Modern pharmacology developed from the concept that particular chemicals are biologically active and can be used to modify, cure or prevent illness. In practice, this requires a detailed understanding of both how the body functions (physiologically and biochemically) and the problems which can occur (functional disturbances and pathology). By determining cellular and chemical abnormalities of the disease state, it is at least theoretically possible to design molecules to correct problems that arise. Toxicology is closely related to Pharmacology but specialises in the study of harmful effects of drugs and other chemicals on biological systems.
Faculty of Science - Leading creativity and innovation in the sciences
Undergraduate major in Pharmacology
|Pharmacology - quick facts|
|Taught by||Department of Pharmacology and Clinical Pharmacology (Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences)|
|Available as a major for|
|Postgraduate study options in Pharmacology|
|Further information||Science Undergraduate Prospectus|
|Other majors you might be interested in||Biological Sciences | Chemistry | Medicinal Chemistry | Physiology|
Bachelor of Science (BSc) - Pharmacology major
Single or first major must include:
- At least 60 points from MEDSCI 303-307
Second major must include:
- At least 45 points from MEDSCI 303-307
Please check the Pharmacology degree planner for the recommended courses to take at Stage I and Stage II, in order to meet the prerequisites for required Stage III courses.
The subjects of Pharmacology and Toxicology are of great practical and commercial relevance in view of the widespread use and abuse of medicines, drugs and chemicals in modern society. Their future expansion appears assured as there remain many illnesses (AIDS, cancer, even the common cold) for which satisfactory cures have not yet been devised. In addition, industrial, chemical and pharmaceutical developments, environmental contamination, and illicit drug use will contine to present significant health hazards to the general population.
With further study in Pharmacology you could teach or conduct research in higher education institutions, work in the pharmaceutical industry, research and develop new medicines, conduct clinical research, work in regulatory and marketing divisions of industry, or develop chemicals. Other fields may include safety aspects of chemicals (used in food processing and agricultural industies) and the assessment of the safety of medicines, employment in hospitals, careers in medical editing, abstracting and publishing, and environmental toxicology.
Help and advice
Departments and schools
- Biological Sciences
- Chemical Sciences
- Computer Science
- Exercise Sciences
- Institute of Marine Science
- The University of Auckland Clinics
- ICT Graduate School
- Goat Island Marine Discovery Centre
- The University of Auckland Reserves
- Auckland Science Analytical Services (ASAS)
- Science IT