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Unit of study_

PHAR1922: How Drugs Work

2024 unit information

This unit of study builds on PHAR1911 (Fundamentals of Pharmacy) to give a more detailed understanding of how molecules interact with their targets to cause a response. Elements of basic pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the drug design and discovery pathway are explored. This sets a foundation for a deeper understanding of the medicinal chemistry of drugs for the treatment of any condition. The concepts of this unit are explored further in units of study focusing on specific conditions in the later years of the degree. Critical thinking, research and laboratory skills are developed in the context of medicinal chemistry with emphasis on how it relates to day-to-day pharmacy practice.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Code PHAR1922
Academic unit Pharmacy
Credit points 12
Assumed knowledge:
HSC Chemistry and Mathematics Advanced (2U). Students who have not completed HSC Chemistry (or equivalent) are strongly advised to take a Chemistry Bridging Course (offered in February and as a distance course at other times of the year)

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

  • LO1. Outline fundamental concepts in chemistry necessary for understanding drug delivery, drug action, and therapeutics.
  • LO2. Explain the relationship between molecular structure and the different types of molecular interactions, and the importance of molecular interactions in the bioavailability of drugs.
  • LO3. Identify the properties of biologically-relevant molecules, including proteins and genes.
  • LO4. Identify the sources of drugs, the way they are discovered and designed, purified, characterised and analysed, and their physicochemical properties.
  • LO5. Explain the pharmacological mechanism of action and the interaction of drugs with their targets.
  • LO6. Apply appropriate numeracy skills to solve pharmaceutical problems.
  • LO7. Use laboratory and computing techniques in structured experiments, and interpret and draw conclusions from obtained data.
  • LO8. Apply appropriate writing and referencing techniques, including appropriately acknowledging sources, to uphold academic honesty.
  • LO9. Demonstrate responsibility for personal and professional development through independent learning and continuous reflection.
  • LO10. Work effectively and cooperatively as a member of a learning team.

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.