Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

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

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

FacultyFaculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedSunway First semester 2011 (Day)
Parkville First semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Elizabeth Yuriev (Parkville); Dr Saravanan Muniyandy (Sunway)


This unit aims to provide students with a firm understanding of the basic physicochemical principles that underpin the science behind pharmacy as a discipline. This understanding, reinforced by some mathematical principles, sets the foundation for students to build upon in drug delivery units through second semester in first year, and in the second, third and fourth years of the course. The understanding of these principles will also assist students in their understanding in some areas of chemistry, physiology and biology.

Students will develop an:

  1. Understanding of the physicochemical principles that underpin pharmaceutical chemistry and drug delivery;
  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.


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, temperature and activation energy.
  7. Conduct integration of simple functions, and evaluate definite integrals, integrals by algebraic substitution and integration of algebraic functions.
  8. Be proficient in basic laboratory techniques.


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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Elizabeth Yuriev

Contact hours

72 hours of formal study per semester

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