Drugs in Society - 2018

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2017: SP3 , SP4
  • Availability for 2018: SP3 , SP4
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - 1000 word leaflet (20%) , Essay - 2500 word Essay (50%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2018 Fees
Domestic 820.00
HECS 820.00
International 1,070.00

Have you ever wondered how aspirin knows where the pain is?  Or why some drugs are so addictive?

This unit explores drugs, asking how they are discovered and regulated. It examines social drugs such as alcohol and nicotine, illicit drugs such as cannabis and cocaine, and medicines such as painkillers and anti-depressants. It considers social, ethical and economic issues such as reproductive medicines, drugs in sport and the rise of complementary medicines, as well as future personalised therapies.

On successful completion of the unit you should be able to:

  1. understand the types of drugs that you might encounter in your personal and future professional lives
  2. outline how some of these drugs work
  3. explain the interaction of modern society with these drugs, both legal and illegal.
  • Assignment 1 — 1000 word leaflet (20%)
  • Essay — 2500 word Essay (50%)
  • Presentation (30%)

Students undertaking this unit as part of their Murdoch Course requirements must have completed 18 credit points (6 OUA units) at Level 1 before enrolling in the unit.

  • Audio/Visual equipment — Simple video recording device (such as phone or camera)

This unit addresses the following topics.

1A brief history of drugs
2Drug discovery
3How do drugs get to the market?
4Drugs of abuse
6Drugs and the law
7Recreational and prescription drugs
8Herbal medicines and homeopathy
9Drugs in the Emergency Department
10Drugs and sex

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Web links

Online materials

  • Audio/Video - Streaming
  • Online Assessment

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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