The Science of Medicines Workshops

We are pleased to offer teachers free workshops that align to the content taught in Year 10 Science and Unit 4 of VCE Chemistry. Each workshop relates directly to the areas where our faculty excels, including pharmacy, medicinal chemistry, drug discovery biology and formulation science.

Workshops can be run at your school or in our laboratories at Parkville, where you can add a customised tour to the workshop, showcasing one of the world's leading pharmaceutical science research facilities.

Year 12 Unit 4 Chemistry "Chemical Pathways" - Functional Groups in Medicines

Availability: By request
Duration: 60 mins
Curriculum: Unit 4 Chemistry
Cost: Free
Size: 25
Location: Your school or Monash University, Parkville Campus

This workshop introduces students to medicinal chemistry and the use of organic compounds in drug design. Functional groups are discussed and students are given odorant compounds as a way of interacting with molecules containing specific groups. Groups discussed include hydroxyl, aldehydes, esters and ketones. The importance of drug polarity versus activity is explained using common medications and illicit drugs as examples. The presentation includes molecular modelling videos detailing the bonding interactions between drug and receptor sites.

The workshop can also be coupled with an instrumental LCMS / NMR demonstration in a 2 hour comprehensive excursion. Schools are welcome to bring several samples for analysis on the spectrometers. Please contact via the below email address for more information.

Year 10 "Physical Sciences" - Drugs, Bugs & Cleansing Scrubs

Availability: By request
Duration: 50 mins
Curriculum: Physical Sciences – Year 10 Science
Cost: Free
Size: 25-30
Location: Your school

This presentation and hands on activity touches on several of our faculty themes, including medication design, the emergence of superbugs and the use of micro plastics in cosmetic products. Students learn about the relationship between structure and activity using their olfactory system and are quizzed on surface contamination, in relation to bacterial counts on common household surfaces. The aim of this workshop is to show students how their science knowledge can lead to careers in Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science in a 'light-hearted' and informal manner.


All enquiries regarding workshops and bookings can be directed to