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The Science of Medicines

Monash University via FutureLearn


What do you know about the medicines you take?

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.

You can read more about this course in Ian Larson’s article “How much do you know about the medicines you are taking?” on the FutureLearn blog.

This course is part of our Study with Australia collection, with free upgrades and digital certificates supported by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission until 31st July, 2020. Explore more courses from leading Australian education providers.

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.

Taught by

Ian Larson


4.4 rating, based on 8 reviews

Start your review of The Science of Medicines

  • Peter M Abraham

    Peter M Abraham completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Very well done class. I believe it will help me on my journey to become a Registered Nurse. As a non-traditional, older, student, I appreciate the layout, order, and progression of the course.
  • Smit Bharatkumar Patel

    Smit Bharatkumar Patel completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    Its.. Very nice course... it include all about the pharmacology, chemistry, pharmaceutics and as well as other aspects of the drug.
    Thank you
  • Sampath Kumar
    An excellent course for understanding the way drugs act in the body to mitigate various ailments. I have now a better understanding of how medicines act and also the reason for dosages. Would strongly recommend it to anyone curious about medicines.
  • Sameera Samreen Hashmi
    Thanks for the course. The course is easy to understand and informative.

    It is great resource to learn the Science of Medicines.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Having taken several Future Learn courses, mostly in science I can say that this course has been my favourite, and most enjoyable. It is largely organic chemistry based and therefore some previous knowledge of this is an advantage.
  • Mak Shiu Kwong Thomas is taking this course right now.

  • Nicole S.

    Nicole S. completed this course.

  • Feriel Arbi is taking this course right now, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

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