Studying online

There are now 3 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Units available in Online Restricted mode have been adapted for online study only for those students who require the unit to complete their studies and who are unable to attend campus owing to exceptional circumstances beyond their control. To be enrolled in a unit in Online Restricted mode, students should contact their Student Advising Office through askUWA

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview

This unit provides students with state-of-the-art insights into how drugs affect physiological and pathological systems. The topics are dealt with in depth and include receptor structure/function, receptor classification, signal transduction, drug structure/activity modelling, biotransformation and toxicology.
6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Pharmacology major sequence
  • Level 3 elective
Students are able to (1) understand and clearly explain key concepts in ligand binding and activation/inhibition of receptor function; (2) understand and clearly explain key concepts in the role of protein phosphorylation in cell signalling to proliferation and differentiation and cancer; (3) understand and clearly explain key concepts in the regulation of G-protein coupled receptors in health and disease; (4) understand and clearly explain key concepts in the role of ion channels and transporters in cell signalling, especially in the context of nervous system function; (5) understand and clearly explain key concepts in the use of computational modelling in drug discovery and design; (6) understand and clearly explain key concepts in the significance of genetic polymorphisms in drug response; and (7) understand and clearly explain key concepts in biotransformation of drugs and toxicological aspects.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) summative assessments and (2) end-of-semester examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Fiona Pixley and Dr Elizabeth Johnstone
Unit rules
PHAR2210 Foundations of Pharmacology, and PHAR2220 Human Pharmacology; or IMED2002 Blood and Drugs and one of the following units: IMED2001 Body Defences; IMED2003 Essentials of Research in the Health and Medical Sciences or IMED2004 Human Development and Genetics
PHAR3303 Drugs and Disease A and PATH3304 Drugs and Disease B
Contact hours
lectures: 3 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.