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 Second semester 2011 (Day)
Parkville Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Joseph Nicolazzo (Parkville); Dr Saravanan Muniyandy (Sunway)


This unit builds upon the fundamental concepts of drug delivery with a major focus on oral drug absorption and pharmacokinetics. Specifically, the unit aims to:

  • introduce physicochemical properties of solids and the use of common excipients, polymers and powders with application to formulation and development of pharmaceutical dose forms
  • provide an understanding of theoretical concepts and formulation principles of pharmaceutical dosage forms such as tablets and capsules
  • introduce students to fundamental concepts in pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutics and their impact on drug disposition.

This will involve:
  • Physicochemical principles of solids
  • Formulation of tablets and capsules
  • Physiological factors affecting oral absorption
  • Introductory pharmacokinetics


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

  1. Discuss the characteristics and properties of polymers in the solid state
  2. Describe the fundamental and derived properties of drugs including a detailed knowledge of the concept of particle size, particle size distributions and specific surface, and undertake calculations associated with particle size distributions and specific surface
  3. Discuss the importance and theory of powder drying, mixing and particle size reduction
  4. Explain formulation principles of tablets and capsules and undertake problems by applying theoretical knowledge in relation to formulation principles
  5. Discuss the primary physiological factors influencing drug absorption across the small intestine and the effects of altering rate of absorption and extent of absorption on plasma concentration and amount of drug in the body
  6. Define and calculate pharmacokinetic parameters, including drug clearance, elimination half-life, volume of distribution, fraction unbound, fraction excreted unchanged in urine and steady state plasma concentration after intravenous infusions and multiple dosing
  7. Describe the impact of plasma protein binding on hepatic and renal elimination processes
  8. Estimate the absolute and relative bioavailability of drugs given either plasma or urine concentration data


Final exam (3 hours): 80%; multi-choice quizzes: 20%.

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Joseph Nicolazzo

Contact hours

36 1 hour lectures/whole class tutorials, three 3 hour tutorials, one 3 hour computer -aided learning class, one 3 hour presentation/conversation debate, four 3 hour problem based/case based learning sessions and three 3 hour practicals


PAC1222 Drug delivery I
PAC1132 Systems physiology

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