Home' The Good Universities Guide : The Good Universities Guide 2017 Contents PHARMACY 149
What you’re in for
Pharmacy is a specialised field that has a great deal to offer those
with a passion for science, health care and working with people.
In order to practise as a pharmacist, graduates must complete a
set number of hours of pre-registration training under the
supervision of a registered pharmacist and sit an examination.
The majority of pharmacy graduates complete their
preregistration year in either community pharmacies or hospital
pharmacies. The Pharmacy Board of Australia sets these
For more information about careers in this area, visit the following
Pharmacy Board of Australia (www.pharmacyboard.gov.au)
Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (www.psa.org.au)
Pharmacy Guild of Australia (www.guild.org.au).
If you are thinking about studying pharmacy, you may also want
to consider other health-related fields such as health services and
support, medicine, nursing and rehabilitation, and perhaps
veterinary science if working with animals is of interest.
Courses and specialisations
Degree courses in pharmacy typically centre around four core
areas of study: medicinal chemistry (the chemistry of drugs);
pharmacology (the action of drugs); pharmaceutics (the
formulation of drug dosages); and pharmacy practice. There are
also a number of double degrees available, which offer
combinations with areas such as management and engineering,
as well as some that combine pharmacy and pharmaceutical
science. Courses typically include a practical placement, usually
in the later years of the course.
Where to study
The number of universities offering pharmacy degrees has
increased significantly over the last decade or so, particularly with
the introduction of courses that have a targeted focus on
pharmacy in rural and regional areas to counter the demand for
pharmacists in country Australia.
Pharmacy courses tend to be tightly regulated by the profession
and entry is competitive, usually demanding high ATARs and
good Undergraduate Medicine and Health Sciences Admission
Test (UMAT) scores. Graduates who succeed in getting through
the demanding four-year courses can, however, look forward to
excellent employment prospects. For details about entry difficulty
at different institutions, see the ‘How tough is it to get in?’ tables
in Section 4.
More and more professional bodies are of the opinion that the
demand for pharmacists is heading towards oversupply due to
the increase in pharmacy courses. That said, this problem is
believed to be mainly affecting metropolitan areas, with shortages
for pharmacists persisting in rural areas. The imbalance in the
supply of pharmacists has led to a number of universities
introducing targeted scholarships and placement schemes to
encourage students to take up employment in regional and rural
Australia. In addition, the Rural Intern Training Allowance
provides funding for interns undertaking their training period in
FOR FURTHER HELP...
To compare the pros and cons of pharmacy with other fields
of study, see the table on page 68 and institution profiles in
For more on jobs and careers in this field, see The Good
Careers Guide website at www.goodcareersguide.com.au.
For ratings of postgraduate pharmacy courses, see
The Good Universities Guide website at
The student body ratings
THE STUDENT BODY
tuition costs for
The fees shown are for the whole course and approximate. Confirm with the
institution. For an explanation of abbreviations, see page 436.
National average rate of retention
National average rate of
retention by ATAR range
GUG 2017.book Page 149 Friday, June 24, 2016 2:39 PM
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