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CH2043 - Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Analysis

Credit points: 3
Year: 2023
Student Contribution Band: Band
Administered by: College of Science and Engineering

This subject builds upon the fundamental concepts of chemistry introduced in the first year subjects CH1001 and CH1002. It deals with the key chemical concepts of medicinal/pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmacology, including the mechanisms of drug action and metabolism. The subject also introduces the principles of drug stability and basic mechanisms of drug degradation. The importance of chemical analysis in relation to drug development, drug testing and quality control is examined. Specific topics to be covered include instrumental methods of analysis and structure determination of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API's), particularly titrations, mass spectrometry (MS) and UV spectroscopy (UV-Vis), chromatographic separation techniques (HPLC and GC), thermal analysis methods (DSC and TGA) and Vibrational Spectroscopic techniques (FTIR and Raman spectroscopy). Pharmaceutical case studies are also covered.

Learning Outcomes

  • explain the importance of chemistry in medicine and pharmacology;
  • describe chemical principles involving pharmaceutical agents, including mechanisms of drug metabolism and drug stability;
  • select and apply analytical chemistry techniques used in the quality control of pharmaceutical agents, in drug testing & development;
  • describe polymorphism and the analytical techniques used to differentiate them;
  • apply modern separation and purification techniques in pharmaceutical chemistry;
  • solve pharmaceutical analysis case studies;
  • employ laboratory techniques to synthesise and/or analyse model pharmaceuticals.

Subject Assessment

  • Written > Examination (centrally administered) - (55%) - Individual
  • Written > Test/Quiz 1 - (20%) - Individual
  • Practical assessment/practical skills demonstration: 20% Class participation: 5% - (25%) - Individual.
First year chemistry
Prerequisites: CH1001, CH1002
PC2002, PC2203 CH3403


Townsville, Study Period 1, Mixed attendance
Census Date 23-Mar-2023
Face to face teaching (Guided Learning Sessions and Practicals on campus)
Coordinator: Dr Mark Payne
Lecturers: Dr Mark Barnes, Dr Mark Payne, Mr Andrew Wright, Assoc. Professor Michael Liddell.
Workload expectations:

The student workload for this 3 credit point subject is approximately 130 hours.

  • 12 hours was Practicals
  • 12 hours workshops
  • 39 hours online activity
  • assessment and self-directed study

Note: Minor variations might occur due to the continuous Subject quality improvement process, and in case of minor variation(s) in assessment details, the Subject Outline represents the latest official information.