Module code: APTM027

Module provider

School of Biosciences and Medicine

Module Leader

BAILEY I Dr (Biosc & Med)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 7

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Year long

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 120

Lecture Hours: 30

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 100

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Module overview

This unique course is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of the principles and practices of skin toxicology. It is intended to allow delegates to gain an understanding of the principles required to interpret issues associated with skin toxicity. The course will also look at the regulatory aspects of topical product assessment. Due to the continual importance of alternative methods in toxicology testing, this course will look in detail at the principles and measurement of skin absorption both in vivo and in vitro and will consider the development of in vitro replacements and future EU initiatives in the use of these alternatives. Great emphasis has been placed on developing in vitro tests to replace laboratory animal-based skin safety assessments. The EU policy to abolish animal testing for cosmetics and fragrances has provided significant impetus for the development of in vitro replacements and future EU initiatives such as REACH may also necessitate extensive use of in vitro alternatives. A number of replacement techniques for identifying corrosive or irritant substances have been validated by ECVAM.

Module aims

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Appreciate the general role of skin at the organism level
Be able to identify a basic range of common skin disorders from clinical or histological observations
Understand the morphological changes associated with maintenance of normal skin barrier function
Be aware of the molecular mechanisms involved with barrier homeostasis
Understand transdermal routes of entry in relation to the anatomical features of the stratum corneum and appendages, and review species differences
Be able to assess the specific techniques used for in vivo percutaneous absorption measurements
Have an overview of photo-irritants and photo-sensitising agents
Appreciate the clinical applications of phototoxic substances
Be aware of the UK and related guidelines on cosmetic testing policy
Understand the need for in vitro alternatives, their validation and the future of these test systems

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Module Content:
¿ Anatomy, biochemistry, skin surface microflora, common pathologies
¿ Principles of diffusion and thermodynamics
¿ Factors affecting skin absorption
¿ Measurement of percutaneous absorption
¿ Occupational and common skin disorders
¿ Phototoxicity
¿ Instrumentation for measuring skin toxicity
¿ Regulatory aspects of skin toxicology
¿ Reduction, refinement and replacement of animal testing
¿ Transdermal drug delivery
¿ Topical formulation development and bioequivalence

Methods of Teaching / Learning

Assessment Strategy

Reading list

Reading list for DERMAL TOXICOLOGY :

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.