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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Psychopharmacology
Module Code PSYC306
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Stella Vlachou
Semester 2: Stella Vlachou
Autumn: Stella Vlachou
Module TeachersStella Vlachou
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

To describe and explain the essentials of psychopharmacology, i.e., how psychoactive drugs interact with the body and the brain, and how psychoactive drugs are used to treat neuropsychological/psychiatric conditions and disorders

Learning Outcomes

1. Explain the basic principles of psychopharmacology
2. Describe and revise the structure and function of the nervous system
3. Describe and revise the main principles of synaptic transmission and signal transduction
4. Describe and explain the symptoms and pharmacology of psychological/psychiatric disorders, as well as the actions of drugs used for their treatment
5. Identify, describe and explain the actions of drugs of abuse and other psychoactive drugs

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20No Description
Seminars2No Description
Independent Study101Independent study and work on continuous assessment components
Directed learning2Final Exam
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction and Principles of Psychopharmacology (e.g., pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics)

Structure and Function of the Nervous System

Synaptic Transmission and Signal Transduction (i.e., chemical signalling by neurotransmitters and hormones)

Techniques in Neuropharmacology and Behavioural Pharmacology

Psychosis, Schizophrenia and Antipsychotic drugs

Affective/Mood Disorders and Antidepressants

Anxiety Disorders and Anxiolytics

Drug Abuse, Dependence and Addiction

Disorders of Reward, Drug Abuse and Their Treatment

Other Disorders (e.g., disorders of sleep and wakefulness, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder -ADHD, dementia, etc.)

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment30% Examination Weight70%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
PresentationOral Presentation - Critique of an Original Investigation Article10%n/a
AssignmentWritten essay in psychopharmacology topics20%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Elliott Ingersoll, Carl Rak: 2016, Psychopharmacology for mental health professionals: An Integrative Approach, 2nd, Cengage Learning, Boston, MA, 9781285845227
  • Claire D. Advokat, Joseph E. Comaty, Robert M. Julien: 2014, Julien's Primer of Drug Action, 13th, Worth Publishers, New York, NY, USA, 9781464111716
  • Stephen M. Stahl; with illustrations by Nancy Muntner; editorial assistant, Meghan M. Grady: 2013, Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology: Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications, 4th, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 978-110768646
  • R.H. Ettinger: 2010, Psychopharmacology, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 978-0136013068
  • Jerrold S. Meyer, Linda F. Quenzer: 2004, Psychopharmacology: drugs, the brain and behaviour, Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA, 978-0878935345
  • Stephen Stahl: 2014, Prescriber's Guide: Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology (Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology(PPR)), 5th, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 978-110767502
  • Stephen M. Stahl: 2011, Case Studies: Stahl's Essential Psychopharmacology, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 978-0521182089
  • Leonard Lichtblau: 2010, Psychopharmacology Demystified, Delmar Cengage Learning, Florence, KY, 978-1435427877
  • John D. Preston, James Johnson: 2011, Clinical Psychopharmacology Made Ridiculously Simple, 7th, MedMaster, Miami, FL, 978-1935660057
  • Jack R. Cooper, Floyd E. Bloom, Robert H. Roth: 2002, The biochemical basis of neuropharmacology, 8th, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 978-0195140088
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BPYBSc (Honours) in Psychology

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