Course Title: Therapeutic Pharmacology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Therapeutic Pharmacology

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2006,
Sem 2 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011

Course Coordinator: Dr Joanne Hart

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7545

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 223.02.16

Course Coordinator Availability: please email for an appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

A pass in Principles of Pharmacology (ONPS 2032)

Course Description

The course is designed to introduce the student to the nature and actions of some common therapeutically used groups of drugs
Areas covered include:

The pharmacology of Therapeutic agents used to treat:

Respiratory & Gastrointestinal disorders
Cardiovascular disorders
Endocrine disorders
Neurological disorders
Pain and Inflammation
Anti-infection agents

This course lays the foundation for further studies of therapeutic agents, pre-clinical and clinical drug testing and drug regulations. It is designed to assist in the preparation of graduates for employment as responsible workers in the pharmaceutical industry or related areas such as government drug regulatory affairs and clinical trial centres, or to pursue postgraduate research in the discipline.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The objectives are for the student to develop knowledge and capabilities in therapeutic pharmacology. The laboratory, tutorial and seminar components of the course are designed to promote and encourage a team approach to learning and problem solving.

At the end of the course it is intended that you should be able to explain and use the basic principles of therapeutic pharmacology including:
• Mechanism of action of the drugs
• Indications for usage of the drugs
• Adverse effects and contra-indications

The laboratory component of the course will develop practical capabilities. At the end of the course you should be able to:
• carry out some basic laboratory techniques in a competent manner
• keep adequate written records, present data clearly, understand the analysis and interpretation of such data, as well as developing problem-solving skills

The seminar series is designed to develop research and presentation skills. At the end of the course you should be able to
• Critically evaluate a scientific paper
• Have an understanding of the science behind the development of therapeutic agents

Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities of this course take place in lectures, tutorials and laboratory classes. The theory and practical components of the course are integrated throughout the teaching of this course on the therapeutic aspects of pharmacology.

The practical component of the course is designed to build fundamental skills in critical analysis, as the results in the practical classes may not be exactly as expected. Students are required to interpret their results in a contextual framework based on their knowledge and technical capabilities.

Tutorials are designed to enhance the material delivered in lectures. They are also designed to give the student feedback on their progress and to consolidate the understanding of the material taught in the course.
Seminar series is important to provide opportunity for library-based research, presentation and critical evaluation of literature.

Overview of Learning Resources

Resources for this course include the Learning Hub and prescribed and recommended texts as described below:

Prescribed text: Rang et al. Rang & Dale’s Pharmacology (2007)
Recommended Text: Australian Medicines Handbook (2009)

Overview of Assessment

To pass the course, students are required to obtain a pass in both the theory (includes tests held during semester and end of semester examinations) and practical components (practical reports, seminars and tutorials) of the course.