Master of Science
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
This course is taught online so you can study where you want, when you want.
MSc Pharmacy Management offers pharmacy practitioners the opportunity to gain a unique qualification to enhance their career development.
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MSc Pharmacy Management offers practitioners working within pharmacy the opportunity to gain a unique qualification in pharmacy management, and thereby an opportunity for career development through the management route, either within secondary care or community pharmacy environments.
This programme will advance the development of pharmacy practitioners in areas of personal and personnel management, marketing principles, and financial management within a framework of self-reflection and self-development. On successful completion, students should have improved management, marketing and financial skills, which will benefit the practitioner, the employer and the community as a whole by the professional development of the pharmacist and other relevant pharmacy staff.
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This programme is designed specifically for those working within pharmacy, to provide a distinct and unique qualification gained from the study of all aspects of pharmacy business management. In order to widen access and participation, the course will be offered as a distance-learning course, allowing practitioners to allocate their time more readily within the demands of their employment.
The use of a variety of quality management systems and techniques encompassing a range of recognised transformational, behavioural and personal development practices is a novel approach to management training and education. These techniques allow flexibility for individuals to use methods most suitable to their personal learning styles. They will assist the pharmacist/student to manage and positively influence all spheres of their potential influence, from other healthcare professionals, to patients, from political spheres to suppliers; and to identify opportunities where others will only assess risk. Completion of the programme will enable the pharmacist/student to consistently achieve the results that they want for themselves, their business, their services and their personal progression.
This is a fully online, part-time, distance learning programme.
MSc: two academic years for completion.
PgDip: two academic years for completion.
PgCert exit award may be offered after one academic year.
The content for each course is summarised on the relevant course page, along with an overview of the modules that make up the course.
Each course is approved by the University and meets the expectations of:
As part of your course induction, you will be provided with details of the organisation and management of the course, including attendance and assessment requirements - usually in the form of a timetable. For full-time courses, the precise timetable for each semester is not confirmed until close to the start date and may be subject to some change in the early weeks as all courses settle into their planned patterns. For part-time courses which require attendance on particular days and times, an expectation of the days and periods of attendance will be included in the letter of offer. A course handbook is also made available.
Courses comprise modules for which the notional effort involved is indicated by its credit rating. Each credit point represents 10 hours of student effort. Undergraduate courses typically contain 10- or 20-credit modules (more usually 20) and postgraduate course typically 15- or 30-credit modules.
The normal study load expectation for an undergraduate full-time course of study in the standard academic year is 120 credit points. This amounts to around 36-42 hours of expected teaching and learning per week, inclusive of attendance requirements for lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical work, fieldwork or other scheduled classes, private study, and assessment. Part-time study load is the same as full-time pro-rata, with each credit point representing 10 hours of student effort.
Postgraduate Master’s courses typically comprise 180 credits, taken in three semesters when studied full-time. A Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) comprises 60 credits and can usually be completed on a part-time basis in one year. A 120-credit Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip) can usually be completed on a part-time basis in two years.
Class contact times vary by course and type of module. Typically, for a module predominantly delivered through lectures you can expect at least 3 contact hours per week (lectures/seminars/tutorials). Laboratory classes often require a greater intensity of attendance in blocks. Some modules may combine lecture and laboratory. The precise model will depend on the course you apply for and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. Prospective students will be consulted about any significant changes.
Assessment methods vary and are defined explicitly in each module. Assessment can be a combination of examination and coursework but may also be only one of these methods. Assessment is designed to assess your achievement of the module’s stated learning outcomes. You can expect to receive timely feedback on all coursework assessment. The precise assessment will depend on the module and may be subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Coursework can take many forms, for example: essay, report, seminar paper, test, presentation, dissertation, design, artefacts, portfolio, journal, group work. The precise form and combination of assessment will depend on the course you apply for and the module. Details will be made available in advance through induction, the course handbook, the module specification and the assessment timetable. The details are subject to change from year to year for quality or enhancement reasons. You will be consulted about any significant changes.
Normally, a module will have 4 learning outcomes, and no more than 2 items of assessment. An item of assessment can comprise more than one task. The notional workload and the equivalence across types of assessment is standardised.
Calculation of the Final Award
The class of Honours awarded in Bachelor’s degrees is usually determined by calculation of an aggregate mark based on performance across the modules at Levels 5 and 6, (which correspond to the second and third year of full-time attendance).
Level 6 modules contribute 70% of the aggregate mark and Level 5 contributes 30% to the calculation of the class of the award. Classification of integrated Master’s degrees with Honours include a Level 7 component. The calculation in this case is: 50% Level 7, 30% Level 6, 20% Level 5. At least half the Level 5 modules must be studied at the University for Level 5 to be included in the calculation of the class.
All other qualifications have an overall grade determined by results in modules from the final level of study. In Master’s degrees of more than 200 credit points the final 120 points usually determine the overall grading.
The University employs over 1,000 suitably qualified and experienced academic staff - 59% have PhDs in their subject field and many have professional body recognition.
Courses are taught by staff who are Professors (25%), Readers, Senior Lecturers (18%) or Lecturers (57%).
We require most academic staff to be qualified to teach in higher education: 82% hold either Postgraduate Certificates in Higher Education Practice or higher. Most academic staff (81%) are accredited fellows of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) - the university sector professional body for teaching and learning. Many academic and technical staff hold other professional body designations related to their subject or scholarly practice.
The profiles of many academic staff can be found on the University’s departmental websites and give a detailed insight into the range of staffing and expertise. The precise staffing for a course will depend on the department(s) involved and the availability and management of staff. This is subject to change annually and is confirmed in the timetable issued at the start of the course.
Occasionally, teaching may be supplemented by suitably qualified part-time staff (usually qualified researchers) and specialist guest lecturers. In these cases, all staff are inducted, mostly through our staff development programme ‘First Steps to Teaching’. In some cases, usually for provision in one of our out-centres, Recognised University Teachers are involved, supported by the University in suitable professional development for teaching.
Figures correct for academic year 2019-2020.
Here is a guide to the subjects studied on this course.
Courses are continually reviewed to take advantage of new teaching approaches and developments in research, industry and the professions. Please be aware that modules may change for your year of entry. The exact modules available and their order may vary depending on course updates, staff availability, timetabling and student demand. Please contact the course team for the most up to date module list.
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The module will enable the student to appreciate the key principles of the essential financial sheets and the impact of income, costs and profits in the business. A key understanding of the flow of cash through a business will allow the student to focus on key areas of working capital which is essential to the liquidity of any business. An appreciation of financial ratios will allow the student to assess the financial health of the pharmacy.
This module will introduce students to the virtual leaning environment and will develop academic skills such as data searching, referencing and academic writing.
Using a variety of quality management, behavioural and personal development techniques, this module will equip the student with key personal development skills allowing them to recognise important strategies required for influential leadership. These skills will allow the student to explore personal strengths and weaknesses and develop key areas to create successful interaction with fellow colleagues, patients and multidisciplinary professionals and business associates.
Using a variety of quality management, behavioural and personal development techniques, this module will equip the student with skills to create strategic and business plans for their pharmacy. With an ability to develop a business plan and well formed business goals, the student will be able to develop and deliver pharmacy action plans for success. In addition, the student will be able to identify and manage areas that impact on their outcomes including change elements, pharmacy culture, problem-solving and motivating their pharmacy team.
Using a variety of quality management, behavioural and personal development techniques, this module will equip the students with key skills to manage and develop employees within a pharmacy setting to enhance overall business success
Using a variety of quality management, behavioural and personal development techniques, this module will equip the students with key skills to manage and develop employees within a pharmacy setting to enhance overall business success.
The module aims to equip the student with key skills in quality management within the pharmacy setting. The ability to undertake internal audits and record corrective and preventive actions will equip the student to undertake a continual improvement approach within their practice.
Pharmacy is both a healthcare service and a business. To be a successful business, pharmacy must continually develop in terms of the services that it provides to the patient and/or public. This module will equip the student with essential skills when identifying a pharmacy health service for their business.
A successful manager must be able to measure the performance of all the business resources effectively to ensure quality of services and, ultimately, overall business performance. The module will equip the student with the skills necessary to analyse personal, business outcomes, finance and employee performance and service quality. This will allow the student to develop approaches to improving performance.
This module provides the foundations for undertaking good management research. The careful application of technique in design and reporting are discussed. The module requires the completion of problem-based discussion and development of a research proposal. The module will allow for ethical considerations of the propsosal to be considered in advance of the final module Pharmacy Management Research Project.
The core aim of the dissertation is that students should investigate an important, contempary and relevant business improvement issue for their organisation. It is expected that students will demonstrate an understanding of practical, ethical and strategic issues within their research area. the research should be work based and it is expected that the subject and design will be such that students will normally be working with primary as well as secondary data. The module seeks to develop and test students conceptual and analytical abilities to enhance both their work related capabilities and to prepare students for further research studies.
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.
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Applicants for entry must:
(a) have gained
(i) an Honours or non-Honours degree from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, or from another institution which has been recognised by the Senate for this purpose;
(ii) an equivalent standard in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate or Postgraduate Certificate or an approved alternative qualification; and
(b) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent); and
(c) satisfy such additional requirements as shall be prescribed in programme regulations;
(d) in exceptional circumstances, where an individual has substantial and significant experiential learning, a portfolio of written evidence demonstrating the meeting of graduate qualities (including subject specific outcomes, as determined by the Course Committee) may be considered as an alternative entrance route.
Evidence used to demonstrate graduate qualities may not be used for exemption against modules within the programme.
(e) a part-time student must be employed within the pharmacy industry.
English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement
Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.
It may be possible for students to transfer with credit to other programmes at similar level within the University, but this would be at the sole discretion of the receiving course team.
Due to the specific nature of the modules on this programme, students transferring into the programme will be required to undertake all compulsory modules (unless previous qualifications are recognised as equivalent to the modules and are approved through the University’s Accreditation of Prior Learning scheme). Each case of exemption is determined by whether the certificated evidence is commensurate with the learning outcomes within the module(s) for which exemption is sought. All students are accepted in accordance with the Faculty APC/EL Policy.
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Many people working within pharmacy take on a management role to some extent which has not been supported by their undergraduate training. This programme will support those working within pharmacy to the Agenda for Change Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) who wish to progress and require a postgraduate diploma in addition to their undergraduate degree to do so. This programme will also support those employed within the pharmacy retail sector in community pharmacies who wish to proceed along a management career pathway. Currently, most of the postgraduate programmes that are available are clinical in nature; this programme will provide for those who have chosen a career pathway other than the clinical route e.g. patient-services, medicines information, management.
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The Sangers AAH bursary is available to provide financial support to enable pharmacists employed within Northern Ireland to participate in the diploma.
The allocation of funding is decided by the Sub-committee of the Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Committee which meets in August. The successful applicant will have 100% of their course fee paid for each year of the two year course. The receipt of all applications will be acknowledged and the Course Director will write to the applicant informing them of the sub-committee's decision.
Criteria for funding
All funding applications must be
Funding is only made for one year at a time but the bursary will cover the two years of the course. if a pharmacist receiving the Sangers AAH bursary fails to complete the course without satisfactory reason, the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences would expect funding to be returned.
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.
Zara Moffatt/Karen Gibson, Admissions Office - Coleraine Campus
International Admissions Office
“The PGDip has provided an insight into the management side of pharmacy. I’ve learned not only how to operate the pharmacy day-to-day, but also how to motivate staff, set goals and analyse finances. The course was delivered in a way that you could manage at your own pace with very reasonable deadlines. Staff always responded to emails quickly and were more than happy to help. It should hopefully set me up to apply for more managerial positions and prove that I have the skills needed to cope in managerial roles.”
Ciaran Maguire, PGDip Pharmacy Management graduate 2016
“The Pharmacy Management PGDip has given me a detailed insight into the business aspect of community pharmacy to enhance the overall success of the business; from learning how to get the best from fellow employees to marketing, financial management and development of services. As a responsible pharmacist working either within secondary care or community pharmacy environments we are expected to have thorough knowledge on pharmacy business, however throughout the MPharm degree the information given on the business side of pharmacy is limited. Therefore completing the Pharmacy Management PGDip is the perfect way to establish this knowledge that's required on a daily basis and I feel it has been very beneficial for my personal career to make the business I currently work in as successful as it is to date.
For further career development in the managerial route this degree is ideal as it can be completed alongside working full-time (not disrupting your daily work commitments) due to the course being delivered online via distance learning. The course can be completed from the comfort of your own home, with all the coursework involving essays and interactive discussion boards with the other students which are extremely beneficial as everyone shares their experiences of how their pharmacy functions and deals with certain situations etc. With the pharmacy career becoming more and more competitive, the standard MPharm degree isn't enough to distinguish yourself and other pharmacists applying for the same job thus another degree like this PGDip will make you more employable as the skills you will establish after completing this will benefit any pharmacy business you are an employee of. The lecturers at Ulster University who deal with the Pharmacy Management PGDip are very helpful if you needed assistance at any time they are more than willing to assist in anyway possible. Overall, I would highly recommend this degree to anyone wishing to further their pharmacy career.”
Louise Toner, PGDip Pharmacy Management graduate 2016