The Science of Medicines

Online Course

Future Learn
The Science of Medicines

What is the course about?

The Science of Medicines
The course The Science of Medicines is an online class provided by Monash University through Future Learn. It may be possible to receive a verified certification or use the course to prepare for a degree.

Learn the science behind how and why medicines work, and what can improve patient’s treatment, with this online course._x000D_

Course description
  • What do you know about the medicines you take?
  • 6 weeks
  • The world’s growing population faces major health issues, and medicines are a primary pillar to effect better health. Learn about the science of key medicines used to manage heart disease, depression, diabetes, pain control and smoking cessation.
  • See each health condition through the eyes of the patient
  • Week by week you will study a new medicine and health area, starting by looking through the eyes of an affected patient. You will learn the mechanics of a disease and how it affects the world’s population. You will then delve into the science of the medicine to explore the medicine’s chemistry, how it works in the body and why it is formulated in a certain way to become the medicine you see on the pharmacy shelf.
  • Learn from a diverse team of experts
  • This course is designed by a team of experts who focus on improving education for pharmacy students at Monash University, Australia. As pharmacists and scientists they bridge the interface between science and the patient.
  • A valuable course for patients, careers and healthcare workers
  • The course will be particularly relevant for those who are living with one of the health conditions covered, but it is also extremely valuable for those who care either professionally or personally for people affected by the conditions, as it covers practical patient tips drawn from the understanding of the science.
  • The composition and roles of different members of a patient’s healthcare team.
  • An overview of how the human body works and the key systems within it.
  • An overview of the fundamentals of chemistry: elements, bonds, molecular structures and intermolecular interaction.
  • The importance of the chemical design of medicines to their treatment of specific conditions (pharmacology).
  • The importance of the design, delivery and dosage of medicines to their effectiveness (pharmaceutics).
  • Diabetes and how hypoglycaemics work to treat it.
  • Heart disease and how atorvastatin works to treat it.
  • Pain and how morphine works to treat it.
  • Smoking and how treatments for nicotine addiction work.
  • Depression and how antidepressants work to treat it.
  • Describe the physiological impact of common medical conditions on the human body.
  • Investigate the chemical structures of modern medicines.
  • Explain how the chemical structures of medicines make them effective in treating specific medical conditions (pharmacology).
  • Explore how the design, delivery and dosage of medicines influence their effectiveness (pharmaceutics).
  • Discuss the human aspects of taking medicines, including side effects and addiction.
  • No previous knowledge is necessary. Being a course about pharmacy, we discuss a number of important chemistry concepts in the course. If you haven’t studied chemistry for a long time, don’t worry – supporting references will be provided for extra background where needed.
  • Monash University
  • Monash University is one of Australia’s leading universities, ranked in the world’s top 1% by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It was established in Melbourne in 1958.

Prerequisites & Facts

The Science of Medicines

Course Topic

Chemistry, Healthcare & Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, Engineering & Maths

University, College, Institution

Monash University

Course Skill Level

Course Language


Place of class

Online, self-paced (see curriculum for more information)



Degree & Cost

The Science of Medicines

To obtain a verified certificate from Future Learn / Monash University you have to finish this course or the latest version of it, if there is a new edition. The class may be free of charge, but there could be some cost to receive a verified certificate or to access the learning materials. The specifics of the course may have been changed, please consult the provider to get the latest quotes and news.
Monash University
The Science of Medicines
provided by Future Learn


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The Science of Medicines
Monash University Future Learn
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School: Monash University
Topic: Chemistry, Healthcare & Medicine, Pharmacy, Science, Engineering & Maths