Pharmacy (MPharm Hons) B230

MPharm Honours



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Key Course Information

Entry Year


Course length

4 year(s)

A-Level Requirements *



Medicine, Health and Life Sciences



Professional Year Out






*Indicative Only. Please see the Course Entry Requirements section for details on subject specific or GCSE requirements.


Pharmacy is concerned with the design, evaluation, production and use of medicines and is based on the chemical, biological and medical sciences as the foundation for clinical and community practice. Pharmacists also have the ability and opportunity to monitor and optimise the therapeutic use of medicines by patients. In order to communicate confidently and effectively with patients, pharmacists must also have a knowledge of the social and behavioural aspects of health care. All of these facets are addressed and integrated in this undergraduate degree.

Why Queen's?

Top Ranking: the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s is acknowledged as a leading centre for Pharmacy teaching and research in the UK. In the latest edition of the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2015 we areranked as the No. 1 Pharmacy School in the UK.

Placement: a feature of this MPharm is an increasing experience of the clinical environment through inclusion of clinical placements in both community and hospital settings.

Accreditation: the degree is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) in Great Britain and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, as the relevant regulators.



Did you know?

The School of Pharmacy is ranked as the No. 1 Pharmacy school in the UK by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017

Course Content (including module information)

Level 1

All students take five modules: the first provides an introduction to pharmaceutical microbiology including aspects of disinfection and sterilisation with a second module providing an introduction to the principles of physical and analytical chemistry of importance in pharmaceutical systems.

 The third module provides a foundation in the essential skills for the practice of pharmacy and an introduction to the development of a pharmaceutical product from concept to clinic, and the roles of the pharmacist in this process.

 A chemistry module covers important aspects of organic and bio-organic chemistry including structure determination, chemical reactivity and mechanistic aspects. Finally, a physiology module cover the principles of general physiology and histology as well as an introduction to systematic pathophysiology.

Level 2

This year provides further development of understanding of basic sciences related to pharmacy and an introduction to some professional aspects of medicines optimisation.

Three modules are studied: one covers the basic principles of drug action and therapeutics and an introduction to the clinical application of therapeutic substances; and a further module is concerned with medicinal substances and deals with analytical methods used to determine the relationships between structure and function of drug molecules. Finally, a double module deals with formulation/dispensing of drug products, drug stability and some industrial manufacturing processes.

Levels 3 and 4

The professional and clinical aspects of the final two years reflect the increasing involvement of pharmacists in medicines optimisation and working with other healthcare professionals.

Level 3 topics include applied pharmaceutical analysis, drug design and delivery, pharmaceutical biotechnology, pharmaceutical legislation, clinical therapeutics, and pharmacy practice.

Level 4 topics include advanced pharmaceutical care, business, government and industry, responding to symptoms and evidence-based medicine. Students also carry out a research project.

Throughout the degree course pharmacy students have the opportunity to work with medical and nursing students to optimise patient care whilst in the classroom, on placement and in simulated environments.

Assessment & Feedback

Assessment (general):  The way in which students are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. The majority of modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations.  Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.

Feedback (general):  As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers.  University students are expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of their work.  Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including: 

  • Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted. 
  • Face to face comment.  This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
  • Placement employer comments or references.
  • Online or emailed comment.
  • General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
  • Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid.  In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time. 
  • Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
  • Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service. 

Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work. 

Learning and Teaching

The School of Pharmacy at Queen's University Belfast is consistently ranked as one of the top UK Schools of Pharmacy by the Times Good University Guide and we are recognised for our excellence in teaching and our international reputation in research. The School recently achieved an excellent result in the 2008 UK-wide Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) with 95% of its research classified as world-leading, internationally excellent or of international quality. We aim to stay at the forefront of Pharmacy education by continually upgrading our infrastructure and introducing new, exciting initiatives into the MPharm programme.

For example, the School recently launched a major new programme in clinical pharmacy teaching. The programme provides extensive clinical placements for students in their undergraduate degree and is at the forefront of UK pharmacy undergraduate training. The programme also provided a unique opportunity to create five new Clinical Practitioner (CP) posts, based in Trust hospitals in Northern Ireland. The CPs work in partnership with staff in the School to develop an innovative Clinical Placement Programme which is delivered using a variety of methods including workshops, bedside teaching and experiential learning.

The clinical placements are carefully incorporated into the existing MPharm degree programme from Stage 1 through to a full week placement for each student in Stages 3 and 4. These new placements are designed to provide students with an excellent opportunity to apply their clinical knowledge and skills to real-life situations. The clinical placement aims to facilitate high quality teaching and learning activities and also to promote the professional attitudes and behaviours expected of tomorrow's pharmacists. Importantly, Queen's students gain valuable experience of interprofessional education through working closely with other healthcare professionals.

The CPs are supported in their role by the Clinical Pharmacists within the Trusts, who supervise and assess students during contact time on the wards. Students are encouraged to develop their lifelong learning skills through the use of reflective portfolios and task booklets. Students are also expected to develop a range of clinical skills that they will be able to use in both primary and secondary care upon qualification.

At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.

On the MPharm degree we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners.   Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:

  • Lectures: these introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading.  Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
  • Practicals:  students have opportunities to develop technical skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts.  Practicals form a major part of the assessment of the MPharm degree programme.  Students will be expected to attend one practical per week for the majority of modules within the degree programme.  In Levels 3 and 4, students will gain experience of working in groups in practical classes.  Students will additionally receive training in the Practice of Pharmacy within the state of the art Pharmacy within the School.
  • E-Learning technologies:   Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online.  A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example:  interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; IT and statistics modules; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities; opportunities to use IT programmes associated with design in practicals and project- based work etc.
  • Seminars/tutorials:  Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-30 students).  These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers.  Students are also expected to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
  • Self-directed study:  This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out. 
  • Work placements:  Students taking the MPharm degree undertake work-placements in all four years of the degree, both in the Hospital and Community environments. This is a significant learning and employability enhancement opportunity.
  • Supervised projects:  In final (fourth) year, students are expected to carry out a significant piece of research on a topic or practical methodology in s broad research area selected by the student.  The student receives support from a supervisor who will guide him/her in terms of how to carry out research and will provide feedback on at least 2 occasions during the write up stage. 
  • Personal Tutor:  Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor during Level 1 and 2 who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development. 

Entry Requirements


Selection Criteria

In addition to the entrance requirements below, it is essential that you read the How We Choose Our Students pdf prior to submitting your UCAS application.

Entrance Requirements

A-level: AAB including A-level Chemistry and at least one other A-level from Biology, Mathematics or Physics + GCSE Biology grade C or GCSE Double Award Science grades CC + GCSE Mathematics grade C. Note: Biology to at least AS preferred.

Please note that only one Mathematics subject will be counted at A-level. A-level Critical Thinking and General Studies are not acceptable.

Irish Leaving Certificate: H1H1H3H3H3H3 including Higher Level grade H1 in Chemistry and Biology + if not offered at Higher Level then Ordinary Level grade O4 in Mathematics.

Mature Students: the same requirements as listed above apply.

Graduate Applicants: a minimum of an Upper Second Class Honours degree preferably in a relevant subject. Those with an Upper Second Class Honours degree in a non-relevant subject may be considered if they have the appropriate science background at GCSE and A-level. Shortlisted applicants will be required to attend an interview as part of the selection process.

Other Qualifications: contact the Admissions and Access Service for advice.

International Students

For information on international qualification equivalents, please click on Your Country in the International Students website.

If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO at Queen's is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including the International Foundation in Engineering and Science.

For students whose first language is not English

An IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each test component or an equivalent acceptable qualification, details of which are available at:

If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this course, our partner INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability to entry to this degree. Please click the links below for more information:

  • Pre-sessional English A short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English

Information for all applicants

As a result of current legislative requirements any offer made will be conditional on a satisfactory criminal history check (Access NI Enhanced Disclosure Check). To enable the University to request this check you will be required to provide some personal information which will be treated in the strictest of confidence and in line with Data Protection Principles. The current cost of an Enhanced Disclosure Check is £30.

At time of publishing the relevant legislation is under review and it is possible that in the future the vetting requirements and costs will change. Applicants who receive offers will be advised of the relevant requirements at the appropriate time.

For international students, a Certificate of Good Conduct or equivalent will be required in lieu of an Access NI check.

How To Apply

Applications for admission to full-time undergraduate courses at Queen’s should normally be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Full information can be obtained from the UCAS website at:

When to Apply

UCAS will start processing applications for entry in Autumn 2017 from 1 September 2016.

The normal closing date for the receipt of applications is 15 January 2017.

Applicants are advised to apply as early as is consistent with having made a careful and considered choice of institutions and courses.

Earlier applicants normally receive decisions more quickly, however, UCAS accepts that some applicants, especially those from outside the UK, may find this difficult. Late applications are, in practice, accepted by UCAS throughout the remainder of the application cycle, but you should understand that they are considered by institutions at their discretion, and there can be no guarantee that they will be given the same full level of consideration as applications received by the advisory closing date.

Take care to enter the details of the institutions and courses clearly and correctly on the application. For Queen's, the institution code name is QBELF and the institution code is Q75. These should be entered in the Choices section of your UCAS application. A Campus Code is not required. For further information on applying to study at Queen’s, please click here.

Queen’s University Belfast Terms and Conditions 2017 Entry
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.

Career Prospects

Studying for an MPharm degree at Queen’s will assist students in developing the core skills and employment-related experiences that are valued by employers, professional organisations and academic institutions.  Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well regarded by many employers (local, national and international) and the prospects of employment for a graduate with an MPharm degree in the UK are high.

Our graduates typically pursue careers in three main employment sectors namely, community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry.  However,graduates can develop careers in a range of other sectors.  Examples of the major career sectors (and some starting salaries) that have attracted our graduates in recent years: 

  • Hospital Pharmacy (£25,528)
  • Community Pharmacy (£21,000-35,000)
  • Scientific Publishing (£21,000) 
  • Industrial Pharmacy (£25,000)
  • Academic Pharmacy (£31,000 with a PhD)
  • Varied graduate programmes (Times Top 100 Graduate Recruiters/AGR, Association of Graduate Recruiters UK)

Employer Links:  Further information regarding careers in Pharmacy may be obtained from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Consultations: We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, multinational (e.g. Boots the Pharmacy) and independent pharmacies and Health and Social Care Trusts who provide placements for students and who contribute to the undergraduate teaching on the MPharm  and who are members of the stakeholders’ panel for the course. 

Further study is also an option open to MPharm graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, see:

Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers.  Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and through the Degree Plus initiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer.  See Queen’s University Belfast full employability statementfor further information

Degree Plus and other related initiatives:  Recognising student diversity, promoting employability enhancements and other interests is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s.  Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies,  and sports.  

Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students).  Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts.  As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers. 

Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plusin particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies.  These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.

Fees & Scholarships

There are different tuition fee and student financial support arrangements for students from Northern Ireland, those from England, Scotland and Wales (Great Britain), and those from the rest of the European Union. Higher education funding arrangements mean that students can study now and pay later.

Further details can be found on our fees and funding section.

Queen's works to ensure that all those who can benefit from a university education have the chance to do so, and a generous system of financial support is in place to help them. Each year Queen’s offer a range of scholarships and prize for new students. The most up to date listings are available here.

For international students, information on tuition fees, can be found here. Information on scholarships for international students, can be found here.

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