PHARM 2100 - Pharmacology IIA - Drugs and Health

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2016

The course introduces students to basic pharmacological concepts and principles needed to understand the effects of drugs in humans. Students will gain an appreciation for how drugs interact with cellular target molecules, as well as for the cellular and physiological responses resulting from such interactions. These concepts will be illustrated by examining major drug classes and their use in the treatment of major human diseases, including drugs that influence the central nervous system.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHARM 2100
    Course Pharmacology IIA - Drugs and Health
    Coordinating Unit Medical Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites 6 units of level I Biology courses: BIOLOGY 1101 & BIOLOGY 1201 or ANAT SC 1102 & ANAT SC 1103 (or equivalent with approval of Head of Discipline)
    Course Description The course introduces students to basic pharmacological concepts and principles needed to understand the effects of drugs in humans. Students will gain an appreciation for how drugs interact with cellular target molecules, as well as for the cellular and physiological responses resulting from such interactions. These concepts will be illustrated by examining major drug classes and their use in the treatment of major human diseases, including drugs that influence the central nervous system.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Abdallah Salem

    Course Coordinator: Dr Janet Coller 
    Phone:+61 8 8313 3906
    Location: Room N515, Level 5, Medical School North

    Course Coordinator: Dr Abdallah Salem
    Phone: +61 8 8313 4321
    Email: or
    Location: Room N506, Level 5, Medical School North
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 To demonstrate knowledge of basic concepts in modern pharmacology, including familiarity with drug and receptor interactions, basic pharmacokinetic concepts.
    2 To explain how drug actions can be exploited in the treatment of important human diseases, including mental disorders, inflammatory conditions, infectious disease, cancer and asthma.
    3 To develop skills in the analysis of drug-related research data, including drug dosing calculations, evaluation of differences in potency among drugs; statistical data analysis.
    4 To describe the pharmacological effects of the main groups of drugs that are commonly abused.
    5 To describe some of the central issues involved in the development of new and improved drugs.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    “Rang and Dale's pharmacology” by Rang, Dale, Ritter,
    Flower and Henderson (Elsevier, 2015, 8th Edition). This book is an excellent introduction to all
    aspects of pharmacology and lecturers will assign relevant chapters for each lecture.

    The prescribed texts are integral to the course and may be purchased from:
    Unibooks, University of Adelaide
    ADELAIDE SA 5005
    Recommended Resources
    Lecture handouts and recordings will be available through MyUni. Tutorial responses will also be through MyUni and the small group workshops will produce a wiki as part of the workshop.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Pharma-CAL-ogy” Packages - Computer Assisted Instruction
    “Pharma-CAL-ogy” Packages are computer-based learning software packages that are interactive and can be used to support lecture materials and simulations of pharmacological preparations. Students who used these packages found them an extremely valuable resource for learning the principles of Pharmacology. “Pharma-CAL-ogy” packages can be accessed through the Faculty of Health Sciences computers located at Barr Smith South Building.


    Drop-in Service* - Level 3 East, Hub Central.
    Undergraduate students can access individualised help in the Writing Centre. There are also academic writing and skills development seminars held each semester, as well as a range of online resources available from ‘Writing and Speaking at Uni’ through MyUni, and the ALL printed learning guides;


    Drop-in service: Level 3 East, Hub Central

    The Service offers free support for all University of Adelaide students meeting maths (including stats) in their studies, especially for the first time. We offer the following services:

    No appointment is necessary. Check the MLS website for opening hours during the breaks.

    Bridging Courses
    The MLS provides self-paced bridging courses to cover prerequisite maths knowledge.

    For further information:
    Maths Learning Centre
    North Terrace Campus
    Level 3 East, Hub Central
    SA 5005

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    You should spend at minimum 12 hours a week on study activities for this course.
    This will include an average of 4 hours contact time (lecture/workshop/tutorial) and 8 hours
    Learning Activities Summary




    Week 1

    Intro to Pharmacology

    Targets of Drug Action

    Week 2

    Intro to Pharmacology

    Pharmacodynamic Concepts

    Week 3

    Intro to Pharmacology

    Autonomic Pharmacology

    Pharmacokinetic Concepts

    Overview of the ANS

    Week 4

    Autonomic Pharmacology

    Cholinergic Drugs

    Adrenergic Drugs

    Week 5

    Applied Pharmacology

    Drugs & Inflammation

    Drugs & the GI-Tract

    Week 6

    Applied Pharmacology

    Drugs & Asthma

    Drugs & Bacteria

    Week 7

    Applied Pharmacology

    Drugs & Viruses

    Week 8

    Applied Pharmacology

    CNS Pharmacology

    Drugs & Cancer

    Overview of the CNS

    Week 9

    CNS Pharmacology

    Drugs of Dependence

    CNS stimulants

    Week 10

    CNS Pharmacology

    Drugs & Pain Control

    Drugs & Mental Disorders

    Week 11

    Modern Issues in Pharmacology

    Making Better Drugs

    Natural Vs Synthetic Drugs

    Week 12

    Complementary Therapies

    Exam Information Session

    & Pharm III Overview

    Complementary Therapies

    Exam Information Session

    & Pharm III Overview

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Final Exam Summative 60% 1-5
    Mid Semester Test Summative 15% 1-5
    Drug Profile Assignment Summative 15% 1-5
    Online Workshops Summative 10% 1-3
    Assessment Detail
    1. Final Exam
    A 3 hour written paper held during exam week at the end of semester comprises 60% of your final grade. The exam will assess material from the whole of the lecture course, using a combination of multiple choice, short answer and essay questions.

    2. Mid Semester test
    This test will be based on lecture material from week 1 till end of week 6 and will comprise 15% of the final grade. The test will employ multiple choice questions and will be held during week eight.
    3. Drug Profile Assignment
    Studying the properties of individual drugs enhances the learning of pharmacological principles, since concepts covered in lectures often make more sense after seeing them exemplified in specific drugs. This exercise requires you to conduct library-based research into a widely used drugs in order to gain an appreciation for its properties including:
    i. Basic Pharmacodynamics Properties
    ii. Basic Pharmacokinetic Properties
    iii. Therapeutic Applications
    iv. Major Contraindications and adverse side effects
    The Drug profile assignment will comprise 15% of your final grade. Each student will be assigned two drugs and required to complete an online assignment. Detailed information about the assignment will be posted on MyUni.

    4. Online Workshops
    This will comprise 10% of the final grade. Some of the tutorial sessions will be used to introduce the content of the workshop material. The workshops material will be assessed via online assignments and must be completed by the “Due Date”. Detailed information about the online workshops will be posted on MyUni,
    i. Getting the Dose Right
    This Workshop will introduce you to the basic skills needed when calculating, preparing and administering drug doses. These skills are vitally important in any area of drug-based research.
    ii. Intro to Organ Bath
    This workshop introduces you to the use of an organ bath during the study of the effects of drugs within isolated animal tissues. Involves the use of an organ bath simulation package entitled “Simulations of Experiments on Isolated Guinea Pig Ileum.”
    iii. Agonist/Antagonist Drugs
    This workshop introduces you to the way in which the effects of different types of drugs (e.g. agonists, antagonists) can be distinguished and characterised using an organ bath-based experimental approach. Involves the use of an organ bath simulation package entitled “Simulations of Experiments on Isolated Guinea Pig Ileum.”
    iv. Statistics in Pharmacology
    In this workshop we will explore how we describe data in statistics, how we test hypotheses in statistics and how to choose an appropriate test.
    All submissions are electronic via MyUni.
    Late submissions of any student work are not acceptable. Coursework received after the deadline will be penalised as follows:
    10% of total available points will be penalised per day (24 hour period or fraction
    An automatic zero mark will be applied after 7 days. For example, coursework submitted any time after the deadline up to 24 hours late and marked as a 70% would become 60% (i.e. a 10% penalty). This includes submissions to personal staff email addresses. Weekends and public holidays ARE included as penalty days. Extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances following the provision of supporting documentation (e.g. a medical certificate) to the course coordinator BEFORE the due date and time of submission.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Replacement Assessment
    Academic replacement assessments will be offered at the discretion of the School and only to students whose overall marks are within 5% of a Pass grade (i.e. 45%). If students feel their exam performance was impeded by medical or personal factors, applications for replacement assessments on Medical or Compassionate grounds may be made. Note that colds and minor
    respiratory infections do not constitute grounds for granting replacement examinations. Students should make every reasonable attempt to sit the final exam, and must apply for replacement assessments. Replacement assessment application forms and forms for completion by Medical Practitioners are available at: .
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.