Drugs Affecting the Nervous System

Subject PHRM30002 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 x one hour lectures per week (total contact hours: 36)
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


BSc students:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

BBiomed students:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:

Students wishing to undertake this subject as breadth will need the approval of the subject co-ordinator.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:

This subject cannot be taken if credit has been previously obtained for 534-302 Neuropharmacology.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Assoc Prof James Ziogas


Subject Coordinator

Assoc Prof James Ziogas


Administrative Coordinator:


Subject Overview:

The working of the brain and nervous system is an important frontier of modern medicine and nerves are the target for many important drugs. This subject will address how drugs modulate the processes of neuronal communication and survival in the context of the management of mood and emotional disorders, addictive behaviours, neuro-degenerative diseases, pain and epilepsy. This subject will also discuss strategies for the development of future therapeutics. Students will gain an appreciation of how a detailed understanding of pathophysiological processes is important for the rational development of new therapeutics.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this unit, students will have developed a solid understanding of the nature of and drug treatments for a range of central nervous system diseases. They will have a knowledge of the nature of research into central nervous system disorders and of the therapeutic and the undesirable actions of key therapeutics and recreational drugs. An understanding of how knowledge about pathophysiological processes is important for the rational drug development.

  • Continuing assessments comprising LMS delivered assessments and a multiple choice question assessment delivered during the semester (30%)
  • A 2 hr examination in the examination period (70%)

Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:

Nestler, Hymen & Malenka, Molecular Neuropharmacology McGraw Hill.

Golan et al., Principles of Pharmacology, 3rd Edition. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

By the end of this unit students will:

  • Be adept at learning in a range of ways.
  • Be able to examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge pertaining to drugs.
  • Have an understanding of the scientific basis of the action of drugs in the central nervous system.
  • Be able to integrate key pharmacological and other medical research principles as they relate to neuropharmacology.
  • Be adept at critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Participate in collaborative learning.

This subject is available to students enrolled in the BSc, Biomedicine degree.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Biomedical Biotechnology (specialisation of Biotechnology major)
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED

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