Pharmaceutical chemistry

The effects of drugs on the human body

What are drugs, and how do they do what they do?

Why study pharmaceutical chemistry?

With a pharmaceutical chemistry major, you’ll study the chemical principles that dictate the action and behaviours of a drug compound and learn how to use this knowledge to develop strategies for drug design.

You’ll study the classical and electrochemical methods of chemical analysis that are commonly used in pharmaceutical applications, advanced applications of spectroscopy and chromatography, the operation of the nervous and endocrine systems, and the pharmacology of drugs acting at synaptic and neuromuscular sites.

A major in pharmaceutical chemistry gives you an understanding of the mechanisms by which drugs are absorbed and interact in the body, the effects of different types of formulation and how the combination of ingredients and manufacturing method can influence the bioavailability of a drug within the body.

Where can pharmaceutical chemistry take me?

Once you graduate you’ll be prepared for diverse roles around the world in areas including education, medical sales and administration. You could work in media and communications within the pharmaceutical, biotechnology or biomedical industries, or take on roles in hospitals and government departments.

If you choose to pursue further study, you may find employment in fields including data science, dietetics, orthoptics, medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy and speech pathology.

Why La Trobe?

We've invested more than $500 million into new learning and research centres.

You'll have access to our $100 million La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS) - a state-of-the-art facility with 10,000 square metres of usable space including 18 new research and support laboratories, an equipment barn, and extensive teaching facilities.

We attract a strong, international research community. This benefits students at all levels of study and on all campuses, including you as you commence your degree.

Further study options

If you’re a pharmaceutical chemistry undergraduate with a strong academic record, you could pursue Honours studies in science. This will give you the chance to combine coursework and independent research in a specialised area of study, and qualify for entry into our Master’s by research or PhD program.

Get to know our staff

View all the staff in the College of Science, Health and Engineering.

Contact details