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Pharmacist

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Job Description

Pharmacists are responsible for the safe supply of drugs and medicine to the general public, this could be in hospitals, pharmacies and doctors surgeries. They will provide expert advice, compare compatibility with other drugs the patient is taking, check the dosage and give advice to customers on minor illnesses or ailments.

Entry Requirements

You'll need to do a:

  • 4-year Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)
  • 1-year pre-registration training course in a pharmacy
  • registration exam

If you don't have the qualifications to get onto an MPharm degree, you could do a 2-year pharmacy foundation degree. You could then take a job as a pharmacy assistant or technician and apply for the MPharm degree directly into year two.

If you don't have science A levels, you could do a 5 year course at a few universities.

Career Path and Progression

There's a formal career structure in the NHS, so with experience you could progress to team manager or pharmacy consultant. You could also work in GPs’ surgeries or health centres.

Promotion opportunities can be good if you're working for one of the larger pharmacy chains where you can apply for regional or national management positions.

With experience, you could set up your own community pharmacy business.

After further training, you could go on to teach pharmacy students at university.

Another option is to move into related areas like scientific journalism or publishing.

To do research, you'll need a further postgraduate qualification in a subject like toxicology or pharmacology.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society offers professional support services.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Pharmacy technician
  • Pharmacologist
  • Chemist
  • GP

National Government Policy states that all students should have achieved at least a Grade 4 or C Grade in English & Maths at GCSE.  Achieving this minimum grade in these subjects will increase the opportunities open to you, support your future career development and prospects.

Students who do not meet this standard will be supported to continue to study English and Maths through full-time education or an Apprenticeship.

Required Skills

  • Good communication skills
  • Strong mathematical skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • A logical approach to problem solving
  • An interest in the health and well being of others
  • The ability to train and supervise other members of staff

Starting Salary

£26,500 to £83,000

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