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Supporting your studies

Pharmacy is a demanding course and part of the training is learning how to make effective use of the tools and guidance available. This page provides links and information which students of pharmacy may find helpful, be they searching for assistance with studying or help in extra-curricular matters.

If you are currently studying and would like to see something here which you have found helpful during you studies then email us at admin@pharmacyschools.ac.uk.

Academic support

General online resources

Online tutorials, supplementary resources and learning tools are becoming increasingly popular in health education, and so being versed in their use is a big part of studying at university level. It goes without saying that resources which you have not come across through your curriculum must be appraised with a critical eye, but there is a wealth of materials out there to support your core learning.

  • Internet Pharmacist – Virtual training tools such as this website work to improve your IT-based pharmacy knowledge and knowledge-acquisition. Different people learn in different ways, and some find interactive media such as programs and websites an effective way of retaining learned information.

  • MediLexicon – This website contains a dictionary of medical abbreviations, a more general dictionary of medicine, and also a search tool for the FDA drug approvals database (Food & Drug Administration – this is an American government resource) for information on prescription drugs. With the enormous amount of information to remember in pharmacy, reference websites such as this can be extremely useful, however, make sure you are aware of what is UK and what is US information.

  • RxList – This is a large index of different sorts of drugs (make sure you are aware of what is UK and what is US information).

  • Virtual Library – Pharmacy – This is a portal to several extensive lists on pharmacy-related websites which cover a broad range of related topics.

Research methods

With the internet comes not merely the challenge of finding information but also the responsibility to ensure that this information is valid – a more difficult but equally important task. Remember to always consider the source of a given piece and the authority which is behind it (the organisation or institution, etc). The currency of the piece is easy to neglect when research can become out of date in a matter of months or weeks, so always ensure that you are able to frame a piece within the broader debates it concerns. Even seemingly small things like errors in spelling and grammar are a sign that the piece has not passed through many different hands prior to its publishing, when ideally it will have been properly critiqued beforehand.

  • Engage in Research – There are many websites which aim to help you avoid the pitfalls of researching on the web. This one, aimed at students of bioscience, offers transferable advice on topics such as reviewing literature and using statistics.

  • Internet Detective – This interactive tutorial provides tips on how to be savvy in your use of web-based research and how to reference it properly in your academic work.

Research databases

Databases and libraries such as these could figure heavily into your pharmacy research. Remember to use them in line with the guidance your course will provide you on the effective sourcing of scientific articles, and with the information on research methods above.

  • ChemWeb – This chemistry-based database contains the journal abstract from many different scientific journals.

  • Electronic Medicines Compendium – This page offers a search for the latest prescribing information and patient information leaflets. There is also guidance on the side effects and dosages of drugs.

  • Scirus – This is a searchable index of around 545 million scientific items, including not only journals but also other websites such as institutional repositories.

Communities

The potential for quickly drawing on masses of expert (and not so expert) opinion is one of the unique aspects of the internet. Forums and discussion boards are good places to discuss issues directly with others and for searching through older discussions on topics you wish to get a better sense of. As ever, they are to be approached with a critical eye.

  • PharmWeb – This is an online community which has over 100 moderated discussion forums as well as a broader directory of information including libraries and archives.

Other support

Finance

Effective management of the financial support received at university is essential not just to your time studying but to the whole of your coming career. Awareness of what is available to you is important, be it in the form of loans, grants or bursaries, as is an awareness of the full implications of what you are currently committed to. If issues arise then make sure know what your sources of guidance are.

Personal

In the intense environment of university it can be easy to disregard the need to talk about any personal issues you may be facing. Effective learning goes hand in hand with mental well-being, and support will be available to you within your university should you need it. Voicing a problem can be easier said than done, but it will always be to your benefit in the long run.

  • The Student Room – These pages of the well-known Student Room website offer support on health, relationships, and various mental health issues including depression.

  • Counselling Directory – This website can connect you with a professional counsellor or psychotherapist.

FAQs

Student experiences

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David McDonnell

  • final-year MPharm,
  • Robert Gordon University

...academic, social and practical training that we receive allows us to deal with any problems that we would come across as pharmacists.

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Research

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