Master of Pharmacy (MPharm)


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The MPharm programme is a four year programme which aims to provide pharmacy education of excellent quality and focuses on producing future pharmacists who will promote the safe and effective use of medicines, ensuring patient and public safety at all times.

The new MPharm curriculum is an outcomes-focused curriculum designed to prepare students for their future professional practice. Teaching is integrated covering basic and applied science, clinical and professional practice, all in the context of patient care. Core themes of biological sciences, chemistry and drug delivery, and professional practice are taught within integrated modules based around body systems including: brain and psychiatry; heart and circulatory system; and the endocrine system. Using the body systems we break down barriers between the themes supporting you to learn more effectively. This will be supported by an increasing focus on practice-related learning, as evidenced by placements and in-house simulation-based learning, as well as additional practice experience provided in-house.


Each course includes lectures, seminars, laboratory work, small group work, practice based activities and assignments. There are also a number of placements throughout the programme, so you will benefit from both academic and practice-related environments.

The MPharm programme culminates in a sustained research project which constitutes one third of the final year of the programme.


Practice placements are an integral part of the MPharm programme. Placements are undertaken in both community and hospital pharmacy settings.

Students in Year 1 go out for 1 ½ days to community pharmacy, Year 2 students have three days hospital experience and 1 week in community pharmacy. Year 3 students go out for one week in hospital and one week to community and year 4 go out for a self-arranged two week placement in community, hospital, GP surgery or industry.


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.

Becoming a Pharmacist following a UK based course

After the successful completion of the course you will receive an MPharm degree. There are a number of further steps to go through before you will be able to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and practise as a qualified pharmacist in the UK.

Once you have completed an MPharm you will need to apply for a pre-registration year, this is where you will further develop the skills you gained during your degree as a paid employee in a professional environment. Entrance on a pre-registration year is competitive and there is no guarantee that you will receive a place. A proportion of these pre-registration places are with the NHS, but the majority of placements involve working with community pharmacists. Again, you should be aware that your place on the pre-registration year is not guaranteed as the number of available placements is dependent on different factors. One such factor is that the availability of pre-registration places offered by community pharmacies can vary from year to year. International students are also very likely to require a visa which can be dependent on meeting a number of conditions, including a minimum salary requirement.

After the completion of 52 weeks of pre-registration training, and subject to you passing the registration exam at the end of the training, you will be eligible to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and practise as a fully qualified pharmacist.


General Information

Award: MPharm
Length: 4 years full-time
Places: 120
Location: Medway School of Pharmacy, Chatham Maritime, Kent
Fees: £9,250 for home / EU students, or £16,974 for overseas students
UCAS code: B230

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.

External Funding

We expect to offer Bursaries for elegible students in 2018 from the Harold and Marjorie Moss Charitable Trust Fund Undergraduate Award - further details will be disseminated in May 2018. The trust fund was set up in 2002 with the aim of providing financial support to undergraduate pharmacy students in severe financial difficulties who would be unable to complete their studies without extra financial help.

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.

  • Students on the MPharm programme 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: B230

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 (seconded at least two days per week), 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 June 2008 and is now recognised as an established School of Pharmacy.

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 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.

Credits will be awarded for individual modules in which a mark of at least 40% has been achieved, thus indicating that the student has met the learning outcomes of the modules for at least a threshold pass. In order to progress to Stage 2 of the programme, a student will be required to gain 120 credits at Level 4 and pass all Stage 1 core modules.

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.

In order to progress to Stage 3 of the programme, a student will be required to gain 120 credits at Level 4 and pass all Stage 2 core modules. Credits will be awarded for modules in which a mark of at least 40% has been achieved, thus meeting the learning outcomes of the module.  The summative assessment results for Stage 2 will contribute 20% towards the classification of the final award.

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.

In order to progress to Stage 4 of the programme, a student will be required to gain 120 credits at Level 4 and pass all Stage 3 core modules. Credits will be awarded for modules in which a mark of at least 50% has been achieved, thus meeting the learning outcomes of the module.  The summative assessments at Stage 3 will contribute 30% towards the classification of the final award.

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.

In order to qualify for the award of the MPharm, a student will be required to gain 120 credits at Level 7. Credits will be awarded for modules in which a mark of at least 50% has been achieved, thus meeting the learning outcomes of the module. The summative assessments at Stage 4 will contribute 50% towards the classification of the final award.

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Police and health checks

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

Offer Levels

The MPharm degree is a four year full-time programme of study. Graduates are required to undertake and pass a registration examination before being permitted to register as a pharmacist in Great Britain.

  • All students are required to demonstrate basic literacy and numeracy skills as evidenced by GCSE grade 5 in English Language and grade 5 Mathematics.
  • 128 UCAS Tariff points, ABB at A2 level (including 2 science based subjects, one of which must be Chemistry).
  • (DDD) in BTEC National Diploma in Applied Science.
  • Scottish Highers:
    • AB at Advanced Higher level to include chemistry and 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 -Grades H2,H2 in chemistry and another science based subject and grades H3,H3,H3 in a further three subjects at Higher level. In addition we require grades 02 in both English and Maths at Ordinary level.
  • International Baccalaureate - An overall score of 32 points (15 at Higher Level), to include ≥ 5 in both Chemistry and one other science based subject.
  • Overseas applicants will be assessed on an individual basis based upon the UK Naric equivalent and must have an appropriate English language qualification and equivalent sciences background.
  • Alternative English Qualifications:
    IELTS at grade 7.0 in each category
    Cambridge English Advanced Certificate at grade B
  • Graduate Entry - applicants possessing a first degree in a relevant subject must have a minimum of a 2:1 classification to be considered. (Please see details regarding ELQ tuition fees)

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 28/01/2019