PHA3800 - Fundamentals of toxicology - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Malaysia School of Science


Dr Kirti Shukla

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


Toxicology is the biological, chemical and pharmacological study of poisons. Students will be introduced to environmental, food, forensic, clinical and occupational toxicology. This unit presents the broad science of toxicology to facilitate the understanding of the principles and mechanisms of the action of poisons on specific organ systems. It examines the response of each body system to poisons and the specific effects of a wide range of toxic agents - from pesticides to radiation. In addition sources of toxins, toxicokinetics, toxicity testing and risk assessment are studied to enable students to understand how to predict and eliminate the potential risk of toxicity to humans and animals. The topics taught include general principles of toxicology, dispositions of toxicants, non-organ-directed toxicology, target organ toxicity, toxic agents, environmental toxicology and applications of toxicology.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the basic principles of toxicology and the behavioural mechanisms of various toxicants targeting different organ systems.
  2. Deduce the general pharmacokinetics, biotransformation and toxicokinetics of xenobiotics in whole organisms.
  3. Critically evaluate the adverse effects of chemicals, metals, radioactive materials, and animal and plant toxins on living organisms.
  4. Present the different stages of carcinogenesis and assess the effects of toxic agents on the alteration of genetic materials and growth development.
  5. Demonstrate an appreciation towards environmental toxicology that includes air pollution and ecotoxicology.
  6. Perform and critically evaluate risk assessments of general toxicants, and propose appropriate safety precautions.
  7. Foster team work, perform good laboratory practice, and communicate research observations/ findings in the form of written reports and presentations.


Assignment: 10% + Group oral presentation: 10% + Mid-semester test: 5% + Practical reports: 25% + Examination: 50%

Workload requirements

Three 1-hour lectures, one 3-hour practical class and one 1-hour tutorial per week

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


BTH2741, BTH2752 and six points of level two Physiology