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Pharmacy Programs in the UK

Suppose you are interested in getting into the course of Pharmacy abroad. In that case, you will have to pursue a degree in Bachelor of Science of three years from a successful university, followed by preregistration work for a year under some guided supervision. The four-year M. Pharm program is to be followed by a year of compulsory work program before applying for registration as a pharmacist under the recognized qualification, which grants registration with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. 

This degree is classed as an "undergraduate master's program" under the Bologna Agreement of educational equivalence across Europe. Although this is considered to be a lesser qualification than that of an MSc degree, the possession of a bachelor's degree program is not essential for the application to the program. If we talk about being within mainland Europe, it takes about 5 to 6 years to complete Pharmacy degree programs. The four-year degree of the United Kingdom is estimated to be the shortest pharmacy degree in all of Europe. 

Why study Pharmacy in the UK? 

The UK is considered a great place to study pharmacy in the UK. It continues to be one of the leading members in the territory of research, innovation, and the development of medicines, optimizing health care and uses of various types of newly invented medicines. Universities in the UK concentrate on distributing knowledge and encouraging innovation as taught by leading academics. To integrate all the courses under pharmacy education, it has been transformed since 2012, which means that the student studying pharmacy course will be able to contact patients earlier than they used to be. This is so because all courses have been embedded into short work placements that ensure the interaction of students with health professionals such as doctors, nurses, pharmacy technicians, etc. These new integrated courses under pharmacy ensure that students learn the science and have the experience of facing patients in clinical pharmacy.

Another reason student tries to take up pharmacy courses in the UK is the modern techniques of teaching along with lectures and practical. There is extensive use of teamwork workshops and other innovative educational methods aimed at supporting and helping students, country and outside to succeed in this study and enjoy the course. 

The M.Pharm students are provided with enough learning opportunities, including research projects or dissertations that generally take place in the last year. Lastly, they also encouraged utilizing that time outside the classroom by helping the community by volunteering and taking up additional work internships or being involved in sports or student's society. 

6 Benefits of studying pharmacy in the UK 

Pharmacy has many real-life applications and solid career options. Discover six of the best reasons to study this degree and how it can improve your prospects:

1. Modern and applicable

Of all the subjects on offer at UK universities today, few have more modern applications than the study and research of new medicinal drugs. Pharmacology graduates make up a large part of this country's production as a workforce. The area is regularly undersubscribed in the job market, too.

2. Graduate prospects

The graduate prospects for the top universities in this subject area are high, meaning you're in with a great shot of professional-level employment or further study after finishing your undergraduate degree.

3. Work in Industry

Most Pharmacology & Pharmacy courses include real-world experiences with major pharmaceutical companies. You’ll probably have the opportunity to take a year-long, fully paid work placement in the industry.

4. Work abroad

Quite a few courses that include a year in industry offer the opportunity to take the placement abroad. For most, this will be in English-speaking countries such as Ireland or the USA, but the possibilities go further if you also speak a foreign language.

5. International skills

Drug knowledge and research offer skills and knowledge that can be applied in any country or culture around the world today. So, if you're keen to work overseas, you'll have the ability to take your skills further than the UK.

6. Earning potential

One of the key benefits of studying Pharmacology & Pharmacy is the money. The starting salaries are among the best across all industry sectors. With demand outstripping supply, expect at least something around the national average for graduate salaries.

Where Can You Study Pharmacy in the UK?


University Name

University Ranking 

(Source: Subject League Table 2023)

Research Quality

Graduate Prospects

University of Cambridge




Queen’s University Belfast




Ulster University




University of Strathclyde




Cardiff University




University of Manchester




University of Southampton




University of Bath




The University of Edinburgh




University of Nottingham




There are plentiful courses in pharmaceutics provided by many top universities in the United Kingdom. Here are a few to get you started with:

University of Nottingham

According to the QS World University Rankings 2023, the University of Nottingham ranks 18th in the UK and 103th in the World. The University provides a 4-year course in MPharm. The course begins in September, and the tuition fee is around £26,500 per annum for international students.

Entry Requirements

  • IB score: 34
  • A-Levels: AAB – must include chemistry and one more science A level from biology, maths or physics.
  • IELTS: 7.0 (no less than 6.0 in any element). Note: Other accepted English language tests include TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB, and O level English.

Admission Process

  • The UCAS application and grades will be reviewed, and a set of shortlisted applicants will be selected and notified through email.

  • The applicants will then be made to go through an interview through a multi-mini interview (MMI) format.

  • A series of 5 minutes interviews will be conducted to test your communication skills, interest in pharmacy, discussion on ethical and professional values and how medicines work.


Other Requirements 

  • As a registered healthcare professional, you will be required to conduct yourself according to the Standards for Pharmacy Professionals and follow the fitness to practise procedures issued by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). All pharmacy graduates have to follow from the day they join the Nottingham school of pharmacy.

  • International students have to submit a Certificate of Good Conduct and Character on registration.


University Of Birmingham 

The University of Birmingham is ranked 90th in the QS World University Rankings 2023 and 14th amongst UK universities, making it one of the best schools of pharmacy in England. This University also provides a 4-year undergraduate degree in MPharm that begins in September. The tuition fee for international students is around £24,600 per annum, and they also provide scholarships and funding options for students.

Features of the Course

  • The University is located in one of the largest health care regions in the UK, allowing you to come in contact with people from diverse communities and conditions.
  • Students have the opportunity of studying along with students of other health service disciplines such as Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Biomedical Science.
  • The University has exclusive relationships with two community pharmacies that provide placement opportunities and provide work experience to secure the pre-registration training year.


Eligibility Requirements


  • A-Levels: AAB – Chemistry and at least one more science at A level from Biology, Mathematics or Physics. 

  • IB Score: 32
  • IELTS Score: 7.0 overall with no less than 6.5 in any band 


Admission Process 


  • All candidates will be shortlisted based on the above requirements and scores.

  • The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by the school of pharmacy to ensure that their values and behaviours align with those of the profession and the National Health Service (NHS) Constitution for England.
  • These panel interviews will take place online between November and April, and the whole interview session will be no longer than 45 minutes.


Other Requirements

  • Selected candidates need to submit a health declaration form with a full nutrition profile and details of any ailment such as flu, asthma, etc.

  • Students need to provide appropriate evidence of immunisation against rubella, measles, tuberculosis, and varicella.

  • All students need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

University of South Wales

The University of South Wales is one of the largest universities in the UK. It is located in the Cardiff region of Wales, the city that is the most affordable place for students. The university also offers generous scholarships of up to £2500 per annum of study. The University provides an MSc in Pharmaceutical Chemistry for graduates of BSc Chemistry, BSc Pharmaceutical Science, or any other related subjects. The one year course begins in August each year and has a tuition fee of £14,700 for international students. 

Eligibility Requirements

  • BSc Chemistry or Pharmaceutical Science
  • IELTS Score: 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent


University of Greenwich

The University of Greenwich is located in one of the hottest cities in the UK, London. The university offers a 4-year course on MPharm, which covers the area of biological sciences, chemistry, and drug delivery. The course begins in September each year and has a tuition fee of £21,200 per annum.


Eligibility Requirements 


  • 128 UCAS points from A levels at ABB or above.

  • GCSEs at a minimum of grade B in English and Mathematics
  • IELTS Score: 7.0 overall (with a minimum of 7.0 in each component). Other English proficiency tests eligible include PTE, TOEFL, and CAE.


Queen’s University 

The Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, is one of the most respected universities around the globe. This 4-year MPharm degree provided by the university is ranked 3rd in the UK according to The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023. The tuition fee for international students of Masters in Pharmacy in UK is £22,000 per annum.


Eligibility Requirements

  • A-Levels: AAB with A in Chemistry

  • IB Score: 34 points

  • Shortlisted candidates have to undergo an interview process

  • IELTS score: 6.5 with a minimum of 6.0 in each test component

What do you need to get onto a Pharmacology & Pharmacy degree?

Most undergraduate Pharmacology & Pharmacy courses ask for 120–136 UCAS points, although foundation entry and contextual offers will have lower requirements. Qualifications may include:

  • A Levels: A*AA–BBB (ABB typical for MPharm)
  • BTECs: DDD–DDM (sometimes with A Levels)
  • Scottish Highers: AAAAB–AAAB (Advanced Highers: AAB–BB)
  • International Baccalaureate: 38–32
  • Universities will usually ask that you have studied: chemistry plus one or two other science subjects at A Level (or equivalent)


Other good subjects to have studied include:

  • Biology, physics, maths
  • General studies A Level may not be acceptable
  • A minimum of five GCSEs (or equivalent) including maths, English and a science

Experience that would look good on your application:

  • Work placement in the NHS, community pharmacy or an academic research lab
  • Work or volunteering roles that could give you insights into the effects of illnesses or health conditions on people’s lives
  • Knowledge of the work and areas of interest by checking the websites of professional bodies like the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) or British Pharmacological Society (BPS)
  • Summer schools, if available – these could include In2scienceUK or Sutton Trust

Other requirements for this subject include:

  • Pass in the practical element of science taken at A Level
  • Interview, which may include an admission test at some universities
  • MPharm applicants will need to complete Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks (PVG scheme in Scotland)

Job Prospects:

There are three main job aspects that a Pharmacy graduate can move into. Further, we have discussed these three aspects in detail:

  • Pharmacist: The majority of the pharmacists are known to work under Complex Hospital pharmacies or community pharmacies where they are hired to ensure that the prescribed mountain medicine is correct. They not only look if the patients have received the correct medicine but also advise on treatments, manage doses, and sometimes even work closely with the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

  • Pharmacy Assistant: These assistants are assigned to work with technicians as they perform activities on an ad-hoc basis. Their work might involve dealing with prescriptions, handing out the medicines, helping to stock orders that ensure demands are being met through various departments. They also take steps to answer the queries and doubts of customers commonly employed under hospitals.

  • Pharmacy Technician: The pharmacy technicians are either assigned under hospitals or community pharmacies to ensure the supply and dosage of correct medicines to the patients. They are known for specializing in various roles such as quality control, manufacturing, and clinical trials.


Income of Pharmacy Graduates:

According to the guideline provided by the National Career Service, pharmacists in the UK get the salary paid on three different levels.

For starters, the salary is around £26,500, whereas those who have gained experience through their work are paid around £32,000 to £41,000/year.

Highly experienced pharmacists are the ones who get the highest payment for their knowledge and experience, which sums up to £41,000 to £83,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimation, the median salary paid for pharmacists in 2016 is approximately within the range of £89,690, which had a median hourly rate of £43.12. 


Cost of Living


Apart from the tuition fees for an international student which typically ranges between £15k-£18K/year for an undergraduate program and £17-£20K for the postgraduate program, the monthly cost of living for an international student in the UK can broadly be divided into 5 categories: Tuition fee, accommodation, food, transport and miscellaneous.

What are the postgraduate opportunities?

If you have a first degree in another science discipline or a related field, postgraduate study allows you the opportunity to specialise. Examples of taught master’s and research degrees include:

  • Clinical Drug Development MRes/MSc
  • Clinical Trials MSc
  • Experimental and Translational Therapeutics MSc
  • Pharmaceutical Science and Medicinal Chemistry PGCert/PGDip/MSc
  • Pharmacology MSc/DPhil/PhD


Scholarships to study Pharmacy in the UK


To ease the financial burden, you can apply for one of the scholarships for studying Pharmacy in the UK. All the scholarships are given based on merit, academic record, and other skills. Apart from scholarships, student loans to study in the UK can play a significant role in easing financial stress.

There are also a number of undergraduate scholarships for international students to study in the UK. Majorly, there are three types of scholarships in the UK for international students -

  • a. Global scholarships
  • b. Country-specific scholarships
  • c. University scholarships



Eligibility criteria vary slightly across the top 22 UK Schools of Pharmacy. Still, the most deciding factor that is applied for the candidates is the National School Level Examination (also known as A levels for the Advanced Levels). Final examinations are conducted, which are known as levels which 18-year-old school leavers give. Before applying for M.Pharm, a student normally researches and studies three main subjects: chemistry, biology, and math. The typical entry-level qualification required to get into m pharm is approximately 3 A grades, which are at an A level, or 2B grades along with an A grade, even though A level chemistry is mandatory. Grade level for a typical graduate is set at the second class level for an Honors degree which is approximately above 60% on average.

Challenges faced by UK pharmacy education through the coming years are set to prevent easy access to M.Pharm programs by graduates of different subjects, saving seats and possibilities for deserving pharmacy candidates, along with the facility of providing possibilities on a part-time course in pharmacy. Further, there are such requirements that introduce more therapeutics into the course that caters for brand new roles of independent and supplementary prescribers that are to be faced by them and continue with the debate that includes the weighing of Science and practice that are included within the course.


Tier4 UK Student VISA


To apply for a UK student visa, check the documents listed below for a seamless process.


  • letter of acceptance from the university you have been accepted to (CAS)
  • Proof of funds.
  • A valid passport and recent photographs.
  • Details of your university and accommodation.
  • Report of your health checkup
  • A valid passport. (keep a page blank for the visa)
  • Original mark sheets/transcripts


After collecting all the documents, Follow the steps below to apply for a UK student’s Visa.


  • Sign up and submit your visa application form online. It is advisable to check the online appointment calendar to book an appointment. After submission, you will get an email with an application number.

  • After receiving the email, Pay the fees, and collect the receipt.

  • Now appear for the visa interview as per the scheduled appointment and submit the necessary biometrics, photograph, application, and other documents.


You will get your tier 4 student visa in 6 weeks time.

Frequently Asked Questions 


Ques 1. What job opportunities are available after completing pharmacy courses in the UK?

Ans. Graduates of pharmacy courses in the UK gain a comprehensive set of skills, including drug discovery, pharmacy research, veterinary pharmacy, regulatory pharmacy, etc. So you can work in a wide range of roles such as pharmacists, assistant pharmacists or pharmacy technicians in community, hospital or clinical pharmacy.

Ques 2. How much is the salary for graduates of pharmacy courses in the UK?

Ans. Pharmacy technicians and any other graduates of Pharmacology earn an average salary of £22,000 during their Foundation Training year. This can increase on average to up to £32,000 for a newly registered pharmacist.

Ques 3. Can you start working as soon as you complete pharmacy courses in the UK?

Ans. To become a qualified pharmacist in the UK takes a minimum of 5 years:

A. Students need to complete a 4-year MPharm degree.

B. A year of pre-registration training in which a candidate is under observation in paid employment in a community or hospital pharmacy. 

C. The candidate needs to complete the GPhC registration exam. 

D. The candidate has to meet the fitness to practice requirements for registration as a pharmacist.

Ques 4. Where can I study Pharmacy in the UK?

Ans. In the UK, many universities and colleges offer Pharmacy degrees. You can opt for any of these universities or colleges. Besides, other institutions offer diploma and vocational courses in Pharmacy.

Ques 5. Can international students study Pharmacy in the UK?

Ans. International students can apply for a Pharmacy degree in the UK. Every year, approximately 3000 students enroll in Pharmacy degrees at UK universities, of which 15% are international students.

Ques 6. Is Pharmacy hard to study in UK?

Ans. Pharmacy is a reasonably difficult degree. It requires a foundation in science subjects like physics, chemistry, biology, math, etc. Besides, you will have to study many topics which are not easy.

Zoom Abroad is a great platform that can help you find the best Pharmacy program for you in the UK. Register here and create your profile today to get matched with the best-fit pharmacy programs offered by the top UK universities. Book a 30 mins FREE consultation with an expert advisor today. Apart from Pharmacy, there are a variety of STEM courses available in the UK. You can choose from EngineeringMedicine and, Management all the more even specializations within Management like Marketing, International Business, PR & Journalism to figure out which one is the most suitable based on your profile and long-term goals.

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