AP0504 - Drugs and Toxicology

What will I learn on this module?

The module is divided into themes relating to forensic toxicology and includes:
• evaluation and application of analytical toxicology and analysis of drugs of abuse to forensic science
• laboratory blood drug analysis - extraction and detection
• critical evaluation of current issues in forensic science, for example, roadside drug testing
• interpretation of results

Throughout the module, the focus is orientated to existing, current and future research practices and draws on research experience from the module team i.e. post-mortem drug redistribution, tolerance, genotoxicity, analysis and interpretation . The module team may be expanded to include guest speakers as appropriate.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered using a combination of lectures, seminars, directed and independent learning. Formal sessions by the module team will introduce each theme and the associated assignment (formative laboratory or summative coursework/exam), which will include directing the students to primary sources of material. The lecture programme will be enhanced by laboratory work that will be carried out to give the student direct experience in practical aspects of these areas of analytical toxicology and analysis of drugs of abuse, which can be used to inform how they address the subsequent summative assignments.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through active participation and discussion during laboratory practicals. These offer a unique opportunity to fully understand the scientific theory underpinning the laboratory tests and the interpretation of your scientific findings.

All lecture and practical material will be available on the University’s eLearning Portal, supplemented with guidance on further reading relevant to the subjects.

Written assessment feedback will also be provided to allow you to understand how you performed and how you can build on this performance in subsequent assessments within your programme.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO1 Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of facts in relation to forensic toxicology and drug analysis

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO2 Interpret the output from advanced methods of drug detection in tablets/powders and biological material and consider their implications in assessment of a drug related scene

How will I be assessed?

a. Formative assessment and rationale for the task:

Formative feedback will be provided in lectures, laboratory practicals, and seminars by academic staff and peers to prepare you for the summative assessment. Questions that require you to link your knowledge and understanding to laboratory practice and principles will be embedded in the lectures, and seminars to prepare you for the summative practical assessment and written report. The formative practical sessions will help you develop your laboratory skills and to link theory with practice, which will prepare you for the summative practical assessment and written report, respectively. Formative feedback will be provided by the academic staff and peers during the practical session and after the practical session during the post-lab lectures.

b. Summative assessment and rationale for the task:

The summative assessment for this module will be in two components.

Component 001: practical assessment (40%) MLO2

Component 002: Written report (1500 words) MLO's 1,2

The practical assessment will be designed to illustrate your understanding and approach to the nature of examination of material from forensic toxicology submissions and suspected illicit drug products. You will carry out appropriate examinations/analyses. Formative feedback will be provided during taught laboratory classes and will direct and support you to achieve this.

The written report will be designed to assess your understanding and approach to interpreting your scientific findings to provide an opinion on your findings in relation to forensic toxicology and drug analysis results.





Module abstract

This module is specifically designed to allow students to gain knowledge and understanding of the work of a forensic toxicologist and forensic drug analyst. Students will attend lectures and seminars relating to the theory of forensic toxicology and drug analysis and will be given the opportunity to experience first hand the analytical techniques used by these scientists. Students will also investigate a drug related scene, prepare a strategy for analysis and interpret the data obtained.

Course info

UCAS Code MF94

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years full-time with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Applied Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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