MPharm Honours Pharmacy (4 years) (UCAS Code: B230)
For entrance requirements
T: +44 (0)28 9097 3838
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 qualification acceptable to the University. Further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications is available here
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 Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including:
International Foundation in Engineering and Science
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.Back to top
Pharmacy is concerned with the design, evaluation, production and use of medicines. As such, it is based on the chemical, biological and medical sciences as the foundation for clinical and community practice. In addition, pharmacists 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 programme.Back to top
All students must take six modules:
One module 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 is split into two parts, the first providing a foundation in the essential skills for the practice of pharmacy whereas the second part provides 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, two physiology modules cover the principles of general physiology and histology as well as an introduction to systematic patho-physiology.
Provides further development of understanding of basic sciences related to pharmacy and an introduction to some professional aspects of handling and interpretation of prescriptions. Six modules are studied: two cover basic principles of drug action and two are concerned with medicinal substances and deal with analytical methods used to determine the relationships between structure and function of drug molecules. Finally, one 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 of the degree reflect the increasing involvement of pharmacists in discussing patient medication with doctors in general practice and in hospitals. Students also continue to study the pharmaceutical sciences. Both years contain six modules. Topics covered at Level 3 include:
Applied Clinical Pharmacy
Applied Pharmaceutical Analysis: Drug Design and Drug Delivery
Topics covered at Level 4 include:
Business, Government and Industry
Infectious Diseases, Treatment and Prevention
Responding to Symptoms
Social and Behavioural Aspects of Pharmacy
In Level 4, students also carry out a research project.
A feature of this MPharm is an increasing experience of the clinical environment through inclusion of clinical placements each year.Back to top
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:
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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:
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.Back to top
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: http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofPharmacy/ProspectiveStudents/
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.Back to top
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.
Following successful completion of the degree, all graduates intending to register to practise as pharmacists are required to complete satisfactorily a one-year period of pre-registration training under conditions approved by the regulator, followed by a registration examination. Pre-registration training may be in GB or NI, with the registration examination of the relevant regulator. Qualified pharmacists may work anywhere in the UK once registered with the relevant regulator, or further afield.Back to top