Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 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.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Dr Laurence Orlando



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


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 (2.5 hour): 60%; mini-exams: 30%; debate: 10%.

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Twenty seven 1-hour lectures
  • Four 2-hour workshops
  • One 3-hour workshop

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


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