PSC1032 - Physical chemistry II - 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.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Dr Elizabeth Yuriev

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


Previously coded PSC1072


Solutions, self-assembled systems, multiphase liquid systems and the properties of solids that yield pharmaceutical solutions are key to the performance and manufacture of pharmaceutical products. This unit aims to build on PSC1031 Physical Chemistry I to provide students with a firm understanding of the physical chemistry that underpins the properties and dissolution of pharmaceutical solids and additives to form solutions. In particular an understanding of the physicochemical properties of pharmaceutical solids (drugs and excipients), their transfer into solution form and properties of those solutions from a pharmaceutical science perspective will set the foundation for students to understand the impact of these properties and concepts in pharmaceutical and other formulated products. The key concepts are related directly to aspects of a suite of representative pharmaceutical products allowing the students to put the concepts into a relevant context. The understanding of these principles will also assist students in their understanding in some areas of chemistry, physiology and biology.

This will involve:

  • physical chemistry of solutions
  • solids, semisolids and solubility
  • interfacially active molecules and their use in formulation
  • acid-base functional groups


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

  1. Analyse the physicochemical principles that underpin the important processes of pharmaceutical solids dissolving to form a solution. Describe, predict and calculate dissolution, solubility and distribution;
  2. Predict and calculate the influence of functional groups and structure on solution behaviour, including colligative properties and conductivity;
  3. Explain and predict the behaviour of surface-active agents at interfaces and in solution, and explain how micelles can improve drug solubilization;
  4. Describe the physicochemical principles behind the formulation of liquid products, including one and two phase liquid systems, prepare and evaluate basic liquid formulations for pharmaceutical applications.
  5. Describe and analyse the properties of pharmaceutical solids and semisolids, such as crystallinity, melting point, and predict their impact on solubility, stability and bioavailability;
  6. Describe rheological concepts and discriminate between different rheological properties for fluids;
  7. Define the role and effect of components (excipients) used to produce solution-based pharmaceutical dose forms and evaluate individual excipients, based on their physicochemical properties, in the context of a pharmaceutical product or formulation;
  8. Measure fundamental solution properties through practical exercises and relate experimental results to theoretical concepts in the unit and from PSC1031.


Final exam (2 hour) 50%; active learning 10%; workshops 15%; practical and practical test 10%; group written assignment 15%.

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Thirty six 1-hour lectures (27 face-to-face lectures + 9 hours active learning)
  • Six 3-hour workshops
  • Three 3-hour practical laboratories

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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