Pharmacy MPharm


Fact file - 2019 entry

MPharm Pharmacy
UCAS code
4 years full-time 
A level offer
Required subjects
A level Chemistry and at least one further science A level from biology, maths or physics. A pass in the practical element for science subjects will not be required. GCSE maths and English, grade 5 or above are required. Critical thinking, citizenship and general studies are not accepted.
IB score
34 (6, 6, 5 at Higher Level including chemistry plus one from biology, physics or maths. You will need bonus points to bring your diploma to a minimum of 34 points)
Course location
University Park Campus
Course places
We are still currently taking applications for 2018 entry


This course is designed to equip you with the knowledge, personal and professional skills and the nurturing and ethical outlook needed to become an excellent pharmacist.
Read full overview

The Master of Pharmacy course at Nottingham is designed to equip you with the knowledge and technical ability, personal and professional skills and the nurturing and ethical outlook needed to become an excellent pharmacist.

Much of your learning will be case based to ensure that the scientific and professional elements are integrated from day one. Our course is distinctive in providing this integrated teaching across therapeutic themes or disease states. Within each 'Drug, Medicine and Patient' module you will study elements of the following areas:

  • Pharmacology and Therapeutics – looking at diseases and their symptoms, therapeutic classes and drug examples.
  • Biology and Physiology – including the anatomy and function of the body and cell biology.
  • Pharmaceutics – the science of making medicines.
  • Chemistry – including physical chemistry and analysis, synthesis and chemical mechanisms, pharmacokinetics and natural products.
  • Law and Ethics – including personal development and professionalism.
  • Pharmacy Practice and Health Economics – looking at the key sectors of community, hospital and industrial pharmacy as well as giving you an insight into less well-known areas of pharmacy practice.

Alongside University-based learning, placements take place in each year of the course. They provide experience of community and hospital pharmacy as well as 'insight' visits to provide a variety of inter-professional experiences. Throughout the course you will develop a range of transferable skills and the ability to work to the highest professional and ethical standards with a truly patient-centred approach.

Year one 

In year one we give you the time and space to settle into university life. Introductory modules in the first semester will give you the background information to equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to study effectively. You will concentrate on the fundamentals of the main areas of the course which are chemistry, pharmaceutics, microbiology and pharmacology. You will also begin to visit community and hospital pharmacies.

Year two

You will consolidate the main areas of pharmacy and start to explore some of the wider professional and sociological issues. You will have the opportunity to apply to spend either a semester or the whole year at our Malaysia Campus.

Year three

You will begin to develop clinical skills to a much greater extent. The style of teaching incorporates more problem-based learning. You will also undertake a research project and have the opportunity to apply to complete this at our Malaysia Campus, or at one of our partner institutions in the UK or around the world.

Year four

In year four we will prepare you for going on to work as a pharmacist with a variety of modules in advanced clinical pharmacy, healthcare policy and practice and future medicines.

Study abroad Malaysia Campus 

The school also delivers the first two years of the MPharm, and the third year project, at the University's campus in Malaysia. Students at Nottingham will have the unique opportunity to apply to spend all or part of their second year, or undertake their project in Malaysia. The self-contained Malaysia Campus is on a beautiful 101 acre site in Semenyih, close to Kuala Lumpur. For more details about the course at Malaysia visit the Malaysia Campus website.

Professional accreditation


The course is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).


Entry requirements

A levels: AAB, including chemistry and at least one further science A level from biology, maths or physics; the third subject can be chosen from a wide range of subjects, but general studies and critical thinking are not accepted. Plus GCSE maths and English grade 5 or above. 

English language requirements 

IELTS 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element)

IGCSE First Language English grade B
IGCSE Second Language English grade A

For details of other English language tests and qualifications we accept, please see our entry requirements page.

If you require additional support to take your language skills to the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional course at the Centre for English Language Education, which is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

Students who successfully complete the presessional course to the required level can progress onto their chosen degree course without retaking IELTS or equivalent.

Alternative qualifications 

Irish Leaving Certificate: five subjects at Higher Level including chemistry and a second science from biology, maths or physics; our typical offer is AAABB.

Scottish qualifications: Advanced Highers grades AA in chemistry and a second science from biology, maths and physics plus 5 suitable Highers grades AABBB.

Welsh Baccalaureate: Advanced Diploma with either a pass or grade A/B in the core and two A level grades AA/AB in chemistry and a second science from maths, biology or physics.

BTEC National Diploma: grades equivalent to our typical A level offer, with distinctions in key subjects like applied chemistry or pharmaceutical sciences and A level chemistry.

International Students are advised to take a look at our International Office pages for country specific entry requirements.

Foundation courses: We accept applications from students studying on the Life Sciences Foundation at the University. The Science Foundation course at Nottingham College International is also suitable for European and International candidates wishing to apply for the MPharm. The University Admissions Office can advise on other suitable Foundation courses that we are able to accept. 

Mature applicants and graduate entry

Mature students should meet the same requirements as other candidates. Graduates in an appropriate subject with at least a 2:1 honours degree (GPA 3.0) will also be considered.

Other qualifications

For details of alternative qualifications accepted by the University, see alternative qualifications page. 

If you have a combination of qualifications, or would like advice on qualifications not covered here, please contact the school directly.

Science Foundation Certificate

International students only

International students (non-EU) who do not have the required qualifications or grades to go directly onto an undergraduate degree course, may be interested in the Science Foundation Certificate delivered through The University of Nottingham International College. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met. 

Science with Foundation Year

Home, EU and international students

If you have achieved high grades in your A levels (or equivalent qualifications) but do not meet the current subject entry requirements for direct entry to your chosen undergraduate course, you may be interested in our one year science foundation programme. Applicants must also demonstrate good grades in previous relevant science subjects to apply. You are guaranteed a place on selected undergraduate courses if all progression requirements are met.  

Flexible admissions policy

In recognition of our applicants’ varied experience and educational pathways, The University of Nottingham employs a flexible admissions policy. We consider applicants’ circumstances and broader achievements as part of the assessment process, but do not vary the offer from the grades advertised as a result of these. Please see the University’s admissions policies and procedures for more information.

Other requirements 

Standards for Pharmacy Professionals

Pharmacy is one of the registered healthcare professions and carries both privileges and responsibilities. Students are expected to conduct themselves professionally at all times. The Standards for Pharmacy Professionals apply to all pharmacy students from the first day of the course to the day of graduation, and applies both on and off campus. 

The school has fitness to practise procedures in place for pharmacy students and you will be given more information about these when you join the course. 

The Standards for Pharmacy Professionals and the requirement for fitness to practise procedures are issued by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).  However, you should note that the GPhC is not an adjudicator or appeal body, and will not be able to offer prospective registration advice.

The GPhC is the final arbiter in relation to an individual's eligibility to:

  • enter pharmacist pre-registration training
  • register as a pharmacist

The GPhC reserves the right to set aside a school's fitness to practise decision, if there are grounds for doing so, when making either of these decisions.

The GPhC has its own requirements for registration as a pharmacist, including making its own health and good character checks. It also has its own fitness to practise procedures for registered pharmacists. The GPhC can refuse to register a student as a pre-reg or pharmacist if a check is failed, even if previous checks have been passed. 

As a member of the Pharmacy Schools Council the School makes use of the Excluded Students Database to identify applicants who have been excluded from a professional degree programme on grounds of fitness to practice. Applications from applicants who appear on the Database will be considered on an individual basis.

Health Questionnaire

Whilst studying on the MPharm course you will come into close contact with potentially vulnerable people or at least learn about their personal circumstances. The University therefore has to ensure its students have a proven record of good conduct and character before undertaking these types of activities. When you accept your offer, the school will send out a health questionnaire with further instructions before you join us. You do not need to do anything else regarding a health check before this time. 

Character Checks

UK-based applicants will be asked to complete and return a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) application form. It will be sent to you when you meet your offer with a set of instructions on how to complete it. 

Non UK-based applicants will be required to provide us with a Certificate of Good Conduct and Character, which will need to be requested from a formal authority like the police, or the Foreign Affairs Department or equivalent. It should include any information on any criminal convictions that you have, or simply confirm that you don't have any.

We encourage students to discuss any problems or concerns with us as soon as possible, so that we can support and advise you appropriately. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the above, then please contact

Notes for applicants 

We are looking for strong academic qualifications as well as a commitment to a career in pharmacy. Applications where pharmacy does not appear to be the first subject choice are therefore less likely to be successful. Your personal statement is your opportunity to make yourself stand out from the crowd. We want to know what interests you about pharmacy so it is worth reflecting on any pharmacy related reading that you have done, any work experience and any extracurricular activities that you do. For additional information regarding writing your personal statement, please see the UCAS website

Entry to our MPharm is always into year one, with no exceptions. 

We do not accept lower grade A levels alongside an incomplete or partial degree.

The University of Nottingham welcomes the diversity of appearance that people can bring from different religions, backgrounds and beliefs. However, there may be health and safety or professional considerations that would restrict certain modes of dress in particular contexts, for example when working on placement. In such cases, it will be necessary for the University to consult with staff/students and placement providers who may be affected by such restrictions

We welcome applications from candidates who would like to defer entry until the following academic year.

For candidates who are re-sitting a full year, the standard offer will remain as AAB.



The following is a sample of the typical modules that we offer as at the date of publication but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and the module information in this prospectus is provided for indicative purposes only.

In addition to the modules listed below, in each year of study there is a professional competencies module. These modules allow us to confirm that key elements of the course have been assessed and passed. In particular, you are required to produce a series of Continuing Professional Development entries, reflecting on your learning experience. These modules do not carry any credits however students are required to pass them each year in order to progress on the course. 

Typical year one modules


Being a Pharmacist

This module will help you understand the role pharmacists play including the responsibilities, ethical and legal issues and the way in which this fits into the structure of the health care system. This will involve a degree of patient involvement whereby you will have 15 - 20 minutes in groups of four discussing with a patient about what it’s like to have a long-term illness.

Essential Skills for Pharmacists

As a pharmacist this module will teach you all the essential skills you will need throughout your time spent at university and your career. You will be taught the background and practice in the sets of core skills, such as communication with the public and the health care team, pharmacology and therapeutics, and pharmacist checking skills including accuracy and precision. You will have weekly lectures, practical classes and workshops.


This is the first of our ‘Drug, Medicine and Patient’ (DMP) modules focusing on a particular disease in this case, Dyspepsia. You develop an understanding of the states, causes, diseases and associated conditions of the disease and the commonly encountered drugs and medicines used in their treatment. You will also develop key study and learning skills, alongside high level inquiry and critical skills. You will have a combination of lectures, workshops, e-learning packages, case study workshops and community and hospital placements.

Bacterial and Fungal Infections

You will learn to appreciate microbiology and infectious diseases, developing a high level of understanding of some of the key antimicrobial drugs and detailed knowledge of antibiotic prescribing from a pharmacists perspective. You will study a range of bacterial and fungal infections and their common treatments. You will have a combination of lectures, practical sessions, e-learning packages, case studies and directed study.


Typical year two modules


Gastrointestinal and Liver Disorders

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and the structure and function of the liver with respect to the metabolism of nutrients and drugs. You will develop an understanding of the role of normal GI bacteria, as well as learning about the pathology of major GI diseases, and the drugs used to treat these. You will also find out how these drugs are absorbed by the body, and will be able to identify appropriate types of dosages for specific drugs. You will have a combination of workshops, practical lab classes, e-learning packages, case studies and a hospital placement visit.

Asthma, Allergies and Immune Diseases

Amongst the more common disorders encountered by both community and hospital pharmacists are those affecting the respiratory system such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder. This module aims to illustrate molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying these pathological states, how therapeutic intervention is designed to treat these states and how better medicines can be generated for these conditions. Some example topics include the role of inflammatory cells, the regulation of smooth muscle tone and mucus production as well as delivery systems. You will have a combination of lectures, workshops, practical classes and e-learning packages.


You will learn to appreciate the causes and systems of cardiovascular diseases and the commonly used drugs to treat them. This module will include patient involvement in teaching and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder will meet with you to aid your understanding of the condition. On completion of this module you will be able recommend appropriate treatment, patient counselling and lifestyle advice. You will have a combination of lectures, practical laboratory classes, workshops, e-learning packages, direct learning and case studies.

Renal and Endocrine Diseases 

This module will provide you with a comprehensive coverage of pharmaceutical-relevant topics relating to renal and endocrine diseases. You will gain an understanding of the biology of renal and endocrine function, the symptoms of renal and endocrine diseases and the chemistry and mechanism of peptide-based drugs such as insulin. On completion of this module you will have a sound understanding of the treatment and management of renal and endocrine diseases. You will have a combination of lectures, laboratory practical classes and case study workshops over the course of this module.

Sexual Health and Pregnancy

This module aims to make you consider not only the medication, therapies and appropriate treatments surrounding conception, contraception, and pregnancy but also the evolutionary drivers of reproduction and sexual attraction and the ethical and moral dilemmas that you as a pharmacist may face. The topics covered include the evolutionary basis of sex and aspects of sexually transmitted diseases, the physiological basis of sexual attraction, conception, contraception and infertility and pregnancy testing and prescribing. You will have a combination of lectures, podcasts, Q&A sessions, presentations, practical lab classes, case study workshops and four formative assessments.


Pharmacists encounter patients experiencing pain every day. This module provides you with the sufficient background scientific knowledge to be able to understand and describe the clinical use of commonly used analgesics and targets novel analgesics. There is an element of patient involvement via workshop sessions where patients will talk to students in small groups. On completion of this module you will be able to apply scientific knowledge to basic clinical scenarios. You will have a combination of lectures, workshops, e-learning packages and case studies.


Typical year three modules


Viral and Parasitic Infections

This module aims to get you thinking about the available treatments for important viral and parasitic diseases. You will get to grips with the basic biology of viruses, protozoan and metazoan parasites and gain an understanding of the pathogens and drugs or vaccinations available for treatment. Some of the topics covered include the benefits of using vaccination, travel medicine, HIV, H5N1 and tropical diseases and the supply, law and ethics surrounding veterinary medicines. You will have lectures, practicals and workshops and case study work.

Central Nervous System Disorders

The central nervous system is fundamental to the work of the healthcare professional. This module will provide with you with sufficient background scientific information to understand and describe the pathophysiology of CNS disorders and the medicines used to treat them. You will have a combination of lectures, workshops, practical laboratory classes and case study workshops. The module also includes patient involvement in teaching and you will meet a patient with a history of drug misuse.


This module addresses issues relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of cancers, and the professional and ethical issues concerning palliative care and the end of life. In particular, you will be encouraged to think of cancers as a diverse group of genetic diseases which pose unique problems in their diagnosis and management. Examples of a small number of cancer types will be used to illustrate key points which have broader relevance to cancer therapy and beyond. You will have a combination of lectures, workshops, practical lab classes and case studies.

Research Project

You will be required to engage in contemporary research methods aimed at solving a specific pharmacy related or biomedical problem. You will be required to collect, analyse and interpret data and present this in the form of a poster presentation and research report. The form of project may vary and it may be based on laboratory work, clinical audit, or patient studies. In order to complete this module you will have twelve hours of taught sessions in research methods as well as support from a supervisor throughout the semester.

Projects are available in a wide range of subject areas. You can also apply to undertake your project at an overseas provider. We currently have projects available in Malaysia, the USA, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Italy and New Zealand. Project destinations change each year.


Typical year four modules


Future Medicines

This module looks ahead into your career as a pharmacist and considers the way that major changes in treatment are likely to change over the span of your career. You will gain an appreciation of the research breakthroughs in biology and pharmaceutical sciences that are driving the invention of future medicines. On completion of the module you should be able to assess new scientific breakthroughs in terms of their clinical potential. You will have a combination of lectures, workshops, e-learning packages and two case studies to work through.

Integrated Pharmaceutical and Patient Care

You will follow patients through a number of care pathways, from pharmacy to GP, through to hospital admission then discharged to a nursing home. You will develop problem solving skills and abilities in application of therapeutics to individual patients with complex medical conditions and multiple medicines use. You will have a combination of lectures, case studies and patient contact as well as workshops and interprofessional cases.

Pharmacy Leadership and Management

This module will see a group of ten students set up, design a management plan, market and run a simulated pharmacy for the whole year. Actors will visit as patients and customers, prescribers, pharmaceutical company representatives and inspectors. You may receive phone calls from doctors, nursing homes and patients and may have to do real out of hours practice. You will have ten lectures throughout the year and one day a week simulations.

Advanced Drug Discovery

You will gain an appreciation of the state of the art in drug discovery by drawing together concepts in chemistry and pharmacology. You will gain an understanding of how advances in quantitative biology, molecular modelling, structural biology, synthetic chemistry and natural product chemistry combine to create new classes of drugs. You will be taught through lectures, workshops, e-learning packages and case studies.


Studying Abroad

We offer students the chance to apply to spend some or all of their second year studying at our campus in Malaysia, based near Semenyih, which is approximately one hour's drive from the capital Kuala Lumpur. Another option available is for students undertaking their semester-long research project in year three to apply to study either at our Malaysia Campus or at one of our partner institutions overseas. Recent destinations have included Australia, Hong Kong, USA, Canada, Italy and France.

For more details about study abroad options, please see our School Study Abroad page.


Pharmacists are experts in medicines and how they work, which combined with the range of professional skills, opens up a number of career opportunities. Most pharmacists work in community and hospital pharmacies, but there are a number of other options available to qualified pharmacists. Our graduates are highly regarded, and the latest graduation destination survey showed that 100% of our graduates had secured work or further study within six months of graduation.


After completing the MPharm degree, if you want to become a fully qualified pharmacist you will need to undertake the pre-registration year. This is a year of salaried training, at the end of which you will sit the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC) exam to become a qualified pharmacist.

The school hosts a pre-registration fair every year which is attended by potential employers from all sectors and support is provided by both the school and the Careers and Employability Service to help students secure a pre-registration place.

Community pharmacy

The traditional dispensing and advisory role associated with community pharmacy is evolving and pharmacists are playing a greater role in patient care. Some community pharmacists now have prescribing roles and are involved in screening programmes such as weight management counselling.

Alongside patient care, there can also be possibilities on the business side of community pharmacy with the chance to develop different skills such as financial and managerial. Community pharmacists can be self-employed or can work within a larger company.

Hospital pharmacy

Hospital pharmacists work as part of a healthcare team comprising of doctors, nurses and pharmacists. As part of this team they offer their expertise to select treatments for managing patient care. The role of hospital pharmacists is also developing, as technological advancements are giving pharmacists more time to work with patients on the wards.

Hospital pharmacists have opportunities for career development through management or clinical specialism.

Industrial pharmacy

If you are interested in the research and development of new drugs you may consider industrial pharmacy. Industrial pharmacists work with scientists who specialise in other areas to discover safe and effective drugs.

Other opportunities 

There are a number of other opportunities available to pharmacists, including academic pharmacy, veterinary pharmacy, royal army medical corps, prison service and regulatory pharmacy.

Postgraduate study

We also welcome graduates back here to the school to study for higher degrees in research such as MPhil, MRes and PhD programmes.

Average starting salary and career progression

In 2016, 97.6% of undergraduates in the school who were available for employment had secured work or further study within six months of graduation. The average starting salary was £20,283 with the highest being £26,000.*

Known destinations of full-time home undergraduates 2015/16. Salaries are calculated based on the median of those in full-time paid employment within the UK.

Careers support and advice

Throughout your time with us, the  Careers and Employability Service can work with you to improve your employability skills even further; assisting with job or course applications, searching for appropriate work experience placements and hosting events to bring you closer to a wide range of prospective employers.

Have a look at the careers page for an overview of all the employability support and opportunities that we provide to current students.  

The University of Nottingham is consistently named as one of the most targeted universities by Britain’s leading graduate employers
(Ranked in the top ten in The Graduate Market in 2013-2017, High Fliers Research).


Fees and funding

Scholarships and bursaries

The University of Nottingham offers a wide range of bursaries and scholarships. These funds can provide you with an additional source of non-repayable financial help. For up to date information regarding tuition fees, visit our fees and finance pages.

Home students*

Over one third of our UK students receive our means-tested core bursary, worth up to £2,000 a year. Full details can be found on our financial support pages.

* A 'home' student is one who meets certain UK residence criteria. These are the same criteria as apply to eligibility for home funding from Student Finance.

International/EU students

Our International Baccalaureate Diploma Excellence Scholarship is available for select students paying overseas fees who achieve 38 points or above in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. We also offer a range of High Achiever Prizes for students from selected countries, schools and colleges to help with the cost of tuition fees. Find out more about scholarships, fees and finance for international students.


Key Information Sets (KIS)

KIS is an initiative that the government has introduced to allow you to compare different courses and universities.


There is assessment associated with this programme that is not attached to a credit bearing module. Each year of the programme includes a series of 'professional competencies', that must be passed in order to progress. These include regular practice of key skills vital to learning. Assessment involves practical exams, regular calculations tests and compulsory CPD entries. 

How to use the data

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.


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