What is a MOOC?
A MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course - these are free, open, online courses designed to offer a taste of higher education to learners from across the UK and the world. The University of Birmingham is delivering new MOOCs in partnership with Futurelearn, the UK’s first MOOCs provider established by the Open University.
Delivered by world-class academics from the University of Birmingham, the courses enable learners worldwide to sample high-quality academic content via a interactive web-based platform from a leading global University, increasing access to higher education for a whole new cohort of learners.
The courses have been developed by senior academic staff and their content is quality-assured in line with our other programmes. The courses do not offer credits towards admission to the University of Birmingham.
Good Brain, Bad Brain – Drug Origins
This course is designed for anyone who has ever wondered how the drugs in their medicine cabinet were found in the first place and how they have ended up as pills in a bottle.
We will start with reflecting on the nature of drugs and take a historical perspective on some everyday drugs which have been taken by humans for centuries. What this will show us is that many drugs in common use were found somewhat accidentally and often, at least originally, without any understanding of the science behind how they worked. Over time this apparently random process has been refined and improved and so we will go on to consider recent advances in identifying potential drugs.
However, finding a molecule that has the potential to act as a drug is not the end of the process. The critical questions then are how to get it into the body, how much needs to be taken and will it be safe enough as well as effective.
The course will take an interactive approach allowing you to integrate your experience with some resources with any jargon explained for the non-specialist.