Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 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

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
OfferedMalaysia First semester 2015 (Day)
Parkville First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Roland Chung (Parkville); Dr Thet Thet Htar (Malaysia)


This unit aims to equip students with a foundation of knowledge about the molecular structure of drugs, together with an understanding of the fundamental relationship that exists between the molecular structure of drugs and their pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. It also seeks to provide students with an appreciation of the drug design process and the methods used to synthesise and establish the structure of drug molecules. The subject provides a firm foundation for the subsequent Basis of Drug Action II unit, as well as the "Integrated Therapeutics" 3rd year subjects, which focus on describing the major classes of drugs and how they function.


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

  1. Identify functional groups in drug molecules and describe the bonding interactions they may undergo with a target macromolecule;
  2. Define the stereochemistry of chiral compounds and discuss why the shapes of drug molecules are important for biological activity;
  3. Relate the bioavailability and physicochemical properties of a drug molecule to its chemical structure;
  4. Recognise and describe structural modification strategies used to optimise the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of a drug;
  5. Apply the concepts of QSAR;
  6. Describe the general synthetic strategies used to synthesise drug leads and their analogues;
  7. Analyse and interpret data to describe chemical structures;
  8. Be proficient in basic chemical laboratory techniques and communicating results in written form.


Practical performance and reports, and other assessments: 20%; on-line multiple choice quizzes: 5%; invigilated quiz: 15%; final exam (2.5 hours): 60%.

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Thirty 1-hour lectures/whole class tutorials
  • Two 3-hour two 6-hour practical laboratories
  • Six hours of independent study per week
  • Twenty four hours of pre-reading and preparation for quizzes and practical laboratories

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


PAC1121 Bioorganic and medicinal chemistry I
PAC1142 Bioorganic and medicinal chemistry II

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