Pharmacy students to learn vital cultural, communication and clinical skills on new degree course

Future pharmacists are set to learn vital cultural, communication and clinical skills on a new University of Sussex masters course, after the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) accredited the University to take their first students in September 2016. 

The new four-year degree has now been given the Step three accreditation by the GPhC. The new Pharmacy masters, will teach students the cultural, communication and clinical skills they need in order to broaden their knowledge of the diverse communities in which they will work. As part of the course they will also gain experience within local hospitals, community pharmacies, pharmaceutical industry and homeless charities.

Taught by world-leading experts, students will graduate with a Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree - the only qualification in the UK that leads to professional registration as a pharmacist. The September 2016 intake will learn about anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology and diagnostics which underpin the prescribing of medicines as well as the social and behavioural sciences that underpin communication and behaviour in a cultural context. They will also learn about the legal and ethical framework that governs the new professional practice of pharmacy which includes the provision of pharmaceutical care directly to patients.

Successful applicants will study in the University’s School of Life Sciences, which is home to a state of the art, life-sized, computerised simulator patient. SimMan 3G, (affectionately known as Simon or Simone, depending on the wig chosen) can be programmed to display symptoms such as having an asthma attack or heart attack and students will be assessed as to how they respond to simulation in advance of providing clinical care to real patients.

Dr Bugewa Apampa, Director of Pharmacy at the University of Sussex, said: “My team and I are delighted with our success at the Step three pharmacy accreditation and I look forward to welcoming our first cohort of students, who will engage with an exciting, innovative and distinctive pharmacy course.”

Professor Clare Mackie, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and herself a registered pharmacist, said: “Pharmacists already contribute to the management of acute and long-term illnesses and are increasingly helping to meet the demand for urgent and emergency care services. We want our students, who will be taught by world-leading experts, to learn and experience first-hand the vital cultural, communication and clinical skills they need to become clinical pharmacists of the future.

“As a university, our strengths in discovery research into new medicines and treatments will enable us to produce highly qualified pharmacists who are not only able to apply their skills in research and clinical settings, but who can also form excellent community partnerships with patients and professionals.”

Full details of the masters course and qualification requirements can be found online in Sussex’s 2016-17 undergraduate prospectus.

Posted on behalf of: Lynsey Ford
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Last updated: Thursday, 31 March 2016