The science behind our medicines


Learn about the science of key medicines used to manage heart disease, depression, diabetes, pain control and smoking cessation, in the latest MOOC (Massive Open Online Course).

The Science of Medicines is the second MOOC at Monash, which commenced 1 September, on the FutureLearn platform.

An innovative curriculum for the six-week course has been designed by Dr Ian LarsonDr Daniel MaloneDr David Manallack and Kirstie Galbraith from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Associate Professor Lyn Clearihan from the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.

Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmacutical Sciences, Professor Bill Charman, said that this talented team were passionate about what they did and the course would provide a unique opportunity for thousands of students around the world to learn about the science behind medicines.

“The course will see students learn about pharmacology, chemistry and drug delivery in a way of immediate practical value and gain an improved appreciation of how medicines work to treat a number of common conditions, ” Professor Charman said.

Current and potential future students of pharmacy, medicine or chemistry may find this course appealing, as well as health-care professionals and those suffering from a condition, or their carers.

To date, more than 8000 students have signed up.

Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching) Professor Darrell Evans is excited by the course and the valuable knowledge it will give students.

“The Science of Medicines is a highly innovative course that will showcase the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences as one of the top-ranked pharmacy departments in the world,” Professor Evans said.  

After the introductory week, each subsequent week will focus on a particular condition, starting with diabetes. Fictional patients will describe the impact the condition has on their lives, and how their medicine helps them cope with it.

The pharmacy academics will explore the physiology of the condition, and the chemistry, pharmacology and pharmaceutics of the medicines in question.  

The course has been produced in the faculty’s new multimedia studio, under the direction of Learning Technologies Manager Keith Sewell. Students will also have a unique opportunity to use the faculty's virtual tableting laboratory. 

To register for the course or for further information on the Science of Medicines, please visit the FutureLearn website.

For more information on Monash MOOCs, visit the Office of the Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching) website.