Pharmacy - A Rewarding Career
Today more than ever before, administering the nation's health service needs a team effort involving many professions. One of the most dramatic advances in health care has been the development of highly specific and effective medicines - medicines that have virtually eliminated some diseases which were major killers in the recent past, and that have reduced the impact of many others. The pharmacist is the member of the health team who is mainly concerned with drugs and medicines.
Students taking a degree in pharmacy can feel confident that they are entering upon a career in which there will always be a need for their services.
Pharmacy can offer rewarding and worthwhile careers to both men and women. There can be few careers that offer such a variety of interesting employment.
The School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Established in 1883, the School of Pharmacy in Manchester is one of the oldest schools of pharmacy in the country. Measured in terms of student numbers, the School is one of the largest departments in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy.
Quality of Teaching in the School
As a result of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) Subject Review visit to the School over the period of 18th to 21st October, 1999, the School was awarded a perfect score of 24 points out of 24. The degrees assessed at Manchester were the undergraduate MPharm, the postgraduate Diploma/MSc in Clinical Health Services Pharmacy, and the distance-learning modular PIAT MSc (PIAT stands for Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training). Further information on the quality of teaching in the School is available.
An Outline of the MPharm (Hons) Course
The degree course aims to provide a base on which can be built a sound understanding of all aspects of pharmacy. This base is made from a blend of rigorous scientific studies in organic chemistry, physical chemistry and biochemistry with aspects of behavioural sciences. Students are provided with instruction and guidance to enable them to acquire all the knowledge and skills necessary to embark on a successful career in Pharmacy.
By the end of the first year, students will have received a grounding in the sciences fundamental to pharmacy and an introduction to the practice of pharmacy.
The second and third years aim to provide the science base for a lifetime in pharmacy irrespective of the career path of any individual student. It is during these years that we aim to provide most of the instruction in the Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The objective of the fourth year is to prepare the student for the post-graduate years and to provide, on the one hand, the completion of the scientific base of Pharmacy, and on the other, to give each student the opportunity and experience of working on an individual research project; the latter with the aim of giving practice at information retrieval and data analysis coupled with written and oral communication skills.
Throughout the course emphasis is placed on modern teaching methods alongside traditional lectures. Many lecture courses are supplemented by Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) packages and by Interactive Video packages which have been developed within the school. A great emphasis is placed on tutorial sessions and the development of communication skills by the student through written and oral presentation.
At its conclusion, each course is assessed by the students by means of a questionnaire. Information from this source is evaluated, and where necessary, changes made to improve the course.
In general, the pass mark for examinations held for the Pharmacy course is 40%, which is the University norm. There are two exceptions to this rule. The professional examinations in the Compounding and Dispensing of Medicines - a practical examination - and in the Law relating to Pharmacy for which the pass mark is 60%. Dispensing is the only formal practical examination held in the School, all other practical courses being continuously assessed, each assessment contributing to the final mark in the appropriate examination subject.
The University year is divided into two semesters and examinations are held at the end of each semester.
Resit examinations take place in September and passes must be achieved in all subjects in order for students to proceed to the next year of the course.
The most popular route of entry to the course is via A-level qualifications.
Standard entry requirements are:
i) Three A-level passes in Chemistry and in two other subjects selected from Mathematics, Physics and the biological subjects. Present offers are usually for grades BBB.
A Grade B pass at GCSE in Mathematics and English Language is required as are passes at GCSE in Physics and a Biological subject at grade C or above, if not offered at A-level or A/S level.
Formal applications for admission should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), PO Box 28, Cheltenham, Glos. GL50 3SA.
All applicants to whom offers are made will be given the opportunity to visit the School and to talk with members of the School. These visits take place during November, December, January and February.
If you have any queries about the course or about entrance requirements, please contact:-
The Admissions Office
It is the School's policy to encourage and to give undergraduate students assistance to gain experience in community, hospital and industrial pharmacy during vacations. In addition to the educational benefits of reinforcing and supplementing the pharmacy practice components of the course, such professional training/experience has proved to be an advantage to students when they come to arrange their pre-registration training and to plan their future professional careers.
Formal links have been established with community pharmacy over a good number of years and an introductory scheme administered by the School has lead to periods of employment being available during the vacations. The School is able to arrange, for most students, a period of practice training in community pharmacy (8 weeks in the summer vacation between 3rd and 4th year). The objectives of this practice training are:-
MPharm Course Units
* School of Biological Sciences Modules
The John Rylands University Library of Manchester maintain a reading list of material required for the MPharm course.
The Handbooks for each of the four years of the MPharm course can be viewed online.
Past Examination Papers
Past examination papers are available online.
© 2001 School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Manchester