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
OfferedParkville Second semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Ben Capuano


This unit is designed to introduce the students to the major fields of the applied sciences in which pharmaceutical scientists specialise. The relationships between the different disciplines and their distinct roles in drug discovery and development will be demonstrated. Participants are introduced to the following areas as they apply to the chemistry, biology and formulation of medicines and related products:

  • medicinal chemistry
  • drug discovery biology
  • formulation science

Students will also have the opportunity to attend specialised seminars on pharmaceutical science research.


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

  1. Explain to peers how drugs have been discovered in the past and how molecular biological methods have revolutionised the science of drug discovery;
  2. Understand and describe how molecular, cellular, tissue and in vivo biological assays each play a role in drug discovery;
  3. Apply the principles involved in chemical synthesis of drugs;
  4. Apply the principles of chemical structure-based drug design;
  5. Evaluate physicochemical characteristics of lead compounds in drug discovery;
  6. Apply the principles in the processes of lead optimization;
  7. Apply basic formulation concepts to the underlying requirements for formulating products with different types of product including; powders (including solid compacts), solids, semi-solids and liquids including suspensions and emulsions;
  8. Find and synthesise relevant information to explain the formulation and testing of a chosen product
  9. Design an oral presentation to communicate their overall scientific findings
  10. Write a press release that distils the combined semester findings to illustrate the relationship between the 3 disciplines to design, discover and develop a medicine


Active learning project presentation: 90% (30% per field covered) ; written press release one page report: 10%

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Twenty-seven one hour lectures
  • Six three hour presentation sessions
  • Two one hour computer labs
  • Three three hour introduction to discipline research sessions incorporating lab tours
  • Two one hour tutorials
  • Three fifteen minute interviews

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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