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In 2019-20, we were proud to celebrate the first 100 years of teaching and research excellence. Our history and heritage has helped us to build an international reputation.

100 years of Cardiff School of Pharmacy logo

Much has changed in the profession of Pharmacy since we first began teaching in October 1919. Yet, what hasn't altered is our determination and commitment to enhance the profession, meet the changing healthcare needs of the population and improve patients’ lives.

For more than one hundred years, we have produced excellent, career-ready, graduates, and have innovated for the benefit of the profession. Today, we are as committed to those objectives as ever.

So, whilst we take great pride in celebrating our achievements over the past century, we aim to use our heritage to help shape the future of pharmacy in the UK and globally.

We are proud of our history and heritage. It has helped us to build an international reputation for our teaching and research.

Our history in brief

In October 1919, the Welsh College of Pharmacy opened as a department of the new Cardiff Technical College. In that first year, 88 students were taught by two members of staff in two lecture rooms and two laboratories in what is now the Bute Building. They could study full or part-time for diplomas and certificates set by the Pharmaceutical Society and the Society of Apothecaries. The School moved quickly to offer the external University of London BPharm degree from 1927, and established a University of Wales degree from 1936.

First intake of students
Our first intake of students and staff photographed outside the Technical College (now Bute Building) in August 1920.

By the late 1950s, the School was outgrowing its facilities, and in 1961 the New Building (now Redwood) was officially opened by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. Originally home to Chemistry, Biology and Navigation alongside Pharmacy, it offered an opportunity to increase the number of students and staff, and to make significant developments in teaching and research. From its first PhD students in 1961 to ground-breaking discoveries in more recent decades, the School’s scientific endeavours have continued to underpin undergraduate teaching.

Key themes throughout the School’s history are the support of the local pharmacy community and the great affection with which it’s held by past students. Both mean that for more than one hundred years, the School has been central to Welsh pharmacy.

If you would like to discover more about the history of our School, please take a look at our book '100 Years (1919-2019): Cardiff University School of pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences' which was commissioned to mark our centenary.

Black and White image of the redwood building
The Redwood Building became home to the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences on 2 June 1961. Credit: Glamorgan Archives