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Formative Assessment

This does not form part of the final mark of the degree but is intended to foster development and improvement within an ongoing activity. It is considered an integrative part of learning and teaching throughout the course.

Students are expected to complete and submit essays and laboratory reports throughout the first two terms. Students will receive tutorials in small groups and are encouraged to use written assignments to develop critical analysis and thought. 

In the second term, students will further develop their critical analysis of research articles by participating in journal clubs and discussions on topics derived from the five advanced themes. These group sessions will give ample opportunity to develop presentation skills,  to expand knowledge in specific areas and to prepare for the Advanced Pharmacology paper ( see below).


Summative Assessment 

This form of assessment refers to all examined work that counts towards the final grade. 

  • The Qualifying exam (end of first term) is an assessment of basic understanding of pharmacology in the form of multiple-choice questions. Students must pass this paper or a re-sit in order to continue with the Masters programme
  • The Quantitative exam (second term) is a written paper focusing on theory and mathematical problems associated with Receptor Pharmacology and Pharmacokinetics
  • The Advanced Pharmacology paper (start of third term) allows students to demonstrate their knowledge in three specific areas of pharmacology out of a choice of five modules. The format include short essays and critical analysis of a research paper. 
  • Dissertation and poster . Students spend approximately 16 weeks carrying out research and preparing a written dissertation. Students will also be required to present their work to the examiners as a poster. They are expected to give a brief oral presentation of about 5-10 minutes before answering questions from the examiners.



The final mark for the course is determined by results in the following assessments: Quantitative paper (contributing 25%), Essay paper (30%), Dissertation (35%) and Oral presentation (10%). All other assessment is compulsory but will not contribute to the final paper grade. A final grade equal or above 70% will be noted as a distinction.


For full details of deadlines, entry requirements, funding and studentships, Colleges and how to apply, see the University’s Graduate Studies webpages.