Course Title: Principles of Toxicology

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Principles of Toxicology

Credit Points: 12.00

Important Information:

Course guide info and changes due to COVID-19: As a consequence of courses being delivered remotely in Semester 2 2020, course guides may not reflect all courses assessments and activities. This is because some information in the course guide is fixed, such as learning outcomes, and some may change according to the semester of delivery.

Please refer to Canvas for details regarding your assessment and activities for each of your Semester 2 courses and talk to your course coordinator if you have any questions.


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


Bundoora Campus


160H Medical Sciences


Sem 2 2009,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 2 2013,
Sem 2 2014,
Sem 2 2015,
Sem 2 2016


Bundoora Campus


173H School of Health and Biomed


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020

Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Paul Wright

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 6512

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 201.09.004

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Required prior study (Pre-requisites)

Course Description

This course introduces you to the principles of toxicology, with particular emphasis on the principles governing toxic responses to chemical exposures, including the disposition of toxicants, and the nature and effect of toxicity. This course 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 disciplines of toxicology and pharmacology.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences (BP311):

  • Exhibiting depth and breadth of scientific knowledge (PLO 1)
  • Critically analyse and solve scientific problems (PLO 2)
  • Communication and teamwork (PLO 3)
  • Investigation and analysis (PLO 4)

On satisfactorily completing the course it is intended that you should have:

  1. Developed a broad and coherent body of knowledge in toxicology to support a basic understanding of the principles governing toxic responses to chemical exposures.
  2. Adapted this knowledge and the basic concepts involved to problem solving.
  3. Developed oral and written skills to effectively communicate this knowledge and the basic concepts.
  4. Applied initiative and judgement in searching, reviewing and analysing toxicology-related knowledge in scientific literature and public media.
  5. Work effectively, as both an individual and in a team environment.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course includes structured theoretical and practical components to provide you with knowledge in toxicology. The practical program is designed to assist in the understanding of selected theoretical components of the course, and you are encouraged to develop your critical thinking and problem solving skills in the practical classes and tutorials. Assessment activities and tutorials are conducted throughout the semester so that you can review and evaluate your progress and ability to adequately understand the material presented.

You will undertake the equivalent of five (5) hours per week for one semester, comprising lecture, lectorial, tutorial, practical and workshop sessions, along with online activities. In addition you can expect to spend a minimum of five (5) hours per week in independent study.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources in this course include lecture notes, and practical, workshop and tutorial exercises and handouts, and references on selected topics. The online course webpage accessed via myRMIT (, provides opportunities for you to independently access much of this material. You are expected to regularly access the course website, which contains announcements, course information such as detailed timetables and prescribed reading, course documents and the grade book. The Pharmaceutical Sciences Library Subject Guide ( also provides useful references.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment activities include practical reports, written assignments, problem-based learning tutorials, oral presentations, tests during the semester and an end of semester exam. Assessment will include both group and individual tasks. Early formative assessment tasks over the first 5 weeks of semester include oral and written assessments for three practical/workshop classes, in order to provide you with helpful feedback to support improvement of your skills for subsequent assessments.

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Practical and workshop reports

Weighting 25%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3 & 5

Assessment Task 2: Tutorial reports and seminar presentation

Weighting 15%

This assessment task supports CLOs 3, 4 & 5

Assessment Task 3: Tests

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 & 3

Assessment 4: Exam

Weighting 50% 

This assessment supports CLOs 1 & 3