Medway School of Pharmacy is a unique partnership between the University of Kent and the University of Greenwich. The School has achieved full accreditation from the General Pharmaceutical Council and is recognised as an established school of pharmacy.
Our five-year programme is based on three interlinked themes: practitioner and patient; medicines design and manufacture; the patient; and disease and drug action.
The foundation year helps you adapt to the higher education system and to develop and embed key academic and employability skills.
Our degree programme
Our curriculum is outcomes-focused and designed to prepare you for your future professional practice. In your Foundation Year you are introduced to the foundational level of chemistry for pharmacy, molecules, cells and body systems. We also teach you basic numeracy and academic study skills needed for successful progression on the MPharm programme.
On the MPharm, you study basic and applied science as well as clinical and professional practice, all in the context of patient care. We teach core themes of biological sciences, chemistry and drug delivery as part of integrated modules based around body systems including brain and psychiatry; heart and circulatory system; and the endocrine system.
We make extensive use of tutorials, workshops and practical laboratory classes as well as in-house simulation-based learning to foster your understanding and development.
In your final year, you conduct a sustained research project about a topic you feel particularly passionate about.
The Medway School of Pharmacy houses a state-of-the-art, simulated environment for a hospital ward and fully equipped pharmacy. We also have a clinical skills laboratory in which you can perform some of your own research.
Our extensive network of teacher practitioners is there to provide guidance for your studies and professional development.
Kent’s Student Learning Advisory Centre also offers useful workshops on the Medway campus on topics like essay writing and academic referencing.
You may want to join the student-led Medway Pharmacy Students' Association (MPSA). They organise a number of social activities such as trips, movie nights and sporting events.
You can also get involved with the British Pharmaceutical Student Association (BPSA) which holds local branch meetings at Medway. They also organise conferences and seminars which you can attend to keep up-to-date with key issues in the field and to meet leading practitioners and researchers.
Teaching is by lectures, seminars, workshops and practical laboratory classes, which take up approximately two thirds of the programme. Placements form a key part of the teaching programme.
A variety of assessment methods are used including practical dispensing examinations, objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs), presentations (individual and group), written reports, interim assessments and end-of-year written examinations.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding in the following three areas.
Substances used in medicines including:
- sources and purification of substances, including radio-labelled pharmaceuticals
- physico-chemical aspects of medicines and biological systems, including thermodynamics, chemical kinetics and an assessment of chemical and physical stability
- analytical methods including principles, design, development, validation, application and good laboratory practice
- the properties of medicinal substances and their relationship to molecular structure
- the design of medicinal agents and approaches to their discovery
- biotechnology products and excipients; pharmaceutical application of the technologies of genomics and proteomics.
Design and manufacture of medicines:
- the properties of materials used for the delivery of biologically-active molecules
- the principles of medicine formulation and systems for medicine delivery in the body
- quality assurance and good pharmaceutical manufacturing practice
- packaging and labelling requirements: purpose, design and evaluation
- pharmacopoeial and regulatory requirements
- stability of medicines; evaluation and control of biological, chemical and physical degradation
- microbial contamination and its control
- sterilisation processes and aseptic procedures
- dressings, diagnostic systems, medical appliances and devices.
The actions and uses of medicines and other agents:
- normal and abnormal bodily function: physiology; biochemistry; genetics; microbiology; nutrition; immunology; infective processes; pathology and pathophysiology
- the actions of medicines within living systems: molecular; cellular; biological and physical aspects
- absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion (ADME) of medicines, including routes of administration, concepts and mathematical modelling
- aetiology and epidemiology of major diseases
- the therapeutic uses of medicines in man, including adverse reactions to and interactions of medicines, and their significance in treatment
- the recognition of disease states and the management of symptoms
- the clinical evaluation of new medicines
- drug and substance misuse
- medicine delivery devices, wound management products and other medical devices (including diagnostic agents and devices)
- complementary therapies.
Legal framework, ethics and health care provision:
- the pharmacist's role in health care
- managing medicines: dispensing; clinical pharmacy (including good clinical practice); responding to symptoms; prescribing; provision of medicine and patient information; reporting of adverse reactions to medicines; medicine utilisation review
- measuring outcomes in support of evidence-based practice and achieving maximum clinical effectiveness
- health screening and promotion, including diagnostic testing
- the social and behavioural sciences relevant to pharmacy
- health policy and economics, including particularly pharmacoeconomics and pharmacoepidemiology
- the law relating to pharmacy and medicines
- ethics of health care and its impact on relationships with patients and other healthcare professionals
- the pharmacists' contribution to public health, which can be termed pharmaceutical public health
- health services research methodology
- the political, legislative and economic frameworks relevant to pharmacy
- the analysis and management of risk.
You gain intellectual skills in the following areas:
- the demonstration of knowledge and critical understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles and theories
- the ability to apply the knowledge and understanding required to meet the needs of patients and other healthcare professionals
- the ability to recognise and analyse problems and plan strategies for their solution
- the critical evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of pharmaceutical information and data
- the production of pharmacy-specific scientific documentation
- the presentation of pharmaceutical science material and arguments clearly and correctly, in writing and orally, to both specialist and lay audiences
- calculation of medicine doses and dosage regimens
- the interpretation of patient and clinical data, including patient records held within practice settings
- the ability to contribute to the development of health care through reflective practice, enquiry and innovation
- the interpretation of prescriptions and other orders for medicines.
You gain subject-specific skills in the following areas:
- the safe handling of chemical and pharmaceutical materials, taking into account their physical and chemical properties, including any specific hazards associated with their use
- the ability to undertake risk assessments concerning pharmaceutical procedures and practices
- the skills required for the conduct of standard pharmaceutical laboratory procedures
- the planning, design and execution of self-directed and original research investigations, from the problem-recognition stage through to the evaluation of results and findings; the ability to select appropriate techniques and procedures
- the operation of standard pharmaceutical instrumentation
- the ability to evaluate and interpret data from laboratory and clinical observations, in terms of their significance and the underlying theory
- preparation and presentation of medicines, by manufacture and extemporaneous dispensing, including sterile products
- skills in the analysis of medicines
- the ability to advise patients and others on the safe and effective use of medicines.
You gain transferable skills in the following areas:
- interpersonal skills including written and oral communication skills, teamworking, and the ability to interact effectively with patients, the public and healthcare professionals
- problem-solving, relating to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information
- numeracy and computation, including such aspects as error analysis, order-of-magnitude estimations, correct use of units and modes of data presentation
- acquisition, transformation, interpretation and critical evaluation of data
- information retrieval in relation to primary and secondary information sources, including online searches
- information technology skills, including word processing, spreadsheet use, database use, archiving data and information, and internet communication
- time-management and organisation; the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective modes of working
- independent study skills as preparation for continuing professional development
- an ethical attitude and approach
- analysis and critical appraisal of published literature
- application of general, biological and medical statistics
- the ability to operate within a quality management framework
- recognition of the need to work within personal limitations.
The programme aims to:
- encourage personal and professional responsibility
- educate students in aspects of the chemical and biological sciences that relate to medicines and health, providing both subject-specific knowledge and laboratory/clinical-based skills
- provide students with an understanding of the design, development and use of safe and effective medicines
- train students in the application of pharmaceutical knowledge for the benefit of patients by integrating information and critical evaluation
- provide students with evidence-based, decision-making skills
- allow students to develop independent learning skills that can form the basis for lifelong learning and continuing professional development
- provide a thorough understanding of the law and ethics relating to pharmacy
- allow students to develop a high level of interpersonal skills which are analytical, critically aware, evaluative, interpretive, empathic and reflective
- produce graduates who can provide the optimal clinical use of medicines and promote public health.