Faculty of Science

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

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FacultyFaculty of Science
OfferedSunway First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)To be advised (Gippsland); Dr Amudha Kadirvelu (Sunway)


The main theme is an introduction to drug use in our society. The following topics will be covered:

  1. how drugs act at a cellular level, how they target specific body systems and how the body handles drugs (pharmacokinetics)
  2. Sources of drugs - prescription vs over the counter vs herbal remedies and information available to the public about drugs. Rationale for choice of drugs for common diseases
  3. Drug development from the laboratory to the consumer. Factors influencing the development of new drugs (e.g. economics and logistics).


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Describe how drugs work, when and how they are used, their side-effects and toxicity;

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the risk-benefit aspects of drug use;

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the sources of drugs and rationales for their use;

  1. Demonstrate appreciation of ethical issues encompassing drug research and clinical trials;

  1. Carry out tissue bath experiments to elicit drug effects.


Practical work: 20%
Semester test: 10%
Presentation and essay: 20%
Exam (3 hours): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Three hours of lectures, one hour of tutorials and three hours of practicals per week (includes wet practicals, dry practicals and CAL-Computer Aided Learning).