Master of 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

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.

On this 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 laboratories, and a variety of postgraduate and professional courses in the pharmaceutical sciences and clinical pharmacy.

Completion of the course will prepare you for post-graduate training to become a pharmacist or for other career avenues in health, science or education.  The programme meets the requirements for accreditation by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and draws on the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) subject benchmark for pharmacy.

The School, one of the long-established pharmacy schools in the UK, retains a strong and supportive 'family' atmosphere, and is based in its own Redwood Building, named after the first professor of pharmacy in the UK.

Distinctive features

You will learn in a research-led institution with academic staff rated highly for research in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014. Our academic staff have a broad range of experience and expertise, many of whom are pharmacists, and all of whom are involved in teaching. Within the course we also involve teacher-practitioners and visiting lecturers from community, hospital, primary care and industrial pharmacy and from pharmaceutical public health and the regulation of pharmacy.

We have an active student society that arranges social, sporting and other events for its members. Alongside this, we also get regular student feedback within an Undergraduate Student Staff Panel.

We provide full access to all resource centres in the University. 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.

The School supports and encourages students to improve their information technology skills as well as their mentoring skills of more junior students or other pharmacy team members. In addition, we support 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 also fosters and promotes opportunities for ERASMUS international exchange visits of students and funded summer placements in its laboratories for undergraduates.

Our final year MPharm students present their research project findings at a ‘School Research Poster Day’ and see the inclusion of project abstracts in a research abstract booklet.

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

Key facts

UCAS CodeB230
Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration4 years
ModeFull time
AccreditationsGeneral Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
Typical places availableThe School typically has around 120 places available.
Typical applications receivedThe School typically receives around 580 applications.
Admissions tutor(s)

Entry requirements

For detailed entry requirements see the School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences admissions criteria pages.

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 a 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 requirementsApplications from those offering alternative qualifications are welcome.

This is a four-year full-time degree, consisting of 120 credits per year. Since the programme leads, after subsequent pre-registration training, to registration as a pharmacist and is regulated, through accreditation by the General Pharmaceutical Council (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.

The modules shown are an example of the typical curriculum and will be reviewed prior to the 2017/18 academic year. The final modules will be published by July 2017.

Year one

In year one you will learn about the role of the pharmacist in the UK. It has altered drastically in the past 40 years, with a shift from a more traditional dispensing role to that of a patient-focussed provider of clinical services. Pharmaceutical care is the focus of attention and pharmacists have been highlighted as the sole profession specifically educated to deliver pharmaceutical services. Learning about your future role will provide a building block for the remainder of the MPharm course where optimising pharmaceutical care is the ultimate outcome.

The aim is to provide an introduction to the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists and pharmacy within healthcare systems, in public health and more widely in society.

Your specific study will focus on the healthy human and patient-self-care, the fundamentals of pharmaceutical science, and medicines in healthcare.

Year two

In year two you will have the opportunity to demonstrate attitudes, behaviours and skills-development of a future health professional preparing for safe and evidence-based practice focused on the needs of the patient and society

Your specific study will focus on the use of medicines in priority clinical areas such as heart disease, asthma, and gastro-intestinal diseases.

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

Year three

In year three your study will focus on the use of medicines in more complex clinical areas such as the optimisation of pharmaceutical care for patients with cancer, neurological diseases, infection with multiply-antibiotic-resistant microorganisms.

Year four

The final year features a research or development project and also develops students to prepare for holistic healthcare; challenging them to make decisions, take responsibility, manage change and deal with uncertainty.

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.

How will I be taught?

The degree is modular in its organisation. Each module is supported by electronic teaching materials shared via Learning Central, part of the University’s virtual learning environment.

Teaching on site in the School mainly comprises lectures, practical classes and workshops, and computer-aided learning (CAL) is a feature of some practical classes and workshops. 

Off-site there are placements in health and social care practices and settings. In addition, 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.  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, our students receive both a scientific grounding in pharmacy and an orientation to and preparation for a career as a health care practitioner.

After a research methods module in year three, you will undertake a research, scholarly or practice-development project in year four.

There is a particular emphasis 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 course, you are supported and required to produce records of your CPD activity and also of Personal Development Planning (PDP) and execution for specific competency or skills acquisition.

How will I be supported?

You will be provided with an enrolment and induction programme in the week immediately before formal teaching and learning begins.  You will be provided 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 one.  Normally these will be your tutor and deputy tutor throughout your time as a student.  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.

The University offers a range of services including the Careers Service, the Counselling Service, the Disability and Dyslexia Service, the Student Support Service, and excellent libraries and resource centres.


We’ll provide you with frequent feedback on your work. This comes in a variety of formats including formative feedback during tutorials, discussion classes and problem-solving classes as well as through written comments on coursework.

How will I be assessed?

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 help your understanding and to provide you with an indication of your 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 course 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 can be required to 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.

What skills will I practise and develop?

You will acquire and develop a range of valuable skills, both those which are discipline specific and more generic ‘employability skills’.

As a result of engaging fully with this course, you will be able to:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • evidence and apply understanding of techniques applicable to research or advanced scholarship;
  • demonstrate the application of knowledge to practice;
  • evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in pharmaceutical science and practice;
  • evaluate research methodologies and develop critiques of them;
  • communicate effectively with patients, the public and other members of the healthcare team;
  • supply medicines dependably in accordance with pharmacy knowledge, legislation, professional conduct and with other aspects of pharmacy law and ethics;
  • undertake continuing professional development and independent learning;
  • undertake preregistration training and thereby qualify as a pharmacist in the UK.


Our graduates occupy key positions in NHS hospitals and hospitals overseas, in healthcare retailers such as Boots UK, Lloyds Pharmacy Group, the Well Pharmacy Group, and in allied scientific and healthcare enterprises. We have links with these and other Pharmacy employers. For many years all of our graduates have obtained pre-registration training positions.

In 2013, 98% of our graduates (who were available for work) reported that they were in employment and/or further study within six months of graduation.


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

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our Funding and fees section. Please note that these sources of financial support are limited and therefore not everyone who meets the criteria are guaranteed to receive the support.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Tuition feeDepositNotes

Tuition fees for international students are fixed for the majority of three year undergraduate courses. This means the price you pay in year one will be the same in years two and three. Some courses are exempt, including four and five year programmes. Please check with us for full clarification.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

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 course will be reimbursed. You will be provided with a locker in the School's Redwood Building.

There are pharmacy practice placements for all students in all years of the programme, including a number of days, about five in total, spent in community pharmacies and, in year three, a week in an NHS hospital pharmacy. There are also a number of whole or half-day role-emerging placements in other health and social care settings for all students.

Dependent on your 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. 

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.