BPS1032 - Physical chemistry II: Solutions, surfaces and solids - 2019

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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Elizabeth Yuriev


Dr Elizabeth Yuriev

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)




Previously coded PSC1032 Physical chemistry II


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 Physical Chemistry I (BPS1031) 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 laboratory exercises and relate experimental results to theoretical concepts in the unit and from BPS1031.
  9. Work effectively in a group to solve problems, present group-workshopped solutions, and manage the group to complete the task (communicating and coordinating group efforts);
  10. Solve problems in a meaningful, systematic, and structured manner.


Final exam 50%; in-semester assessment 50%

Workload requirements

Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Twenty-four 1-hour lectures
  • Six 3-hour workshops
  • Six 3-hour laboratories


  • Twelve 1-hour online preparation modules

See also Unit timetable information

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