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.

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Unit Overview


This is a foundation unit in the Master of Pharmacy course. It provides an overview of the principles of physical pharmacy, pharmaceutical calculations and biopharmaceutics that underpin drug formulation into acceptable dosage forms and their therapeutic outcomes. The physical pharmacy and biopharmaceutics concepts are delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials. Students apply this knowledge in tutorials. Students also learn to apply mathematical principles to calculate drug doses and the extemporaneous compounding of pharmaceutical formulations through case-based exercises in tutorials and practical classes.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) explain and apply the key physical pharmacy concepts of acid-base ionisation, solubility and dissolution, partitioning phenomena, surface phenomena, colloid properties and powder properties; (2) articulate the interrelationships between the physiochemical properties of a drug, its dosage form, route of administration and bioavailability; (3) recognise common pharmaceutical surfactants and apply them to enhance drug solubility, dissolution and bioavailabilty; (4) classify a drug into its biopharmaceutical class and predict its bioavailability; (5) understand, differentiate and apply the concepts of bioavailability and bioequivalence; (6) apply mathematical principles to the preparation and the safe and effective use of medicinal products in different patient populations; and (7) prepare, label and record the extemporisation of medicinal mixtures in compliance with legislative and professional practice frameworks.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) ongoing assessments; (2) laboratory assessment; and (3) final written 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)
Professor Lee Yong Lim
Unit rules
Enrolment in
51500 Master of Pharmacy (ID 123)
Contact hours
lectures and tutorials: 4 hours per week for 12 weeks
calculation tutorials: 4 hours per week for 5 weeks
labs: 4 hours per week for 4 weeks and 2 hours for 1 week

Aulton, M, Pharmaceutics: The design and manufacture of Medicines, current edn, Churchill Livingstone.

Ansel, H, Pharmaceutical Calculations, current edn, Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott William & Wilkins

The Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary and Handbook, current edn, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia

  • 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.