Course Title: Professional Practice in Pharmaceutical Sciences 1

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Professional Practice in Pharmaceutical Sciences 1

Credit Points: 36

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012

Course Coordinator: Dr Matthew Linden

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7898

Course Coordinator

Course Coordinator Location: 223.2.6

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Students will be required to have successfully completed all courses from the first three years of the degree program before entry into an industry work placement.

Course Description

This course is a major component of the Pharmaceutical Sciences program and provides an opportunity for students to acquire a range of professional skills which complement the academic courses taken in the university environment. The professional skills are acquired during a period of supervised placement in either a pharmaceutical company, research laboratory, clinical trials organisation or Government regulatory authority. The course covers the first half of the placement year, and aims to provide students with experience, skills, knowledge and attributes that characterise a pharmaceutical science professional that can only be obtained in the workplace.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The planned learning experiences in this course develop the following generic capabilities:
Solve problems - critical, creative and make decisions;
Manage - self, processes, information, and for quality;
Work - independently, as a team member, safely, within an accepted moral and ethical framework, and responsibly;
Awareness - environmental, resource, cultural and social contexts;
Communicate effectively;
Adaptable; and

The planned learning experiences in this course also develop the following specific professional capabilities:
Discipline-specific knowledge;
Discipline-specific psycho-motor skills; and
the ability to apply generic capabilities in a discipline-specific context to achieve planned outcomes.

The combination of generic and professional capabilities will produce graduates who are life-long learners, employable and who are potential leaders in their chosen field of endeavour.

Having completed this course it is intended that a student should be able to understand a work environment and the professional capabilities required to perform tasks.

Specific aims of the course are:

1. To provide students with the opportunity to integrate theoretical and practical skills acquired in an academic environment, with the skills expected of a pharmaceutical science professional.

2. To allow students to be instructed in the use and maintenance of modern equipment and techniques employed in the different activities of pharmaceutical industry and in drug discovery research and development.

3. To expose students to the application and use of information technology in the pharmaceutical industry.

4. To enhance the student’s awareness of medical and scientific ethics, including Good Laboratory Practice/ Good Clinical Practice and/or Good Manufacturing Practice.

5. To enhance the student’s awareness of professional legislative and regulatory requirements in the pharmaceutical industry.

6. To enhance the student’s awareness and appreciation of health and safety issues affecting work practices in pharmaceutical industry and associated areas.

7. To encourage students to develop student enterprise and personal skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving, decision making, initiative and creativity.

8. To encourage students to reflect upon and critically analyse their experiences during their period of industry work placement.

Overview of Learning Activities

As students are placed in a diverse range of workplaces it is not possible to be specific about the type of learning activities that students might encounter, but in general the experience should include:

1. Participation in research and development activities, clinical trial activities, regulatory affairs and/or medical information. These activities will be dependent on the type of work placement in which the student is placed, and in general students should be exposed to all aspects of the work being undertaken at a specific placement location.

2. Demonstration of continuing professional development in terms of attendance at seminars, short courses and training sessions as required by the workplace. Students should be made aware of the various professional bodies and scientific societies that cater for the professional interests in the pharmaceutical industry. Where appropriate, they should be encouraged and supported to attend meetings of various discussion groups.

3. Adoption of a professional attitude in overall work practices. This would include students taking responsibilities for their actions, operating within the limits of their knowledge and practical skills and complying with the professions’ code of ethics.

4. Understanding and application of the procedures used in the workplace to ensure safe working conditions.

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources available during this course include the library resources of RMIT, plus the full resources of the pharmaceutical organisation in which the student is placed. The course will also have a Distributed Learning System (DLS) site for the conduct of an online conference throughout the semester, and for the access of documents and learning materials related to the course.

Overview of Assessment

The course is assessed through the completion of entries in a reflective journal every 2 weeks, as well performance appraisals from the RMIT academic supervisor and the workplace supervisor.

The assessment activities required in this course are designed to enhance the students’ communication skills and to encourage them to critically evaluate the working environment in which they find themselves. In the preparation of their journal entries they should demonstrate an ability to reflect on the significance of their experiences in meeting the objectives of the course.