Course Title: Botany, Medicinal Chemistry and Research Methods

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Botany, Medicinal Chemistry and Research Methods

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 2 2008,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015


Bundoora Campus


150H Health Sciences


Sem 1 2006

Course Coordinator: Dr Zhen Zheng

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7167

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: Room 202.4.48 PO Box 71 Bundoora VIC 3083

Course Coordinator Availability: Monday to Wednesday

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Contact your course coordinator if you think you may be eligible for recognition of prior learning. For further information go to:

Course Description

Botany, Medicinal Chemistry and Research Methods is a one-semester introductory course. There are two modules: Botany/Medicinal Chemistry and Health Research Methods. The Botany/Medicinal Chemistry module will introduce the botanical classification of plants commonly used in Chinese herbal medicine preparations, and organic chemistry that serves as the fundamental basis upon which Chinese medicinal and herbal components and their molecular chemistry and function can be understood. The research method module aims to build problem-solving skills and abilities that are crucial for students’ lifelong learning and reflective learning.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The capabilities developed through this course include:
- information skills (confidence to investigate new ideas)
- thinking skills (applied learning to solve problems)
- professional skills (work independently & as a team).

Upon successfully completion of this course, students should be able to:

Botany and Medicinal Chemistry Module:
a. Identify the major families of plants from which Chinese herbal products are derived.
b. Understand the structure and function of plant organs, with specific reference to the production of bioactive compounds will also be covered in some detail.
c. Understand the chemical nature of Chinese herbs and be familiar with primary metabolites, structural materials, secondary metabolites
d. Recognize and differentiate between the chemical structures of the families of secondary metabolites: polyketides and fatty acids, terpenoids and steroids, phenylpropanoids, alkaloids, carbohydrates
e. identify structures of herbal constituents and the 3D drawing of the chemical structure of secondary metabolites

Research Methods module:
a. Find information and literature to answer clinical questions
b. Critique research literature
c. Identify rating scales, interpret research data and understand basic statistical analyses provided in the literatures
d. Understand the unique feature of research in Chinese medicine
e. Identify and define research questions within the context of the health service
f. Identify aspects of the research process as these relate to evaluation of health care practice, programs and policy development.
g. Appraise the level of evidence of literatures

Overview of Learning Activities

Your learning activities in this course comprise a mixture of lectures and tutorials, viewing live cases from the teaching clinic via video conferencing facility, and self-directed learning. You are expected to undertake learning tasks which include group discussions, tutorials, and watching a video and case analysis to develop your critical analysis skills and deductive abilities for your future study and practice. The theory and practical skills learnt from lectures will be broadened by providing many case studies and self-directed learning with the support of online learning. This will also be reinforced through clinical observations. This course provides an opportunity to explore different diagnostic skills applied in clinical practice. You will be invited to observe clinical practice and to reflect your own learning. You will be required to diagnose patients through real cases or literature.

Overview of Learning Resources

The learning resources associated with this course will include targeted readings taken from a range of both primary and secondary sources. All material to be chosen will be digitally available to you. Lecture material will be delivered via Lectopia, Discussion Board interaction and Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate) workshops. Practice learning activities will be provided in a variety of ways, including simulated learning activities. RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

Overview of Assessment

Botany/Medicinal Chemistry Module:
Students will be assessed on the quality of their practical reports, and by a theory examination.

Research Methods Module:
The assessment for this course would reflect the students’ problem-solving and analytic skills. This could take the form of oral presentation or assignment .

For information on grades used in RMIT courses see:;ID=yhbhsddxqou9#ID=yhbhsddxqou9

Assessment completed in the first half of the semester will provide feedback on your progress. Ongoing feedback on your skills will be provided from peers and staff.

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
This course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies and procedures which are described and referenced in a single document Assessment policies and procedures manual, at:;ID=ln1kd66y87rc