How do you study pharmacology?

You can major in Pharmacology in the Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science (Advanced), Bachelor of Medical Science and Bachelor of Liberal Studies. Pharmacology is a substantial component of the Medicinal Chemistry major.

What you will study in Pharmacology:

  • sites and mechanisms of drug action;
  • drug absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination;
  • relationships between drug activity and chemical structure;
  • drug action on the body systems, including the central and autonomic nervous systems, cardiovascular, respiratory and renal systems;
  • the use of drugs in treating infection and cancer;
  • the social use of drugs and abuse liability;
  • drug design and development;
  • toxic effects of drugs.

Senior level (3rd year) second semester units of study also involve a pharmacology project offered by academic staff in the department. In these projects, students carry out a small research project, which is either laboratory or literature based. Students have the opportunity to learn some research skills, either laboratory research skills, or researching the literature in a given area of interest.

Further study in pharmacology can be undertaken at the fourth year level as an Honours year. In this year, a research project is carried out under supervision. Assessment is by thesis and seminar presentations. Following from Honours, students can apply to undertake post-graduate research in pharmacology in a Masters of Science (2 years) or PhD (3 years minimum).

The Discipline of Pharmacology has strong research interests in the areas of neuropharmacology, respiratory and cardiovascular pharmacology and receives significant research funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council and from research and development partnerships with industry.

Prepared by Professor Graham Johnston and Dr Tina Hinton.