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Pharmacy courses

Would you like to be an expert on medicines and how to use them effectively? Pharmacists prepare, dispense and give advice about medicines and drugs, working in community pharmacies, hospitals, the pharmaceutical industry and university research posts. This four-year course involves in-depth study of pharmaceutical chemistry and medical science with hands-on-learning - either on placement or in simulated patient situations. You need to have an aptitude for sciences, particularly chemistry, and enjoy communicating with the public.

Studying pharmacy at university

Example course modules

  • Dispensing competence
  • Responding to symptoms
  • Cell and molecular biology
  • Pharmaceutical chemistry
  • Advances in drug therapy
  • Drugs discovery and delivery
  • Foundations in pharmacy practice
  • Inflammation, cancer and infection
  • Pharmaeceutics

Teaching hours / week

Average for this subject


Average for all subjects

The time you'll spend in lectures and seminars each week will vary from university to university, so use this as a guide.

More on studying and contact hours at uni

Who studies this subject

  • Female : 67%
    Male : 33%
  • Mature : 14%
    School leaver : 86%
  • Full-time : 95%
    Part-time : 5%

What students say about pharmacy

What you need to get on a course

Subjects you need

A-levels (or equivalent) usually required

  • Chemistry
  • Biology

Useful to have

  • Physics
  • Mathematics

Application checklist

Here's a guide to what to expect from the application process - also check individual university entry requirements, as these may differ.

  • January application
  • October application
  • Personal statement
  • Portfolio
  • Interview
  • Entry test
  • Work experience
  • Audition

Personal statement advice

Your personal statement is a core part of your university application, and getting it just right takes time. Before you start work on yours, take a look at our five quick tips on writing a personal statement. We'll help you past that writer's block!

Career prospects

Sources: HECSU & KIS
Although there have been some concerns expressed about whether opportunities have kept pace with a subject that has rapidly increased in popularity, unemployment rates for pharmacy grads are ultra-low and over 95% of working pharmacy graduates had jobs as pharmacists (mostly as retail pharmacists) six months after they left their courses; telling you that these are degrees in demand.
Professional and accrediting bodies:

Six months after graduating

Typical graduate job areas
  • Health professionals

Longer term career paths

Jobs where this degree is useful

  • Quality assurance scientist
  • Packaging engineer
  • Regulatory affairs officer

Other real-life job examples

  • Retail pharmacist
  • Analytical scientist
  • Pharmacologist

What employers like about this subject

A degree in pharmacy will help you to develop a range of subject-specific skills including an understanding of the principles, design and manufacture of medicines; the law and ethics of the supply of medicines and knowledge of pharmaceutical analysis. Transferable skills a pharmacy graduate will develop include communication, data evaluation and commercial awareness. Pharmacists are usually employed in pharmacy stores, either as a part of retail chains, or (less common than in the past) as their own business, for hospitals, for medical practices, and in the pharmaceutical industry.