Analysis of the teaching status of Toxicology at a UK University.




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Revista de Toxicologia



Peer reviewed



The European Societies of Toxicology (EUROTOX) has recently published a statement paper to highlight that toxicology training and expertise is being eroded in the European Union. Toxicology as a subject appears to have been integrated into other bioscience disciplines and is mainly offered as part of a taught postgraduate degree in toxicology which dominates the course provision in Europe. Our analysis of the undergraduate courses offered in UK Universities did not reveal a single course that contained the word “toxicology” in the title of the course. Thereafter, we reviewed the teaching of toxicology in bioscience undergraduate courses offered at De Montfort University (DMU). The courses reviewed were: Biomedical Science, Health and Wellbeing in Society, Speech and Language Therapy, Medical Science, Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science, Forensic Science and the MPharm degree in Pharmacy. None of these courses dedicate a complete module to the study of toxicology although they teach some aspects of toxicology following the subject-specific threshold standards described by the UK Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. With the aim of introducing some specialised teaching in toxicology at DMU, a pilot teaching experience was implemented in the Medical Science degree in 2016/17. This involved teaching second year students basic concepts of the toxicology focusing on human health risks associated with exposure to metals such as lead. The students (n=41) completed a research-led workshop (3 hours) to identify the risks and also developed appropriate responses to protect the public. A questionnaire-based survey revealed that the vast majority (85%) of the students would like to receive more toxicology training in their course. Although our results are preliminary, the findings are promising and the approach developed could be adopted in other courses to increase the teaching of toxicology for future health care workers.



Toxicology education, Environmental toxicology


Peña-Fernández A., Lobo-Bedmar MC., Haris PI., Evans MD. (2017) Analysis of the teaching status of Toxicology at a UK University. XXII Spanish Congress of Toxicology and VI Ibero-American, Valencia, June 2017.


Research Institute

Institute for Allied Health Sciences Research
Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)