disease and their effects will also be described. The unit will also look into the pharmacological treatments in the management of kidney failure, kidney stones and adult nocturnal enuresis.

Unit 7: The digestive system

This unit initially focuses on the anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and also the conditions that affect it. The digestive system accounts for 8% of all prescriptions of medications in the UK ranging from treatment for vomiting and diarrhoea to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease. The unit describes the drugs that affect inflammation, gastric secretion and function within this body system.

Unit 8: The pancreas, pituitary and thyroid glands

The pancreas, pituitary and thyroid are part of the endocrine body system; these glands secrete hormones into the blood the synthesise substances such as sugar and to control body functions such as growth and heat production. In this unit, the anatomy and physiology and functional mechanisms of each gland will be examined, along with associated illnesses such as diabetes mellitus and hyperthyroidism. The characteristics of drug groups that are used to control these conditions will be discussed and explained.

Unit 9: The nervous system

This unit focuses on the structure of the brain, including brain function and the drug receptors in the brain that together with the blood brain barrier to allow pharmacological agents to work. There is detailed examination of the Central Nervous System (CNS), the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) and the Autonomic Nervous system (PNS) and their associated functions. There is discussion of the different drugs and their characteristics that are used in the treatment of conditions affecting the nervous system. The pharmacological characteristics of antiepileptics, antipsychotics, antidepressants and analgesics are explained.

Unit 10: Antibiotics and Chemotherapy

This final unit addresses the important subject of how antibiotic drugs destroy infections caused by gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The unit also explains how cancer cells grow and reproduce, and the mechanism of chemotherapy and its impact on the process of cell division – along with its side effects, such as hair loss and vomiting. The use of retro-antiviral drugs in the treatment of HIV is explained.

Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above.

Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit

Assessment Method

Final online multiple choice examination.

Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.


Diploma in Pharmacology

This course is Quality Assured by the Quality Licence Scheme
Quality Assured by QLS

At the end of this course successful learners will receive an e-Certificate from Oxford Learning College. There is also the option to purchase an Embossed Certificate and also a certificate from ABC Awards for the qualification.

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners' and/or employers' requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers. Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

How can I progress

For more information on how to progress after completing this course, please click here

Additional Information

You will receive a certificate from the College. A digital version is included in the price and will be emailed to you within 5 days of taking your online exam.

Should you require an embossed hard copy of your certificate to be sent to you by Special Delivery post, you can order this separately after taking your exam.

The course can be enrolled upon by students Internationally. There are no deadlines for enrolments.

To view the differences between our qualifications, please click HERE

What's Included

Online study materials to enable the student to successfully complete the Diploma. Support is provided by the tutor department for the duration of the course (1 year). Certification upon completion. All examination fees.

Course Fee


Payment by Instalments

Students are able to pay course fees in monthly instalments. Click here to download our instalment plan.

Further Information

The Quality Assured Diploma is a Level 3 equivalent on the National Qualifications Framework. The Diploma is a 1 year course which is self study and is examined by online examination. The Diploma is awarded by Oxford College. Upon completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College.

The Level 3 Diplomas require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order to for students to manage study and the assumed knowledge within course content.

They provide an ability to gain and apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding in a specific subject at a detailed level. Level 3 qualifications such as A levels, NVQ3, BTEC Diplomas etc. are appropriate if you plan to progress to university study.

Level 3 Diploma courses can assist you in career development, continued professional development, personal development, and provision of a basis for further study.

Progression from Level 3 is to specialist learning and detailed analysis of a higher level of information (for example university level study, Diploma Level 5 study).

Your course is delivered online via the Oxford Learning On Campus website.

This is a flexible learning course, so the more time you have to commit to your studies, the sooner you are able to complete.

In the student 'On Campus' you are also able to take part in the student chat room and forums as part of our online student community.

After enrolling online you will receive your username and password to access the On Campus area within 3 working days.

Materials and support provided by Oxford Learning. Oxford Learning

For more information please visit our FAQ page.

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I wish to study pharmacy diploma and my view is to finish this within six month.

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This product was added to our catalog on Wednesday 24 October, 2012.

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