PSC2012 - Molecular 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.


Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences


Dr John Haynes

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


Prior to 2013 unit was PSC2062 Pharmacology


The aim of this unit is to introduce second year Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science students to the essential elements of molecular pharmacology. Specifically this unit will introduce students to the pharmacological principles of drug action. It includes descriptions of agonist and antagonist activities, analysis of agonist-effect relationships and the intracellular processes by which endogenous and exogenously applied compounds elicit effects. Students will receive a series of lectures covering in-depth aspects of receptor pharmacology.

These lectures will also cover in detail the pharmacological regulation of cellular calcium and the role calcium plays in cell function and survival. At the completion of this unit students will have been provided the opportunity to understand drug receptor interactions from the pharmacologists point of view. This unit will equip students for third year Pharmaceutical Biology.


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

  1. Identify how pharmacologically active chemicals can affect living systems through interactions with receptors;
  2. Show how receptor activity can itself be modulated / modified / terminated by ligand binding;
  3. Describe how modulation of receptor function enables the autonomic nervous system to regulate specific bodily functions;
  4. Suggest possible cellular outcomes following multiple signalling inputs.


Final exam (2 hour) 60%

Mid-semester test 15%

Completion of self-directed learning topic 5%

Practical class component 20%

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Twenty four lectures
  • Six 5-hour pracs
  • Two 3- hour tutorials
  • Twelve hours of directed (active) learning

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


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