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University of Queensland Pre-Med Courses

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  • A comprehensive range of offerings compiled especially for Arcadia students who envisage going on to medical school.

  • Courses are taken with both Australian and international students.

  • UQ has experience accommodating the course requirements of North American pre-med students.

Studying abroad with a pre-med major requires careful planning, and Arcadia and the University of Queensland are happy to assist with this process. 

When choosing courses, note that the Association of American Medical Colleges recommends two semesters each of general chemistry, organic chemistry and physics, in addition to courses in math, statistics and humanities. More advanced students are encouraged to take cellular biology, physical chemistry, biochemistry and genetics.

Suggested Courses at UQ for Pre-Med Students

Listed below are a number of suggested courses with short descriptions. Note: this list is not exhaustive. More course descriptions are available on the University of Queensland website.

Semester 1

CHEM1090 - Introductory Chemistry

Introductory treatment of materials: properties, bonding and structure; reacting quantities and chemical analysis; oxidation and reduction; organic chemistry; chemical periodicity; gases and the atmosphere; energy and rates of chemical reactions; chemical equilibrium.

CHEM2002 - Biophysical Chemistry

Physical chemistry principles with an emphasis on biological problems. Binding of ligands to biological macromolecules - kinetic and thermodynamic selectivity. Enzyme kinetics, including inhibition and coupled reactions. Spectroscopic probes of biological reactions, including fluorescence spectroscopy and circular dichroism.

CHEM3001- Synthesis and Mechanism in Organic Chemistry

Molecular conformations, effective sizes of groups. Types of organic transformations and their mechanisms: stereochemical outcomes, structural effects on reactivity, role of intermediates. Analytical approaches to organic synthesis: reagents, methodologies, specificities and stereochemistry, illustrated by synthesis of natural and non-natural compounds. Functional group and whole molecule retrosynthesis.

ANAT1020 Systematic Anatomy

This is an integrated course in systematic and regional gross anatomy with clinical applications. Structure of the musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urogenital, sensory and endocrine systems will be examined.

PUBH1102 - Introduction to Population Health

This course aims to give students an understanding of the historical evolution of health problems and health services in human communities and to introduce them to the tools used to assess health in a given population. Planning and evaluation of health services requires methods to capture the health profile of a community and tools that are sensitive to change in key indicators of a population's health.

BIOL1007 - Molecular and Cellular Biology for Physiotherapists

Introduction to biochemistry and cell biology emphasizing aspects of particular relevance to physiotherapy; including structure of animal cells, bacteria and viruses, biological chemistry especially protein structure and function; introductory metabolism and nutrition; molecular genetics; infection and immunity.

BIOL2200 - Cell Structure and Function

This course will provide students with an understanding of the molecules and complexes that make up cells and mediate cell activities.

BIOM2011 - Integrative Cell and Tissue Biology

Students will develop an understanding of how cells associate and interact to fulfill their normal functions in tissues and organs of the human body. This will include the basic principles of integration and regulation that underpin normal tissue biology.

BIOL2006 - Biostatistics and Experimental Design

Introduces students to the process of biological research in fields ranging from ecology to genetics. In addition to lectures students will get hands-on experience including generating ideas and hypotheses, through to designing experiments, analyzing real data-sets, critiquing published studies and communicating results.

DEVB3001 - Developmental Neurobiology

Basic principles of development of nervous systems: induction, regional specification, neurogenesis, gliogenesis, differentiation, plasticity, cell death, axon growth and guidance. Significance of understanding development for facilitating regeneration and recovery of function following disease and injury is highlighted.

Semester 2

ANAT1005 Anatomical Basis of Human Movement

Integrated course in systematic gross anatomy basic to further study in anatomy. Introduction to musculoskeletal system, neuroanatomy and all visceral systems.

ANAT1012 Regional Anatomy

Regional anatomy of the human body. An integrated approach focusing on the skeletal, muscular and nervous systems, particularly of the limbs and back. Well suited to students seeking further study in physiotherapy, occupational therapy, chiropractic and human movement.

PHYS1160 - Physics for Physiotherapy

Physical and electrophysical principles that relate to mechanical and electrophysical agents in physiotherapy. Introduction to a selection of such agents, with the opportunity to experience and apply different forms of energies used by physiotherapists.

ANAT3022 Functional Neuroanatomy

The course introduces students to the neuroanatomy of the human brain. Particular attention is focused on the cerebral cortex, basal ganglia, limbic system and sensory pathways. In the first half of the course students undertake practicals using whole human brains and brain sections to understand the structural organization of the brain. In the second half of the course students are introduced to the latest imaging techniques to analyze neuroanatomy in the living brain. Throughout the course, the anatomy of the brain is understood in terms of its functional roles in learning, memory, language, movement and emotion. We are lucky to have some of the country's best neuroscientists and imaging experts teaching this course.

BIOM2012 - Systems Physiology

Students will develop an understanding of how the major organ systems of the body perform their normal functions and how these are regulated and integrated in order to maintain homeostasis.

BIOM2402 - Principles of Pharmacology

Principles of Pharmacology is designed to introduce students to fundamental concepts in drug action and drug disposition at the molecular and cellular level. Topics include the binding of drugs to receptors, receptor activation and inhibition, effect of drugs on cell signalling, structure-activity relationships, drug absorption and metabolism, genetic determinants of drug action and drug toxicity. Along with basic concepts of pharmacology, students are introduced to experimental approaches to study drug effects.

BIOL2202 - Genetics

The discipline of genetics has provided the core concepts underlying many of the diverse fields of biology - ranging from medicine, biochemistry and microbiology to ecology and environmental science. BIOL2202 Genetics is therefore a recommended second level subject for all students pursuing a biologically focused major. Employing a strong practical component, BIOL2202 integrates classical concepts of inheritance and variation with modern molecular advances arising from the post-genomic era.

PHIL2208 - Bioethics

An examination of contemporary problems at the intersection of the disciplines of philosophy, medicine, history and law, such as decisions at the edges of life, organ transplantation, genetic technologies, medical experimentation, health care regulation and the delivery and distribution of health care. This course may not run if there are fewer than 20 enrollments.

CHEM3008 -  Medicinal Chemistry. 

Basic medicinal chemistry; drug discovery; assays; screening; combinatorial chemistry; lead compounds; structure activity relationships; biotransformations of medicinal compounds; Students will choose from topics that include: synthesis of organic medicinal compounds; naturally occurring biologically active molecules; metal compounds as medicinal agents.

GEOG2206- Medical Geography - The Geography of Health and Healthcare

Medical Geography is concerned with the geographical analysis of disease and mortality, disease screening, healthcare provision and health inequalities. The field derives from a long association between geographical studies and medical sociology and has close links with epidemiology and public health. Medical geography examines the distribution of disease and death to determine how particular illnesses are associated with factors in the social or physical environment. Spatial scale is integral to this inquiry, with analysis occurring at a range of geographical levels from cross-national comparisons to small areas. The course is structured into three main components: (i) the evolution of medical geography and theoretical perspectives; (ii) measurement and analysis and; (iii) social and spatial variations in health and healthcare. (includes a field trip)


AUST1000 Contemporary Australia
AUST2000 Australian Popular Culture
ANTH2010 Anthropology of Aboriginal Australia
ABST1000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives

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