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PHAL304 Human Pharmacology

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The application of pharmacological knowledge and principles in the development and assessment of new drugs and the treatment of disease.

The application of pharmacological knowledge and principles in the development and assessment of new drugs and the treatment of disease in a human or clinical context.

We learn how to assess and understand the use of medicines in humans, including against viruses, to change hormone levels and in heart diseases and cancer.

Paper title Human Pharmacology
Paper code PHAL304
Subject Pharmacology
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,092.15
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,314.50

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(PHAL 211 and PHAL 221) or (PHAL 211 and PHAL 212)
Schedule C

Prerequisites are PHAL211 and PHAL212 or PHAL221


Dr Sarah Baird (

Teaching staff

Dr John Ashton
Dr Sarah Baird
Associate Professor Ivan Sammut
Professor Paul Smith

Paper Structure

Two lectures a week, and one lab every two weeks. Assessment includes an evidence-based medicine assignment (20%), explaining pharmacology to the public (20%), an oral assessment (10%) and a final exam (50%).

Students should concentrate on lecture notes.
Course outline

Lecture topics include: Evidence-based medicine, anti-virals, medicines which target the endocrine system, cardiovascular medicine, cancer medicine

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Ethics, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • To give an introduction to some of the most commonly used drugs in humans
  • To show how these drugs work and what their side effects are
  • To gain practical experience in the use of some of these drugs
  • To know how to assess how drugs work in humans
  • To explore the role of scientists in interacting with the public and gain relevant skills

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 11:00-11:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 14:00-17:50 28-29
AND one stream from
B1 Monday 14:00-17:50 30, 32, 34, 37, 39
B2 Monday 14:00-17:50 31, 33, 36, 38, 40