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.

Meeting with University of Strathclyde staff and students

Staff and students were presented with an overview of the key issues and options for change and were invited to consider these as well as the questions arising from the Stakeholder Event.

  • Students

Students stated a preference for a more clinical focus to any experiential learning and for an increase in focus on hospital and primary care opportunities . The students also valued the strong science component that runs through the course. They also appreciated that IPL was important because they would be working with other professions during their careers.

The students could see how having periods of experiential learning at different places in the course would help them apply their learning in practice . They also could see how the final six months in practice would help them consolidate their learning and prepare for the exam. However they also wanted appropriate quality management arrangements.

Students described the pain associated with the uncertainty of applying for pre-registration places. They supported an integrated five year programme with progression to a fifth year on merit as long as there continued to be appropriate incentives for progression (students who work hard and can demonstrate this should not be disadvantaged by those who think they can just coast through barely passing with minimal effort because there is a guaranteed pre-registration place.)

Students wanted reassurances over the financial implications but would be prepared to sacrifice the current pre-registration salary for a fairer system.

The students did feel that interviews might help manage the numbers entering into the MPharm course and also encourage the selection of the best candidates.

  • Staff

Staff expressed concern that the benefits of a recent course re-design had not been seen as there had been no graduates from the revised course as yet. They were also concerned about the financial implications for students and the ease of any change. Staff sought direction on the skills gap and how this impacts on programme content . They were keen on interviews as part of the admissions process.


Email: Elaine Muirhead

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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