Pharmacy (MPharm)

Our MPharm programme is delivered in the Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which is internationally renowned for the quality of its teaching and research.

Pharmacy students

It is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) of Great Britain as a route of entry to the profession of Pharmacy.

A strong academic degree, integrating science with therapeutics and clinical practice and incorporating hospital and community placements, together with planned inter-professional learning with medical students makes our graduates popular with employers.

The School is undoubtedly one of the best in the UK, year after year being at or near the top of national league tables.

Key facts

UCAS CodeB230
Entry pointSeptember 2016
Duration4 years
AccreditationsGeneral Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
Typical places availableThe School typically has around 120 places available
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives around 580 applications
Typical A level offerABB/AAB, including Chemistry and at least one other science subject, preferably Biology, Mathematics or Physics
Typical Welsh Baccalaureate offerWBQ core will be accepted in lieu of the non Science A-level (at the grades specified above).
Typical International Baccalaureate offer34 points including a score of 6 in Chemistry, and Physics, Mathematics or Biology at Higher Level
Other qualificationsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

Detailed alternative entry requirements are available for this course.
QAA subject benchmark


Admissions tutor(s)

Dr Allan Cosslett, Course Administrator

Dr Allan Cosslett, Admissions Tutor

Important Legal Information: The programme information currently being published in Course Finder is under review and may be subject to change. The final programme information is due to be published by May 2016 and will be the definitive programme outline which the University intends to offer. Applicants are advised to check the definitive programme information after the update, to ensure that the programme meets their needs.

Our School is one of the smaller pharmacy schools in the UK and retains a strong and supportive 'family' atmosphere among staff, current students and alumni (former students). In this regard, having our own Redwood Building, named after the first professor of pharmacy in the UK, greatly helps. Nearly all classes take place in Redwood and students are well provided for in terms of study and social space for use between classes. You get your own locker for coats, umbrellas and books you do not want to be carrying around. There is an active pharmacy student society, the Welsh Pharmaceutical Students Association, which arranges social and sporting events and operates a buddy system for newly joining students. Of course the main reason you will be coming to Cardiff will be to study pharmacy. We think both are good choices, Cardiff and pharmacy.

Pharmacists are experts in the field of drugs and medicines, and many now prescribe medicines independently of a doctor. They may be involved in any aspect of drug/medicines preparation and use, from discovery to supply to the patient, while many have a role in optimising drug therapy. This means that once qualified as a pharmacist you have a wide choice of career options in hospitals and community practice, industry and research in the UK or elsewhere in the World. Latest figures show that 100% of our graduates seeking pharmacy employment achieve that goal. A few others choose immediately to go on to further study with us or elsewhere or choose other career options for which a pharmacy degree has given them a broad health and life sciences grounding.

On our four-year programme, you will learn about the discovery and development of new drugs; about their chemical, physicochemical, pharmacological and toxicological properties; you will study the clinical uses of medicines and the role of the pharmacist in relation to other healthcare professions. You will learn about the underlying pathophysiology of many human diseases, and how the use of medicines can halt, slow the progression of, or reverse disease processes. You will study in a thriving intellectual environment, alongside leading research programmes, and a variety of postgraduate and professional courses in the pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.


The programme is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council, and following graduation and a successful pre-registration year in practice, you will qualify to register as a pharmacist. The UK pharmacy qualification is recognised throughout Europe; UK pharmacists are eligible to practise in any EU country, and in many other countries around the World.

I chose to study Pharmacy as the course includes all the subjects I enjoyed at school. The course is wide ranging and prepares us for a specific career. The standard of teaching is great, and the lecturers are very helpful and the course is structured fairly.

Anest Jones, Pharmacy student

Year one

Year two

Module titleModule codeCredits
Formulation Science IPH210730 credits
Professional DevelopmentPH20000 credits
Drug DispositionPH220310 credits
Clinical and Professional PharmacyPH211030 credits
Diseases and Drugs IPH211330 credits
Principles of Drug DesignPH211220 credits

Year three

Year four

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

The Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences' overall objective is to encourage students to become independent learners, able to undertake and understand new challenges in the use of medicines and in healthcare, and to respond to them effectively. The School's teaching staff supports students in achieving this independence, so that they develop their intellectual, scientific and clinical skills and knowledge progressively over the course.


Students are taught, learn and assessed through a combination of lectures, practical classes, workshops, practice placements and seminars. These are complemented by individual and group assignments and, of course, directed independent study. Study will become more demanding as students progress. The School's teaching is supported by a substantial element of web-based and other learning resources, to which students have access throughout their studies, particularly through the University's virtual learning environment, Learning Central.


Progress in each module is assessed during and at the end of the semester(s) in which it is taught. Most modules include formative assessments (assessments which do not count towards the module mark) that are intended to assist understanding and to provide students and tutors with an indication of progress. Methods of summative assessment (assessments which count towards the module mark) are varied; essay assignments, multiple-choice question examinations, conventional written examinations, assessed presentations and practical/skills tests are all used as appropriate.


The Personal Tutor System is a central part of student support within the School. The role of the personal tutor is to monitor academic progress and to help tutees understand feedback from assessments. Just as importantly they are there to give advice to tutees regarding non-academic matters, acting as the first point of contact and a gateway to the student support services provided by the University and the Students' Union. Each student is assigned a deputy as well as a main personal tutor, so that if the main tutor is unavailable they may see the deputy.

In 2012, 100% of the School's graduates were in employment within six months of graduation. Employers included: hospital pharmacies, community pharmacies, research institutions and pharmaceutical companies.


  • Clinical Pharmacist
  • Community Pharmacist
  • Industrial Pharmacist
  • Researcher
  • Pharmacy Manager

Student Code of Conduct and Fitness to Practise

In view of the vocational orientation of the MPharm degree, the GPhC has introduced a Student Code of Conduct and Fitness to Practise procedures in schools of pharmacy. These principles and procedures came into force in 2010.

One consequence is that our students must undergo regular checks to establish that they are of good character. These include Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks. Failure to undergo such a check will result in a student being unable to join or complete the course.

The GPhC produces its own literature and has its own webpages devoted to the Code of Conduct, Fitness to Practise and pharmacist registration, covering what it means to be a pharmacist and career opportunities in Pharmacy.

You can contact the General Pharmaceutical Council by post or email.

For further information click here.

N.B. The GPhC will carry out its own health, good character and identity checks when students complete their training and apply to register with the regulatory body. These checks relate solely to registration and are in addition to any checks carried out during previous study, pre-registration training or employment. The GPhC may not register a student if a check is failed, even if they have passed previous checks.

The GPhC will NOT offer prospective registration advice.


4 Year(s)

Next intake

September 2016

Places available

Typical places available

The School admits 120 students each year to its undergraduate degree programmes

Applications received

Typical applications received



QAA subject benchmark

QAA subject benchmark


Overview and aims of this course/programme

Study of the science and practice of pharmacy in preparation for post-graduate training to become a pharmacist or for other career avenues in health, science or education.  The programme is designed to meet the requirements for accreditation by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).and draws on the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) subject benchmark for pharmacy.

What should I know about year five?

Pharmacy students are engaged on a full-time course of study.  They are expected to attend all classes, 15-20 hours per week on average depending on the year of study, and to undertake an approximately equal amount of time engaged in private study.  It is mandatory that they attend all coursework classes: that is, practical classes, workshops and computer-aided learning classes; and all examinations and other assessments (diagnotic and formative as well as summative).  Registers are taken for all mandatory classes and assessments.  Repeated failure to attend will ultimately result in the student being excluded from the programme.  Suitable adjustments but no exemption will be made for disabled students or for students subject to maternity or paternity.  If a student knows they are going to be or have been absent from a class or classes then they must self-certificate for such absence (at the Undergraduate Office, Redwood Room 1.01) for periods up to seven calendar days (five work days).  For absence from any examination or class test or for absence from classes of more than seven calendar days, a medical certificate or other appropriate documentation must be supplied.  In all circumstances of absence the student must inform his/her personal tutor and the UG Office staff of the occurrence and of what is happening.  Further information about student attendance is available in the MPharm Handbook.  If there is an occurrence or situation that comprises a student's ability to undertake assessments or examinations then they should make a claim of extenuating circumstances, following the advice and using the form in the MPharm Handbook or accessible via the University intranet.

All pharmacy students in Great Britain are subject to the Student Fitness to Practise requirements promulgated by the GPhC.  Their health must not compromise patient safety or well-being and therefore pharmacy students of the School are subject to a health questionnaire, necessary vaccinations and any necessary expert assessment by the University Occupational Health unit.  With regard to behaviour, you will be subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service check early in the programme.  You must cooperate in the DBS checking process.  Any cases of suspected inappropriate conduct arising from a DBS check or otherwise will be addressed using the University’s Students’ Fitness to Practise Procedure, which can be referred to at   Consequently, students must familiarise themselves with and abide by the Code of Conduct for Pharmacy Students issued by the GPhC jointly with the Pharmacy Schools Council and the British Pharmaceutical Students Association, available at  They must also produce a signed disclaimer form at entry to the programme and each year thereafter relating to convictions or other behaviour which the GPhC might classify as misconduct.

The fundamental principles of the Code of Conduct are that for a student, s/he must

  1. Make patients your first concern
  2. Use your professional judgement in the interests of patients and the public
  3. Show respect for others
  4. Encourage patients and the public to participate in decisions about their care
  5. Develop your professional knowledge and competence
  6. Be honest and trustworthy
  7. Take responsibility for your working practices

Students are also expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study.

Communication between the student, the School and the University is very important.  You, the student, must check your University email account frequently during term-time and at least once a week at other times and you must check your ‘pigeon hole’ for mail or messages at least once a week during term time.

How is this course/programme structured?

The programme is modular and credit bearing (120 credits per academic year).  Since the programme leads, after subsequent pre-registration training, to registration as a pharmacist and is regulated, through accreditation, by the GPhC, all modules are required modules and must be passed: the MPharm award is made only upon achievement of the full 480 credits from the full set of required modules.

What should I know about year four?

Any protective or special clothing and equipment required will be supplied by the University.

Reasonable travel and other expenses incurred in making visits away from the University required as part of the programme will be reimbursed.

Each student will provided with a locker in the School's Redwood Building.

One Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check of each student will be organised and paid for by the School.


What should I know about year three?

Formal expectations upon students of the health professions are broad and some way beyond knowledge and understanding of their subject area.  These wider expectations have been rehearsed above.  However, there is yet more that the individual student can do for his or her personal development and hence ‘marketability’ to employers and usefulness to society.  The School supports and encourages students to improve their information technology skills, their mentoring skills of more junior students or other pharmacy team members and their engagement in the ‘life’ of the profession through participation in local pharmacy evening meetings or conferences of the British Pharmaceutical Students Association or the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation further afield.

The School fosters and promotes opportunities for ERASMUS international exchange visits of students and funded summer placements in its laboratories for undergraduates.

What should I know about the preliminary year?

Teaching predominantly comprises lectures, practical classes and workshops.  The Learning Central virtual learning environment is used to support all MPharm modules.  Computer-aided learning (CAL) is a feature of some practical classes and workshops.  Some lecture and workshop classes are dedicated to group feedback: the furnishing of advice as to where students collectively are doing well or less well and for the latter, how they might improve.  Individual feedback predominantly arises from diagnostic, formative and summative assessments

There are pharmacy practice placements for all students in all years of the programme, including a number of days, circa five in total, spent in community pharmacies and, in Year 3, a week in a NHS hospital pharmacy. There are also a number of whole or half-day role-emerging placements in other health and social care settings; here again these are for all students  Dependent on their study choices, there are opportunities for some students to undertake additional placements in patient or social care environments or visits to or placements in pharmaceutical industry establishments.  There is inter-professional education (IPE) with medical students in all years of the programme; joint clinical skills workshops concentrating particularly on patient safety and on the safe and effective use of medicines.  There is also IPE with optometry students in Year 1.  As well as encountering patients and other health practitioners during placements and IPE, patients, doctors, nurses and allied professionals contribute to learning in the university classroom.  By all of these approaches, students are given both a scientific grounding in pharmacy and an orientation to and preparation for a career as a health care practitioner.

Practice placements and IPE facilitate students’ applications for pharmacy work experience and for pre-registration training places.

After a research methods module in Year 3, all students undertake a research, scholarly or practice-development project in Year 4, as a manifestation of research-led higher education and in preparation for being a future user of research in evidence-based practice, a research practitioner during and following study for a PhD or, for some graduates, eventually as a research leader, such as a Principal Investigator.

There is a particular emphasis in the design and delivery of the programme on progression towards independent learning in preparation for life-long learning and continuing professional development (CPD: which pharmacists are required to evidence no less frequently than every five years).  Consequently, directed private study and advised wider learning are features of all modules.  In each year of the programme, students are supported and required to produce records of their CPD activity and also of Personal Development Planning (PDP) and execution for specific competency or skills acquistion.

What should I know about year one?


Progress in each module is assessed during and at the end of the semester(s) in which they are taught.  Many modules include formative or diagnostic assessments (assessments which do not count towards the module mark) which are intended to assist understanding and to provide students with an indication of their progress.  Methods of summative assessment (assessments which count towards the module mark) are varied; essay assignments, multiple-choice question tests, conventional written examinations, assessed presentations, and objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) and other practical/skills tests are all used as appropriate.

The programme leads, after subsequent pre-registration training, to registration as a pharmacist and is regulated, through accreditation, by the GPhC.  Consequently, there are capabilities or competencies that all students must evidence at a satisfactory level to be allowed to progress through and achieve the final award of the programme.  For pharmaceutical calculations, dispensing and clinical assessments students must achieve at pass marks higher than 40%.  Such cases are clearly stated in the schedules of assessment for each year of study within the set of module descriptions for that year.


Formative feedback is given in tutorials, discussion classes and problem-solving classes as well as through individual written comments on coursework.

Other information

You will be provided with an enrolment and induction programme in the week immediately prior to the commencement of formal teaching and learning.  You will be provided with an MPharm Handbook together with copies of the Code of Conduct for Pharmacy Students (in Great Britain) and the School Safety Handbook.  You will be provided with a laboratory coat and a locker with key for the duration of your time with us.  It is your responsibility to wash the laboratory coat and to return the locker key when your time as a student is completed.  Most importantly, you will be provided with a timetable of classes in enrolment and induction week in September of each year.  All modules are supported by ‘electronic’ content on the University’s virtual learning environment. Learning Central.  You will be instructed as to how to access Learning Central and your University email and Student Information Management System (SIMS) accounts.


You will have access to the School Undergraduate Office (Redwood Room 1.01) to make enquiries, complete administrative processes and to pick up forms and other important documents.  The ‘pigeon holes’ for undergraduate student mail are just outside this Office.

The personal tutor system is a vital and central part of student support within the School. The role of the personal tutor is to monitor overall academic progress and to provide feedback and advice to tutees.  Tutors also provide personal support and academic guidance, acting where appropriate as the first point of contact and a gateway to the student support services provided by the University and the Students’ Union.  Information discussed with a personal tutor may be documented in a personal tutor’s notes.  Confidentiality will be maintained unless there are implications for patients’ or the public’s safety or well-being.  You will be assigned a tutor and deputy tutor at first enrolment in Year 1.  Normally these persons will be your tutor and deputy tutor throughout your time as a student.  Here again, there is more information in the MPharm Handbook.

Module leaders are contactable and make themselves available to answer student questions and address their difficulties with study of their module.

Distinctive features

Graduates from this programme will be able to:

  1. evidence and apply a systematic knowledge and understanding of the scientific, clinical, professional, social, legal and ethical aspects of the use and misuse of medicinal agents
  2. evidence a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights in pharmacy, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of pharmaceutical science and practice
  3. evidence and apply understanding of techniques applicable to research or advanced scholarship
  4. demonstrate the application of knowledge to practice
  5. evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in pharmaceutical science and practice
  6. evaluate research methodologies and develop critiques of them
  7. communicate effectively with patients, the public and other members of the healthcare team
  8. supply medicines dependably in accordance with pharmacy knowledge, legislation, professional conduct and with other aspects of pharmacy law and ethics
  9. undertake continuing professional development and independent learning
  10. undertake preregistration training and thereby qualify as a pharmacist in Great Britain

How will I be taught?

Underlying principles of the MPharm programme:-

1. teaching is designed in accordance with learners' needs and is aligned to explicit learning outcomes.

2. teaching and learning are designed to foster the attitudes, behaviours and skills development of a future health professional.

3. teaching and learning are informed by research and current practice and are evidence-based.

4. teaching and learning activities will include both didactic and participative methods that promote individual learning for the future healthcare professional.

5. assessment is built into the learning sequence in addition to establishing what has been learned by the end.

6. all teachers take personal responsibility for the quality of their contributions to the provision of students' education experience.

Distinctive features of the School:-

A. a long-established institution with a record of success.

B. students learning in a research-led institution serviced by a staff rated highly for research in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

C. an academic staff  with a broad range of experience and expertise, many of whom are pharmacists, and all of whom are involved in teaching.

D. the involvement of teacher-practitioners from community, hospital, primary care and industrial pharmacy as well as visiting lecturers with expertise in these and other areas, such as pharmaceutical public health and the regulation of pharmacy.

E. an active student society arranging numerous social, sporting and other events for its members.

F. a student : staff consultative committee, the Undergraduate Student : Staff  Panel.

G. full access for pharmacy students to all resource centres in the University: the School staff and students have excellent instruction and support from our subject librarians in the Bute library, who lead induction and skills-enhancement classes on accessing and citing published information.

H. final year MPharm students presenting their research project findings at a ‘School  Research Poster Day’ and the inclusion of project abstracts in a published research abstract book.

Admissions tutors

Dr Allan Cosslett, Course Administrator

Dr Allan Cosslett, Admissions Tutor

Key Information Sets (KIS) make it easy for prospective students to compare information about full or part time undergraduate courses, and are available on the Unistats website.


Get information and advice about making an application, find out when the key dates are and learn more about our admissions criteria.

How to apply
Students outside the Glamorgan Building

Open Day 2016

Open days are your chance to get a real first-hand experience of the university and the city.

Related courses

Related links