MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy - University of Portsmouth
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MPharm (Hons)


UCAS codeB230

full time4yrs

The first steps to your career as a pharmacist

Course Overview

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
  • marketing
  • regulatory affairs


Misha Patel, MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy student 2013

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


Health Sciences and Social Work

Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:

  • The clinical and real-life learning approach that will equip you for your chosen career
  • Our simulated environments that mean you’ll gain and practise the skills you’ll need before entering the workplace 
  • Approachable lecturers, many of whom are teacher practitioners

Browse all courses in Health Sciences and Social Work

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Structure & Teaching

Year one

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
  • Chemistry
  • Drug Formulation
  • Physiology and Pharmacology
  • Pharmacy Practice

Year two

During the second year you will explore the systems of the body and the diseases that affect them.

Core units in this year include:

  • Pharmaceutics
  • Pathology and Therapeutics of Body Systems
  • Microbiology and Infective Diseases
  • Medicines, Patients and Public Health

Year three

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
  • Bioactives
  • Antimicrobials
  • Pharmaceutical Care of Patients
  • Research Methods and Ethics

Year four

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

We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.


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.

The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:

  • Year one students: 32% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 68% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year two students: 27% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 73% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year three students: 27% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 73% studying independently and 0% on work placement
  • Year four students: 33% in lectures, seminars and similar learning activities, 67% studying independently and 0% on work placement


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

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year one students: 50% by written exams, 23% by practical exams and 27% by coursework
  • Year two students: 58% by written exams, 18% by practical exams and 24% by coursework
  • Year three students: 33% by written exams, 30% by practical exams and 37% by coursework
  • Year four students: 47% by written exams, 20% by practical exams and 33% by coursework

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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.

Specialist Training

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.

University Library

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.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
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.

General costs:
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).

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Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Career prospects
Where next?

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

Work experience

Work experience
Employment boosting opportunities

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.

Career planning

Career planning

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.

Sibongile Nyoni, MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy student 2013

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

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Apply now or visit us

Apply for 2018 entry

To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.

Apply now

After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.

Open Days for courses starting in 2019

Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.

Book your Open Day

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.

University of Portsmouth
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Portsmouth PO1 2UP

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