PHA3801 - Principles of pharmacology - 2017

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.



Organisational Unit

Malaysia School of Science


Dr Michelle Yap Khai Khun

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


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;
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the risk-benefit aspects of drug use;
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the sources of drugs and rationales for their use;
  4. Demonstrate appreciation of ethical issues encompassing drug research and clinical trials;
  5. Carry out tissue bath experiments to elicit drug effects.


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

Workload requirements

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).

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


6 points of level two PHY