BPS2041 - Drug delivery: absorption pathways - 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 Cornelia Landersdorfer


Dr Cornelia Landersdorfer

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus)


BPS1011 Human Physiology I: Cells to systems

BPS1012 Human Physiology II: Body systems


Unit previously coded PSC2041


Choosing a suitable route of administration and dosage form for an active pharmaceutical ingredient is a critical step in drug development. It requires consideration of the physiological and physicochemical processes that govern the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of a drug, but other factors, such as patient compliance, also need to be taken into account.

This unit will equip students with the fundamental knowledge and tools to evaluate different routes of drug administration on the basis of the underlying physiological and physicochemical principles. In particular, this will entail:

  • An introduction to the processes involved in drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion following oral, parenteral and other routes of administration.
  • Mathematical approaches to describe and evaluate drug concentration time profiles and bioavailability (pharmacokinetics).
  • Case studies in assessing the suitability of different drug formulation options.


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

  1. Discuss the physiological and physicochemical factors affecting drug absorption across the small intestine, via selected alternative pathways and via parenteral drug delivery;
  2. Define and calculate pharmacokinetic parameters, predict drug concentrations in plasma and estimate bioavailability.
  3. Discuss the factors affecting drug metabolism and excretion and their impact on drug concentration time profiles.
  4. Suggest and evaluate formulation approaches for drugs based on their physicochemical properties, physiological factors and medical considerations.
  5. Analyse and interpret quantitative data using scientific software packages.


End-of-semester examination (50%) and in-semester assessment (50%)

Workload requirements

  • Twelve 1-hour online modules (discovery)
  • Twenty-four 1-hour lectures
  • Twelve 1-hour applied classes
  • Twelve 2-hour workshops

See also Unit timetable information

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

End-of-semester examination (50%) and in-semester assessment (50%)