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Pharmacy - MPharm (Hons) - Video

The MPharm programme at Ulster will provide you with an academically challenging and vocationally relevant pharmacy education and training.

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Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations

  • National Health Service
  • Community pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • GP Federations

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles

  • Community pharmacist
  • Clinical pharmacist
  • Primary Care Pharmacist
  • Industrial pharmacist
  • Medicines Information pharmacist
  • Academic pharmacist
  • Pre Registration Pharmacist


In this section

The MPharm programme at Ulster will provide you with an academically challenging and vocationally relevant pharmacy education and training.


The aim of the MPharm course at Ulster is to educate pharmacy students to a high standard in an environment of modern clinical relevance, thereby facilitating their immediate integration into a forward thinking, healthcare-based profession that practises clinical excellence and understands fully the pharmaceutical principles underpinning therapeutic application of drug substances. The MPharm programme is designed to provide academically challenging and vocationally relevant pharmacy education and training underpinned by appropriate science elements (pharmaceutical sciences) and appropriate professional practice skills (pharmacy practice and patient care).

The MPharm programme offers a modern, innovative, and integrated Masters degree level education in Pharmacy that meets the standards of the University and the requirements of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI). The MPharm programme will provide students with the knowledge, understanding, skills and appropriate training required for them to be responsible for the manufacture, safe, legal and professional control, distribution and use of medicinal products. This programme also incorporates detailed studies of all aspects of drug action, design, formulation and use.

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Coleraine campus

Our coastal and riverside campus with a primary academic focus on science and health

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About this course

In this section


The MPharm course at Ulster University, Coleraine is delivered from the Saad Centre for Pharmacy and Diabetes, by the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Specialised teaching laboratories, seminar rooms, a facsimile of a pharmacy shop, a computer suite, a drug information suite, store areas and staff accommodation have all been finished to a high specification for the delivery of the MPharm. MPharm students will also have access to the extensive facilities available to other courses on the Coleraine campus.

This is an exciting and challenging time for pharmacy. The government has introduced many changes that schools of pharmacy must deliver, including graduates with the clinical skills required to allow them to focus on patient-centred clinical care, i.e. to provide a more clinical MPharm. In order to provide high quality education in clinical practice, it recommends that schools of pharmacy increase their practice workforce and have an increased clinical input from practising pharmacists at Ulster. In Coleraine, we will achieve this by delivering a course that will provide a sound and comprehensive knowledge base developing into the clinical and professional practice of pharmacy. Appropriate modules will be delivered by practising community and clinical pharmacists, so that our students will be learning from both knowledge and experiences.

We will integrate as many of our students as we can into the profession from the start. There will be placements within all years of the course during pharmacy practice and clinical skills modules, to allow students to see in practice, both in hospital and community, what they are learning about in the classroom. This will promote the professional attitudes and behaviours expected of practising pharmacists. In addition, in some modules pharmacy students will be taught alongside students from other professions, in addition to case study analyses with these students, resulting in the valuable experience of interprofessional education. The hospital clinical placements will be delivered by clinical Teacher Practitioners based in Trust hospitals in Northern Ireland, while the community placements will be provided by independent and multiple community pharmacists within Northern Ireland. During these placements, students will be provided with portfolios to develop their learning skills, including lifelong learning and reflective and personal development skills.

The focus on providing a practice-based format to our teaching is illustrated in the staff competencies within the School – three pharmacy practice lecturers have all come from a practice background rather than an academic one, so their experience in the practice of pharmacy is evidence and experience based. In addition, the further development of practical experience is facilitated by developing partnerships with the employers in the region, so that students who wish to seek part-time employment, will be assisted in taking up this employment within their chosen profession from the start. This initiative has been named the ‘Pharmacy Job Shop’.

In the MPharm at Ulster University, the course team have produced an exciting, dynamic course that will meet the needs of the students, prospective employers and the pharmacy profession as a whole; resulting in graduates who have both the knowledge and social skills to begin their pharmacy career as competent junior pharmacists who are fit to practice. The integrated nature of the programme, where teaching is carried out within therapeutic areas, allows students to develop an understanding of 'Molecules to Man' - the journey of a drug compound from discovery and development, through formulation and drug delivery, to therapeutic treatment, clinical outcomes and patient-centred care.


This is a 4 year full-time course. Average attendance hours per week: 22 hours.

Start dates

  • September 2019
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

In this section

A level

Grades AAB to include Chemistry and one science subject from Mathematics, Physics or Biology. Biology preferred as second science.

Applied Science Double Award is acceptable only when offered with A level Chemistry at least at Grade B.

Applied General Qualifications

Pass overall BTEC Extended Diploma in Applied Science (Laboratory and Industrial Science) with DDD to include at least 11 distinctions.

The following modules must be included at Distinction: Fundamentals of Science; Scientific Practical Techniques; Industrial Applications of Chemical Reactions; Chemical Periodicity and its Applications, Industrial Application of Organic Chemistry.

Irish Leaving Certificate

Overall Irish Leaving Certificate Higher Level profile H2, H2, H2, H3, H3.

Specific subjects and grades required include Chemistry and one other science from Maths, Biology, Physics at H2.

Applicants are also required to have Irish Leaving Certificate Higher Level English and Maths grade H6 or above or Irish Leaving Certificate Ordinary Level English and Maths grade O4 or above.

Scottish Highers

Grades ABBBC to include Chemistry(grade B) and one science subject from Mathematics, Physics or Biology (grade B). Biology preferred as second science.

Scottish Advanced Highers

The Scottish Advanced Highers requirement for this course is grades BBC to include Chemistry (grade B) and one science subject from Mathematics, Physics or Biology(grade B). Biology preferred as second science.

International Baccalaureate

Overall International Baccalaureate profile minimum 28 points with at least 14 points at higher level and to include at least 6 points in HL Chemistry and at least 7 points from one other science subject at higher level (Physics, Biology or Maths).

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall Access course minimum mark 70% including 70% in each level 3 module - only selected science-based programmes are acceptable.

We also accept many alternative qualifications including:

Pass HND with overall Distinction to include 90 distinctions in level 5 credits/units will be specified.

Pass HNC with overall Distinction to include 120 distinctions in level 4/5 credits/units will be specified.

Combinations which can be offered include:

2 A Levels and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

OCR National Diploma and BTEC Subsidiary Diploma

2 A Levels and Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma

A Level and BTEC National Diploma.

For further information regarding combination offer requirements, please contact Faculty Office staff on telephone +44 (0)28 7012 4159 or email:


GCSE Profile to include passes at Grade C (or Grade 4) or above in Mathematics and English.

Grade C or above in Chemistry or grade CC or above in Double Award Science also required.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS overall 6.5, with speaking 6.5 and no other band score less than 6.0.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Applicants should note that, as they will be engaged in 'regulated activity' involving children or vulnerable adults as part of their course, there is a compulsory, legal requirement to obtain an Enhanced Disclosure from AccessNI or other relevant authority. There is a cost for this service. More information on Enhanced Disclosures may be accessed at

Prospective students will be required to be in good health as evidenced from a satisfactory medical report (SENDO compliant). There is a cost for this service.

Prospective students should be aware that there is a Code of Conduct required of Pharmacy Students ( that takes into consideration behaviour before and during their period of study. Failure to comply with this Code of Conduct could impair eligibility for a student to register as a pharmacist.

Prospective students should be aware that, in the interests of patient and public safety, your application form information will be shared with the Pharmacy Schools Council in order to verify your fitness to practise. If a fitness to practise outcome is made against you in the future, this information will be stored on this database.

Applicants should note that neither the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) will offer prospective registration advice prior to commencing your MPharm. The GPhC / PSNI will carry out their own health and good character checks before registering an applicant, which are additional to the checks carried out by the university or a prospective employer. The GPhC / PSNI may not register a student if a check is failed, even if previous checks have been passed. An applicant may appeal against a registration refusal and appeals are heard by the Appeal Committee of the GPhC. Further information can be found at

Teaching and learning assessment

The programme is taught as an integrated spiral curriculum, with the integration of science and practice elements being explicitly taught through a systems approach. Lectures, tutorials, case study orientated problem-based learning, practical classes, including CAL packages, dispensing practical sessions, clinical and community pharmacy placements and private study, supported by essential and desirable reading, including self-directed learning. Integrated seminars, in which students work on integrated case studies, enhance the integrated nature of the programme and facilitate students understanding and engagement with the concepts. Groups and individual projects will be included. Material will be delivered by blended learning, where lectures, assignments, on-line tutorials and past exam questions will be available on-line on BBLearn; or fully online, whereby all lecture materials and assignments will only be available on BBLearn, but supported by tutorial classes. Postings on discussion areas within some modules will be required.

Assessments are outcome driven. Examinations and class tests, incorporating essay and multiple choice questions, will assess outcomes and facilitate learning and the integration of knowledge. Structured coursework will include practical reports, case studies, presentations, group reports, literature-based assignments and a research project report and poster presentations.

Exemptions and transferability

Studies pursued and examinations passed in respect of other qualifications awarded by Ulster or by another university or educational institution, or evidence from the accreditation of prior experiential learning, may be accepted as exempting candidates from part of an approved programme of study provided that they shall register as students of the University for modules amounting to at least the final third of the credit value of the award at the highest level.

It is anticipated that only in exceptional cases will an exemption[s] be permitted, and any exemption must be approved by the professional/regulatory bodies governing the profession.

Careers & opportunities

In this section

Graduate employers

Graduates from this course have gained employment with a wide range of organisations. Here are some examples:

  • National Health Service
  • Community pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Industry
  • GP Federations

Job roles

Graduates from this course are employed in many different roles. Here are some examples:

  • Community pharmacist
  • Clinical pharmacist
  • Primary Care Pharmacist
  • Industrial pharmacist
  • Medicines Information pharmacist
  • Academic pharmacist
  • Pre Registration Pharmacist

Career options

The future role of pharmacists lies in meeting patients' needs through working closely with patients, other healthcare professionals, the National Health Service (NHS) and the industry. Pharmacists are the only healthcare professionals with a unique knowledge and understanding of medicines from manufacture to their applications in patients, encompassing discovery and development, manufacturing, quality assurance, distribution, therapeutics, management and monitoring.

Qualified registered pharmacists can choose careers from a number of available options including healthcare provision in the high street (community pharmacists), clinical pharmacy duties and outpatient clinics (hospital pharmacists), running disease management clinics in GP practices (primary care pharmacists) and pursuing medicines research in industry or academia. Pharmacists can also be prescribers, which allow them to care for all patients' drug-related needs following medical diagnosis.

In summary, the career options for qualified pharmacists include hospital, community, primary care and industrial practice, general management and administration as well as research opportunities in industry, academia, or government laboratories. Opportunities are also available for MPharm graduates to enter into MRes and MPhil/PhD programmes.

Work placement / study abroad

The MPharm course at Ulster has periods of work placement within each year of study, during the Professional Practice Skills modules. Placements take place within community pharmacies throughout Northern Ireland, and within the Health and Social Care Trusts. Hospital placements are suported by the Northern Ireland Teacher-Practitioner Network. Short placement visits also take place to Nicobrand and Norbrook Pharmaceutical Industries. All placement experiences allow students to develop their skills and comptencies in the practice of pharmacy from the theoretical setting on campus, to the contextual and experiential learning achieved within the employed sectors.

These short term placements involve:

Year 1 - 2 days in community pharmacy and 1 day in hospital pharmacy

Year 2 - 2 days in community pharmacy, 5 days with the hospital teacher-practitioner network, and 1 day visit to Norbrook

Year 3 - 3 days in community pharmacy, 5 days in hospital pharmacy and 1 day visit to Norbrook

Year 4 - 4 days in community pharmacy, 1 day with practice-based pharmacists, 5 days in hospital pharmacy

Professional recognition

Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)

Accredited by the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI) for the purpose of registration with that body.

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

Accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) in order to progress to pharmacist pre-registration training and then to register as a pharmacist.


How to apply Request a prospectus

Applications to full-time undergraduate degrees at Ulster are made through UCAS.

Start dates

  • September 2019

Fees and funding

In this section

Fees (per year)

Important notice - fees information Fees illustrated are based on 18/19 entry and are subject to an annual increase. Correct at the time of publishing. Terms and conditions apply. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
Visit our Fees pages for full details of fees

Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:
£9,250.00  Discounts available
£13,680.00  Scholarships available

Scholarships, awards and prizes

The School offers a suite of awards for academic achievement in each year of study.

Additional mandatory costs

Entry to the course is subject to a satisfactory medical check and also a criminal record check carried out through AccessNI. Students will be required to meet the costs of any vaccinations required and for the AccessNI checks. The current cost of an AccessNI Enhanced Disclosure is £33.

Students will be required to meet the travel costs of attending placements during the programme. Students will also be required to purchase required reading materials in the form of the BNF (annually) and Medicines, Ethics and Practice.

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.