Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 0 (NATIONAL PRIORITY), 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedParkville First semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Elizabeth Yuriev


This unit provides a basic understanding of physical chemistry and together with Physical Chemistry II (PSC1072) provides the conceptual and intellectual foundation for further studies in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Formulation Science) units in 2nd and 3rd year.

Students will develop an:

  1. Understanding of the physicochemical principles that underpin pharmaceutical chemistry, drug design and formulation design.
  2. Ability to undertake calculations concerning the physicochemical properties of pharmaceuticals and aspects of pharmaceutical products.
  3. Ability to measure some fundamental properties of pharmaceutical materials through practical exercises.
  4. Appreciation of the principles involved in the formulation of liquid products, including one and two phase liquid systems.

This will involve:
  • Basics of excipients
  • Ionic equilibria
  • States of matter
  • Thermodynamics
  • Phase equilibria
  • Electrochemistry
  • Acid-base equilibria of functional groups
  • Chemical kinetics


At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe differences between the various states of matter, and the concepts of phase equilibria (phase rule, degrees of freedom, miscibility, azeotropes, eutectics) and calculate degrees of freedom for systems with defined components and phase behaviour.
  2. Define thermodynamic quantities and laws of thermodynamics, describe concepts of state functions, state variables, and the ideal state.
  3. Define acidity and basicity constants in the context of species in solution, describe the principles behind the role of buffers, and discuss their importance in pharmacy. Perform calculations to describe the influence of pH on properties of species in solution.
  4. Recognise the most common organic functional groups that exhibit acidic or basic behaviour in aqueous solutions.
  5. Describe and perform calculations involving oxidation potentials and discuss their relevance in pharmaceutical products.
  6. Describe kinetics terminology including reaction rate, rate constant, order of reaction, elementary step, rate determining step and catalysis. Describe kinetic theories. Describe the relationships between and conduct calculations involving reaction rates, concentration, and temperature and activation energy.
  7. Be proficient in basic laboratory techniques, including familiarity with SI units.


Written examination (3 hours): 70%; practical test: 10%; practical classes: 10%; tutorial classes: 5%; written quiz: 5%.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Elizabeth Yuriev

Contact hours

72 contact hours per semester

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: