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Although classes in Pharmaceutical Chemistry were being conducted in the Medical School at Manchester by John Dalton as early as 1824, and courses in pharmaceutical subjects were available at Owens College around 1869, the present Pharmacy School of the University was not established until 1883. The prospectus for 1884 offered full-time courses extending over two years and part-time evening courses in preparation for the examinations of the Pharmaceutical Society. In 1904, Pharmacy was added to the list of subjects which could be presented for both honours and ordinary degrees in Science, and in so doing, Manchester became the first British University to offer degrees in Pharmacy.

During the period from 1904 up to the Second World War, the number of students taking the degree was small, the majority registering for the shorter courses for the qualifying examinations of the Pharmaceutical Society.

However, after the Second World War, major changes were made in the degree course and by 1959 all undergraduates were reading for a Pharmacy degree. In 1962, the Pharmacy Department transferred from the Faculty of Medicine to the Faculty of Science. In 1970 there were 217 undergraduate and 7 postgraduate students. In the same year, a thorough review of the undergraduate syllabus was undertaken, and a three-year honours BSc course introduced with the cessation of the four- year course. The first group of students to take the new BSc course graduated in 1974. MSc courses by Method I in Hospital Pharmacy and in Pharmaceutical Analysis were instituted in 1971 and 1973, respectively.

In the period 1970-74, the Department expanded rapidly. New laboratories for Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmacognosy, and some areas of Pharmaceutics were provided, together with a Department library, seminar rooms, and a common room. In this process, research space and money for equipment were set aside for a new chair, created in 1974, and filled by Professor Rowland. Professor Rowland's appointment stimulated developments in clinical aspects of Pharmacy at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, as well as establishing Manchester's international reputation in the field of pharmacokinetics.

In initiating developments in Clinical Pharmacy, a first requirement was to train staff capable of teaching in that area. This was achieved by making jointly financed appointments between the University and the NHS and by setting up training groups for hospital pharmacists. So began a long academic association with the pharmacy department of Hope hospital, which through its clinical pharmacy practice unit provided an early model of academic practice units.

In 1979, Professor Tallentire was appointed to a promotional chair and assumed responsibility for Pharmaceutical Microbiology. He re- organised courses in this area throughout the Department, developed a joint first-year course with the Department of Bacteriology and Virology, and initiated research developments in the cell and tissue culture area.

In the period 1983-88, the Department was successful in securing two New Blood Lecturer posts, one in NMR imaging and the other in Clinical Pharmacokinetics, and in creating a new Chair in Medicinal Chemistry.

This Chair, filled in 1987 by Professor Douglas, was seen by the University as a major initiative to stimulate research into the molecular and biochemical basis for rational drug design. A Wolfson grant for laboratory refurbishment permitted the construction of a specialist molecular biology laboratory. Medicinal chemistry was successfully developed and is now equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for NMR spectroscopy, molecular graphics, organic synthesis, biochemistry and molecular biology.

Pharmacy Practice received a major thrust with the establishment of the new Boots Chair in Pharmacy Practice, and the appointment of Professor Peter Noyce in January 1991. Following his appointment, a new academic structure for clinical teaching and research was introduced, requiring clinical academic appointments to have a minimal 25% commitment to practice, and honorary clinical appointments to have a minimum 25% commitment to academic duties. A range of honorary clinical appointments are now being made with pharmacists in a variety of settings in the North West to bring a wider perspective on pharmaceutical care and medicines management to undergraduate teaching and postgraduate teaching and research.

Two new chairs were recently appointed in the Department, Professor David Clarke and Professor Ian Stratford.

The Department was renamed the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 1996.

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© 2001 School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester