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Undergraduate study opportunities at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology

A good knowledge of pharmacology is an important part of the training of pharmacologists, medical doctors, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, veterinarians, and toxicologists.

Aside from pharmacologists who study drug action for its own sake, other scientists often find pharmacology useful in their own area of specialisation. For example, physiologists, biochemists, zoologists, and psychologists may use drugs in order to define the function of a biological system that they are studying.

In addition, many other people are interested in pharmacology simply because drugs occupy such a prominent place in everyday life: not only does much of modern medicine consist of drug prescription, but a number of recreational drugs (e.g. alcohol) are used and abused in modern society.

There are four ways in which you can study Pharmacology and Toxicology at a undergraduate level:

Furthermore, you could also spend their summers doing summer studentships.

Information for new applicants

Pharmacology is the science of the effects of drugs and other chemicals on biological systems, whilst, toxicology is closely related to pharmacology but specialises in the study of the harmful effects of drugs and other chemicals on biological systems.

The Bachelor of Science (BSc) is a three-year undergraduate degree that emphasis both pharmacology and toxicology. The application form should be submitted via eVision.

Course advising at the University of Otago

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Contact details

Please email pharmacology@otago.ac.nz for further information.

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Programme requirements

Bachelor of Science (BSc) Majoring in Pharmacology

Year Papers Points
100 level

BIOC 192 Foundation of Biochemistry

CHEM 191 The Chemical Basis of Biology and Human Health

At least two of:

CELS 191 Cells and Molecular Biology
HUBS 191 Human Body System 1
HUBS 192 Human Body System 2

18

18

36

200 level

PHAL 211 Introductory Pharmacology

PHAL 212 Introductory Therapeutics and Toxicology

At least one 200 level ANAT, BIOC, GENE, MICR, or PHSL paper

18

18

18

300 level

PHAL 303 Neuropharmacology

PHAL 304 Human Pharmacology

PHAL 305 Molecular and Immunopharmacology

PHAL 306 Human Toxicology

18

18

18

18

Plus 162 further points; must include 54 points at 200-level or above.
Up to 90 points may be taken from outside Science
162
Total 360

Minor in Pharmacology

Pharmacology can also be a minor subject for a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree.

Level Papers Points
100 level See below
200 level

PHAL 211 Introductory Pharmacology

PHAL 221 Drug Discovery and Development

one 200 level ANAT, BIOC, GENE, MICR, or PHSL paper

(i) Prerequisites for PHAL 211 are BIOC 192, CHEM 191, and two of CELS 191, HUBS 191, HUBS 192, BIOL 112, 123.

(ii) Prerequisites for PHAL 221 are two of BIOC 192, CELS 191, CHEM 111, CHEM 191, HUBS 191, HUBS 192, BIOL 112, 123 and 54 further points.

18

18

18

300 level

Two of:

PHAL 303 Neuropharmacology
PHAL 304 Human Pharmacology
PHAL 305 Molecular and Immunopharmacology
PHAL 306 Human Toxicology

36

Total

90

Minor in Environmental Toxicology

Environmental Toxicology examines the impact of environmental pollutants on humans and wildlife. Exactly how these chemicals modify normal function will be learned as well as how they are transported throughout the environment. In order to understand these concepts the student will have a background in both chemistry and pharmacology.

Environmental Toxicology can be a minor subject for Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Music (MusB), Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA), Bachelor of Theology (BTheol), Bachelor of Science (BSc), Bachelor of Applied Science (BAppSc), Bachelor of Commerce (BCom), Bachelor of Health Science (BHealSc), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce (BACom), Bachelor of Arts and Science (BASc) or Bachelor of Commerce and Science (BComSc) degree.

Level Papers Points
100 level See below
200 level

PHAL 211 Introductory Pharmacology

PHAL 221 Drug Discovery and Development

One 200 level CHEM paper

(i) Prerequisites for PHAL 211 are BIOC 192, CHEM 191, and two of CELS 191, HUBS 191, HUBS 192, BIOL 112, 123.

(ii) Prerequisites for PHAL 221 are two of BIOC 192, CELS 191, CHEM 111, CHEM 191, HUBS 191, HUBS 192, BIOL 112, 123 and 54 further points.

18

18

18

300 level

Two of:

PHAL 306 Human Toxicology
CHEM 304 Environmental Chemistry
CHEM 306 Forensic Chemistry

36
Total
90

Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (BBiomedSc) majoring in Drugs and Human Health

The Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (BBiomedSc) degree was introduced in 2002 with the aim of providing a better-integrated and more flexible programme for the training of graduates in the biomedical sciences.

The degree is complementary to traditional discipline-based majors (e.g. Anatomy, Biochemistry, Genetics, Human Nutrition, Microbiology, Pharmacology, Physiology) currently offered within the Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree, but allows a more comprehensive and integrated approach to the field as a whole, along with a greater freedom of choice from a wider diversity of papers.

The biomedical sciences and related areas in biotechnology have experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, both within New Zealand and internationally. This degree aims at producing graduates with a sound and comprehensive grounding in the key principles underpinning modern biological and medical research and their potential applications in biotechnology
Drugs and Human Health is available as a major subject for the degree of Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (BBiomedSc).

Level Papers Points
100 level

BIOC 192 Foundation of Biochemistry

CHEM 191 The Chemical Basis of Biology and Human Health

CELS 191 Cells and Molecular Biology

HUBS 191 Human Body System 1

HUBS 192 Human Body System 2

PHSI 191 Biological Physics

18 further points

18

18

18

18

18

18

18

200 level

PHAL 211 Introductory Pharmacology

PHAL 221 Introductory Therapeutics and Toxicology

PHSL 232 Cardiovascular and Respiratory Physiology, or PHSL 233 Cellular, Gastrointestinal and Renal Physiology

At least 54 further points from ANAT 241, BIOC 223, CHEM 205, MICR 221, MICR 223, PATH 201, PHSL 232, PHSL 233

18 further points

18

18

18

54

18

300 level

PHAL 304 Human Pharmacology

PHAL 306 Human Toxicology

At least 36 points from ANAT 332, BIOC 353, CHEM 305, MICR 334, PATH 302PHA L303 (or PHAL 305), PHSL 343, PHSL 344, PHSL 345

36 further points

18

18

36

36

Total 360