Subject details

On successful completion of the subject 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.
  • Topics
    • A brief history of drugs
    • Drug discovery
    • How do drugs get to the market?
    • Drugs of abuse
    • Antibiotics
    • Drugs and the law
    • Recreational and prescription drugs
    • Herbal medicines and homeopathy
    • Drugs in the Emergency Department
    • Drugs and sex
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
      • Web links
    • Online Materials
      • Audio-Video streaming
      • Online Assessment

Entry Requirements


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

Special requirements

  • EquipmentDetails - Simple video recording device (such as phone or camera)

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

This subject 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.

  • Assignment 1 - 1000 word leaflet (20%)
  • Assignment 2 - 2500 word Essay (50%)
  • Assignment 3 - Presentation (30%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject

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