MEDSCI 716 : Advanced Drug Disposition and Kinetics

Medical and Health Sciences

2023 Semester One (1233) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Advanced study of the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs, and the analysis of these processes. Also included are: in vivo/in vitro techniques in drug ADME studies used in drug development; drug analysis in biological matrices; and pharmaco-genomic aspects related to drug disposition.

Course Overview

This is an advanced course in Pharmacology and it is assumed that students taking the course are familiar with the basic facts of drug ADME and pharmacokinetics covered in stage 2 & 3 Pharmacology courses.
The course is focussed on understanding the importance of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs during drug discovery and how these influence drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. It will expand on several of the concepts introduced in MEDSCI 204 and 318, making use of examples in the literature and from the lecturers' own research. The course will also cover how medicinal chemistry can be used to enhance drug disposition and improve pharmacokinetics, the importance of pharmacogenomics in drug development and the bioanalysis of small molecule compounds in drug development.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Course Contacts

General questions regarding this course should be directed to: 
Associate Professor Stephen Jamieson
Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre and
Department of Pharmacology & Clinical Pharmacology
Room 504-001
Ext 89141

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Master of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Synthesise knowledge of the different processes of drug disposition and pharmacokinetics and how these processes interact together (Capability 1)
  2. Critically evaluate why ADME and PK properties should be determined during drug discovery and how these properties influence decision making (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  3. Compare and contrast differing techniques for measuring ADME properties (Capability 1 and 3)
  4. Develop knowledge of why PK/PD relationships should be investigated and use critical thinking to evaluate what this information can be used for (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  5. Develop solutions to optimise ADME and PK properties using medicinal chemistry knowledge (Capability 1 and 3)
  6. Evaluate how gene mutations or variations in gene expression can impact drug response in different patients (Capability 1)
  7. Compare and contrast common techniques for analysing drug concentrations in biological samples (Capability 1)
  8. Develop solutions for how ADME/PK data can be applied and critically evaluate the benefits of applying this data (Capability 2 and 3)
  9. Critically evaluate the scientific literature (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  10. Interpret and communicate through oral presentations and writing scientific reports (Capability 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assignments 30% Individual Coursework
Presentation 20% Group Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Final Exam

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

For this course, you can expect 24 hours of lectures,  approximately 70 hours of reading and thinking about the content and  approximately 60 hours of work on assignments and presentations.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience or Online & Campus Experience or Online

The recommended delivery mode is in person experience on campus. The delivery mode of this course may change to online or a mixture of in person and online in accordance with changes to New Zealand Government recommendations. Updates for this course will be provided on the course Canvas page. This course may be taken remotely, including the exam, if you meet Ministry of Health guidelines and receive an exemption, or are unable to attend because of border restrictions

Campus Experience: All main teaching activities will be conducted on campus and in person.

Lectures: on campus, recorded lectures will be available.

Student presentations: on campus, recordings will be available.

Exams: on campus, you must attend in person unless you are unwell or other circumstances outside your control prevent you from attending. You must complete the exam to pass the course.

Online: All teaching activities are remote

Lectures: delivered remotely, available at the timetabled time and recorded lectures will be available

Student presentations: delivered remotely at timetabled time. Recordings will be available.

Exams: delivered remotely at timetabled time. You must complete the exam to pass the course.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The reading for this course will involve recent papers and reviews from the literature. Students should be familiar with how to access these from Medline or Pubmed. Tutorials are available from the Philson Library if required. Access to lecture material from MEDSCI 204 and MEDSCI 318 can be made available on Canvas on request.

Student Feedback

At the end of every semester students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback and respond with summaries and actions.

Your feedback helps teachers to improve the course and its delivery for future students.

Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the department and faculty staff-student consultative committees.

Details of the assignment will be released earlier in the course to give students more time to complete the assignment

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.