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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 Science
OfferedClayton First semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Robert Widdop


This unit provides an historical overview of the use of drugs, with an emphasis on the principles underlying the safe and effective use of drugs for the maintenance of health and the treatment of disease. The importance of evidence-based drug therapy is highlighted with an introduction to statistical and epidemiological concepts. The pharmacological properties of drug classes used to treat specific respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders are studied, concentrating on the rationale for their use. Pharmacological approaches to the study of existing and novel compounds will be reinforced in laboratory sessions.


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  • explain the major principles underlying the therapeutic use of drugs, including the relevance and assessment of evidence-based medicine
  • apply knowledge of the actions of major drug classes to explain their therapeutic applications and potential adverse affects
  • demonstrate the ability to work effectively in a team
  • demonstrate the ability to source, critically evaluate and use literature to construct a scientific argument
  • demonstrate the ability to present, analyse and interpret data from pharmacological experiments clearly and concisely in written form.


Examination (2-hours): 55%
Essay (2000 words): 15%
Laboratory work and written reports: 15%
Test (1 hour): 15%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Elizabeth Davis

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and three hours of laboratory or self-directed learning/ tutorial per week


Two of PHA2022, PHY2011, PHY2021, PHY2032 or BMS2031