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Kosy Ata


Pharmaceutical Sciences for the Overseas Pharmacist Assessment Programme (OSPAP)

Kosy Ata was working in her home country of Nigeria as a pharmacist when she decided to relocate to the UK. She knew she couldn’t register as a pharmacist in the UK without first completing the OSPAP course, and after receiving a warm welcome at an Open Day, decided to study this at the University of Sunderland. She has found all of her modules very interesting, including her placements, which have been her favourite part of the course. She plans to work in hospital pharmacy.

I chose to study at University of Sunderland because of its renowned excellence in Pharmacy. In the beginning, while going through the University’s website during my search, I was happy and greatly encouraged to see that the courses offered by the University were well structured. I knew without a doubt that the University of Sunderland would perfectly suit my academic needs and at the same time avail me the opportunity to learn the most recent techniques and evidence-based practice in Pharmacy.

When I came for the open day, I loved the vibe, university environment, city and state-of-the-art facilities on the campus. Most importantly, the staff were supportive; the reception I got from the team during the open day was second to none! This cemented my decision to choose the University of Sunderland and thus decline offers I had received from the other universities I had applied to. Honestly, I was quite nervous and excited during my application process, but the admissions team was not only quick in their response, they were pleasant and kept me informed at every stage.

Prior to relocating to the UK and commencing my studies here, I had finished my undergraduate studies at the University of Nigeria, where I obtained my Bachelor of Pharmacy degree (B.Pharm). Afterwards, I practiced for a few years as a community and hospital Pharmacist. I knew I could neither register nor practice as a pharmacist here in the UK with my degree, so I had to do a conversion course known as the Overseas Pharmacist Assessment Programme (OSPAP) for about a year to enable me do so.

I found all my modules very interesting. The clinical lectures made me appreciate clinical pharmacy more as the tutors used various teaching methods to deliver the lectures. We had cases to discuss as groups; there were seminars; oral and poster presentations; all of which helped improve my problem solving, analytical and communication skills. As part of the course, I undertook placements. I found this to be my favorite part of the course as I was able to carry out these placements in different settings such as a hospital, community pharmacy and general practice. These placements enabled me to apply the knowledge I gained in class to real-life situations. The highlight of it was that I got to interact with the pharmacy team, patients and other healthcare professionals. There was also the interprofessional learning sessions where we got to work with students from other healthcare disciplines in the University to talk about/discuss clinical cases with patients. We had clinical skills classes where we learnt how to take medical history from patients, examine and diagnose certain conditions, and pharmacy law and dispensing classes where I was thoroughly taught about pharmacy legislation in the UK as well as dispensing of medicines in the simulated pharmacy.

My advice to prospective students is to create a balance between your academic and social life. Ensure you manage your time effectively and keep track of your deadlines for assignments and presentations. Attend classes regularly! Ask staff for more information on those difficult topics you didn’t understand in class as the staff are very approachable. Have group discussions with your peers (I found this particularly helpful) and make good use of the library as there are great resources there to help you. Read your lecture notes as they come and never let them accumulate.

I will be doing my pre-registration at a community pharmacy for a year as part of my training after which I will write my qualification exam. I intend to go into hospital pharmacy as I find it more exciting and it’s also an opportunity to get involved in making clinical decisions.

Overall, I had a fantastic experience at university. I made some good friends during the course of this journey. I cannot thank the staff and tutors enough for the excellent support. I will miss the calm atmosphere of the city. I am proud, glad and satisfied with my decision to study here at the University of Sunderland!”

Published 10 July 2020

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