PSC4312 - Research in drug discovery biology - 2017

36 points, SCA Band 2, 0.750 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 Sab Ventura

Unit guides



  • Full year 2017 (Day)


Students will conduct a research project under the guidance and supervision of a member of the academic staff of the Drug Discovery Biology theme. The research project will be carried out according to the conventions of the chosen research area and in an established academic/research environment. Students will receive regular advice from their supervisors on the rationale and design of the research project, instruction in the relevant experimental techniques, feedback on the outcomes of their investigations, guidance in the presentation of their research findings, and ongoing assistance in learning methodologies. At the conclusion of the research project the findings will be presented in a mini research thesis. Students will receive advice and guidance, within specified guidelines, from their supervisors on the preparation and presentation of a research thesis with support from Faculty and University education support programs. The thesis will be examined by internal examiners and by the supervisor evaluation.


At the completion of this unit the participant will;

  1. Have gained insight into the breadth and diversity of the drug discovery biology field
  2. Be proficient in safe work practices for a laboratory
  3. Be able to critically review the scientific literature in their discipline
  4. Have a detailed understanding of the processes involved in the design, development and implementation of a research project
  5. Be able to present scientific results in a style suitable for publication
  6. Have the capability to pursue higher studies and learning in the pharmaceutical sciences discipline


This unit is 75% of the overall course mark. The assessment for this unit will include the following:

  • Thesis 50%
  • Final oral presentation 10%
  • Thesis viva 15%
  • The other 25% of the course mark comes from the student's assessment in the PSC4311 unit.

The student will be required to conduct a literature review relevant to their research project and present a non-assessed preliminary oral presentation early in their candidature. This presentation will provide their interpretation of the background behind the project and the techniques required to conduct the research project.

The preparation of the mini-thesis throughout the candidature will be guided closely by the supervisor at all times.

Coursework activities (PSC4311) will be conducted jointly to support the progression of the research work and the preparation of the final thesis. The final oral presentation is the culmination of the years work and should reflect the findings obtained, the students' interpretation of these and the conclusion they draw from their investigations.

The assessment for research is worth 75% of the overall final mark.

Workload requirements

Oral presentations, staff directed study and self-directed study. Students will undertake coursework study equivalent to a minimum 40 hours of contact which directly supports the research project they are conducting.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


The prerequisite for entry to the Honours Degree of the Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science is a bachelor degree in Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Science or other related field. An average overall distinction or higher in the final year of the course, or equivalent qualifications and experience deemed by the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Training Committee to be suitable preparation for the candidate's proposed field of study is required.