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PHA3021 - Drugs in health and disease

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Science

Leader: Associate Professor Robert Widdop


Clayton Term 2 2007 (Day)


This unit provides an historical overview of the use of drugs, with an emphasis on the principles underlying the safe and effective use of drugs for the maintenance of health and the treatment of disease. The importance of evidence-based drug therapy is highlighted with an introduction to statistical and epidemiological concepts. The pharmacological properties of drug classes used to treat specific respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders are studied, concentrating on the rationale for their use. Pharmacological approaches to the study of existing and novel compounds will be reinforced in laboratory sessions.


On completion of the unit, students will: have knowledge and understanding of the principles of modern drug therapy, have an understanding of the actions and therapeutic applications of major groups of drugs used in modern medicine, be able to work as a member of a group to assemble, process and communicate relevant information in the context of group discussion of relevant case-histories, demonstrate the ability access and analyse relevant scientific literature by carrying out independent research in a topic not covered formally in the unit, be competent to carry out a range of pharmacological experiments using state-of-the-art methods and equipment, be able to present and interpret experimental results clearly and concisely in the form of written reports, be able to carry out basic procedures for statistical analysis of data, be able to work in a team environment.


Examination (2-hours): 55%
Essay (2000 words): 15%
Laboratory work and written reports: 15%
Test (1 hour): 15%

Contact hours

Four 1-hour lectures and three hours of laboratory or self-directed learning/ tutorial per week in weeks 7-12


Two of PHA2022, PHY2011, PHY2021, PHY2032 or BMS2031