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Pharmacy welcomes second ever intake of students with special ceremony
The University of Sussex has welcomed only its second ever intake of pharmacy students with a unique ceremony.
The new year of 37 students have been welcomed onto the university’s pharmacy course, which admitted its first students last year, with a white coat ceremony onFriday September 22.
Each student received a white coat to symbolically mark the beginning of their professional journey towards registration as a pharmacist and will be given a personal copy of the pharmaceutical reference book British National Formulary as a reminder of the need for life-long learning.
They also signed a pledge vowing to uphold professional standards at all times.
Professor Bugewa Apampa, Director of Pharmacy at the University of Sussex, said: “It was fantastic to see our new intake of students take part our white coat welcome ceremony.
“We’re delighted to be playing our part here in Sussex in training and preparing the next generation of pharmacists.
“Our first year was a great success and we’re hoping to use everything we learnt with our first cohort of students to provide a great experience for our new intake.
“We believe our students can really benefit from the smaller intake here at Sussex and will flourish under the very supportive teaching we offer.”
The new four-year degree is working towards accreditation by the General Pharmaceutical Council. Following a successful Step three accreditation event in December 2015, the university was permitted by the GPhC admit students in September 2016. It has since received Step four accreditation allowing progress into the second year.
The new intake will gain experience within local hospitals, community pharmacies and the pharmaceutical industry. They will also undertake community service with St John Ambulance and Chailey Heritage School, as well as being enabled to demonstrate their skills by using the state-of-the-art, life-sized, computerised simulator patient SimMan 3G (affectionately known as Simon or Simone, depending on the wig chosen).
This year’s intake sees a 10 per cent rise in the number of first-year students on the course.
MPharm student Hira Ghani, now starting her second year, said: “Now that the first year is over I can really say that I have come to love studying pharmacy at Sussex.
“It’s opened so many doors for me and I can see a clear career path ahead which will also allow for me to achieve other life goals.
“The small class sizes have meant we have a lot of attention and support from our lecturers.
“The teaching staff have always been looking for feedback both positive and negative so they can improve for the following years. We would see our feedback in action within a few weeks, sometimes even on the same day.”
MPharm student Arpaphat Atthakarnocha, starting her first year, said: "I feel that Sussex has a really friendly environment that encourages learning.
“Sussex is very unique compared to other pharmacy schools. I feel the white coat ceremony has given a good indication into the pharmacy career that we will be embarking upon and raised the importance of the pledge as the first stage of the healthcare profession.
“I think it is a great opportunity to be part of it.”
Professor Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, attended the ceremony.
He said: “It was wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the new cohort of first year students as they prepared to start their study.
“At the same time it was wonderful to see the same thing from those about to enter their second year that were there.”