Pharmacology of Therapeutic Substances

Subject 534-304 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 25.00
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 lectures (two per week), 72 hours of practical work (one 6-hour session per week)
Total Time Commitment: 240 hours
Prerequisites: 534-301 Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study and reasonable steps will be made to enhance a student’s participation in the University’s programs.
This subject requires all students to actively and safely participate in laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability may impact upon their participation are encouraged to discuss this with the subject coordinator and the Disability Liaison Unit.


Assoc Prof Christine Wright
Subject Overview:

The teaching program covers the benefits and risks associated with the use of drugs in a variety of systemic diseases. In particular, drugs affecting the cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal and renal systems, in addition to anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory drugs. Drug action in the central nervous system; anaesthetics, sedatives and hypnotics, analgesics, drugs used in neurodegeneration and disorders of motor function will be addressed. In the practical component of the course, students will develop skills to set up and carry out experiments using computer-based recording equipment, and learn to record and analyse the results of pharmacological experiments demonstrating the use of drugs in a variety of settings. Through this process, it is envisaged that students will come to appreciate the importance of good laboratory practice, including the proper handling of laboratory animals, keeping of laboratory records, and the need for good experimental design. Thus a basis of understanding of the therapeutic benefit of drugs will be developed.

Objectives: By the end of this subject a student will have:

  • knowledge of the actions of important drugs used clinically and in research;
  • understood how the clinical actions of new drugs are characterised and how drugs can be used to treat disease;
  • an understanding of the process of drug discovery and development;
  • applied laboratory techniques and analytical approaches in different areas of pharmacology including the analysis and interpretation of data derived from experiments;
  • gained experience in the written and presentation of scientific data and developed an appreciation of the scientific literature.

Ongoing assessment of practical work during the semester (25%); a 3-hour written examination in the examination period (75%).

Prescribed Texts: None
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:

Upon completion of this subject students should develop skills in:

  • participating effectively in group work;

  • applying quantitative analysis to data; and

  • information gathering and report writing.


Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 BSc), BASc or a combined BSc course will receive science credit for the completion of this subject.

This subject is likely to be quota-restricted this year.

Experiments involving animals are an essential part of this subject; exemption is not possible.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Biomedical Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Pharmacology

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