Course Title: Advanced Risk Assessment and Chemical Evaluation

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Risk Assessment and Chemical Evaluation

Credit Points: 12.00

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

Course Coordinator: Diana Donohue & Paul Wright

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7085/7075

Course Coordinator Email:;

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Students are expected to have successfully completed the RMIT Graduate Diploma in Toxicology (GradDipTox).

Course Description

This is a fully online web-based course. Advanced Risk Assessment builds on competencies gained in the GradDipTox courses “Introduction to Biostatistics and Risk Assessment” and “Risk Assessment”. The course material addresses more complex types of risk assessments and provides guided experience in conducting a health-based risk assessment.
Chemical Evaluation builds on the foundations gained in the GradDipTox to equip the student to evaluate a typical Toxicology Package submitted by company sponsors to government regulatory authorities.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

For Advanced Risk Assessment, students are expected to gain the ability to make decisions regarding the identification of hazards; assess exposures; determine a dose-response using various approaches; characterise the risk and its associated uncertainties; understand cumulative risk and risks associated with exposure to mixtures; and prepare a clearly-written risk assessment report.
For Chemical Evaluation, students are expected to acquire a sound knowledge and understanding of the processes involved in evaluating the safety of a chemical or drug, and the ability to compile an evaluation report for government regulatory authorities.

Overview of Learning Activities

In Advanced Risk Assessment, students learn to apply their theoretical understanding to practical examples of risk assessment, both collaboratively and individually; share and communicate knowledge and experience with students of varying occupational backgrounds in online discussions; analyse and critically evaluate scientific literature and data; structure and write a risk assessment report.
In Chemical Evaluation, students work collaboratively through a toxicology package for a recently approved chemical and, via online workshops, formulate a toxicology evaluation report in a form suitable for Australian regulatory authorities. Students evaluate company documentation and scientific literature to present their findings in a series of discussion sessions.

Overview of Learning Resources

This course is accessed and studied online via the RMIT Learning Hub ( The course content is provided through online modules and the prescribed textbook. The toxicology packages provided in this course are typical of those submitted by company sponsors to regulatory authorities. Additional learning resources such as journal papers and links to relevant papers or web sites are provided as appropriate. Students have online access to RMIT’s library and database facilities to gain individual experience in sourcing reliable scientific literature.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment tasks in Advanced Risk Assessment include: participation in online discussions and conferences; a written assignment on a contaminated site; and a written risk assessment report.
Assessment tasks in Chemical Evaluation include: online discussions throughout the study period on sections of the toxicology package; a final written compilation by each student of their section of the evaluation report; and an online regulatory-style panel discussion and review by the class and teaching faculty.