About the Course

About the Course (SCS 2900)

Course Name: SCS 2900 Pharmacology: Principles and Clinical Applications

 Course Dates: Fall 2014: September 29, 2014 – February 21, 2015

                        Winter 2015:  January 12 – May 23, 2015

                        Spring 2015:  April 13 – July 25, 2015

Method of Instruction: Online

Departments: Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

Prerequisites:  Although there are no formal pre-requisites for this course, good standing in a human biology course at the senior secondary or introductory university level is highly recommended. Students must also have access to a reliable high-speed internet connection for the duration of the course.

DISCLAIMER: This course is intended for non-University of Toronto students only. The course exclusions are: PCL201, PCL302, and from UTM BIO200/JBC201.

Course Description: How do drugs work in the body?  How do we discover new drugs? How do we apply what we know to clinical applications of drug therapy? These are the central pharmacology questions answered in this engaging course facilitated by senior faculty members in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Toronto and administered through the School of Continuing Studies. The content of the course is equivalent to the University of Toronto courses (PCL201H1 and PCL302H1). This course is designed to cover  various important aspects of Pharmacology. It provides excellent training for individuals who wish to complete a credit-equivalent course in preparation for admission to Health Professional programs (including medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, clinical research associates) and for those currently working or interested in careers in the pharmaceutical industry, clinical research associates governmental regulatory agencies.  In addition, this course will interest individuals who desire to expand their general understanding of this important medical discipline. This course clearly explains the guiding principles of pharmacokinetics – the absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs in the body. Further, you will learn about the molecular interactions between drugs and their targets and how this information is utilized in drug discovery and clinical applications.

Before registering, students should inquire of the institution to which they are applying whether this credit-equivalent course meets the prerequisites of their intended degree program. This course cannot be applied towards any university’s undergraduate bachelor degree, or any degree at the University of Toronto. Although there are no formal pre-requisites for this course, good standing in a human biology course at the senior secondary or introductory university level is highly recommended.  Students must also have access to a reliable high-speed internet connection for the duration of the course.

Course Overview:  Students who successfully complete this course will have gained:

  • A broader understanding of principles that govern how drugs are acted on by the body (pharmacokinetics) and exert their effects (pharmacodynamics).
  • The ability to apply and integrate this information to understand clinical use and clinical limitations of drugs.

More specifically:

  1. How drugs are defined and may be found in nature or created by man
  2. Absorption, distribution and clearance of drugs
  3. Routes of administration and dosing of drugs
  4. Biotransformation and elimination of drugs by the body
  5. Recognize how properties of a compound can alter its bioavailability (plasma concentration) and how this relates to clinical effectiveness
  6. Different classes of drugs
  7. Mechanism of action of drugs and drug targets
  8. Unwanted or adverse effects of drugs


Course Components: This course comprises more than 50 hours of the following:

  1. The lecture component comprises illustrated dynamic video lectures. This course will help you visualize the actions of important clinical drugs by employing custom-designed computer illustrations and animations.
  2. A series of eloquent clinical vignettes presented by clinical pharmacologists from the University of Toronto. These vignettes directly apply pharmacological principles covered in lectures to the modern clinical experience.
  3. An opportunity to ‘meet the scientist’ in a series of interviews with eminent pharmacologists and toxicologists; and visit innovative research laboratories at the University of Toronto.


Course Format:  Illustrated lectures will be given in 2-4 lecture hours per week (depending on sessional dates). The online lectures will be available for one week only, and will not repeat.

Course Evaluation: Student Assessment has Three (3) components:

  1. Online, web-based quizzes contribute towards the term mark. These quizzes will be available for a limited time (approximately 24 hours) on specific dates throughout the session. This will be outlined in the sessional course syllabus. It is your responsibility to arrange your schedule to write the quizzes. You MUST access the quiz from a reliable (preferably wired) access point.
  2. The WRITTEN final examination will cover all material presented in the course.
  3. Participation marks will be assigned for regular and constructive contributions to the online discussions boards.



Basic and Clinical Pharmacology (12th Edition) by Katzung, Masters,Trevor. ISBN 978-0-07-176401-8 http://www.mcgrawhill.ca/professional/files/2012/05/Pharmacy_2012_catalogue.pdf

For students without a background in Physiology: Principles of Human Physiology (5th Edition) by Cindy Stanfield. ISBN 13: 978-0-321-81934-5 http://www.mypearsonstore.ca/bookstore/principles-of-human-physiology-0321819349