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.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

FacultyFaculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedSunway First semester 2013 (Day)
Parkville First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Elizabeth Yuriev (Parkville); Dr Thet Thet Htar (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 online quizzes: 5%; tutorial classes: 5%; written quiz: 5%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Contact hours for on-campus students:
Thirty six 1-hour Lectures
Five 1-hour Tutorials
One 1.5-hour Tutorial
Four 3-hour Practical laboratories
One 1-hour Practical workshop

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