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Forensic Toxicology and Drug Analysis (8780.3)

Level: Undergraduate Third Year Level
Credit Points: 3
HECS Bands: 2, 4
Faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology
Discipline: Academic Program Area - Science


Unit Outlines

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  • Semester 2, 2019, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (185500) - View
  • Semester 2, 2018, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (182333) - View
  • Semester 2, 2017, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (166205) - View
  • Semester 2, 2016, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (151112) - View
  • Semester 2, 2015, ON-CAMPUS, BRUCE (139216) - View

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This unit provides an introduction to toxicological assays, including presumptive and confirmation testing in a variety of biological matrices, and a comprehensive pharmacological and analytical review of some major drug classes include alcohol, drugs for the treatment of mood disorders (anti-psychotics and anti-depressants), anxiolytics and hypnotics (barbiturates and benzodiazepines), anesthetics, opioids, psychedelic drugs, amphetamine related compounds, cocaine, and cannabinoids. Other topics covered include the clandestine manufacture and profiling of illicit drugs, drug-facilitated sexual assault, and drugs in sport.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

1. Understand the basis of presumptive and confirmation testing, and compare and evaluate the use of a variety of biological matrices in toxicological analysis;

2. Discuss the pharmacological characteristics and analytical considerations of several major drugs classes commonly encountered in forensic toxicology;

3. Explain how pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamic parameters can be used to interpret toxicological findings;

4. Summarise the role of forensic toxicology in areas such as sports drug testing and drug-facilitated sexual assault cases;

5. Discuss the clandestine manufacture of illicit drugs and the profiling strategies implemented for different illicit drug classes; and

6. Collate, analyse, evaluate, interpret and present information from toxicological based analysis.

Assessment Items

Contact Hours

5 contact hours per week.


Must have passed 8043 Analytical Chemistry and 8342 Introduction to Pharmacology and Toxicology.



Assumed Knowledge

General understanding of pharmacology and toxicology (as covered in the pre-requisite unit).

Equivalent Units


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