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The MPharm

To become a registered pharmacist you will need to achieve a Master of Pharmacy, or MPharm, which is the standard classification for a master’s degree in pharmacy. This is a four or occasionally five-year -year course and includes study of the origin and chemistry of drugs along with the preparation and use of drugs and medicine, and their effects on the body. The course will also help prepare you to practise as a pharmacist by teaching about the provision of advice to the public along with the laws and standards to which pharmacists must adhere.

This page aims to make the application process easy to understand. It lays out the initial parts of an application in the order that you need to consider them, taking you from qualifications while at school or college to applying for financial support through bodies such as Student Finance. The second part of the application stage will, in some cases, require attending interviews at a pharmacy school for their shortlisted candidates.

The application procedures for international students are the same as those described on this page. However, international students will have additional things to consider. To find out more, please see our international applicants page. It is important to note that the information below is for guidance purposes only and should always be confirmed with individual institutions directly.

Entry requirements

Pharmacy schools are in charge of setting their own requirements and these requirements can vary between schools. Generally, you will need three A levels in chemistry and a second science or maths. The A level grade requirements can vary between pharmacy schools ranging from AAB to ABB. GCSE grades are often considered with most schools expecting a minimum of five GCSEs including maths, English language and one science. Some pharmacy schools will consider alternative qualifications and this information, along with up to date entry requirements, can be found on individual pharmacy school websites.

Personal statement

In addition to academic achievement, pharmacy schools will look for certain skills and attributes which they believe make an ideal candidate for pharmacy. As part of your application, you will need to complete a personal statement.

Some attributes that make a good candidate for pharmacy include:

  • Motivation to study pharmacy and genuine interest in the profession
  • Effective communication, including reading, writing, listening and speaking
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Resilience
  • Personal organisation
  • Empathy
  • Academic ability with an interest in science
  • Responsibility
  • Professionalism
  • Attention to detail and be analytical
  • Good customer skills
  • Some work experience in a pharmacy or patient facing setting

Keep these in mind while writing your personal statement. Rather than simply stating that you embody these attributes, give examples of how you have demonstrated them in the past, for instance through extracurricular activities.

Pharmacy schools vary in how they assess personal statements. However, they commonly use personal statements as a basis for conversation during interview, so it is a good idea to write things which you would be prepared to expand on if asked.

The application – deadline and finance

Applications to study pharmacy are handled through UCAS. Applicants are able to apply to up to five pharmacy courses. If you are in college or sixth-form then you should be guided through the process by teachers.

The deadline for applications is 15 January every year. The next available time to begin a pharmacy degree is September 2019. Exact application dates are announced on the UCAS website in early May every year.

UK applicants can apply for student loans through Student Finance. It is best to apply for student finance as soon as you have made your UCAS application. For more information, refer to the following websites according to where you currently live:

England: Student Finance England
Scotland: Student Awards Agency Scotland
Wales: Student Finance Wales
Northern Ireland: Student Finance Northern Ireland

Universities may also offer their own bursaries or scholarships. It is best to research what is available on the websites of the pharmacy schools in which you are interested.

Interviews

Shortlisted applicants will be invited by some pharmacy schools for interview, other schools may not interview. The format of  an interview can vary, from short panel interviews to an assessment day. Your university will provide the information you need when inviting you for an interview but if you have any questions, you should contact the pharmacy school directly.