PHM131 Pharmaceutics 1 (8)

Pharmaceutics 1 is the first of two pharmaceutics subjects within the pharmacy program and provides an introduction to concepts which are developed further in PHM231 Pharmaceutics 2. Pharmaceutics provides the underpinning knowledge of dose form design and drug delivery necessary for pharmacy practice subjects which follow, such as extemporaneous compounding (formulation and calculations) in PHM215 Pharmacy Practice 1, and in selecting and assessing dose form suitability generally.

Pharmaceutics is the pharmacy discipline concerned with dose form design, development and manufacture and includes consideration of physiochemical characteristics of drugs and excipients, how drug is to be delivered to the site of action and product stability and quality.

Pharmaceutics 1 provides an overview of dose forms and the basic principles of their design. The subject concentrates on the principles of physical sciences and mathematics applied to pharmacy practice including mechanics and rheology, surface properties, dosage calculations and pharmaceutical analysis.

Pharmaceutical solids, particularly powders, and solutions are examined in detail.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Orange Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: PHM131. 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



One session


School of Biomedical Sciences

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to describe a range of dose forms;
  • be able to perform basic pharmaceutical calculations;
  • be able to describe basic analytical principles, including the concept of error, as they apply to pharmaceutical analysis;
  • be able to explain how the physiocochemical properties of solids influence dose form design and behaviour;
  • be able to describe a range of solution dose forms and explain the major formulation considerations;
  • be able to describe rheology and flow, surfaces and interfaces, and explain their influence on pharmaceutical products.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • overview of dosage forms and routes of administration;
  • dosage calculations: concentrations, dilutions, delivery rates, pH and isotonicity adjustment;
  • introduction to principles and practice of drug formulation; pharmaceutical solids and solutions;
  • physicochemical principles which underlie the design and development of stable and effective dose forms
  • application of fluid mechanics and rheology in pharmacy:
  • surface properties: surface tension, surfactants, droplets, films;
  • concepts of drug analysis relating to pharmacopoeial standards;
  • concepts of accuracy, reliability and repeatability of measurements as applied to pharmacy;
  • practical exercises in formulation and analysis;

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of PHM131 in Session 2 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
In-session exam
Practical application assignment
Practical application quiz
Final exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.