Accredited courses from leading Australian universities, TAFEs and colleges

Drugs in Society

  • Qualification:

    Undergraduate unit

  • Study mode:


  • Payment options:

    HECS-HELP may be available
    FEE-HELP may be available

  • Duration:

    13 weeks

  • Start date:

    Enquire now for upcoming start dates

  • Awarded by:

    Murdoch University

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Monday to Friday: 8am - late
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

Course Unit
A course unit is a single subject offered as part of a program of study, but can be completed individually. You may receive Recognition of Prior Learning for studying this unit.

What you'll learn

About this unit

Drugs in Society is an online unit which provides a broad overview of a range of issues relating to drug use in society. The unit is offered by Open Universities Australia and Murdoch University and introduces you to the study of drugs through various frameworks.

You will learn about the development of drugs, from the early stages of identifying a biological problem, to the design, clinical testing and marketing of pharmacological drugs. The unit also explores social drugs like alcohol and nicotine, illegal drugs like cannabis and cocaine, and medicines like painkillers and anti-depressants. It also considers the key social, ethical and economic aspects of drug use, including reproductive medicines, drugs in sports, personalised therapies and the rise of complementary medicines.

In addition, you will develop technical abilities in data explanation, communicating complex ideas and integrating multidisciplinary ideas.



There are no prerequisites for this unit, however it is assumed that applicants will have an introductory level of knowledge in this area or relevant experience.

Course pathways

This unit is a core requirement in the following course:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Murdoch University

Content may also be relevant to other courses, and could qualify you for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for a course offered by another institution.

Areas of study

In the Drugs in Society unit, the topics you will study include:

  • Module 1: How did drugs become pervasive in our society?
  • Drugs in social situations
  • Drug discovery
  • Adverse drug reactions
  • Module 2: aA21st century pharmacopeia
  • Stimulant drugs
  • Prescription drugs
  • Drugs of abuse
  • Module 3: Perspectives on drugs
  • The lawyer's perspective
  • The emergency physician's perspective
  • The media perspective
  • The artistic perspective
For two decades, Open Universities Australia (OUA) has partnered with leading Australian educators to make tertiary-level courses easier to access for people, no matter their background, their work status or their other life commitments. OUA has built up their reputation by making education more flexible, easier to tailor and available almost entirely online.

OUA's devotion to online education remains to this day, but where they once focused on higher education, today they offer the broadest set of post-secondary education and training programs in Australia.
Open Universities Australia offers a range of administrative and student support options. As a student of OUA you will have access to four hours of free expert tutoring support for each unit undertaken through the tutoring service SMARTHINKING. This on-demand service allows you to get fast, detailed feedback on your assignment drafts and gives you access to your tutor in real time.

The My OUA portal is an online student medium that allows you access to all your course and enrolment information as well as access to student forums and assessment tips.

Career outcomes

The Drugs in Society unit gives students a comprehensive overview of the role of different drugs in today's society, which could serve as a useful springboard into a multitude of careers. The focus on medicinal drugs, and their discovery and development, would be advantageous for a career in medical research, while the social and ethical side of the unit would provide useful information for a career in social work.

Payment options & support

Finance options

If you are an Australian citizen, you may be eligible to receive a government HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP loan, meaning you can defer payment of your fees.


You may be eligible to receive HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP for this course!

This course can be paid for through the HECS-HELP or FEE-HELP government loan schemes. If you are an Australian citizen or hold a permanent humanitarian visa, this means you don’t need to pay upfront.

Instead, the Australian government will pay your course fees on your behalf. You’ll begin repaying your loan through the tax system once you start earning more than the minimum threshold of $54,869 (2016-17 income year).

Find out more about government study loans here.

Get more information

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FREE CALL 1800 063 523

Monday to Friday: 8am - late
Saturday and Sunday: 9am - 5pm

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