Pharmacy (Honours)

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Undergraduate Degree

Description

The Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) program is concerned with the promotion of good health to patients in the safe and effective use of medication. A pharmacist works closely with patients counselling on the proper use of medications, providing advice on symptoms, the management of common ailments, preparation and formulation of medications and providing health education. Pharmacists are one of the most accessible health professionals and are also involved in consultation with doctors and other health care providers to ensure appropriate and safe use and prescribing of medication. The degree builds upon your existing knowledge of science whilst focusing on material that specifically relates to the knowledge, skills and attributes required as a pharmacist. You develop research skills and knowledge in the areas of Personalised Health Care and Health Technologies Assessment, such as Pharmacoeconomics. The provision of health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island People is integrated throughout the program together with the teaching and understanding of cultural diversity in Australia and internationally, which are critical to professional pharmacy practice.

Further Study Options

Honours: This is a Level 8 Honours degree where all students who successfully complete the requirements for awarding of the degree will graduate with Honours. Students who have achieved a Grade Point Average of 5.5 or more over the program by the completion of year 2 will be invited to complete a research component (PHAR3204, PHAR4103A and PHAR4103B) and where the candidate's achievement in the research component is of a sufficient standard, the honours will be graded (Class 1, Class 2 Division 1 or Class 2 Division 2). Students who do not achieve the required Grade Point Average of 5.5 will undertake the research projects courses PHAR3204, PHAR4104A and PHAR4104B. Satisfactory completion will result in these students receiving an ungraded honours.

Postgraduate Study:

Research

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Sample Jobs

The program's focus is on material that specifically provides the skills required to practice as a pharmacist, both clinically and for research. The program enables graduates to seek registration with the Pharmacy Board of Australia, through AHPRA. Registered pharmacists are employed in Australia and internationally (including Hong Kong and Singapore) in many areas of the profession, including community practice, hospitals, consultancy pharmacy, government, the pharmaceutical industry, research and academia. As a registered pharmacist you may work in one of the following areas: Community pharmacists Consultant pharmacists Hospital pharmacists Industrial pharmacists In addition to these traditional areas you can work as a locum or in areas such as the military, law, journalism, academic teaching, research, pharmaceutical policy and in rural and remote areas or overseas.
Not everyone uses their degree in the same way and the transferable skills gained through university study may allow graduates to pursue a range of careers that might not be directly linked to their study. Below is a sample list of job titles that might be suitable for someone with the skills gained from a degree in Pharmacy.

Getting the Edge

Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.

  1. Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
  2. Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
  3. Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
  4. Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
  5. Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
  6. Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
  7. Consider volunteering.

Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.

 

Sample Employers

Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) graduates find employment opportunities as Community Pharmacists, Consultant Pharmacists, Hospital Pharmacists, Industrial Pharmacists or work as locums in fields such as the military, law, journalism, academic teaching, research, pharmaceutical policy and in rural and remote areas, and even abroad. Below are some examples of organisations that may recruit those holding this degree. Check employers' websites for sections titled Employment, Careers, Graduate Programs, or for similar sections. Some employers may also offer vacation work opportunities.

Recruitment Timing

Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.

Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .

Societies and Associations

Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.


Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.

Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.

Job Search Sites

Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:

Australian and International

  • CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.

Australian

  • CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
  • MyCareer: Australian and international listings
  • Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
  • The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs

International

Graduate Attributes and Employability

Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) graduates will have the specific skills, abilities and knowledge sought after in a variety of fields in the health and wellness industry. On completion of the degree graduates will be Personal in their approach and understanding, Professional in their knowledge and service and Discreet in their treatment and etiquette. Other key attributes of a successful Pharmacist are:

  • In-depth professional knowledge about the Pharmacy discipline, including conceptual, theoretical, methodology for further independent learning and ethics and professional skills
  • Lifelong learning for personal development and excellence in professional practice
  • Ability to think clearly, crucially, creatively to fuse reason, experience, training into considered judgement
  • Social interaction and capacity for teamwork, tolerance, mutual respect, resolving conflict, negotiation of outcomes
  • Professional ethics and acting responsibly, ethically, and with integrity within social and cultural contexts
  • Effective communication in professional practice and as a member of community
  • Understanding and respecting social, biological, cultural, economic Interdependence of global life