Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 201700081
Course infoSchedule
Course code201700081
ECTS Credits7.5
Category / Level3 (Bachelor Advanced)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byFaculty of Social Sciences; Undergraduate School Sociale Wetenschappen; Psychology;
Contact persondr. J.M.P. Baas
Telephone+31 30 2533018
Contactperson for the course
dr. J.M.P. Baas
Other courses by this lecturer
dr. J.M.P. Baas
Other courses by this lecturer
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prof. dr. J.L. Kenemans
Other courses by this lecturer
dr. E.R. Montoya
Other courses by this lecturer
Teaching period
4  (20/04/2020 to 28/06/2020)
Teaching period in which the course begins
Time slotB: TUE-morning, THU-afternoon
Study mode
Enrolment periodfrom 28/10/2019 up to and including 24/11/2019
Enrolling through OSIRISYes
Enrolment open to students taking subsidiary coursesYes
Waiting listNo
After completing this course, the student has:
  • obtained knowledge on the most important classes of psychoactive drugs and their clinical applications
  • gained insight in general pharmacological principles, and the student can apply these insights to the area of psychopharmacology
  • learned to look up and interpret properties of psychoactive medications
  • gained sufficient knowledge to independently use sources of information used in the clinical practice on psychoactive medications
  • learned to formulate a relevant question based on the studied reading and conduct a literature review to answer this question
Relation between assessment and objective
The written exam consists of multiple choice questions through which knowledge is tested on pharmacological principles and working mechanisms of psychoactive drugs and their clinical applications. The assignments in the working groups are 1) looking up details on a particular drug using professional sources, and presenting these and answers to (study) questions in the work group (graded with pass or fail) and 2) a larger literature review assignment completed in groups of about 3 students that is graded on a 0-10 scale. The literature review assignment consists of formulating a question, conducting a literature review to answer this question, and presenting the results in a poster presentation and a written paper.
In neuroscience and psychology the biological approach to behavior and psychiatric disorders is of substantial importance. Over the last decades new classes of psychoactive drugs were developed for the treatment of disorders like depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia. On a weekly basis, results of research on psychoactive drugs and psychopathology are reported in newspapers and on the internet. Further developments in neuroscience and fields like genetics hold the promise that progress in the discovery of new medications will become faster and more innovative. This course covers the most important classes of psychoactive substances (sedative-hypnotics, anxiolytics, stimulantia, anti-depressants and antipsychotics). In addition, the recreative use of drugs is discussed, and the principles of tolerance and possible dependence (addiction). Of all substances that are discussed attention is paid to the pharmacological properties, their working mechanisms, and if applicable their clinical application. The course is of interest to anyone who wants to be able to keep track of this dynamic field, who is interested in brain and behavior or who will be working in mental health care and with interdisciplinary treatment of psychological, psychiatric or somatic (e.g. pain medications) problems.
The course will use literature that covers both the scientific backgrounds and the clinical applications.
Entry requirements
Prerequisite knowledge
Working knowledge of (functional) neuroanatomy, neurotransmitter systems, psychopathology.
Prerequisite knowledge can be obtained through
'Brain and behaviour';'Biopsychosocial perspectives on psychopathology'.
Private study materials
Kalat (2007), Biological Psychology; Barlow & Durand (2005), Abnormal Psychology.
Required materials
Literature to be used will be announced on Blackboard.
Instructional formats

Class session preparation
Students can prepare for the lectures by reading the assigned chapters of the book. The material to be covered for the exams is summarized in a set of study questions for each lecture. These questions allow the student to actively prepare for the lecture, and to pose any questions that remain during the lecture.

Contribution to group work
Active participation is encouraged during the lectures. Questions about the material discussed in the lectures are best asked at the lectures, or around that time on the Blackboard discussion board.

Work group

General remarks
Via Blackboard smaller groups of students within a work group will be formed for working on the assignments. The results of the assignments will be presented in the work group sessions. Detailed instructions will be published on Blackboard.

Class session preparation
To prepare the presentations in the work groups and the reporting of assignments (through a poster presentation and a paper), the smaller groups come together at their own initiative. Within the groups, the work plan is made and individual contributions planned. In a work group at the end of the course the groups present a poster on the literature study they conducted.

Contribution to group work
Besides the work groups that are planned in Osiris the smaller groups come together to work on the assignments with a frequency that they see fit. Because the assignments are made and marked as a group, it is important to adhere to agreements you make with your group about how you work together.

Test weight30
Minimum grade5.5

The minimum grade is 5,5 for both the exam and the assignments.

Aspects of student academic development
Writing skills (general) - preparing, writing, rewriting and finishing various texts
Presentations - preparation, execution and evaluation of lectures and defences

Test weight70
Minimum grade5.5

The written exam at the end covers all material in the required reading and the lectures.

Aspects of student academic development
Information study and analysis
Synthesizing and structuring of information
Scientific context
Working with scientific equipment - subject-oriented

Kies de Nederlandse taal