Toxicology (PCOL3011)


This unit of study is designed to introduce students with a basic understanding of pharmacology to the discipline of toxicology. The study of toxicology is central to the assessment of drug safety in drug development and in the explanation of toxicology associated with registered drugs (adverse drug reactions) and drug-drug interactions. These issues as well as the pharmacogenetic basis of adverse reactions will be considered. Environmental toxicology, particularly toxic reactions to environmental agents such as asbestos and pesticides, and target organ toxicology (lung, liver, CNS) are also covered. The diverse world of plants and animal toxins will also be explored. As a final consequence of exposure to many toxicants, the biology and causes of cancer are discussed. As part of the unit students are introduced to basic ideas about the collection and analysis of data from human and animal populations, both in the structured situation of clinical trials, forensic problems and in analysis of retrospective data.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


Two 1 hour lectures and one 3 hour tutorial/practical every 2 weeks.


One 2 hour exam, tutorial presentations, assignments (100%)


Klaasen, Curtis D. Casarett and Doull's Essentials of Toxicology 2 ed. McGraw Hill. 2010, or, by the same authors: Toxicology: The Basic Science of Poisons. 7 ed. McGraw Hill. 2008.

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


(PCOL2011 and PCOL2012) OR (BMED2401 and 12 additional credit points of BMED240X)


PCOL3911 or PCOL3001 or PCOL3901 

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.