Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) with Foundation Year

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  • The MPham Foundation Year prepares you for Master of Pharmacy study if you don’t have the right qualifications for direct entry to the four-year degree course.
  • This programme offers a dedicated support for students to develop as both scientists and practitioners
  • Develop your academic and clinical skills to enhance your employability after graduation
  • Study at a school with one of the best pre-registration exam rates* – top 3 in Southeast England, East England and Greater London! (*2018 pre-Reg results)

The foundation year will help you adapt to the higher education system and to develop and embed key academic and employability skills. Students will be accepted from a wide range of educational backgrounds and each application will be considered individually. Entry to the four-year MPharm course is dependent on you:

1. Achieving 60% in each of the foundation year modules

2. Successfully completing a selection event which will occur in the university’s resit period (you will be advised when this is)

3. Demonstrating the professional requirements to study on the full MPharm programme prior to registration on stage 1. These are summarised below:

      a. Complete a full Health and Vaccination Declaration

      b. Complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS)

      c. Make a Fitness to Practise Declaration annually

Students who achieve between 50 and 59% in each module may be offered progression to other BSc (Hons) programmes.


The MPharm Foundation Year curriculum involves a combination of: (i) formal lecture-based learning; (ii) laboratory practicals to complement material taught in lectures and to emphasise key principles with practical demonstrations; (iii) seminar-based question and answer sessions to facilitate in-depth understanding of key concepts. Teaching covers basic science and clinical and professional practice.

Core modules of biology, chemistry, mathematics, biochemistry, pharmacology and laboratory/professional practice are taught in modules at Level 3.


In the MPharm Foundation Year, the development of a basic understanding of the roles and the responsibilities of a pharmacist and the development of practical skills relating to pharmacy will take place in-house at Medway School of Pharmacy, which includes state-of-the-art, simulated environment for a hospital ward and fully equipped pharmacy.

Practice placements are an integral part of the MPharm programme and start in Stage 1.


Assessment includes written examinations at the end of each year. All courses also have continuous assessment that contributes the remainder of the overall course mark. Continuous assessments include practical dispensing examinations, objective structured clinical examinations, presentations (individual and group), written reports, assessment of laboratory notebooks, case studies, essays and multiple-choice questions. Final honours classification is calculated from: 20% of Stage 2 overall grade, 30% of Stage 3 overall grade and 50% of stage 4 overall grade.


General Information

Award: MPharm
Length: 5 years full-time
Places: 60
Location: Medway School of Pharmacy, Chatham Maritime, Kent
Fees: Please refer to our Fees and Finance page
UCAS code: B231


Yearly fee increases

For students continuing on their courses, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated. Where fees are regulated (such as by the Department of Business Innovation and Skills or Research Council UK) they will be increased by an amount up to the permitted increase.

Other Costs

New students will be subject to a number of small mandatory costs at the start of their course of around £100 in total.

  • Once you progress onto the Stage 1 on the MPharm programme, you must complete the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check as part of the fitness to practise and admission process. This is currently charged at £53.
  • We ask that all students purchase lab coats, safety glasses and a notebook at a cost price of £18.
  • Our students use an 'audience-response' device to enable them to participate at lectures and workshops for which we charge a £35 refundable deposit.

UCAS Codes

MPharm course code is B231

Please note the institution code to apply to the Medway School of Pharmacy is M62.


Innovative new teaching facilities including clinical skills laboratory, an extensive network of teacher practitioners, leading edge research academics, and a programme which is based on a three-pronged thematic model integrated around selected body systems.

Professional recognition

The school obtained full accreditation from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) in 2013.

Disability and Diversity

The school is committed to achieving equality of opportunity for all applicants, students and staff. Consequently the school complies with all relevant legislation.


MPharm programme structure

Stage 0 - Foundation Year

During the foundation year, students study six 15-credit courses and one 30-credit courses.

Students will be introduced to the foundational level of chemistry for pharmacy, molecules, cells and body systems (cell biology, biochemistry, physiology and pharmacology), basic numeracy, academic study skills and the basic professional skills required for pharmacy.

Academic Study Skills for University (15 credits)

The aim of this module is to help students to identify personal strengths and weaknesses in relation to their studies and to develop the ability to identify appropriate actions to enhance personal competencies in relation to future career and academic study. This module will equip students with the ability to: i) Use a variety of information sources, both working in learning groups and independently for assessments; ii) Plan, organise and structure work that is coherent, fluent and grammatically accurate; iii) Use appropriate referencing systems for all academic work and understand how to use the available literature without plagiarising; iv) Write effectively using academic conventions such as essays, formal reports and laboratory report.

Essentials in Biological Sciences (15 credits)

This course will cover aspects of basic biology at the cellular and sub-cellular level.  Upon completion of this module, students will be able to: i) Demonstrate an understanding the importance and specific roles of biological molecules; ii) Describe the differences between viruses, prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, and explain the function of their relevant organelles; iii) Describe the different transport and exchange mechanisms in animal cells; iv) Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms; v) Demonstrate an understanding the concept of energy transfers in and between organisms; and vi) Demonstrate an understanding of how organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments.

Essentials in Chemical Sciences (15 credits)

This course aims to provide students with essential knowledge and understanding of concepts of chemistry, and the skills needed for the use of these in context of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science. Upon completion of this module, students will be able to: i) Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic chemical concepts in the area of physical and organic chemistry; ii) Demonstrate a basic understanding of atomic structure, bonding and basic reaction mechanisms in organic chemistry in relation drug action; iii) Demonstrate an understanding of the representation of molecular structure and basic stereochemistry; iv) Develop an understanding of solution equilibria, the rates of chemical reactions and the factors that affect them and v) Gain significant practical and report writing skills in pharmaceutical chemistry.

Numeracy for Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (15 credits)

This course will cover the basic aspects of simple and complex (level appropriate) mathematical       calculations in the context of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences. Upon completion of this module, students will be able to: i) Demonstrate an ability to collect, summarise and appraise numerical and basic statistical data; ii) Demonstrate basic competence in summarising data and iii) Establish learning skills required for Level 4 study.

Introduction to Laboratory Practice (15 credits)

This course aims to introduce students to the basic laboratory skills, to explain the basic understanding of the health and safety in the workplace and relevant legislation and to explain the fundamental understanding of basic science skills such as GLP, keeping a laboratory notebook, making and recording measurements, identifying sources of error etc. Upon completion of this module, students will be able to: i) Have an appreciation of the importance of Health and Safety in the laboratory; ii) Demonstrate a range of fundamental laboratory/industry skills with an aptitude to develop others in the future; iii) Demonstrate the ability to use scientific method to test an hypothesis or theory; and iv) Demonstrate the ability to generate, evaluate, interpret and present practical work.

Introduction to Pharmacology (15 credits)

This course aims to introduce students to the basic concepts of pharmacology with an emphasis on the understanding of what is meant by the term ‘drug target’ and how this relates to drug interaction with cell signalling, how receptors can mediate cell signalling and how drugs alter cell signalling by binding to receptors. Students will in this module also gain a general understanding of the drug discovery/development pipeline.

Introduction to Pharmacy Skills (30 credits)

This module aims to provide the foundation for the Practitioner and Patient track, which is later integrated into Stages 1-4 of the MPharm programme. Students will develop a basic understanding of the roles and the responsibilities of a pharmacist, practical skills relating to pharmacy and the ability to undertake these skills in a simulated environment including dealing with health-related enquiries from members of the public. Importantly, this module will provide students with understanding of the legal framework that cover medicines and pharmacy; and with knowledge and understanding of the documentary evidence and practice required to support a safe and effective pharmacy environment.

Stage 1 - Introductory Principles

During the first year, students study four 30-credit courses.

Students will be introduced to the foundational sciences of medicinal products (pharmaceutics and chemistry for pharmacy), molecules, cells and body systems (cell biology, biochemistry, physiology and pharmacology) and the professional skills required for pharmacy within a legal and ethical framework for practice.

Medicinal Products (Pharmaceutics and Chemistry for Pharmacy) (30 credits)

The aim of this course is to provide students with a detailed knowledge and understanding of certain aspects of pharmaceutical chemistry and pharmaceutics which relate to the synthesis, pharmacological activity and formulation of drugs.

This will provide the underpinning knowledge necessary to understand the medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutics as well as the mechanism of drug action and the chemical origins of toxicity covered in the integrated courses at Stages 2 and 3.

Molecules, Cells and Body Systems (Cell Biology and Biochemistry) (30 credits)

This course will cover aspects of basic biology at the cellular and sub-cellular level in order to provide a knowledge base to underpin the integrated courses to ensure an understanding of drug action at the cellular level. In addition, the course will provide an introduction to anti-pathogenic agents and will provide the underpinning knowledge necessary to understand the molecular basis of the treatment of selected genetic diseases.

Molecules, Cells and Body Systems (Physiology and Pharmacology) (30 credits)

This course aims to provide students with a detailed knowledge and understanding of human anatomy and physiology of the major body systems. In addition, selected examples of pathophysiology will introduce the concept of disease and the role of non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions.

The course will also provide an introduction to the pharmacological basis of drug action, which will include the underpinning knowledge necessary to develop a deep understanding of the pharmacology and therapeutics covered within the integrated courses.

Introduction to Pharmacy (Professional Skills Development, Law and Ethics) (30 credits)

This course aims to provide the foundation for the Practitioner and Patient track, which is integrated into all four years of the MPharm programme. Students will be given an introduction to the General Pharmaceutical Council and to dispensing, including the legal and ethical responsibilities of pharmacists. The course also introduces students to the concept of continuing professional development with the formation of a reflective portfolio.

Stage 2 - Medicines and Disease

During the second year, students will study three 40-credit integrated courses

Medicines and Disease (Heart, Renal, Endocrine, Nutrition) (40 credits)

Medicines and Disease (Joints, Infection, Lungs, Cancer, Skin) (40 credits)

Medicines and Disease (Brain, Psychiatry, Eyes) (40 credits)

In the second year, students will start to learn about the management and treatment of a core list of clinical conditions organised into three themes and utilising a core list of commonly prescribed medicines. These integrated courses will combine content from the pharmaceutical, biological and clinical disciplines. Additionally, students will be exposed to a variety of clinical practice experiences on-site and in community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy sites. The ethical, legal, professional and social issues relevant to professional practice and the patient-pharmacist relationship will be integrated into these courses. The courses promote an awareness of patients as individuals in order that the pharmacist may meet healthcare needs as appropriate. The courses also examine the role of the non-medical prescriber in the context of the NHS and the wider healthcare team.

Stage 3 - Integrated Therapeutics

During the third year, students will study three 40-credit integrated courses

Integrated Therapeutics (Heart, Renal, Endocrine, Nutrition) (40 credits)
Integrated Therapeutics (Joints, Infection, Lungs, Cancer, Skin) (40 credits)
Integrated Therapeutics (Brain, Psychiatry, Eyes) (40 credits)

Themes from the second year will be revisited in a progressive manner, and students will be supported to extend their knowledge and skills by learning about medicines use in complex patients with co-morbidities, from paediatrics through to end of life.

Within these courses, students will further advance their knowledge and understanding of medicines design and manufacture in the context of the themes being delivered.

Interprofessional learning opportunities will be provided to students through annual conferences involving students from a range of health disciplines on the Medway Campus. In addition, interaction with a multidisciplinary healthcare team during placements will also support students’ acquisition of advanced practice skills and transferable skills such as team work, communication and lifelong learning skills.

Stage 4 - Research and Application

Stage 4 is taught at Master’s level, and students will study two core courses and one advanced science elective:

Sustained Research Project (40 credits)

This course aims to provide an opportunity to integrate pharmacy-related cognitive abilities and skills, pharmacy-related practical skills and acquired transferable skills developed through the initial three years of the programme into a sustained research project.

Integrated Patient Care (60 credits)

The aim of this course is to prepare the student for the transition into pharmacy practice after graduation. This will require the student to demonstrate problem-solving abilities and rational decision making in a practice framework, including professional accountability and responsibility. The course will cover developments in pharmacy legislation taught in previous years and other legislation and policy relevant to the practising pharmacist. In addition, the student will develop skills in ethical decision making and be able to apply these to practical situations. Through the journal club and associated seminars, the student will put transferable skills relating to interpretation and translation of recent research findings into practice.

The course will also focus on common therapeutic areas which pharmacists encounter in everyday practice. Students will develop an ability to undertake medication reviews in complex situations by taking account of patient, disease and drug factors, making sound judgements in the absence of complete data. A critical awareness and understanding of seminal research and current issues associated with advances in therapeutics are key learning outcomes. The course will cover therapeutic concepts dealing with some disorders of the endocrine system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, genitourinary systems, central nervous system, common infections, gastro-intestinal system, fluid balance, clinical nutrition and the skin.

Advanced science elective (20 credits)

Students undertake one elective (four examples given below):

Advanced Neuroscience

In this elective course, students explore the impact of recent developments and current advances in neuroscience. They study a series of components relating to neurobiology and neuropharmacology which covers the impact of new research on our understanding of the physiology and pharmacology of the nervous system, diseases of the nervous system and how they might be treated.

Advanced Cell and Molecular Biology

The aim of this elective course is for students to gain a comprehensive understanding of current problems and new insights into cell and molecular biology in relation to disease and treatment.

The course will cover the impact of new research on our understanding of fundamental biological processes in relation to cancer, infection control and allergic inflammation. The emphasis of lectures will be on how basic science is translated into diagnostics and therapy.

Advanced Therapeutic Agents

This course aims to extend the learning from the first three years of the programme and to expose students to the forefront of pharmaceutical sciences. It will also enable them to study a subject of interest in greater depth, such as the field of novel therapeutic agents.

Advanced Drug Delivery Technologies

This elective is intended to provide students with advanced knowledge of certain aspects of drug delivery. Drug delivery systems such as liposomes, nanoparticles, polymers and monoclonal antibodies will be used to illustrate and critically discuss the challenges and benefits associated with these carriers in the context of drug, protein, peptide and gene delivery.

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Police and health checks

Registration will be subject to satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and relevant health checks.

Entry Criteria

Applications for this programme will be welcomed from mature students and students who have been disadvantaged during their secondary education or have non-traditional qualifications. We will welcome applications from NVQ Level 3 qualified Pharmacy Technicians who have successfully completed ACCESS courses in an appropriate subject (e.g. science).

The following are the typical routes of entry into the MPharm with Foundation Year programme, but note that every application will be considered on an individual basis, and no particular route is preferred above the others:

School/College leavers who have reached 17 years on admission taking A/AS Levels

  • DDD in A Level science subjects or BTEC national extended diplomas in Applied Science
  • Plus GCSE Maths and English Language grade 4 or above

Applicants with BTEC national diplomas and BTEC national extended certificates - please contact us directly in order to supply information regarding specific units studied.

Alternative qualifications

Scottish Higher

BB at Advanced Higher with preference for Biology and/or Chemistry or one other pure science based subject and BB at Higher Level in two additional subjects; and relevant qualifications in English language and maths.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Grade H4 in three subjects and H5 in two subjects at Higher level. In addition, we require grades 03 in both English and Maths at Ordinary level.

EU Students

International baccalaureate: offers normally in the range 26 to 30 points (12 to 14 at higher level, preferably in sciences (e.g. chemistry, biology, physics).

European baccalaureate: Applicants will be considered on an individual basis.

Mature and overseas students

Graduate entry: applicants with a first degree in a relevant subject must have a 2:2 or above.

You must have an appropriate Englsigh language qualification and an appropriate science background.

Alternative English language qualifications: IELTS at grade 7.0 in each category, Cambridge English Advanced Certificate at grade B.

The Medway School of Pharmacy welcomes students with vocational qualifications and/or relevant work experience and will continue to judge each student on his/her individual merits.

All applicants will be considered on a case-by case basis and wherever appropriate, candidates might be interviewed before being offered a place on the course. Overseas applicants with qualifications obtained in their home country will be judged on merit on a case-by-case basis by the Admissions Tutor in consultation with the admissions tutor and/or admissions manager.

UCAS institution code: M62

UCAS course code: B231

Applicants will be expected to apply through UCAS.

For any enquires, admissions or otherwise, please contact Pharmacy Admissions

Tel: +44 (0) 1634 202935
Fax: +44 (0) 1634 883927

Copyright © Medway School of Pharmacy
Last Updated 04/11/2019