Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

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

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 laboratories in the unit complement the lecture topics in PHAR3310 Molecular Pharmacology to give students mechanistic and experimental insights into receptor structure/function analyses and signal transduction, hypothesis testing and data analysis, drug metabolism and the production of toxic metabolites and genetic differences affecting drug metabolism. In addition, students participate in a seminar series on current pharmacological and toxicological innovations and controversies. The seminars are designed for students to develop oral communication skills and audience participation by active listening and questioning.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Pharmacology major sequence

Students are able to (1) exhibit proficiency in a wide range of experimental techniques, demonstrated by the correct use of equipment and the ability to complete tasks efficiently and accurately, for example smooth muscle contractility in organ baths and protein gels and immunoblotting.; (2) analyse and interpret laboratory data then explain coherently and logically in reports.; (3) integrate the experimental aspects of particular pharmacology topics covered in this unit with the theoretical aspects of these topics taught in the co-requisite unit, PHAR3310.; and (4) critically appraise a topic of broad pharmacological or toxicological interest in an oral seminar presentation and demonstrate understanding of the topic by answering audience questions in sufficient depth..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) laboratory assessments and poster presentation for receptor characterisation project; (2) oral seminar presentation; and (3) laboratory assessments and reports for remaining laboratory sessions. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Fiona Pixley and A/Prof Steve Mutsaers
Unit rules
Successful completion of
PHAR2210 Foundations of Pharmacology
and PHAR2220 Human Pharmacology ,
or Successful completion of IMED2002 Blood and Drugs and
IMED2001 Body Defences
or IMED2003 Medical Sciences Research Methodologies
or IMED2004 Human Development and Genetics
Enrolment in
PHAR3310 Molecular Pharmacology
PHAR3303 Drugs and Disease A,
and PATH3304 Drugs and Disease B
Advisable prior study
12 points of Level 2 biochemistry (BIOC2001 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the Cell,
and BIOC2002 Biochemical Regulation of Cell Function).
or 12 points of Level 2 physiology (PHYL2001 Physiology of Human Body Systems,
and PHYL2002 Physiology of Cells)
Contact hours
laboratory sessions: 5 hours per week for 11 weeks from week 1
seminars: 4 hours per week for 1 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.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.