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
• advances in detection - state of the art techniques and current cutting edge research, e.g. the use of nanoparticles in the detection of drugs.
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 will 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 and scene house examinations. 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:
• Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of facts in relation to forensic toxicology and drug analysis

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• 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?

The assessment will be a practical portfolio (100%) MLO's 1,2

The practical assessment will be designed to assess your understanding and approach to the nature of examination of material from forensic toxicology submissions and suspected illicit drug products. You will also carry out examinations/analyses and interpret your scientific findings and provide an opinion on your findings. Formative feedback will be provided during taught laboratory classes and will direct and support you to achieve this.





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 F410

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 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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