Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Postgraduate - Unit

0 points, SCA Band 1, 0.000 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jillian Broadbear


The unit will cover the following topics.
Introduction to drug classifications; legal control of drug use; pharmacokinetics; variability in response to drugs; chemical transmission and receptors.
Mood disorders: antidepressants and mood stabilizers; anti-anxiety drugs, sedatives and hypnotics, drugs used for OCD, panic, and phobic disorders. Psychosis and schizophrenia; anti-psychotic drugs. Cognitive enhancers: ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, brain trauma.
Drugs of abuse: affects on brain and cognition.


On completion of the unit students should:

  1. Understand the basic concepts of psychopharmacology with particular reference to recent advances in the fields of psychiatric medication, cognitive enhancers and neuroprotective agents, and substance abuse;
  2. Have a broad understanding of commonly prescribed psychoactive drugs, legal and illegal drugs and other commonly abused substances.
  3. Be able to comment on the likely physiological and psychological effects in a particular individual of a specific drug (together with possible drug interactions), and to prepare a written report on the topic.
  4. Be exposed to current issues in clinical psychopharmacology and in research concerning treatment approaches.


Satisfactory attendance and participation are required to pass the unit. All other components of assessment must attain a pass standard at least. The assessment tasks will include a short answer take-home exam, class presentation, and a written paper.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Jillian Broadbear