Pharma, which is derived from the word ‘drug’ in Modern Greek, which is also a part of pharmacology is a branch of medicine and biology that is concerned with the study of drug action.
Great news for pharmacists: when completing university with a pharmacy degree, UK graduates are in a fantastically employable position. 98% of people working in pharmacy degree jobs are in healthcare, distributed across a range of roles, employment contracts and job settings. So, let’s go through the various roles available to pharmacy degree graduates and the things that will be covered in your pharmacy degree online.
What can I do with a pharmacy degree?
Some graduates choose to stay on in academia after their foundation degree in pharmacy.
There are already a number of stages involved in the education and accreditation of pharmacists, but if you’re interested in going even further and pursuing a PhD, do check out the section below titled ‘What can I study after Pharmacy degree?’ Most people go into careers as pharmacists and pharmacologists after finishing a pharmacy foundation degree and accreditation, but before we get into the various types of pharmacist roles available, we are going to cast an eye over some of the alternative career paths someone might take with a pharmacy degree UK or with a masters degree in pharmacy and we’ll see about all of the pharmacy degree UK entry requirements.
Someone who enjoys travelling, meeting new people and communicating effectively might enjoy a career as a medical sales representative. Working with particular pharmaceutical brands, you would visit hospitals and clinics to present information about your product, answer questions, promote and negotiate sales.
A product / process development scientist spends their time developing new medicines and treatments in a lab role, whilst a clinical research associate devises, administers and interprets tests for new medicines. Then, a regulatory affairs officer (such as with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority) controls the conditions of bringing a pharmaceutical product to market.
There will always be a demand for pharmacologists and pharmacists and the need for an improved quality of life, as well as for drugs to fight illness and diseases.
What can you do with a pharmacy degree?
What can you do with a degree in pharmacy? … Become a pharmacist, of course! Here’s where we look at the different work options available to pharmacists and see what other jobs with a pharmacy degree are available.
One of the most flexible pharmacy degree jobs, becoming a pharmacist allows you to choose whether you want to work in the public sector with the NHS, or within a private setting. It also lets you decide between a small setting in the role of community pharmacist, such as a GP practice or high street pharmacy, or a larger setting such as a hospital.
Additionally, you have the option of being employed full time, part time, or even self-employed (or through an agency) as a locum, plugging the gaps wherever pharmacies have staffing issues.
As a pharmacist, you might dispense medications, check dosages, evaluate medicines’ compatibility, liase with other healthcare professionals, advise patients, prepare mixtures, and provide health checks, smoking cessation services, vaccinations etc. to the public.
When deciding which route to take after your pharmacy degree, think about your personal circumstances: would you prefer regular or occasional work? Do you want to work locally or would you prefer some personal distance between you and your patients? Do you want to see the same patients over a number of years, building relationships over time in a community setting, or spend more time on professional relationships with healthcare colleagues in a hospital setting? Pharmacy degree courses can take you to many places, so read on to find out more about the subject.
A drug can be broadly defined as a man-made, endogenous or natural substance. Pharmacy is the techniques and science of preparing and dispensing the drugs studied and created by pharmacologists. It connects chemical science with health studies to ensure effective, but safe use of pharmaceutical drugs.
Drugs and medication play a vital role in maintaining and protecting the health of society, and individuals. They are used to combat diseases and illnesses, from chest infections to brain tumours. Pharmaceutical drugs and products are crucial in preventing, controlling and curing a wide range of medical conditions.
A pharmacist studies aspects of pharmacology, as well as how medications and drugs can be used to aid people, and illnesses, and looks at the dosage and how drugs are administered. Pharmacologists focus on drugs and the way that they work on and in the body, and how the body reacts to them.
What A Levels do I need?
Similar to medicine and dentistry degrees, pharmacy and pharmacology courses require prospective candidates to hold science subjects and some institutions will ask for additional sciences on top, either, biology, mathematics or physics and there will be different pharmacy degree entry requirements.
University grade requirements (and by extension, pharmacy degree requirements) will be higher, due to the intensity of the course, and universities will ask for B and above in certain subjects. However, each institution will ask for different grades and students are advised to check before applying to ensure they understand what they need to gain admission, as the pharmacy foundation degree entry requirements change all the time for all degrees, not just a foundation pharmacy degree.
What are my study options?
If students wish to become a pharmacist, they need to ensure they are choosing an accredited qualification and to gain full accreditation by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain; individuals will need to study a four-year MPharm course – there are approximately 26 institutions in the United Kingdom that offer accredited MPharm degrees. Students should double-check to make sure their chosen courses are approved, allowing them to be registered as a pharmacist and to practice after graduation.
To gain registration, students tend to take an MPharm degree which lasts for four years and then follow this up with a pre-registration year. However, some universities offer an MPharm course as a five-year sandwich course which includes the pre-registration year.
Whereas most pharmacology degree courses last three years in length and will be very scientifically focused, and there is an option to study pharmacology as part of a life sciences degree if you wanted to explore certain aspects of the area, instead of focusing on it for the entire time.
The degrees available are in Bachelors of Sciences (BSc) (in this case, it would be a bachelor degree in pharmacy), Masters of Science (MSc), and Masters of Pharmacology (MPharm) degrees, including, pharmacology, pharmacy, research in pharmacology and pharmacology and biosciences.
Students will study an array of modules from the medical sciences, chemistry, cell biology, and pharmacology. Some universities allow students to tailor their degrees and pick modules from similar or related courses, and offer individuals flexibility.
What should I expect from studying Pharmacy degree?
Lectures will be taught based, and students will spend a lot of time studying a combination of maths, chemistry and biology. There will also be opportunities to take part in pharmacy placements throughout the year (which may make your course a part time pharmacy degree) which provides valuable hands-on experience, and aids students in the application of theoretical knowledge to practical situations, as well as witness day-to-day running of a pharmacy. Placements also provide confidence to apply for summer internships or work experience during the non-term time which can help employment prospects after graduation.
How will I be assessed?
Students will be evaluated through a mixture of written examinations, coursework, presentations and team projects. Most students undertake a pharmacy or pharmacology research project during their final year, including laboratory research.
What skills will I learn from studying Pharmacy degree?
Candidates will learn about time management, and how to act professionally in all areas of life. The practical elements will provide dispensary experience, including, labelling, consultation skills and clinical checks. Problem-based learning aids individuals to work under pressure, and prepares them to understand how to behave in all scenarios. Other skills include the preparation of scientific reports, the use of computer software, producing figures and diagrams as well as data handling.
Someone who enjoys travelling, meeting new people and communicating effectively might enjoy a career as a medical sales representative.
Why study Pharmacy degree?
There will always be a demand for pharmacologists and pharmacists and the need for an improved quality of life, as well as for drugs to fight illness and diseases. Candidates will be at the forefront of medical and drug research, evaluate new generation medication, and solve problems related to drugs and the treatment of illness.
This subject area is ideal for individuals who are passionate about science, medicine, or even specifically pharmacy and pharmacology. Although medicines can make society live longer, they need to be heavily researched and studied to ensure they aid the body’s defence system and not harm it.
What to do with a pharmacy degree
Graduates have many careers with a pharmacy degree available, and the majority of students tend to work as pharmacists and pharmacologists – once they are registered and fully accredited.
Some graduates look at other pharmacy degree career options to choose to work in medical and health research for pharmaceutical companies, while others stay in education to obtain a Doctorate qualification (PhD).
Will it help me get a job?
This degree course produces intelligent, competent and able individuals in an increasingly demanding employment area.
What types of jobs can I get from studying Pharmacy degree?
Particular jobs in this area include; pharmacologist, pharmacist, teacher or lecturer, analytical chemist, clinical researcher, medical sales representative, science journalist, or a toxicologist. Also, organisations offer positions for graduates, such as the National Health Service (NHS). Other science-related career paths are administration, publishing, medicine and roles within the pharmaceutical industries.
What can I study after Pharmacy degree?
For students wishing to continue their education after obtaining their undergraduate degree, there is the option to gain a postgraduate qualification, in the form of a Master’s degree; Masters of Arts (MA), or Masters of Science (MSc) or Masters of Pharmacy (MPharm) - which is different from a pharmacy undergraduate degree, a distance learning pharmacy degree and a part time pharmacy degree UK.