Skip to content | Change text size
Handbooks Courses Units

FOR2007 - Elements of forensic toxicology

8 points, SCA Band 2, 0.1666667 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Prof O Drummer


Clayton Full year 2008 (Off-campus)


Teaching in this unit aims to develop students' familiarity with the concepts of clinical and post-mortem toxicology. The unit also focuses on the basic pharmacokinetic and pharmacological properties of commonly abused drugs found in forensic medical cases. Emphasis will be on behavioural issues of these drugs and how they relate to forensic practice. Such issues include the effects on cognitive and psychomotor skills in drivers and in the workplace and other adverse reactions attributed to drug misuse.


The objectives of the unit are:

  1. To develop the students awareness and understanding of the principles and application of forensic toxicology such that the forensic practitioner has an understanding of how the science can be best applied to a case investigation;
  2. To develop the students awareness of drug effects particularly in relation to drug-induced behaviours so that a forensic practitioner can appropriately respond to relevant issues in court:
On completion of the unit the student will be expected to:
  1. Demonstrate a familiarity of the technical terms associated with analytical applications of forensic toxicology;
  2. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the range of techniques used in forensic toxicology and their applications;
  3. Comprehend the principles and procedures of chain-of-custody;
  4. Demonstrate an awareness of the type of drugs used in various forensic medical cases;
  5. Comprehend the main pharmacological effects of alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, benzodiazepines, cannabis and common hallucinogens with emphasis on their effects on behaviours, psychomotor control and cognition;
  6. Describe and recognize the relevant behavioural effects of common illicit drug combinations and common adverse illicit drug reactions; and
  7. Apply this knowledge to forensic cases for the purpose of preparation and presentation to courts.


Written assignments
Case studies and presentations
Case book

Contact hours


[an error occurred while processing this directive]