News from Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of Bath

Topic: Teaching and Learning

3 Academic Staff Promoted to Senior Lecturer

📥  Teaching and Learning

The Academic Staff Committee have approved the promotion of three colleagues from Lecturer to Senior Lecturer. Congratulations to Dr Chris Bailey, Dr Nikoletta Fotaki and Dr Charareh Pourzand !


Dr Chris Bailey (Senior Lecturer)


Dr Nikoletta Fotaki (Senior Lecturer)


Dr Charareh Pourzand (Senior Lecturer)


2014 Royal Pharmaceutical Society Prize Lecture

📥  Prize, Teaching and Learning

The 2014 Royal Pharmaceutical Society Prize Lecture was presented on 11th March by Patricia Wright, Chief Executive at the Royal College of Physicians.  During a wide-ranging lecture, Ms Wright, a 1981 Bath BPharm graduate, talked about the opportunities and challenges facing our MPharm graduates today as they enter their profession.  At the start of lecture, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Prize for best MPharm3 student 2012-13 was presented to Magnus Hoffman by Ms Wright.

Magnus Hoffman with Ms Wright

Magnus Hoffman receiving the RPS prize from Ms Wright


Funding secured for 3 projects

📥  Teaching and Learning

Three departmental projects have attracted funding by the Faculty of Science  Teaching Development Fund:

1. MPharm Inter-professional Learning with University of Exeter Medical Students

The project aims to develop an e-Learning resource that can be used by pharmacy students at Bath, together with medical students at the University of Exeter. The resource will include videos of patients and pharmacists, which are reviewed by pharmacy students before referral to medical students for written prescriptions. These prescriptions are subsequently reviewed by pharmacy students for accuracy and clinical appropriateness.

The project was submitted by Pharmacy & Pharmacology (Lynette James-  Project Leader, Keith Brown and Philip Rogers) and the LTEO (Lisa McIver).

2. Development of Learning Materials for Prospective Students

The aim of this bid is to deliver and evaluate apps for students considering studying at the University of Bath. A key component of the project is that the materials are to be developed by first-year students who will therefore gain extra-curricular digital literacies and presentation skills in the process, suitable for the Bath Award.  In this way, the project will not only deliver bespoke resources tailored to prospective students, but will also enhance our current students’ learning experience.

The project aims to deliver two apps -one for Pharmacy & Pharmacology and one for Physics. It is lead by Keith Brown from P & P, and Fran Laughton from Physics. It involves 8 academics from these departments, and will be evaluated in collaboration with the Widening Participation Office and the Students Union.  For further details please see:

3. Feasibility studies on the use of Moodle quiz software for automated assessments.

A joint study between Pharmacy & Pharmacology (Philip Rogers and Malcolm Watson) with colleagues in Biology & Biochemistry (Momna Hejmadi, Project Leader) and Chemistry (Andrew Burrows). The project will examine the feasibility of replacing ageing assessment technology with new facilities available in Moodle: Currently the 3 departments rely on a system which involves hard-copy questionnaires completed by students, and manually processed by the department.

This project is a feasibility study to evaluate the use of Moodle Quiz for summative assessments. A mock-up of a MCQ-style test from each of the three departments will be trialled in this study.


Building Bridges

📥  Teaching and Learning

Keith Brown and Julie Letchford
December 2013

The Video was created by two Fourth Year Pharmacy Students, and is aimed at First Year Pharmacy students


by Stephanie Shales and Andrew Lee


Like most degree courses in the university, the learning materials for the MPharm degree comprises of a collection of units or nodes where each unit is a repository for digital materials such as powerpoint slides, links to web-sites, assessments and quizzes.This modular structure is the default architecture provided by Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) and academics naturally exploit this arrangement by uploading material into each of the nodes.

However, it is also possible to view the entire collection of nodes as a semantic network where there is a relationship between the nodes. Since Moodle does not provide any underlying infrastructure to express these semantic links, it is possible that this important information could be missing in our degree courses. This project attempts to bridge the gap between units and to discover and articulate the nature of the links for one particular unit, to serve as a proof-of-concept.  It also provides a methodology that can be applied to other units, both within the Pharmacy degree and also for other degrees in the university.


A recent accreditation of the MPharm degree by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) stated that units teaching science and practice needed to be better integrated across the degree programme. This needed to occur both horizontally and vertically i.e. within and between year groups. As a result, this project was devised to address these issues.

The intention was to focus on one subject (Microbiology) in order to establish a methodology for identifying cross-links between units of that subject and other units of the degree programme.  The overall aim is to pinpoint how Microbiology relates to both Clinical Practice and Pharmaceutical Science, and to articulate the relationships in educational content created by undergraduate students.

The choice of 4th year undergraduate students is key. These are the students who have undertaken a large portion of the degree course and will likely have a good understanding of the relationships between units. In fact, it could be argued that these students may have a better overall knowledge of the inter-links than the academics, who typically specialise in the units corresponding to specific-subject areas.  Thus, the objective was to exploit students’ own knowledge and experience and to generate learning materials aimed at both existing and also prospective students.

In addition to the academic objectives, a major component of the project was to improve the digital literacy of students. This was in accordance with the funding that was received from the JISC-funded Professionalism in the Digital Environment (PriDE) project.


Overview of the project


Two year 4 students were recruited to develop learning material that articulates the links. The students were encouraged to:

•    Maintain a refelective log.
•    Improve their presentation skills
•    Document the links
•    Create a short video for first year students
•    Acquire new digitial skills
•    Acquire an extra-curricular activity suitable for the Bath Award

As a result it is hoped that these activities will lead to increased employability prospects.

A video was produced, aimed at first-year students:

Video - Links to the First Year Microbiology Unit

The detailed links are provided in the following document:

Microbiology Links

Reflective Logs

Reflective Log Stephanie Shale (4th year MPharm)

Reflective Log Andrew Lee (4th year MPharm)


On 11th December 2013, the video was shown to first-year MPharm students as part of the scheduled revision session for PA10282.




The linkages between Moodle units is a key area that may have been previously over-looked. Our survey results seem to indicate that around 70% of students would benefit from the provision of learning materials that describes the links between units