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Why study pharmacy at a medical college?

Pharmacy is a scientific and medical profession all of its own, which requires several years of study and training before you qualify. Pharmacists are general split into two sectors – clinical pharmacists and community pharmacists.

Clinical pharmacists work predominantly in hospitals and clinics, administering drugs to patients and preparing comprehensive drug therapy plans.

Community pharmacists are concerned with the retail side of pharmacy, advising consumers on the different types of drug available to them and dispensing drugs to the general public.

A pharmacy degree from a medical college will allow you to move into this popular and diverse industry.

What will I study on a pharmacy program?

Most pharmacy programs are a combination of undergraduate and postgraduate study, with the length of study depending on the country your medical college is situated in.

An MPharm degree program is one of the most common pharmacy qualifications, but shorter foundation pharmacy programs also exist.

Your pharmacy program should include modules in foundation mathematics and chemistry, pharmacology, dosage, medicinal chemistry, drug development and biopharmaceuticals, with option research modules. 

Length and structure

The length and structure of a pharmacy program at a medical college depends on the institution and country of study.

However, as a guide, an MPharm qualification in the UK would take five years to complete, which is the norm for many other countries. This will include both a period of undergraduate and graduate study, with time spent on placements in industry.

Another route into pharmacy is through foundation degrees, which equip students with the skills and knowledge to convert to an MPharm at a later stage in their careers.

How can a pharmacy program help my career?

It is almost impossible to become a pharmacist without taking a pharmacy degree. Most countries will require you to register with a pharmaceutical body in order to dispense advice, and these bodies will invariably require you to submit your pharmaceutical qualifications.

A pharmacy program at a medical college will give you skills and knowledge in how medicines, people and healthcare systems work, allowing you to specialise in the area of pharmacy you want to work in.

A particularly popular option for experience pharmacists is to move into research, creating and trialling new drugs.

Entry requirements

The entry requirements for a pharmaceutical program vary depending on the country and medical college you choose to study at.
Most pharmacy programs will require you to demonstrate the following:

  • High school level qualifications in science subjects, particularly chemistry
  • An occupational health examination prior to acceptance
  • Successful interview
  • A pharmacy foundation degree can also be an entry point

What to do next

If you would like more information on studying a pharmacy program at a medical college, sign up for our Free Application Service. You’ll get advice, tailored programs and application advice on medical colleges around the world.