8 reasons to study pharmacy at UWA

21 Oct 2020 | 6 MINS

UWA’s Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) is a leading program that will develop your skills, knowledge and experience in the world of pharmacy.

Through innovative teaching, amazing experiential opportunities and personal and professional mentoring, our students graduate with the confidence to make a difference.  

1. Small class sizes

The Master of Pharmacy program takes in about 50 students a year. This small cohort means you’ll get to learn with, work alongside and support each other from day one, creating personal and professional connections that could last a lifetime. You also won’t get lost in the crowd!

Being part of a tight-knit group will foster your sense of collegiality, teamwork and social accountability – skills which you will put into practice as a future healthcare professional. These key values paired with the knowledge you gain about health and medicine will set you up to provide excellent health outcomes to the wider community. 

As a postgraduate course, students come from all different undergraduate backgrounds, adding to a rich and diverse learning experience. With students also joining from across Australia and overseas, it’s a truly engaging and inspiring group. 

2. Close access to quality staff

Smaller than usual class sizes means greater access to your teachers. This builds strong teaching and learning relationships, and is a common reason why many students return to undertake a PhD. Some of the expert staff you’ll learn from are also clinical practitioners, so the MPharm course remains current and relevant. 

3. Unique research opportunities 

The University’s existing research collaborations and growing research strengths allow students to be at the forefront of pharmacy research and to link with researchers globally.

Plus, because the MPharm is an AQF 9 extended course, students get to undertake a major research project just like a mini honours. This second-year research project is a unique offering and can be taken across a range of settings, from metropolitan Perth, to rural Western Australia, or even elsewhere in Australia or overseas.  

You’ll complete two units as part of the project: 

  • a research preparation unit where you’ll learn about research methodology, receive information on your research topic, conduct a literature review and develop a research plan
  • a unit where you’ll spend 3 months full-time on your project to conduct the data collection, analysis and dissertation (write up and presentation)

4. A helping hand 

To help you settle in and get your studies off to the best start, the established student mentorship program is invaluable. In your first year, you’ll reap the benefits and security of being mentored, and then in your second year, you’ll apply the skills you learnt and take on a mentor role yourself, providing skills beyond pharmacy education. It’s the best way to get all your questions answered and then share that essential knowledge with your peers. 

5. Active club

The UWA Master of Pharmacy Society is dedicated to all things pharmacy. It’s also very active at the national level through NAPSA, the National Australian Pharmacy Students' Association. Join the UWA club to meet new people and attend events like careers seminars, gala dinners, pizza meet and greets, and more. 

6. Award-winning students

From our small cohorts, we’ve seen many students and graduates achieve at a national level. Here are some of the stories about our students kicking serious goals.

7. Placements

The best thing about any course is often the practical, hands-on aspect, right? Well at UWA you get not one or two but four hospital placements. And that’s for every single student, offering you solid experience of pharmacy in the real world.

In your first teaching period, you’ll visit a residential aged care facility to talk with older people about their health and medicines. You’ll then go on a placement in a community pharmacy for several weeks to become familiar with the processes. Use this time to practise your emerging skills in talking to people about minor health issues and to further understand the role of the pharmacist in the community. 

If you’re keen to head away from the city, apply for a rewarding 5-week rural placement across WA, such as the Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid West or South West. Rural placements add value and diversity to your degree, enriching your learning experience. You’ll be exposed to different cultural and social profiles, plus differing scales of health issues. 

All students undertake placements in four hospitals late in the course, for example, King Edward Memorial Hospital, St John of God Subiaco, Sir Charles Gairdner and Graylands. This allows you to consolidate your knowledge through daily cases and mentoring from experienced clinical pharmacists.

Don’t forget about overseas travel opportunities too*. There’s an exchange program with Zheijiang University where two students each year can go to China over the December holidays to experience research in laboratories of the world-leading university. There’s also international opportunities for you to undertake your research project in countries such as Switzerland, Scotland or Norway. *Overseas experiences may not be available in 2021.


 

8. Career-ready 

Pharmacy is a rewarding career and one the Australian government predicts strong employment growth for, over the coming years. While most people think about traditional roles in community and hospital pharmacies, there’s actually a much wider range of settings pharmacists can work in. 

There’s residential aged care facilities, medicines information or poisons information services or compounding (making unique formulations for patients). Or you could work as a consultant pharmacist, providing specialist expertise in medicines; the pharmaceutical industry in manufacturing and drug safety; in general practices, providing information and education to doctors and patients; or even in the military or prisons.

If you like the idea of contributing knowledge in this area, you could consider a role in research or academia, or you might like to work in the governance space and take on a position with the Health Department, Therapeutic Goods Administration or Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. 


At UWA you can design your own degree. Learn about our range of courses and career options at an upcoming information session being held throughout July and August 2021. Explore our sessions and register today!

 

 

 

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