Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

print version

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, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedParkville Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr David Morton and Dr Ben Capuano


This unit is designed to introduce the students to the major fields of the applied sciences in which pharmaceutical scientists specialise. Participants are introduced to the following areas as they apply to the chemistry, biology and formulation of medicines and related products:

  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Drug Discovery Biology
  • Formulation Science

Students will also have the opportunity to attend specialised seminars on pharmaceutical science research.


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

  1. Describe how drugs have been discovered in the past and how molecular biological methods have revolutionised the science of drug discovery
  2. Understand how molecular, cellular, tissue and in vivo biological assays each play a role in drug discovery
  3. Understand the principles involved in chemical synthesis of drugs
  4. Appreciate the principles of chemical structure-based drug design
  5. Understand the processes of lead optimization
  6. Understand the underlying requirements for formulating products
  7. Understand fundamentals of formulating different types of product including; suspensions, emulsions, semi-solids, powders and compacts
  8. Understand how poisons and dangerous substances are controlled by legislation
  9. Produce a project plan with Gannt Charts, Work Breakdown Structures
  10. Use Microsoft project to produce project plans


Final exam (3 hour): 60%; written quizzes: 10%; practical: 10%; oral presentation: 10%; project management oral presentation and team project: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr David Morton

Contact hours

36 lectures, 6 hours of tutorials and 30 hours practical work. Students are also expected to attend plant tours and workshops on pharmaceutical science research. Successful completion of this unit will require participants to allocate an average of 1.5 hours additional study time per week for 12 weeks (a total of 72 hours per study period).

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