Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    Foundation topics in the pharmaceutical sciences, including drug design, medicinal chemistry, medicine formulation and delivery, and biopharmaceutics.

    About this paper

    Paper title Fundamental Pharmaceutical Science
    Subject Pharmacy
    EFTS 0.38
    Points 48 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $3,435.96
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    Limited to

    Teaching staff

    Paper Co-ordinator: Professor Joel Tyndall

    Paper Structure

    Lectures, Laboratories, Workshops


    Textbooks are available through the library

    Course outline

    This paper addresses fundamental concepts required for pharmacists to understand the chemical, physical and biological properties of drugs, how they are formulated into medicines and how the medicines are delivered to patients in order to achieve desired clinical outcomes.

    Material in medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, pharmaceutical sciences and biopharmaceutics will be delivered in three integrated modules that progress from learning about drug molecules, to how to formulate the drug into a medicine and deliver it to a patient, and then finally focusing on the medicine in the patient.

    Workshops and laboratories will be used to illustrate and expand on the concepts taught in lectures and through online content. Each week will have 10 -11 lectures, 1x 3 hour lab and 2 x 2 hour workshops plus online content when required.

    Module 1: Drugs
    This first module will focus on the acid-base, solubility and stability properties of drugs based on structural elements and functional groups (including how to predict the effect of substituents on drug properties, reactivity and stability). Also covered will be drug dissolution, absorption, diffusion, and transport (including an understanding of factors which influence these properties and how they can be modified). The process of developing a new drug will also be covered.

    Module 2: Dosage Forms
    This module will include material on the formulation of drugs (small and large molecules) to control and optimise delivery and will include an understanding of the physical and chemical properties of the excipients and drug(s) in the formulation. The application and limitations of the various drug delivery systems will also be covered.

    Module 3: Medicines
    The final module will focus on the fundamentals of drug action, interactions and metabolism (including an understanding of factors which influence these properties and how they can be modified). Also covered will be the principles of drug delivery, disposition and pharmacokinetics, including drug and patient factors which influence pharmacokinetic profiles and parameters.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised

    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

    Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this paper students will be able to:
    • Interpret and predict how the physical and chemical properties of a drug may influence drug effects and pharmacokinetics.
    • Understand the pharmacological actions and metabolic fate associated with drug molecules and their functional groups.
    • Apply the principles of drug pharmacodynamics to understand the actions, drug-drug interactions and side effects of medicines.
    • Understand the suitability of a drug, dosage form, dose and/or route of administration with respect to therapeutic efficacy.
    • Use appropriate pharmaceutical calculations in pharmaceutical settings.
    • Understand the process of pharmaceutical development.
    • Interpret concepts of quantitative analysis and how this is applied to therapeutics and analytics.
    • Apply principles of scientific research and research methods to problem solving.
    • Communicate expert scientific knowledge effectively to different audiences.
    • Use appropriate communication techniques to establish and maintain a collaborative and constructive relationships with people and colleagues.
    • Demonstrate professional integrity through appropriate professional behaviour.


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 9, 17, 21
    Monday 10:00-10:50 10-11, 15-16, 19
    Monday 11:00-11:50 9-11, 13, 19
    Monday 12:00-12:50 15, 17, 20-21
    Monday 13:00-13:50 9-12, 15-16, 20-21
    Monday 14:00-14:50 9, 17-19
    Monday 15:00-15:50 17-18, 20
    Monday 16:00-16:50 10, 12-13, 15-16, 20
    B1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 13, 15-16, 18-19
    Tuesday 10:00-10:50 10, 13, 15-16, 18, 20-21
    Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-10, 19-20
    Tuesday 12:00-12:50 9, 18-19
    Tuesday 13:00-13:50 10, 13
    Tuesday 14:00-14:50 9, 18, 20-21
    Tuesday 15:00-15:50 13, 15, 18-21
    Tuesday 16:00-16:50 10, 15
    C1 Wednesday 09:00-09:50 11, 17, 20-21
    Wednesday 10:00-10:50 9, 11, 17, 19-21
    Wednesday 11:00-11:50 9, 19
    Wednesday 12:00-12:50 10, 20
    D1 Thursday 09:00-09:50 12
    Thursday 10:00-10:50 12
    Thursday 11:00-11:50 21
    Thursday 12:00-12:50 19
    Thursday 13:00-13:50 11-12
    Thursday 14:00-14:50 11
    Thursday 15:00-15:50 12
    Thursday 16:00-16:50 11-12
    E1 Friday 08:00-08:50 9
    Friday 09:00-09:50 15
    Friday 12:00-12:50 10
    Friday 13:00-13:50 9, 19
    Back to top