The first steps to your career as a pharmacist
Why take this course?
Do you have the right blend of nurturing, scientific and ethical outlook to become a pharmacist? If so, this course provides a sound understanding of science, pharmaceutical knowledge and application to underpin professional practice. Simulated practice and placement activities also feature throughout the course giving you a fully integrated learning experience.
What will I experience?
On this course you will:
- Be taught by pharmacy-qualified staff, including practitioners from community and hospital pharmacy
- Undergo simulated training tasks before putting your learning into action in a community or hospital pharmacy setting
- Use our modern laboratories and state-of-the-art facilities to enhance your learning
What opportunities might it lead to?
This four-year course is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) for entry to pre-registration pharmacist training – the first step towards a career as a pharmacist. Changes in the healthcare system have increased services in pharmacy provision, so employment prospects are excellent.
You will however, have to undertake a further year of pre-registration training and also pass the GPhC registration examination in order to become a fully qualified pharmacist.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
- drug development and formulation
- involvement with toxicity studies
- clinical trials
- regulatory affairs
I think this university stands out as we’re taught on a very clinical basis. The hospital placement, really helped me.
Misha Patel, MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy student 2013
- UCAS Course Code:
- 4 years full time
- 320 points at A level* or equivalent, to include a minimum of 80 points from A level Chemistry and a minimum of 80 points from an A level in a second Science subject (Biology preferred) or Mathematics. Shortlisted applicants with non-standard qualifications will be interviewed and will need to complete an admissions test. All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance.
*Please note: The Extended Project and A levels in Applied Science, General Studies, Critical Thinking and Citizenship Studies are not normally accepted. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0. Other qualifications
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
2016/17 entry: full time: £9,000 p/a*
2016/17 entry: full time: £13,700 p/a**
*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.
**Tuition fee is subject to annual increase.
+44 (0)23 9284 5550
- School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences
- Programme specification
Structure & Teaching
In your first year you will have a general introduction to university-level education and to the integrated disciplines of science that relate to the study of pharmacy. You’ll also begin to practise the vocational and patient-facing skills you’ll need for professional practice.
Core units in this year include:
- Learning Skills in Pharmacy
- Drug Formulation
- Physiology and Pharmacology
- Pharmacy Practice
During the second year you will explore the systems of the body and the diseases that affect them.
Core units in this year include:
- Pathology and Therapeutics of Body Systems
- Microbiology and Infective Diseases
- Medicines, Patients and Public Health
Your third year involves the study of more advanced topics and you’ll be developing your clinical practice skills to a much greater extent. Your study will be a lot more patient-orientated and you’ll be focused on the practice of high professional and ethical standards.
Core units in this year include:
- Pharmaceutical Formulation
- Pharmaceutical Care of Patients
- Research Methods and Ethics
The final year is the Master’s level of the course, where integration of knowledge and application is undertaken on a wider scale. Therapeutic frameworks, formulation and drug discovery, as well as strategies for cancer and mental health disorders, make up the topics for this year. You’ll also complete a research project of your choice, which can take the form of a laboratory investigation or a study of some aspects of professional practice.
Core units in this year include:
- Drug Design and Advanced Delivery Methods
- Cancer and Mental Health
- Advanced Pharmacy Practice
Teaching and Assessment
You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, practical laboratory work and simulated training. Our academic staff have expertise in practice and research, and we provide a student-centred approach to teaching, with all units fully supported by online lecture and study materials.
How are you assessed?
On this course there is a balance of formal examinations and coursework. You will be expected to complete coursework throughout the year, whereas exams take place at the end of the academic year. Here’s how we assess you:
- diagnostic tests
- written assignments
- simulated patient-focused case studies
- oral and poster presentations
- online tests
- group-based assessments
Facilities & Features
Centre for Simulation in Healthcare
Our aim is to enhance your learning and experiences through the use of innovative technologies. You’ll practise profession-specific skills on medical mannequins and experience clinical situations in a safe and supportive environment. The Centre is used to simulate real-life scenarios – a great way to prepare you for the real thing during placement.
You will be part of the next generation of healthcare professionals so it’s important you get to practice your skills and gain relevant experience first-hand. You’ll be taking part in realistic clinical scenarios using state-of-the-art facilities including our fully stocked model dispensary. Use it to check and dispense prescriptions using real drugs, as well as study complicated cases in small groups, review hospital medication charts, and respond to e-mailed medicine information queries from doctors. This is also a great way to assess your professional development.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
My course offers both community and hospital placements during the third year which broadens our horizons by putting theory into practice.
Yuen Pingi Hon, MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy student 2013
Budgeting for your studies
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
Other costs to consider
You will be expected to pay for travel costs to and from your placement. This will be in the region of £50. We will issue you with safety equipment and audience response handsets, free of charge, at the start of the programme (fees of £100 apply if not returned in good condition at the end of the course).
Careers & Opportunities
This course is not a direct route to becoming a pharmacist. However, approximately 99% of our graduates progress to pre-registration training with many of them finding placements in either a hospital or community pharmacy setting.
After registration as a pharmacist, your career options will encompass community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy (with further specialisation into different clinical roles and independent prescribing) and industrial pharmacy (possible roles include formulation scientist, medicines information, marketing and regulatory affairs).
There’s also many postgraduate opportunities for further career development. These can include postgraduate certificates, diplomas and degrees or research degrees (MPhil or PhD) spanning any area of the pharmacological, pharmaceutical sciences and the practice of pharmacy.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
- community/retail pharmacist
- hospital pharmacis
At the first stage of your course, you’ll have the opportunity to observe pharmacists working in a community setting. This is a great way to shadow, observe and receive direct mentoring from experienced practitioners in preparation for your own work placements.
There is continuous training throughout the course via simulated activities, which ultimately prime you for your third-year placements. These take place in both community and hospital environments so you can experience the way in which different professions interact in the provision of healthcare.
We also encourage you to find work-based experience in a pharmacy-related outlet in the summer period. This extra experience will undoubtedly make you stand out to future employers.
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
After graduation, I'm hoping to work in a community pharmacy and make a positive difference to the patients.
Sibongile Nyoni, MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy student 2013