Course Outline

BIM341 Biochemical Pharmacology

Course Coordinator:Fraser Russell ( School:School of Health and Behavioural Sciences

2022Semester 1

USC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to the USC website for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course will introduce you to the specialist field of pharmacology, with a strong emphasis on the underlying biochemical principles of drug action. You will explore the application of drugs/drug therapy used to treat diabetes, bacterial and viral infection, cancer, anxiety and depression.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Online narrated powerpoints with H5P embedded quizzes 1.5hrs Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus 2hrs Week 3 6 times
Laboratory 1 – On campus 3hrs Week 2 6 times

Course Topics

Drug-receptor interactions

Pharmacokinetics (Part 1)

Pharmacokinetics (Part 2)

Pharmacokinetics (Part 3)

Cancer chemotherapy


Antiviral drugs

Antiprotozoal drugs

Hypoglycaemic drugs

Immunomodulatory drugs

Personalised medicine

Anxiolytic agents and antipsychotic drugs

Antidepressant drugs

What level is this course?

300 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Demonstrate and apply knowledge of the basic principles & concepts of biochemical pharmacology to familiar and unfamiliar metabolic pathways Knowledgeable
2 Solve problems by using evidence-based reasoning, and where appropriate, mathematical calculations. Creative and critical thinker
3 Communicate scientifically in the form of a problem set and poster, with reference to the literature. Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the USC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


MBT251 or LFS251


Not applicable



Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Students will complete a Problem Set and submit this to Canvas Turnitin by 4.00 pm Monday Week 4. The task will consolidate learning activities on pharmacokinetics included within the Weeks 2-4 learning materials and the Week 2 laboratory class. The assignment is worth 20% of the overall grade. Formative feedback will be provided to students in the laboratory and summative feedback will be provided to students within 2 weeks of the submission date.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Artefact - Technical and Scientific Individual 20%
500 words
Week 4 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Artefact - Technical and Scientific Individual 30%
A0 size poster as a pdf file
Week 8 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 50%
2 hours (<1500 words)
Exam Period Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Problem Set
The goal of this task is to allow you to demonstrate your problem solving skills in relation to the study of pharmacokinetics. This question set is related to questions that will be on the end-of-semester exam.
Product: Artefact - Technical and Scientific
Answers, with working, to 10 problems on a worksheet
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Solve problems by using evidence-based reasoning, and where appropriate, mathematical calculations; Communicate scientifically in the form of a problem set
1 3
All - Assessment Task 2:Poster
In this task you will research a topic from a list provided by the course coordinator. You will prepare a scientific poster to communicate your research.
Product: Artefact - Technical and Scientific
A0 Size poster.
Students are to select a topic for their poster from a list that is provided by the course coordinator, and to prepare an A0-size poster. A library tutorial will be provided in Week 2 to assist students with strategies for searching the literature.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Students are to select a topic for their poster from a list that is provided by the course coordinator, and to prepare an A0-size poster. A library tutorial will be provided in Week 6 to assist students with strategies for searching the literature.
1 3
Posters will be assessed on scientific content and presentation, in accordance with a rubric that is provided within the laboratory manual.
Posters will be projected onto a screen in the Week 12 laboratory class where students will have the opportunity to present and discuss their poster. The oral presentation will not form part of the assessment
All - Assessment Task 3:Final exam
The goal is to use understandings of pharmacology gained in the learning materials to answer questions and solve problems.
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
Multiple choice questions, problem solving, calculations based on material from learning materials, tutorials and laboratory activities up to and including Week 13.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Accuracy of the basic principles and concepts of Biochemical Pharmacology; Solve problems by using evidence-based reasoning, and where appropriate, mathematical calculations.
1 2

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Directed study hours may vary by location. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.


Period and Topic Activities
Module 1: Drug-receptor interactions
Learning materials related to pharmacodynamics
Modules 2-4: Pharmacokinetics
Learning materials on drug dosing protocols
Modules 5-8: Chemotherapeutic agents
Learning materials relating to cancer, antibacterial drugs, antiviral drugs and antiprotozoal drugs.
Module 9: Hypoglycaemic agents
Learning materials on diabetes and treatments
Module 10: Immunomodulatory agents
Learning materials on drugs to prevent organ rejection following transplant surgery.
Module 11: Personalised medicine
Learning materials related to precision medicine.
Modules 12-13: CNS pharmacology
Learning materials on drugs used to treat anxiety and depression

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Ritter, Flower, Henderson, Loke, MacEwan, Rang 2020 Rang & Dale's Pharmacology 9th Ed Elsevier
Required Reginald H. Garrett,Charles M. Grisham 2016 Biochemistry 6th Ed Cengage Learning

Specific requirements

Laboratory coat, safety glasses, closed in footwear, calculator.

How are risks managed in this course?

Risk assessments have been performed for all laboratory classes and a low level of health and safety risk exists. Some risk concerns may include equipment, instruments, and tools; as well as manual handling items within the laboratory. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate (the rates are cumulative): 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day 
- 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. 
To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


USC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

Visit the USC website:

Student Charter

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General Enquiries

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