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
OfferedParkville First semester 2013 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Joseph Nicolazzo


This unit builds upon previous learning related to physiology and physical chemistry to provide the student with an understanding of factors affecting absorption of drugs following oral administration and alternative routes of delivery. This unit introduces students to pharmacokinetics and how this may be affected by formulation design and route of administration.

This will involve:

  • oral drug absorption
  • pharmacokinetics
  • bioavailability
  • parenteral formulations
  • alternative routes of drug delivery


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

  1. Discuss the physiological and physicochemical factors affecting drug absorption across the small intestine;
  2. Define and calculate pharmacokinetic parameters, including drug clearance, elimination half-life, volume of distribution, fraction unbound and fraction excreted unchanged in urine;
  3. Calculate predicted plasma concentrations of drugs given the pharmacokinetic parameters of the drug;
  4. Define bioavailability and estimate the absolute and relative bioavailability of drugs given plasma concentration data;
  5. Understand the physical, chemical and biological factors affecting parenteral drug delivery;
  6. Understand formulation techniques for poorly water soluble drugs;
  7. Discuss the factors affecting drug delivery to the eye, buccal cavity, nasal cavity, skin, lungs, vagina and rectum.


Final exam (3 hour): 75%; mini-exams: 20%; debate: 5%.

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Contact hours for on-campus students:
Thirty four 1-hour lectures
Four 2-hour workshops
One 3-hour workshop


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