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Pharmacy (MPharm)

  • Subject area: Pharmacy
  • UCAS code: B230
  • Next intake: September 2024
  • Duration: 4 years
  • Mode: Full time

Entry year

Why study this course


A close-knit, long-established School

A long established School with over 100 years of excellence in teaching and research.


Top School for research excellence

We rank Joint First School of Pharmacy in the UK for the quality of our teaching and research according to the Research Excellence Framework.


Top pass rates for pre-registration exam

95% of our students who sat the General Pharmaceutical Council’s registration exam in 2022 passed first-time, higher than the overall national average of 82%.


Great careers prospects

98.5% of our graduates are in highly skilled jobs and/or graduate-level further study 15 months after their course ended. (Graduate Outcomes 2020/21)

Our MPharm programme is designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills and experience you’ll need to embark on a career as a Pharmacist. Our School is internationally renowned for the outstanding quality of our teaching and research. 

Undertaking the MPharm at Cardiff University means studying at one of the top schools of Pharmacy in the UK.  

Today's pharmacists are not only experts in drug discovery and delivery, they play a direct role in improving patients’ health and wellbeing.  Many now prescribe medicines independently of a doctor. We are proud to train the pharmacists of the future and, as the role of the pharmacist evolves, so too does our programme to reflect these exciting developments. 

Above all else, we strive to ensure that our graduates are ready for the next step in their career and the many opportunities that await them. 

That’s why 95% of our students who sat the 2022 General Pharmaceutical Council’s registration exam passed first-time, higher than the overall national average of 82%.  For many years, 100% of our graduates who have applied for pre-registration pharmacy training have been successful in securing a training place. 

On this four-year internationally respected programme you’ll learn about the discovery and development of new drugs and explore their chemical, physicochemical, pharmacological and toxicological properties. You’ll also study the clinical uses of medicines and the role of the pharmacist in improving patient outcomes as part of interprofessional healthcare teams.  

You’ll 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’ll be taught all of this by our team of world-leading academic staff and pharmacist practitioners who have an extensive range of expertise. In fact, we ranked joint first School of Pharmacy nationally in the most recent Research Excellence Framework. This is a direct result of the quality, and cutting-edge nature of our research projects. 

Some of your learning will take place alongside students from other health care disciplines as part of our interprofessional education and you’ll also be given the opportunity to carry out a range of placements in both traditional and role-emerging settings including community and hospital pharmacies, GP practices and specialist health and social care settings. This will provide you with invaluable experience on the front line of health care provision. 

Our commitment to adapt to the changing needs of the pharmacy profession

Our MPharm programme is under continual review as part of our ongoing commitment to enhance our course to reflect changes in pharmacy practice and ensure that our graduates have the skills, knowledge and experience they need to continue on the next step in their pharmacy careers. This review is underpinned by the standards for pharmacy education and training produced by our regulatory body, the General Pharmaceutical Council.




Subject area: Pharmacy

Entry requirements

We accept a combination of A-levels and other qualifications, as well as equivalent international qualifications subject to entry requirements. Typical offers are as follows:

These grades apply to applications received before 30 June 2024. Grades required for Clearing applicants can vary and may be higher or lower. Get in touch to discuss your options.

A level

AAB-ABB in two sciences. Must include one from Biology or Chemistry, and one from either Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. You will need to pass the science practical element of the A-level if this is part of your programme of study.

Extended/International Project Qualification: Applicants with grade A in the EPQ/IPQ will typically receive an offer one grade lower than the standard offer. Please note that any subject specific requirements must still be met.

Our grade range covers our standard offer and contextual offer. We carefully consider the circumstances in which you've been studying (your contextual data) upon application.

  • Eligible students will be given an offer at the lower end of the advertised grade range.
  • Where there is no grade range advertised and/or where there are selection processes in place (like an interview) you may receive additional points in the selection process or be guaranteed interview/consideration.

Learn about eligible courses and how contextual data is applied.

International Baccalaureate

34-32 overall or 666-665 in 3 HL subjects. Must include grade 6 in HL Biology or Chemistry, and grade 6 in HL Biology, Chemistry, Maths or Physics. 

Baccalaureate Wales

From September 2023, there will be a new qualification called the Advanced Skills Baccalaureate Wales (level 3). This qualification will replace the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate (Welsh Baccalaureate). The qualification will continue to be accepted in lieu of one A-Level (at the grades listed above), excluding any specified subjects.

In your personal statement, you will need to demonstrate your commitment to pharmacy.
You must also have or be working towards:
- English language or Welsh language at GCSE grade B/6 or, where GCSEs have not been taken, an acceptable equivalent. If you require a Student visa, you must ensure your language qualification complies with UKVI requirements.
- three GCSEs at grade B/6 including Biology, Chemistry, and Maths, or equivalent qualifications (subject and grade). Double science may be accepted in place of separate sciences.

We do not accept Critical Thinking, General Studies, Citizenship Studies, or other similar equivalent subjects.
We will accept a combination of BTEC subjects, A-levels, and other qualifications, subject to the course specific grade and subject requirements.

In line with the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) student code of conduct and fitness to practise procedures, before starting your course you will need to undergo a health check by our Occupational Health Service, attend any subsequent appointments and receive all of the necessary vaccinations to undertake clinical placements safely.

The GPhC will carry out its own health, good character and identity checks when you complete your training and apply to register with the regulatory body. 


Grade B or grade 6 in GCSE English Language.

IELTS (academic)

At least 7.0 overall with a minimum of 6.5 in all subskills.


At least 100 overall with a minimum of 22 in all subskills.

PTE Academic

At least 76 overall with a minimum of 69 in all communicative skills.

Trinity ISE II/III

II: Not accepted.
III: at least a Merit in all components.

Other accepted qualifications

Please visit our English Language requirements page for more information on our other accepted language qualifications.

You will be required to complete a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check if your application is successful. If you are applying from certain countries overseas, a Certificate of Good Conduct may be required.

If you have a relevant criminal conviction, this will be stated in the check and may affect your ability to enrol on the course. Applicants who are on the barred list should be aware that applying to this course is likely to be considered a criminal offence.

Other qualifications from inside the UK


DD in a BTEC Diploma in Applied or Pharmaceutical Science and grade B in A-level Chemistry or Biology.

T level

Acceptance of T Levels for this programme will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Academic School. Consideration will be given to the T Level grade/subject and grades/subjects achieved at GCSE/Level 2.

Qualifications from outside the UK

See our qualification equivalences guide

Please see our admissions policies for more information about the application process.

Interview or selection process

We won’t make an offer without an interview.

All applicants must meet the minimum requirements at Level 2 (typically GCSE) and Level 3 (typically A-level) in order to be eligible for consideration for interview.

If you meet the entry requirements, we'll invite you to an online interview.

Tuition fees for 2024 entry

Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on your fee status. Your fee status could be home, island or overseas.

Learn how we decide your fee status

Fees for home status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £9,000 None
Year two £9,250 None
Year three £9,250 None
Year four £9,250 None

The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees in the second and subsequent years of a course as permitted by law or Welsh Government policy. Where applicable we will notify you of any change in tuition fee by the end of June in the academic year before the one in which the fee will increase.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, your tuition fees for 2024/25 be in line with the overseas fees for international students, unless you qualify for home fee status. UKCISA have provided information about Brexit and tuition fees.

Fees for island status

Learn more about the undergraduate fees for students from the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Fees for overseas status

Year Tuition fee Deposit
Year one £28,200 None
Year two £28,200 None
Year three £28,200 None
Year four £28,200 None

Learn more about our tuition fees

Financial support

Financial support may be available to individuals who meet certain criteria. For more information visit our funding 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.

Additional costs

Applicants are required to meet the costs of obtaining a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Certificate and are encouraged to join the DBS Update Service for the duration of the programme.

Applicants are advised that, while you will be reimbursed for some of the costs you incur whilst attending practice placements, you will be required to cover the initial costs for later reimbursement. This may include both accommodation and travel costs (if they are in excess of your normal daily travel costs to your University base).


Course specific equipment

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.


We have a range of residences to suit your needs and budget. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Living costs

We're based in one of the UK's most affordable cities. Find out more about living costs in Cardiff.

Course structure

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 2024/2025 academic year. The final modules will be published by September 2024.

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.

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.

Students learning in the lab

Learning and assessment

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.


Careers and placements

Career prospects

The career options for Pharmacists are varied and plentiful, ranging from hospital, primary care or community settings - including being based within GP surgeries - to industry or research in the UK and internationally, making this an exciting degree to embark upon.

Many of today’s pharmacists are now also qualified to prescribe medicines independently of a doctor and are on the frontline of healthcare provision.

Our MPharm programme is designed to equip you with the knowledge, skills and experience you need to pursue your pharmacy career. Following on from successfully completing our MPharm programme, you’ll be able to undertake a pre-registration year of training before sitting the General Pharmaceutical Council’s registration assessment to register as a Pharmacist.

And we are proud that 100% of our students are in employment and/or further study six months after graduating.

Our graduates have gone on to occupy key positions in NHS hospitals and hospitals overseas, in community pharmacy organisation such as Boots UK, Lloyds Pharmacy Group, Well pharmacy, in allied scientific and healthcare enterprises, as well as in industry settings. Some have also gone on to enjoy careers as veterinary pharmacists, military pharmacists and in regulatory affairs.

Types of jobs:

  • Hospital Pharmacist - as a hospital pharmacist, you’d be a key part of the healthcare team, working in either the NHS or a private hospital, with a clear focus on patient needs.

  • Community Pharmacist - based in your own pharmacy, out of a local healthcare centre or doctor’s surgery, you’d be at the frontline of healthcare in the UK or overseas. With further study, you may prescribe medicines independently.

  • Primary care Pharmacist – as a primary care pharmacist you will optimise patient’s medicines to maximise the benefits and minimise the risks associated with different drugs. You will also help to develop services to support the local population with their health needs.

  • Industrial Pharmacist - you’d be involved in the research, design, development and testing of new medicines and treatments, ensuring they are safe and of a good quality for patients.

  • Academic Pharmacist - if teaching, researching, practising or a combination of all three appeals to you, becoming an Academic Pharmacist could be for you. You might be based in universities, research institutions or other organisations throughout the world.

Graduate careers

  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Clinical Pharmacist in Community, GP surgery or other Primary Care setting
  • Industrial Pharmacist
  • Researcher
  • Pharmacy Manager


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. 

Studying in Welsh

Up to 37% of this course is available through the medium of Welsh. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.

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HESA Data: Copyright Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited 2021. The Higher Education Statistics Agency Limited cannot accept responsibility for any inferences or conclusions derived by third parties from its data. Data is from the latest Graduate Outcomes Survey 2019/20, published by HESA in June 2022.