BMS340 Pharmacology (16)

Pharmacology is the study of how drugs affect the body. The topics covered will introduce you to the key concepts governing how drugs work before moving onto exploring how drugs are used to treat the main diseases you will encounter in the practice of pharmacy. The focus of these latter topics will be on identifying the mechanism of action of each class of drug and why it is useful to treat the signs and symptoms of a specific disease.

To succeed in this subject you will need to draw on your foundations in both physiology and pathophysiology. Foundational knowledge from these earlier subjects is important because the primary therapeutic goal of treatment is to either return a patient to their normal physiological state or mask the symptoms associated with their condition. You will also find that the knowledge and skills developed in this subject will prepare you for pharmacotherapeutics (drug selection) and professional practice, where communicating drug information is a key skill.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 1 (30)
On Campus
Orange Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Orange Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: BMS340. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



Two sessions


School of Biomedical Sciences



Incompatible Subjects

BMS225, BMS325

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to outline the regulation of and role biomolecules play in pathophysiological and physiological processes
  • be able to differentiate model drugs with respect to their drug class and indications
  • be able to explain drug action at the molecular and cellular level
  • be able to explain how drugs can either cure a pathophysiological condition or reduce the signs and/or symptoms associated with that condition
  • be able to explain why adverse drug reactions occur for specific drugs but be able to identify those reactions where the mechanism is not known
  • be able to develop a drug analysis toolbox based on drug characteristics


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • mechanisms & principles of drug action
  • commonly targeted drug receptors
  • signalling biomolecules targeted by common drugs and those involved in pathophysiological processes
  • responses to drugs which affect future responses to drugs (e.g. tolerance, resistance)
  • an overview of pharmacokinetics
  • drugs used in the treatment of disorders of the: cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, gastrointestinal and immune system
  • drugs used in the treatment of: affective disorders, neurological disorders, dyslipiademias, glaucoma, infections, cancer, pain & inflammatory conditions
  • drugs used to control: reproduction, consciousness & muscle control


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.