Courses & Units

Pharmacology CSA230


Pharmacology is the field of science that studies the function of drugs, their effects to living systems and how these living systems handle them. Since it describes the mechanisms of action of drugs in the body and the various interactions of the drug with parts of the body, it forms an essential part of medical knowledge. Pharmacology is taught as two individual but interconnected 12.5% Units. This unit provides an introduction to the study of drugs: chemicals that affect living systems. Fundamental concepts of drug-target interactions and how our bodies handle drugs are outlined. The major part of the unit consists of a detailed account of the pharmacology of drugs that affect selected organ systems. The lecture themes provide a link between the basic knowledge of the pathophysiology of a particular organ system and the basic pharmacology of the drugs affecting that system, outlining their clinical and therapeutic perspective. The unit includes a number of clinical workshops that emphasize the application of drug therapy within the context of clinical scenarios. Pharmacology 1 starts with introductory lectures, where the general principles of drug action, the importance of dose-response relationships, the mechanisms of adverse effects of drugs and the interactions between drugs are introduced. This very important section introduces the student to the fundamental concepts in pharmacology such as agonism and antagonism, principles of drug-target interactions such as affinity, efficacy and selectivity, as well as principles of drug disposition such as absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion. After the introduction to the field, the Unit focuses on five important organ systems: autonomic nervous system, immune system, gastrointestinal system, respiratory system and cardiovascular system, where the pharmacology of drugs acting on these systems is discussed and studied. Each system corresponds to a series of lectures (themes), where the major drug classes and their therapeutic actions are discussed with respect to specific diseases. The lecture themes provide a link between the basic knowledge of the pathophysiology of a particular organ system and the basic pharmacology of the drugs affecting that system, outlining their clinical and therapeutic perspective.


Unit name Pharmacology
Unit code CSA230
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Health and Medicine
School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Discipline Pharmacy
Coordinator Doctor Vanni Caruso
Available as an elective? No
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Intermediate


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic
Hobart Health Study Period 2 On-Campus International Domestic
Launceston Health Study Period 2 On-Campus International Domestic
Cradle Coast Health Study Period 2 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Health Study Period 2 3/7/2023 21/7/2023 18/8/2023 1/10/2023
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the principles of drug action and the pharmacological concepts involved in variability of drug response, drug interactions and drug toxicity.
  • Explain the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and discuss factors that influence the routes of administration and dosing regimens.
  • Describe the mechanism of action, adverse effects and clinical use of commonly prescribed therapeutic agents.
  • Effectively search, evaluate, and communicate drug information and related literature.

Fee Information

Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1,3 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1,3 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2,3 Domestic Full Fee 4
019907 $1,037.00 $1,037.00 not applicable $2,472.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



CZZ101 and CZZ102 for students in 54A OR CZZ101 and CSA116 for students in 54D

Concurrent Prerequisites

CZZ102 only for students in 54D


Teaching Pattern

1 x 1 hour lectorial weekly, 1 x 2hr or 3hr  workshops weekly plus Online learning resources (equivalent to 2 hours of Independent Learning activity per week)

AssessmentIn workshop Quizzes (10%)|Oral assessment (10%)|Case study-based assessment (20%)|Mid Semester test (25%)|End of semester examination (35%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Although there are no prescribed textbooks for Pharmacology the following textbook is recommended, as it will be a useful resource throughout your studies in this Unit.
Rang and Dale’s Pharmacology, Eighth edition, Churchill Livingstone.


These materials will be useful to your developing knowledge and understanding of the content in this unit, but you are not required to purchase them. When seeking sources of evidence to support your assignment work, you will find these a useful starting point. These materials are available for a limited loan period from the University Library collection.

  •  Katzung BG, Masters, SB & Trevor, AJ (12th ed). Basic and Clinical Pharmacology, 11th edition, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 978-0-07-160405-5.
  •  Pharmacology: An Introduction (Edition 6e) by Hitner & Nagle.
  •  Golan D, Tashjian AH, Armstrong EJ, Armstrong AW (3rd ed) Principles of Pharmacology, “The Pathophysiological Basis of Drug Therapy”. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins - Wolter Kluwer, ISBN 978-0-60831-270-2
LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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