Applied Toxicology

Attracting in-post scientists from all over the world, this Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programme is one of the largest training courses of its type in Europe.


Why Surrey?

Our CPD modules in Applied Toxicology – running in their present form since 1992 — aim to enhance understanding of the underlying scientific disciplines involved in toxicology, elucidate the mechanisms of action of various types of toxic agent, and meet regulatory requirements.


Programme overview

This part-time programme has a number of "modular" start dates, enabling you to begin your study at a time that is convenient for you. For further details about the dates please contact the administrative team (

The modular CPD programme is designed to provide in-post scientists with advanced training in toxicology. Participants typically include employees in government departments, contract laboratories and the pharmaceutical, chemical and consumer product industries.

Designed for those in full-time employment, the course consists of a variety of modules covering the basic understanding of toxicology, and a number of specialisms modules.

Each of the modules comprise of an intensive four-day on-site taught course preceded by preparatory study and followed by consolidation. Teaching methods include lectures, discussion panels, tutorials, case studies and demonstrations

All modules are eligible for self-accredited continuing professional development (CPD) and can contribute towards the requirements for the Register of Toxicologists.

Module overview

Principles of Experimental Toxicology and Risk Assessment

Many toxicity-testing procedures are based on general principles established for a broad spectrum of chemicals. However, there is an increasing need for a more rational approach to toxicity testing of chemicals and drugs to ensure safety, and to make the process of safety assessment cost-effective. This module takes a critical approach to the conduct and interpretation of toxicity studies, emphasising the need to employ a flexible approach in order to maximise understanding of the underlying mechanisms of toxicity and their relevance to human risk assessment. 

This module includes: the history and philosophy of toxicological evaluation; the rationale for acute toxicity testing: the limitation of currently accepted methods; the rationale for sub-acute and chronic toxicity testing; carcinogenicity testing; the role of mutagenicity testing; basic requirements for toxicological evaluation; the rationale for reproductive toxicity testing; the role of biochemical, metabolic and toxicokinetic studies in the evaluation of toxic hazard and risk; the evaluation of immunotoxicity; the integration of toxicological studies with the technical development of industrial chemicals; the integration of toxicological studies with the technical development of pesticides; the integration of toxicological studies with the technical development of drugs; environmental aspects of risk assessment; risk assessment for food contaminants; mathematical models in risk assessment; occupational risk assessment; and international guidelines on toxicological evaluation.


Target Organ Toxicology

Although the principles of toxicology can be applied broadly to many organ systems, an understanding of the toxicology of individual organ systems is necessary for accurate risk assessment. These modules examine the pathology, anatomy, physiology and toxicology of the liver, kidney, gastrointestinal tract, skin, central and peripheral nervous system, endocrine organs, musculoskeletal system, cardiorespiratory system and haematopoietic system. The modules take examples of compounds from the literature that result in toxic effects on such organs.


Systems 1: Liver, Kidney, Gastrointestinal Tract and Skin

Liver: structure and functions; xenobiotic metabolism; acute pathological changes; mechanisms of acute hepatotoxicity; adaptive and toxic changes in the liver of rodents; chronic hepatotoxicity, repair, cirrhosis; hepatocarcinogenesis; assessment of hepatic function and damage in animal species; cholestasis.

Gastrointestinal tract: structure; regulation of secretions; NSAIDS and ulcer formation; the rodent forestomach; toxicology of the caecum; acute and chronic toxicity of the glandular stomach and intestines; hypersensitivity, Peyer’s patches and the gastric immune system; carcinogenesis in the glandular stomach and intestine; carcinogenesis in the pancreas.

Kidney: structure and functions of the mammalian kidney; assessment of renal function and damage in animal species; nephrotoxins I – the tubule; nephrotoxins II – glomerulus and papilla; secondary effects of kidney failure.
Skin: normal skin structure and function; absorption of compounds into and across skin; chemically induced skin damage, irritation and repair; sensitisation and hypersensitivity reactions; UV-induced skin damage and photosensitisation.


Systems 2: CNS, PNS, Endocrine and Musculoskeletal Systems

Nervous system, including: an introduction to the gross anatomy and histology of the CNS and PNS; basic neurophysiology; basic neuropharmacology; selective vulnerability by area and cell type; behavioural changes in animals; behavioural toxicity of antidepressants; general toxicological principles: acute and chronic toxicity of organophosphates and carbamates; delayed neuropathy by organophosphates; neuronal necrosis and water disposition: organotins and organoleads; physiological aspects of neurotoxicity in man and animals; neurotoxic chemicals including pesticides; brain tumours; toxicology of the eye and the ear; and the neurotoxic effects of metals.

Endocrine system: toxicology of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis; adrenocortical toxicology; toxicology of the thyroid; general endocrine interactions; endocrine tumours; and the neuroendocrine effects of alcohol.
Musculoskeletal system: including: bone as a target organ; effects of metals on bone; the structure and biochemistry of muscle; and chemically induced myopathies.


Systems 3: Cardiorespiratory and Haematopoietic Systems

Cardiorespiratory system, including: the anatomy and physiology of the cardiovascular system; direct-acting cardiotoxicants and angiotoxicants; secondary effects on the cardiovascular system; measurement of cardiovascular function; structure and histopathology of the upper respiratory tract; structure and physiology of the lung; an introduction to inhalation toxicology; pulmonary function assessment; toxicology of the lung.

Haematopoietic system, including: the biochemistry and physiology of haematopoiesis; introduction to practical haematology; naturally occurring haematological disorders in animals; anaemias caused by chemicals; biochemistry of platelets; chemically induced disorders of blood coagulation; and the effects of chemicals on leucocytes.


Time commitment

Each of the modules comprise of an intensive four-day on-site taught course.

Each taught course is then followed by distance learning written assessments specifically designed to meet the learning outcomes of the module.

Students may register for modules at any time but we advise you register your interest in a particular module as early as you can by emailing the administrator.

Modules can be taken as stand-alone courses and/or as part of a package of Continuing Professional Development.


Related CPD Modules

• Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism
• Carcinogenesis and Mutagenicity
• Reproductive Toxicology
• Principles of Toxicological Pathology
• Alternative Methodologies to the Use of Animals in Toxicology
• Biologics
• Biomarkers
• Dermal Toxicology
• Endocrine Disruptors
• Haematology and Clinical Biochemistry
• Immunotoxicology
• Occupational Toxicology (including REACH implementation and legislation)
• Paediatric Toxicology
• Safety Assessment of Pharmaceutical Agents

How to Apply

For admissions enquiries, please contact: +44 (0) 1483 686487



Programme Director

Dr Ian Bailey


Programme Fees

£1,600 per 15 credit module for 2016/17


Suitable Attendees

Our modules are pitched towards those with a degree (medical or non-medical) or professional qualifications and/or practical experience (usually at least three years’ postgraduate work experience in the pharmaceutical industry).  

Page Owner: kj0008
Page Created: Tuesday 14 July 2015 15:44:31 by kj0008
Last Modified: Monday 13 February 2017 12:55:53 by m07811
Expiry Date: Friday 7 October 2016 12:48:51
Assembly date: Wed Mar 22 11:04:52 GMT 2017
Content ID: 151957
Revision: 10
Community: 1020

Rhythmyx folder: //Sites/ of Biosciences and Medicine/CPD
Content type: rx:Generic