Why study pharmacy?

Student studies in University library

What is pharmacy?

Pharmacy is the science of preparing and dispensing medical drugs. The study of pharmacy involves chemistry and pharmaceutics, among other specialist topics. A pharmacist is a licensed healthcare professional who specialises in providing information about different medication and methods of treatment to patients. They have well-informed knowledge of all kinds of medicines, what they are used for and their side effects. Also sometimes called a chemist, a pharmacist usually works in a pharmacy and can recommend over-the-counter medicines as well as dispensing treatments or drugs prescribed by a general practitioner. There are multiple types of pharmacists, including community pharmacists and hospital pharmacists.

How do I study Pharmacy in the UK?

If pharmacy sounds like a career for you, and you want to study abroad at Kingston University London, we can help. As an international student, you can begin your journey to the Pharmacy MPharm (Hons) degree at the Kingston University International Study Centre. We offer a pathway into this degree through our International Foundation Year in Science, Engineering and Computing, which will prepare you with all the relevant knowledge, English language and academic skills you’ll need to achieve your potential while studying pharmacy abroad. Get to grips with subject areas you will study during your intended degree, while familiarising yourself with campus life and the British education system. After completing this three-term preparational course, you will be ready to join the first year of your degree.

Why study a pharmacy degree?

Treat and prevent disease

You may want to study pharmacy if you have a desire to help people through your work. As a pharmacist, you will be at the forefront of the treatment and prevention of disease in society. This is an aspect of the job that is universal, which means the skills developed during a pharmacy degree can be utilised anywhere in the world.

Gain patient-centred responsibilities

This profession is very patient-focused, as you are likely to be the first person a patient will see for information on their illness. Pharmacists are often recommended to provide medical advice if a patient’s symptoms are not severe, meaning that they should be able to assess a patient’s needs and address them attentively.

Scientific research and development opportunities

If you wish to become a pharmacist, you’ll also have the option to undertake scientific research and development opportunities in the workplace, which can further expand your career options and introduce variety into your role. It is worth considering that universities and research institutions also directly recruit pharmacy graduates, if this type of work is in your interest.

Develop advanced knowledge and skills

In a career of this nature you will be constantly learning and improving your understanding of medicine and how to better assess and treat illnesses. Additional specialist skills you will gain include effective, professional communication, the operation of pharmaceutical instrumentation and knowledge of the law and ethical concerns relating to the supply of medicines.

Job stability

As a pharmacy graduate, you will also benefit from job security, as the skills learned in a pharmacy degree are specialised and pharmacist expertise are required globally. In 2019, it was reported that 98% of pharmacy students were in employment within six months of graduating from their degree (Prospects).

Flexible career options

Qualifying in pharmacy can lead to a variety of job roles, which often offer good professional progression. Alternatively to becoming a pharmacist, you could use your knowledge of medicine to become a research scientist, medical science liaison, pharmacologist, or toxicologist, among other professions.

Access different industries

As well as different job roles, there are also a variety of fields you can enter with a degree in pharmacy. The majority of graduates do become health professionals, as the study is designed for that type of work, but many pharmacy students also go into business, sales and financial roles or find work in the childcare, health and education industries.

Science and maths-focused studies

A degree in pharmacy incorporates maths and science, specifically biology and chemistry. If you have an interest or excel in these subjects, you will likely enjoy studying pharmacy at university, as you will be able to develop your numeracy and problem-solving skills to employ them in a practical way.

Reasons to study pharmacy at Kingston University

A prestigious, recognised degree

Kingston University London is an excellent place to study pharmacy, due to its brilliant facilities and high-ranking degree course. As the top-ranked university for pharmacy in London and 26th nationwide (Guardian University League Tables 2020), studying at Kingston will help you get the most out of this subject. Kingston’s Pharmacy MPharm (Hons) degree is a four-year course that will allow you to gain experience working alongside other future healthcare professionals, talking to patients about their conditions and offering suggestions of treatment. Throughout the course of this undergraduate degree, you'll learn how chemistry, pharmacology and pharmaceutics affect clinical practice through the evaluation of relevant, insightful case studies. Additionally, this course received an overall student satisfaction rating of 96% in the National Student Survey 2019, and is a fully accredited qualification by the General Pharmaceutical Council. This demonstrates how valuable this degree is, and how much former students have enjoyed studying pharmacy at Kingston.

The metropolitan student lifestyle

On top of all this, studying in Kingston is an exciting experience that can broaden your mind. Studying a degree here, you will meet all kinds of people from all over the world, and gain life skills by honing your employability and making industry connections through work placement schemes. You’ll gain complete, authentic exposure to British life and have the country’s capital within reach - the campus is a 25-minute journey away from London’s city centre on public transport - which can provide great networking opportunities to support your career. Kingston University London prides itself on offering a practical learning designed to thoroughly prepare its students for future success. The experience you can gain through Kingston’s many interprofessional activity days are an invaluable addition to your skillset, and will assist you when applying for jobs in the pharmacy industry and beyond.

Frequently asked questions

Is it difficult to become a pharmacist?

To become a pharmacist, you will need to complete a Pharmacy MPharm degree. This is a full time, intensive course that lasts four years. The work is rewarding but challenging and difficult, so it's important to make sure this is a field you are really interested in pursuing.

What university should I go to to become a pharmacist?

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing what university to study your architecture degree. Some suggestions:

  1. Ensure the course is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
  2. Think about where in the UK you would like to study; you'll be here for a while, so picking a location that works best for you is important
  3. Check university websites for more details on the courses; what modules are studied? How long for? Do you find the course content interesting?
  4. Attend an open day (virtual or in-person), if you can, to get a feel for the university and whether it would be a good fit for you
  5. Look at the university rankings for pharmacy courses and filter by preferences that matter to you.

How do I study pharmacy in the UK?

If you're an international student looking to begin your pharmacy journey in the UK, you can make your first step towards your Pharmacy MPharm at the Kingston University International Study Centre. Our International Foundation Year in Science, Engineering and Computing will equip you with all the skills and knowledge you need to get started on this rewarding path.

Kingston ISC student Innocent

“I have a passion to improve people’s lives. I’ve got an idea on how to better distribute medicines in Nigeria and I am planning to open my own consultancy once I graduate. After I finish my Foundation Year in science, I’ll start Pharmaceutical Science, and then I will get into entrepreneurship, get advice from the University on how to start it up. ”

Innocent from Nigeria

International Foundation Year

Progressed to BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Science