Pharmacist education and training

To qualify as a pharmacist takes a minimum of five years and includes the following steps:

  • Successful completion of a GPhC accredited Master of Pharmacy degree (MPharm), which is a full-time, four-year course
  • Successful completion of one year's pre-registration training, a period of paid employment in a community or hospital pharmacy during which a trainee is required to build up a portfolio of evidence and demonstrate their competence whilst being observed at work
  • Successful completion of the GPhC's registration assessment
  • Meeting the fitness to practise requirements for registration as a pharmacist. 

Only after completing these steps can you apply for registration with the GPhC as a pharmacist. As part of the registration process, applicants have to make a health declaration and character checks are carried out.

MPharm degree

The MPharm degree is offered by Schools of Pharmacy at a number of universities in the United Kingdom. The course must be undertaken as the first part of the route to registration for those wishing to become a pharmacist within the UK.

MPharm 2+2

Some UK Schools of Pharmacy offer an accredited MPharm which is taught in part overseas at a partner university. This course is called an MPharm 2+2.

Overseas Pharmacists' Assessment Programme (OSPAP)

A postgraduate diploma which is undertaken as the first part of the route to registration required by those who have qualified as a pharmacist form outside the EEA.

Pharmacy foundation degree

This course can be taken as an entry route for anyone wanting to pursue a career in pharmacy who doesn't currently have the required qualifications to be accepted straight onto an MPharm degree.

Student code of conduct and fitness to practise

Students studying on an MPharm, OSPAP or foundation degree must abide by the GPhC Student Code of Conduct.

More information

You can find out more about a career in pharmacy from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

British Pharmaceutical Students' Association is the pharmacy student association which promotes students' interests and welfare.