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Quantitative Pharmacology


Admission requirements

Students of Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences, and external students enrolled in a biomedical master program, with adequate knowledge of pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, and statistics.


This lecture series aims to provide a conceptual and broad overview of the principles of pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic (PK-PD) and pharmacometrics modeling, illustrated by examples if multiple therapeutic areas. We also discuss the mathematical basis of these models such as ordinary differential equations and nonlinear mixed effect modeling. Topics to be discussed include pharmacokinetics and pharmacokinetic modeling, physiology-based pharmacokinetic models, concentration-effect relationships, pharmacodynamic model structures, practical model development strategies and model evaluation, applying models using simulations. Hands-on exercises will include the critical assessment of a PK-PD modeling paper and fitting a population PK model in R.

Course objectives

  • Obtain understanding of the most commonly used types of quantitative modeling approaches in pharmacology.

  • Learn how to choose the most relevant quantitative modeling strategy to address a particular pharmacological question given the availability of prior knowledge or data.

  • Develop an ability to understand and critically review quantitative modeling reports (e.g., publications),

  • Obtain basic understanding in conducting common quantitative model-based analyses.

  • Obtain understanding of the principles and analysis of differential equations in pharmacology.


This course is scheduled for semster 2, period 3.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

A detailed schedule of the course will be published on the Brightspace course module.

Mode of instruction

The course will mainly consist of lectures and hands-on exercises. Active participation in the discussions and self-study skills are required for this course.

Assessment method

Written Exam (75%), and assignments (25%).

For each individual exam, the grade is expressed either with pass or fail, or by using a decimal integer between 1.0 and 10.0 that should be ≥ 5.5. The final grade is expressed using an integer between 1 and 10 and can be rounded off/up to a half integer, with the exception of the grade 5.5. Final grades between 5.50 and 5.99 will be rounded up to 6.0. The final grade should be 6.0 to successfully complete this course.

The time and manner of the inspection and of the feedback session on the examination are specified in the Brightspace module of the course.

Reading list

Will be announced during the course.


Every student has to register for courses with the enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. If you want to retake of the exam of the course without following the lectures, you have to contact the coordinator of the course to see if this is possible (you would have to passed the other assignments of the course in the earlier year).
Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Coordinator: Dr. J.G.C. van Hasselt (


A minimum of 10 participants is required, with a maximum of 40 students. Placement is based on the registration date.

This information is without prejudice. Alterations can be made for next year.