Pharmacy (2016 entry)

MPharm, 4 years, UCAS: B230

Subject overview

Why pharmacy?

Pharmacy is a person-centred profession and a vital pillar of the healthcare system. An interesting and challenging career, it enables practitioners to utilise their knowledge of the science and practical use of medicines in the care of patients and the public. As the nation’s experts on medicines, pharmacists work in partnership with a variety of healthcare professionals in the NHS and in the community, pharmaceutical industry, academia and a wide range of other sectors. Their unique knowledge encompasses drug discovery through to drug formulation and delivery, medicines optimisation and the provision of pharmaceutical care services to patients and the public.

Why pharmacy at Sussex?

  • You are taught by world-leading experts from our research centres and our celebrated Chemistry Department, ranked 1st in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2017).
  • Teaching is underpinned by programmes that promote practical and clinical skills essential to becoming a pharmacist.
  • Gain experience within the community, hospitals, primary care and the pharmaceutical industry – boosting your career prospects.

Accreditation

The University is working towards accreditation of our new MPharm degree by the General Pharmaceutical Council.


Bugewa's faculty perspective

Bugewa Apampa

‘Pharmacists already contribute to the management of common illnesses and long-term conditions and are increasingly helping to meet the demand for urgent and emergency care services, which are commonly centred on medicines use.

‘As a Sussex pharmacy student, you will develop an expertise in medicines use, demonstrating a philosophy of high-quality clinical pharmacy practice that is securely centred on pharmaceutical care and, ultimately, taking responsibility for the safe, appropriate and effective use of medicines in whichever career path you choose to follow.’ 

Bugewa Apampa
Director of Pharmacy,
University of Sussex

Course content

The Pharmacy course equips you with a wide range of knowledge, skills and attitudes essential for modern pharmacy practice. You learn to integrate your knowledge of biological, pharmaceutical, chemical, behavioural and social sciences within a legal and ethical framework that governs the sale and supply of medicines, as you provide pharmaceutical care to patients and optimise their drug therapies.

Throughout the four years of study, you engage with a sequence of patient/public encounters through community service and practice experiences, in settings that include community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, general practice and primary care. A component of our innovative curriculum is the Patient as Teacher scheme, which is designed to support your acquisition of essential skills such as communication, consultation, listening as well as a range of clinical skills in a safe environment.

On the research methods course, you learn about methods employed in health services research, learn to understand and use scientific literature, and develop critical appraisal skills during small group work. A research project in the fourth year provides you with an opportunity to experience and undertake cutting-edge research from within a discipline of your choice in our research-intensive environment or in a clinical setting.

You will use state-of-the-art facilities including the SimMan 3G, a computerised human-patient simulator which develops your communication, consultation and clinical skills. You will benefit from access to industry-standard facilities, equipment and pharmacy testing kits as well as NMR and mass-spectrometry facilities, small-molecule and protein x-ray crystallography, and advanced microscopy.

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2016 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules tab.

How will I learn?

You learn in lectures and practical classes, as well as through the use of case-based and team-based learning methods in seminars and workshops. Authentic clinical cases are used to orientate your learning of science and practice and their application to real patients.

External practice experiences are normally organised in hospital, community and general practice/primary care settings, during which you learn to work within teams usually consisting of pharmacists and other health and social care professionals.

What will I achieve?
  • You develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of a pharmacy professional and demonstrate the competencies expected of a pharmacy graduate.
  • You display a will to benefit society and a commitment to compassionate caring; important values for optimum patient care.
  • You also develop transferable skills such as active listening, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork and self-direction.

Sussex Choice

Broaden your studies, develop your interests and gain a valuable career edge with Sussex Choice. Find out about the opportunities your course offers in the accompanying tabs.

Core content

The core curriculum for the MPharm course is divided into seven integrated People, Systems and Medicines modules, and a Research Pharmacist module incorporating a research project.

The People, Systems and Medicines modules are based on a variety of body systems, for example the Heart, Blood and Lungs module. These modules cover the knowledge and application of the biological, physiological, pharmaceutical, chemical and behavioural sciences that you need to treat and manage diseases in an integrated manner within the body system being studied. Core clinical problem and medicines lists, as well as the professional components of pharmacy, provide an anchor for module delivery.

You develop your medical knowledge as well as clinical assessment and problem-solving skills in our pharmaceutical care centre, which includes a simulated community pharmacy, GP practice area, hospital ward, consulting rooms, dispensary and medicines information centre. You also have opportunities to learn alongside students of other health and social care disciplines. Optionality is embedded throughout the curriculum through student-selected options, which provide you with opportunities each year to study, in depth, a topic of your choice that reflects your particular aspirations or interest.

Year 1 

In Term 1, you take Fundamentals of Health and Disease in Pharmacy, which gives you an introduction to health and disease fundamentals as well as a basic knowledge of the NHS and pharmacy representative organisations; provides an orientation to the role of a pharmacist within society and gives an introduction to pharmacy laws and regulations that govern the sale and supply of medicines. You also begin to develop professional skills such as those required for pharmaceutical calculations, learn to manage symptoms in the pharmacy and undertake service to the local community. You also take the introductory People, Systems and Medicines module in Term 2.

Year 2 

In Year 2, you build on the knowledge acquired in Year 1 when you take Pharmacotherapy of Disease 1 and 2 in Terms 1 and 2. You learn and practise clinical skills such as medication history taking and blood pressure monitoring in the Pharmaceutical Care Centre and undertake introductory practice experience in a pharmacy setting.

Year 3 

Progressing on from Year 2, you study the brain, psychiatry and ophthalmology in the Pharmaceutical Care Practice (Neurology and Psychiatry) module and cancer in the Pharmaceutical Care Practice (Oncology) module. During this year, you also experience healthcare service provision during practice experiences in clinical settings.  

Year 4 (MPharm) 

In your final year, you take the Research Pharmacist module during which you study research methods used in health services research; you also undertake a research project based in our renowned research-intensive laboratories or in a clinical setting. The final year module, Advanced Pharmaceutical Care Practice: Preparing for Practice, is designed to build on and consolidate your previous three years of study. In this interdisciplinary module, you provide pharmaceutical care to patients with complex co-morbid conditions as you would in a real-life practice setting, developing and demonstrating the competencies expected of a pharmacy professional.

Visit Course types: single honours, joint honours, major/minor

Back to module list

Health and Disease Fundamentals for Pharmacy

60 credits
Autumn teaching, Year 1

This preparatory module aims to provide an introduction to health and disease in relation to the human body and will include introductions to human anatomy, physiology, molecular biology and the human immune response.

It also introduces you to the fundamental concepts of pharmaceutical chemistry in an integrated manner, covering functional group chemistry, molecular shape and stereochemistry and the basics of synthetic organic chemistry, underpinning the principles of drug design and synthesis.

You will also be introduced to key aspects of pharmacy practice including: the organisation of the NHS; functions of pharmacy organisations such as the GPhC, the RPS and the PSNC; as well as the laws and regulations that underpin the sale and supply of medicines and pharmacy practice; the roles and responsibilities of the pharmacist as well as professional ethics and fitness to practice.

Additionally, the module will introduce you to key clinical skills required when responding to symptoms of selected minor ailments.

People, Systems and Medicines

60 credits
Spring teaching, Year 1

This module aims to provide an introduction to the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and introduces you to selected medicines used in the treatment of dyspepsia, hypertension, anaemia, asthma and COPD.

The module also introduces the basic principles of pharmacology, drug targets, mechanism of drug action and drug metabolism.

You will also engage in a systematic and integrated study of the physicochemical principles involved in the development of selected medicines and their pharmaceutical dosage forms; studying selected theories and applications of physical chemistry - specifically thermodynamics, kinetics and spectroscopic and basic analytical methods, while developing competence in the patient-focused practice of pharmacy.

Pharmacotherapy of Disease 1

60 credits
Autumn teaching, Year 2

Following on from the study of the introductory stage one modules, this module will progressively cover a range of topics associated with the pathogenesis of various diseases involving cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, dermatology and renal diseases.

The module aims to provide you with a detailed knowledge and deep understanding of topical and transdermal delivery, the formulation of solid dosage forms, powder technology and other pharmaceutical factors affecting the manufacture and delivery of oral and pulmonary dosage forms.

In addition, it aims to integrate your learning concerning the pathological basis of diseases, pharmaceutics, pharmacotherapy and professional practice, thus supporting their development of competence in the patient-centred practice of pharmacy and their development of clinical skills when responding to symptoms.

Pharmacotherapy of Disease 2

60 credits
Spring teaching, Year 2

This module aims to build on the first year introduction to the anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology of the gastrointestinal system, and introduce the genitourinary and musculoskeletal systems.

It introduces you to selected medicines used in the treatment of infectious diseases and inflammatory conditions, and the sterilisation of pharmaceuticals.

You will engage in a systematic and integrated study of the physicochemical principles involved in the development of these medicines and their pharmaceutical dosage forms; studying selected theories and applications of physical chemistry - specifically thermodynamics, kinetics and spectroscopic and basic analytical methods, while developing competence in the patient-centred practice of pharmacy.

You will also study UK legislation relating to the sale and supply of medicines and poisons, professional regulation and the NHS.

Pharmaceutical Care Practice - Neurology and Psychiatry

60 credits
Autumn teaching, Year 3

This module aims to provide students with the systematic knowledge and skills of biomedical, pharmaceutical, social and clinical sciences that is required to make complex pharmacotherapy decisions for individual patients or defined patient populations. Students will learn to develop, evaluate pharmaceutical care plans and monitor patients’ progress towards meeting therapeutic goals, whilst ensuring that all recommendations for care are evidence-based and supported by best practice literature or expert opinion. Furthermore, students will adopt a systematic approach when optimising medicines during the pharmaceutical care process, utilising their knowledge of the physicochemical, chemical, biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic properties of medicines, as well as an understanding of how physiological, behavioural and health beliefs might influence therapy. In making rational and ethical decisions that represent the best interest of the patient and the community, students will learn to take responsibility for the outcomes of the use of medicines.

Pharmaceutical Care Practice - Oncology

60 credits
Spring teaching, Year 3

This module aims to provide students with the systematic knowledge and skills of biomedical, pharmaceutical, social and clinical sciences required to make complex pharmacotherapy decisions for individual patients or defined patient populations with cancer. They will learn about the molecular mechanisms that underpin genome stability in the face of continual genetic damage; the implications for human health when these processes fail and how the responses of cells to genetic damage have been exploited in a clinical setting to help with diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Using selected medicines, students will study the pharmacotherapy of oncology and will develop and evaluate pharmaceutical care plans as well as monitor patients’ progress towards meeting therapeutic goals. Furthermore, students will adopt a systematic approach when optimising medicines during the pharmaceutical care process, utilising their knowledge of the physicochemical, chemical, biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic properties of medicines, as well as an understanding of how physiological, behavioural and health beliefs might influence therapy. In making rational and ethical decisions that represent the best interest of the patient and the community, students will learn to take responsibility for the outcomes of the use of medicines.

Advanced Pharmaceutical Care Practice - Preparing for Practice

60 credits
Spring teaching, Year 4

This final module aims to consolidate students’ learning ensuring their acquisition of core skills required for pharmacy practice. Students will be guided and facilitated in the integration of their knowledge and skills to design, monitor, assess and develop safe and cost-effective pharmaceutical care plans that maximises patients’ response to drug therapies; and provide appropriate information to special populations of patients, caregivers, and health professionals. Expanding on their knowledge of disease states and therapies covered in previous years, students will be challenged to interpret data and create a prioritised list of drug-therapy problems, managing pharmaceutical care problems in a variety of settings. Teaching & learning will be delivered via team–based clinical sessions, experiential learning, and interprofessional learning workshops, journal clubs and guest lectures focusing on professional practice issues to consolidate students’ knowledge and skills. Students will be expected to critically appraise and review the provision of pharmacotherapy for patients on complex drug regimens, modifying care plans by utilising knowledge of the physiochemical, chemical, biopharmaceutical, pharmacokinetic, and pharmacodynamic characteristics of administered medications as well as physiological, behavioural, cultural and economic factors that might influence therapy. This module will also cover updates in therapeutics; law, ethics and health & social care policy.

The Research Pharmacist

60 credits
Autumn teaching, Year 4

This module has two broad aims. Firstly to provide students with a critical understanding of scientific and health services research methods including pharmacy practice and policy research, statistical analysis; and secondly, to provide students with the opportunity to undertake an individual piece of original research during which they will work independently with guidance and support gaining independent research skills. Students will experience becoming part of a research team, exploring and investigating a particular subject area in great detail.

Back to module list

Entry requirements

Sussex welcomes applications from students of all ages who show evidence of the academic maturity and broad educational background that suggests readiness to study at degree level. For most students, this will mean formal public examinations; details of some of the most common qualifications we accept are shown below. If you are an overseas student, refer to Applicants from outside the UK.

All teaching at Sussex is in the English language. If your first language is not English, you will also need to demonstrate that you meet our English language requirements.

Specific entry requirements: Please note: We will not consider applications to transfer direct into the 2nd year of our Pharmacy degree. Applications will only be considered for 1st year entry.

Entry requirements for all applicants

Specific entry requirements: All offers made will be subject to a satisfactory Disclosure & Barring Service check, up-to-date relevant immunisations and a satisfactory health declaration.

A level

Typical offer: AAB

Specific entry requirements: A levels must include Chemistry and one other science subject from Biology, Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Physics. Successful applicants will also need GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics (at grade B) and English (at grade C).

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer: 35 points overall

Specific entry requirements: Successful applicants will need Higher Level in Chemistry and another Higher Level science subject (from Biology, Mathematics or Physics). Successful applicants would normally have at least grade 5 in both Higher Level science subjects.

For more information refer to International Baccalaureate.

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer: Pass the Access to HE Diploma with at least 45 credits at Level 3, of which 30 credits must be at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit or higher.

Specific entry requirements: Successful applicants will need to be taking an Access course in Science which contains substantial amounts of Level 3 credit in Chemistry and another science subject or to have taken A level Chemistry alongside the Access course. GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics (with grade B) and English (at grade C) are also a requirement.

For more information refer to Access to HE Diploma.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma

Typical offer: DDD

Specific entry requirements: The BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma will need to be in Applied Science and successful applicants will need to have opted for substantial numbers of modules in Chemistry- and Biology-related topics. Applicants may wish to contact the Admissions Office for advice (tel. 01273 678416). GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics (at grade B) and English (at grade C) are also essential.

For more information refer to BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma.

European Baccalaureate

Typical offer: Overall result of at least 80%

Specific entry requirements: Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Chemistry and another science with good results are essential.

For more information refer to European Baccalaureate.

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto

Typical offer: Overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 6.5

Specific entry requirements: Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Chemistry and another science with good results are essential.

French Baccalauréat

Typical offer: Overall final result of at least 13.5/20

Specific entry requirements: Successful students will need to be taking the science strand within the French Baccalauréat with good results (12/20) in Chemistry and at least one other science subject.

German Abitur

Typical offer: Overall result of 1.8 or better

Specific entry requirements: Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Chemistry and another science subject with good results (12/15) are essential.

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher level)

Typical offer: AAAABB

Specific entry requirements: Highers will need to include Chemistry and another science subject (normally at grade A).

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato

Typical offer: Final Diploma mark of at least 85/100

Specific entry requirements: Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Chemistry and another science with good results are essential.

Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers

Typical offer: AAABB

Specific entry requirements: Highers must include Chemistry and another science, with at least grade B in each. Ideally, applicants will have one or both of these sciences as an Advanced Higher. Successful applications will also need Mathematics and English at Standard Grade, grade 1 or 2.

For more information refer to Scottish Highers and Advanced Highers.

Spanish Titulo de Bachillerato (LOGSE)

Typical offer: Overall average result of at least 8.0

Specific entry requirements: Evidence of academic studies to a high level in Chemistry and another science with good results are essential.

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma

Typical offer: Pass the Core plus at least AA in two A-levels

Specific entry requirements: A levels must include Chemistry and another science (from Biology, Mathematics, Further Mathematics or Physics). Successful applicants will also need GCSE (or equivalent) in Mathematics (grade B) and English (grade C).

For more information refer to Welsh Baccalaureate.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with not less than 6.5 in each section. Pearson's Test of English (Academic) with 67 overall with at least 62 in all four skills.

For more information, refer to alternative English language requirements.

For more information about the admissions process at Sussex, contact:

Undergraduate Admissions,
Sussex House,
University of Sussex, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 678416
F +44 (0)1273 678545
E ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Fees and funding

Fees

Home/EU students: £9,000 per year1
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £9,000 per year2
Overseas students: £18,300 per year3

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

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Scholarships

The scholarships listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual funding source to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

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Care Leavers Award (2016)

Region: UK
Level: UG

To be eligible for the award you need to have been in care for a least 13 weeks since your 14th birthday, and be under 25 on entry to your course.

First-Generation Scholars scheme (2016)

Region: UK
Level: UG

Financial support if your household income is below £42,875 per year, and non-financial benefits if you're first in your family to go to university.

Sussex Excellence Scholarships (2016)

Region: UK, Europe (Non UK), International (Non UK/EU)
Level: UG

A merit-based award recognising, and rewarding, undergraduate students who achieved excellent academic performance before joining the University.

Undergraduate Enrichment Award (2016)

Region: UK
Level: UG
Application deadline: 9 October 2016

£6000 maintenance payment for UK students from low income families, with good academic standing and who are studying in the School of Life Sciences

Careers and profiles

The diverse nature of the disciplines that contribute to pharmacy ensures that you are able to follow a range of careers such as working as a clinical pharmacist in the community, in hospital pharmacy or in primary care, where you could be responsible for conducting disease-management clinics in general practice or conducting research into health services. Alternatively, you may follow a career in academic pharmacy or in the pharmaceutical industry where you are involved in scientific research during the process of drug discovery and development.

To help prepare you for your future career, you can undertake work experience and summer placement opportunities – at local community pharmacies, hospital trusts and pharmaceutical companies – throughout your course.

To qualify as a pharmacist in the UK, you will need to complete a year of preregistration training after your Pharmacy degree and pass an entrance exam set by the General Pharmaceutical Council. 

Careers and employability

For employers, it’s not so much what you know, but what you can do with your knowledge that counts. The experience and skills you’ll acquire during and beyond your studies will make you an attractive prospect. Initiatives such as SussexPlus, delivered by the Careers and Employability Centre, help you turn your skills to your career advantage. It’s good to know that 92 per cent of our graduates are in work or further study (Which? University).

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Life in our School

School of Life Sciences

The School of Life Sciences provides an exciting and attractive environment for learning and research, with a thriving international community of students and academics.

Our School comprises Biochemistry and biomedicine; the Department of Chemistry; Evolution, behaviour and environmentGenome damage and stability; and Neuroscience.

Contact us

School of Life Sciences,
University of Sussex, Falmer, 
Brighton BN1 9QG, UK
E ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk
T +44 (0)1273 876787

Find out more at Evolution, behaviour and environment

Find out about University accommodation

Find out about our exciting location in Brighton

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Open Days

Our next Open Day will be in June 2016.

Open Days offer you the chance to speak one to one with our world-leading academic staff, find out more about our courses, tour specialist facilities, explore campus, visit student accommodation, and much more. Booking is required.

Book your place at Visit us and Open Days

Campus tours

Not able to attend one of our Open Days? Book on to one of our weekly guided campus tours.

Mature-student information session

If you are 21 or over, and thinking about starting an undergraduate degree at Sussex, you may want to attend one of our mature- student information sessions. Running between October and December, they include guidance on how to approach your application, finance and welfare advice, plus a guided campus tour with one of our current mature students.

Self-guided visits

If you are unable to make any of the visit opportunities listed, drop in Monday to Friday, year round, and collect a self-guided tour pack from Sussex House reception.

Book your place at Visit us and Open Days

Overseas visits

Meet with Sussex staff in your country at exhibitions, visits to schools and universities, and at a wide range of other events. Forthcoming visits are planned all over the world:

Bahrain • Brazil • Brunei • Canada • China • Colombia • France • Germany • Ghana • Greece • Hong Kong • India • Indonesia • Iraq • Italy • Japan • Kenya • Kuwait • Malaysia • Mexico • Nigeria • Norway • Pakistan • Qatar • Saudi Arabia • Singapore • South Korea • Spain • Sri Lanka • Taiwan • Thailand • Turkey • UAE • USA • Vietnam.

In-country representatives

In the International Office, we manage a network of overseas representatives who have been trained to support international students with their application to study at the University. Services representatives provide can include pre-departure information, support in submitting your housing application and advice regarding applying for a UK Student Visa.

Find out more about our overseas visits and in-country representatives

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