Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Pharmacology is the study of drugs. In this subject, students will learn the general principles of pharmacology including drug classification, formulation and routes of administration. Basic pharmacokinetics, including the process of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, will be discussed in addition to basic pharmacodynamics which includes principles of drug action, drug targets (ion channels, enzymes, transporters, receptors) and cell signaling. Other topics that will be explored include drug development and drug regulation. You will also be introduced to clinical trials and over the counter and complimentary medications. Emphasis is placed on human pharmacology including clinical topics, such as adverse drug reactions and drug interactions.

SchoolLife Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorRoss O'Shea

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesN/A

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Students in HBHS must have passed both PAM2HP1 and PAM2HP2 All other courses must have passed either BIO1MGC OR HBS1HBA


Incompatible subjectsORT3OPP

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsStudents enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Sciences will be given priority in order to meet the requirements of their course. Other students who wish to enrol in this subject may choose this subject as an elective provided they gain prior approval from the subject co-ordinator.

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Learning resources

Medical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementRecommended

AuthorWaller DG, Sampson AP, Renwick AG, Hillier K


Edition/Volume5th Edition

PublisherSaunders Elsevier


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Pharmacology for Health Professionals

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementRecommended

AuthorBryant B Knights K, Darroch S and Rowland


Edition/Volume5th Edition



Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Rang & Dale's Pharmacology

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementRecommended

AuthorRitter JM, Flower RJ, Henderson G, Loke YK, MacEwan D, Rang HP


Edition/Volume9th Edition

PublisherChurchill Livingstone


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Define pharmacokinetics and describe the way (and factors influencing the way drugs are absorbed, distributed, metabolised and eliminated in the body.
02. Define pharmacodynamics and discuss the major molecular targets of drug action and explain how drugs can act on these targets to produce different responses.
03. Apply knowledge of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics to understand and explain causes of contraindications, adverse drug reactions and drug interactions.
04. Discuss the steps involved in the discovery, development and regulation of drugs from bench to market, and the legal frameworks around licensing, prescribing and monitoring of drugs.
05. Demonstrate the ability to source, evaluate and effectively communicate scientific information on the principles and application of pharmacology both independently and as part of a team.

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorRoss O'Shea

Class requirements

LectureWeek: 10 - 22
Two 1.00 hour lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

LectureWeek: 10 - 22
One 1.00 hour lecture per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via online.

WorkShopWeek: 11 - 22
One 2.00 hours workshop per week on weekdays during the day from week 11 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

One 2-hour multiple choice examination (equivalent to1,500 words)

N/ACentral examIndividualNo40 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4

One 60-minute multiple choice mid-semester test (equivalentto 800 words)

N/AOther written examIndividualNo20 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4

One group assignment/ presentation/communication piece (equivalent to 500words/member)

N/AAssignmentGroupNo10 SILO4, SILO5

Written assignment/exercises (equivalent to 500 words)

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo10 SILO4, SILO5

Written assignment/exercises(equivalent to 800 words)

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo20 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5