A pharmacist would use their expertise to provide advice on the delivery, use and affects of medication. They would also need to oversee the work of pharmacist technicians, whether in a hospital or community setting. Hospital pharmacists would create medicines, advise medical colleagues and give advice on the most appropriate medication for patients. A community pharmacist would advise the general public on medication, visit care homes and ensure stock levels are maintained.
A pharmacist would need to attain a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree, as approved by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB), which would typically last four years. A one year training course in pharmacy would then need to be undertaken, which would include six months experience in a pharmaceutical setting, followed by a registration exam.
In order to get onto an MPharm degree you will need to have a minimum of five GCSEs graded A-C, including mathematics and english. You will then need to attain three A Levels, including biology and physics. The entry requirements for each course and university will differ. A degree in pharmacy would include tutorials and practical classes, and would aim to provide students with knowledge on medicinal products and diseases.
A pharmacy degree course will include practical training in a clinical setting but it is a good idea to get work experience while still in college. This will not only demonstrate your eagerness to enter the profession but will also give you an idea of whether this really is the career choice for you. Work experience can be attained by getting in touch with pharmacists in hospital or community settings.
Career pathway after graduation
As descried above in the ‘university course’ section, you would need to undergo further training once you have graduated. Once all training is complete you will need to become a member with the RPSGB in order to become a certified pharmacist. Study and education will need to be undertaken to maintain your skills, with a range of courses on offer by the RPSGB. There are jobs within hospitals and community clinics, or you could choose to move into a specialist arena such as forensic science.