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Thinking of studying pharmacy?

If you have just received your A-Level results and are considering the MPharm degree, here are our top ten tips for success.

Is pharmacy for you?

Pharmacy is one of the fastest growing areas of healthcare. There are many different opportunities, and career choices include hospitals, GPs’ surgeries, industry and regulation. For further information about careers and salaries, see the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) website.

Better grades than expected?

If you have better grades than you anticipated, you could opt to switch to a better university. You can apply for this using Adjustment, which will enable you to check out alternatives without losing your current offer. For further information about Adjustment, see the UCAS website.

Got the right grades?

If you have the right grades to get into the pharmacy school of your choice, many congratulations. You should be able to confirm your university offer by checking with the UCAS Track system. For further information about Track, see the UCAS website.

Not quite got the grades?

If you have missed your grades by a narrow margin, it is worth contacting your university to see if they are still willing to take you. If not, they may be able to discuss alternative courses for you. If these alternatives are not to your liking, you can opt to go for Clearing. For further information about the Clearing service, see the UCAS website.

Take a foundation degree

If you have not got the required grades you could opt for the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) accredited foundation degree. This is a two year full-time course which combines the content of a year one MPharm degree with work experience placements. Once completed, you can apply to enter an MPharm degree directly at year two. For further information about the foundation degree, see the GPhC website.

Choosing your pharmacy school

There are currently 26 UK universities that are fully accredited by the GPhC to offer an MPharm degree and a further 3 that are provisionally accredited. For a full list of these providers, see the GPhC website.

Which pharmacy school is best for me?

There are numerous things to consider when choosing your school. These will include location, cost of living in a given area, for example, can you afford to live in London, and of course, university results. For further information and comparisons for each school, including student satisfaction and graduate prospects, see the Complete University Guide website.

Taking a gap year

If you would like to defer for a year, you should contact your university to see if this is possible. Not all universities will agree to this, but it would be a good idea to have some information available to support your decision, so that your university can better understand the reason for your request. For further information about gap years, see the Year Out Group website.

Will my A-Level grades affect my ability to get a pre-registration trainee placement?

Naturally, competition for certain placements is fierce, for example, hospital placements, and when choosing candidates, employers might well look at A-Level results. Job application forms may ask for A-Level grades and other qualifications. However most prospective employers are looking for well-rounded individuals with relevant experience. Our MPharm student fact sheet covers writing a CV, job interviews, summer placements, internships and information about all the different types of pre-registration placements including split industry, split academia and split CCG.

What financial support is available to pharmacy students?

Naturally, the majority of students on a first degree will get help in the form of student loans. Check with your student support services for information about any bursaries, scholarships and fee waivers that your university may offer. We offer student hardship grants for students who are experiencing unexpected financial hardship and we also have a national bursary scheme.

For further information on student funding providers, including those specific to pharmacy students, see our Finding funding fact sheet.

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