Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 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.

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6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedSunway First semester 2013 (Day)
Parkville First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Jennifer Short (Parkville); Dr Tang Kim San (Sunway)


This unit lays a foundation of knowledge about mammalian systems and provides the relationship between pathophysiology and the rational design and use of drugs. Students will be introduced to the concepts underlying basic biochemistry and molecular biology of the cell, and will then consider in detail the structure and function of the musculoskeletal, nervous, endocrine, and cardiovascular systems. One or more examples of disease states which are amenable to pharmacotherapy will be discussed in detail for each organ/system. Students will perform a number of tasks, which will help with the development of critical thinking skills.

This will involve:

  • introduction to physiology
  • cells and tissues
  • membranes
  • introductory biochemistry
  • nervous system
  • cardiovascular system
  • muscle
  • endocrinology.


At the end of this unit, students can be expected to:

  1. Describe the structure and function of prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, including the transcription / translation processes, energy utilisation, and the role of the major classes of macromolecules;
  2. Describe the structure and function of each major organ / organ system considered within the course;
  3. Explain the function of each major organ / organ system considered within the course, with reference to the structure;
  4. Explain the physiological basis for the most common disease states to affect each organ / organ system considered within the course;
  5. Analyse simple examples of cellular and organ dysfunction, and be able to explain the likely consequences for the function of the system;
  6. Demonstrate the development of written communication skills appropriate for first year students- explain the pathophysiology for one disease state and one drug treatment associated, relating the drug target to the disease state.


Final exam (2 hour): 65%; mid semester test: 10%; practical assessments: 15%; an elective written assignment task: 5%; and in-class assessment 5%.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Contact hours for on-campus students:
Thirty six 1-hour lectures
Six 1-hour tutorials
Two 3-hour practical classes
One 3-hour problem based / case based learning session
One 1-hour in-semester test

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