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Unit of study_

PCOL2021: Foundations of Pharmacology

Have you ever wanted to know how drugs work? Pharmacology is the study of the properties and biological actions of drugs and chemicals and the key roles they play in the prevention and treatment of human diseases. In this unit of study you will be introduced to the foundational concepts in pharmacology: a) principles of drug action, b) pharmacokinetics and precision medicine, c) drug design, and d) drug development and regulation. Additionally, you will learn the tools pharmacologists use in their investigations and develop skills in laboratory and problem-based enquiry. You will have the opportunity to explore and apply the core concepts in pharmacology through practicals, simulations and problem-based workshops. By undertaking this unit you will not only learn to view health and disease through the lens of a pharmacologist, you will further develop valuable skills in critical thinking and problem solving, communication, digital literacy, teamwork and interdisciplinary effectiveness. This unit of study is highly recommended for students interested in pursuing a career in medicine and allied health professions (e.g. nursing, pharmacy, physiotherapy, dentistry) and medical research pathways.

Code PCOL2021
Academic unit Pharmacy
Credit points 6
CHEM1XX1 or CHEM1903
PCOL2555 or PCOL2011 or MEDS2002 or BMED2401 or BMED2801 or BMED2802 or BMED2804 or BMED2805 or BMED2806 or BMED2807 or BMED2808 or MEDS2002
Assumed knowledge:
[(BIOL1XX7 or MBLG1XX1) or (MEDS1X01 or BIOL1XX8 or BIOL1XX3)

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. describe important drug targets and drug actions at the cellular and molecular levels
  • LO2. explain the relationship between concentration and effect and derive important drug parameters from concentration-effect curves
  • LO3. discuss how drugs are absorbed, distributed, metabolised and excreted and the factors affecting their deposition in the body
  • LO4. explain the relationship between molecular structure and drug activity
  • LO5. outline the processes involved in drug discovery, development and regulation
  • LO6. describe experimental methods used in pharmacological enquiry and conduct laboratory experiments using a variety of instruments and assays
  • LO7. describe the essential components of an experimental design and analyse (using statistics), interpret and critique data arising from laboratory experiments
  • LO8. use digital and other sources of information and technologies to research and identify information and critically evaluate the credibility of information sources and information for reliability and relevance
  • LO9. communicate effectively through oral, written and visual means
  • LO10. work collaboratively and effectively with peers in group- and team-based learning activities and assessments
  • LO11. demonstrate the capacity for self reflection as well as reflection on the relevance of pharmacology to society.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.