The MPharm course is a stepping stone towards registration as a pharmacist. Pharmacists are experts in the use of medicines who provide medications to patients and help them understand what the medications are, and how they should be taken. A good pharmacist has mastery of scientific knowledge, clinical expertise and interpersonal communication.
Around 70% of our graduates will go on to work in community pharmacy. Most of the remainder work in primary or secondary care, or become industrial pharmacists or progress to research degrees.
- Community pharmacy: this involves working in pharmacies on high streets or in large stores. You will dispense prescriptions, deal with minor ailments, advise on the use of medicines and liaise with other health professionals
- Primary care: this involves working in General Practice surgeries, either as an employee of the Practice or the Primary Care Trust. Roles include Medicines Management Pharmacists, who are responsible for prescribing budgets and the development of prescribing directives
- Secondary care: this involves working in hospitals to supply medicines, manage clinics, provide drug information and prescribe medicines
- Industrial pharmacists are involved in areas such as Research & Development, Quality Assurance and product registration
- Research degrees can be undertaken in many aspects of pharmacy. Sunderland Pharmacy School offers excellent facilities and a wide range of research expertise
Financial rewards compare favourably with most other professions. Typical starting salaries for community pharmacists range from £21,000 - £35,000 depending on location, conditions of employment and experience. Currently there is virtually no unemployment of qualified pharmacists.
This course lasts for four years and you will graduate as a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm). The MPharm is the only qualification in the UK which leads to professional registration as a pharmacist.
To become eligible for registration as a pharmacist in the UK, you will need to undertake a further year of postgraduate training after the end of the course. This one-year course is known as the ‘pre-registration training year’. We offer this course at Sunderland: Pharmacy pre-registration training programme.
Once this pre-registration training year is complete, you will be qualified to sit the registration exam set by the General Pharmaceutical Council and start your career as a Pharmacist.
Although the MPharm is primarily a route to becoming a pharmacist, it can also open up many other career pathways where expertise in medicines is vital. Examples include chemical research and working in Research & Development industry.
We have well-established links with professionals working in all the main branches of pharmacy. Through these links we organise a programme of guest speakers who help you relate academic theory to current trends and issues.
Many of the staff teaching on this course are practitioners from hospital, community and primary care backgrounds. This ensures that our course is employer-led, and means that you will have regular contact with the ‘real world’ of the pharmacy profession.
We encourage you to undertake work experience during vacations. After the end of the course you will need to undertake a one-year placement as part of your pre-registration training. We offer considerable assistance and advice in securing a suitable placement.
We also organise visits to community and hospital pharmacies. We link these trips to specific modules so that you can see the practical application of the knowledge and skills you are learning. It’s all part of broadening your learning so that you’re prepared not just for exams but for life as a pharmacist in a clinical environment.
It is usually possible to take a module from the free University Language Scheme, which will earn credits towards your degree. The language module can be taken on top of or as part of the 120 credits needed to complete a year.
Language skills increase your international mobility and you can choose between French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese at a range of levels. If your first language is not English, please check with your tutor about entry requirements.
Staff and students talk about the benefits of the University Language Scheme:
Our Careers & Employability Service advertises a variety of opportunities to earn money while you study.
Volunteering positions in local organisations, charities and community groups can help you to help other people while learning about your strengths and what you can offer. Past opportunities have included working with children and the elderly, conservation work and sporting activities.
CES also advertises details of paid part-time and vacation work in areas from call centre and retail work through to telesales and marketing and promotion and more.
Opportunities to work with companies on flexible, paid, part-time projects in areas such as IT, design, law, media, HR and event management, to name a few, are available too. These projects are a great chance to gain valuable work experience.
The University of Sunderland is committed to ensuring that every student has an impressive range of opportunities to enhance their CV and gain valuable experience.
CV-enhancing opportunities include:
- Work placements
- Graduate internships
- Studying abroad
- Student Ambassador Scheme
- Starting your own business
- Student jobs and volunteering
- Careers advice
For full details, please see our Employability page.
Graduate James O'Brien talks about his experience as a Pharmacy student at the University of Sunderland:
Graduates Margaret and Arshina talk about their experience studying Pharmacy at the University of Sunderland: