Pharmacists in Scotland - five-year integrated education programme: scoping report

Report on the integration of the existing four-year pharmacist degree and one-year training scheme into a single five-year programme.

Implementation outline

It is proposed that the new five-year integrated initial education programme for pharmacists in Scotland could commence implementation from 2020-2021. The aim would be for the programme to provide coterminus graduation and registration. The first students achieving this status could graduate and register in summer 2025. This will require the two Schools of Pharmacy to apply for reaccreditation with the GPhC which could be aligned to happen within the same timescale (2019-2020). Between now and the introduction of the five-year integrated MPharm an enhanced 4+1 model will provide a transitional programme structure.

This proposal prepares for a managed integration of the 4-year MPharm and 1-year pre-registration training programmes, with progress to a fully integrated five-year programme determined by agreement with stakeholders and, in particular, students already enrolled in MPharm degrees in Scotland. The modular PRPS pilot will be rolled out across the transitional period providing experience in the three main patient-facing sectors of practice.

A new funding model will be proposed for the transition period to support both trainees and training providers. Alongside this, improvements to the admissions process will mean that students who successfully complete their MPharm during the transition period will automatically progress, based on merit, to a NES pre-registration position.

Scottish Government, in collaboration with NES, the service and the two Schools of Pharmacy, will advise on student intake numbers and a values-based admissions process including multiple mini-interviews will be developed that will include the involvement of training providers in the selection of the student intake. The plan is to pilot the admissions process in 2018-2019 and roll out from 2019-2020.

During the transitional phase students will still graduate at the end of the year four and then progress to their pre-registration year. Successful completion of the pre-registration year will permit registration. However, students not wishing to progress to the pre-registration year may still graduate with an MPharm and can pursue pre-registration training out with Scotland if that is desired. Likewise, international students can also graduate at this time.


Email: Elaine Muirhead

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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