Course review: Principles of Toxicology

Hi and welcome back to my Tox-blog! This time I will make a very enjoyable review of the very first Toxicology programme course: Principles of Toxicology. During this blog I will discuss and explain some of the most relevant and interesting aspects of this very short but amazing introductory course.  I will also provide some useful tips and advices on how to get used to have lectures at Master’s level and how to prepare for the exam.  

What is Principles of Toxicology about?

The Principles of Toxicology course consists mainly in an introduction to all the contents of the whole Toxicology programme. This means that during this course you will get the bases that are required for the upcoming courses. This is one of the shortest courses during the programme given that it lasts only 4 weeks. The course encompasses Cell Biology, Biochemistry and mechanisms of action from a toxicological perspective. Principles of Toxicology is constituted by a wide range of academic activities which include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Workshops
  • Journal clubs
  • Assignments
  • A single exam

All these tasks are planned and designed with the aim that all students are at the same level of knowledge at the end of the course. This is highly important because before moving towards the next courses, you should be able to describe basic toxicological phenomena, analyse and discuss scientific articles related to the Toxicology area and prepare written and oral presentations.

Biomedicum. “Credits: Aline Colonnello”

Studying at Master’s level

You might be wondering about the differences between studying a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree, well let me tell you that there are actually many! The first thing you have to consider about Master’s level is that most of the learning process is up to you. This implies that you have to learn some of the programme contents by your own (read a lot!). Studying a Master’s involves as well, a lot of responsibility, planning and organization of your times. It also gives you the option to decide if you attend or not the lectures (as long as they are not mandatory).

The lectures

Lectures are very varied in topics and are one of the main and most important of this course’s components. It is important to estate that there is no a single lecturer, there are several ones and each of them are specialized in a particular toxicological area. Some of the lecture’s topics include metabolism, oxidative stress, in vitro toxicity testing models, risk assessment principles, introduction to adverse outcome pathways concept, Epidemiology, etc. As personal recommendation for this course regarding to lectures, I strongly recommend you to attend all the lectures even if they are not marked as mandatory in the schedule. This will help you to pass the course satisfactorily and to make your preparation for the exam easier. Consider also that the exam is mostly based on lectures, so if you want to make your life smoother during exam period you better take my advice, I promise you won’t regret it, because the lectures are very amenable and interesting and I am pretty sure that you will enjoy them.

“Credits: Aline Colonnello”

How to prepare for the exam

As I already mentioned before, the EXAM is based on lectures. This course consists in a single exam; this means that at the end of the course you will have to present an exam containing all the lectures’ topics. Before the exam you will have approximately 3 days to study for it. So… how do I prepare for this? First of all it is important to explain how the exam is. It encompasses between 22 and 27 questions and all the questions are open (no multiple choices). To be prepared I would recommend you to extract the most important information of each lecture and then focus on smaller details. I also recommend making a study guide for each lecture topic that contains the most relevant of each.

I hope this blog had been useful and that it helps you to get ready for this course, your first Tox course!

If you have questions don’t hesitate and contact me!

Aline Colonnello: gloria.aline.colonnello.montero@stud.ki.se

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