Assured Pathway entry to Pharmacy
- Application process and timelines
- Assured Pathway applications are via TISC and will close late September according to TISC deadlines.
- Rural eligibility form must be submitted to the HMS Admissions team by the Assured Pathway TISC deadline.
- Refer to the TISC guide for current course codes and application deadlines.
- Interview dates to be advised.
- Course offers will be as per TISC timelines.
- Eligibility criteria
High academic achievers
This quota is for high-achieving high school students with a minimum ATAR of 94 (or equivalent).
The Rural program is part of a Federal Government initiative to address rural and remote areas of workforce shortage in medical, dental and allied healthcare.
To be eligible, an applicant’s principal home address must have been in an Australian Standard Geographical Remoteness Area ASGC-RA 2-5 (2016) for any five years consecutively or at least 10 years cumulatively. A search engine for towns in areas can be found on the DoctorConnect website by clicking the link under Search the Maps for ASGS-RA (2016).
School-leaver applicants to the Rural Assured Pathway who believe they fit the rural definition must submit the Eligibility form to HMS Admissions before the TISC closing date for first round offers. Refer to the TISC website for updated information on application timelines. Note that this form is in addition to applying via TISC by the deadline. TISC applications open early to mid-August each year. Contact the HMS Admissions team for further information.
Broadway UWA is designed to ensure access to UWA courses is available to the broadest range of students with the potential to succeed at university. The program aims to promote equity in the selection of students and increase diversity in the student cohort.
Specified schools are invited to participate in this program. The full list of schools can be viewed here. To be eligible, the applicant must have undertaken their entire Year 12 studies, including WACE, at a UWA Broadway school.
Broadway school-leaver applicants will indicate their school as part of their TISC application. Refer to the TISC website for updated information on application timelines. Contact the HMS Admissions team for further information.
Applicants who identify as an Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and are accepted as such by the community in which they live, or have lived, are eligible for consideration as an Indigenous Assured Pathway applicant. Applicants must provide a person or organisation who can verify their Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status. Applicants should contact the Faculty Admissions team or the School of Indigenous Studies for information regarding this pathway.
- English language competency requirement
All Assured Pathway applicants are required to meet the standard English language competency level for The University of Western Australia.
- Prerequisites and recommended subjects
Assured Pathway students must complete a UWA bachelor’s degree before commencing the MPharm. In addition to English language competency requirements, there may be other prerequisites depending on the chosen major. In most cases, students who have not undertaken prerequisite subjects may undertake bridging units as part of their bachelor’s degree studies.
The following ATAR or equivalent subjects are recommended as they will fulfil some of the prerequisites for the MPharm, or may be taken as Level 1 university units:
- Maths Applications or above
Applicants will be shortlisted for interview based on their predicted or actual ATAR.
The interview allows applicants to display some of the personal qualities considered desirable in Allied Health practitioners, and increase their competitiveness for a place.
WA-based applicants are notified after the WACE exams (mid-late November) regarding their eligibility for interview.
Applicants based outside WA are notified after the ATAR actual results are released (late December/early January) regarding their eligibility for interview.
Applicants who accept their interview will be provided with detailed interview information and preparation material prior to the interview.
The Faculty interviews approximately two to three candidates for every available place.
Timing and location
Interviews for domestic Assured Pathway applicants are held in Perth.
WA-based applicants who are eligible based on their predicted or actual ATAR will be interviewed late November/early December.
WA-based applicants who do not have an eligible predicted ATAR will be placed on an academic reserve list to be interviewed early January should their actual ATAR meet the minimum.
Applicants not based in WA will be interviewed late January.
Applicants must attend their interview in person within their given interview period and are responsible for their own travel and accommodation arrangements. There are no telephone, video-conference or Skype interviews.
Applicants unable to attend within their given interview period cannot be guaranteed an alternative interview period.
The interview process
Further information about the interview process will be provided closer to the interview period.
Interviewees will be asked to sign a statement of confidentiality as part of the registration process, indicating their agreement not to disclose information about the interview.
UWA staff, student helpers and interviewers will not disclose information regarding an applicant’s interview, responses or performance, including to other UWA staff or the applicant’s family. Information from the interview is not placed on an applicant’s student file whether or not they accept an offer to study at UWA.
Interviewers may be representatives from the community or from the University. Interviewers receive regular training to ensure consistency in the way questions are asked and responses assessed. One interviewer will assess applicants in each station. A second interviewer may be present in a station room for training purposes. In this case, the second interviewer will be an observer only and will not have a formal role in the assessment of the applicant.
The assessment is evidence based. The interviewers can only rate interviewees on what they say in response to interview questions. The interviewers will take notes throughout the interview; however, this is to note what the interviewee has said. Interviewers have a comprehensive set of evidence-based measures with which to rate an interviewee’s responses and formulate a score directly after each interviewee completes each station. The final score is aggregated from results across the four criteria stations and the Explaining Skills Exercise station.
Criteria being assessed during the interview will include:
- Communication skills
- Explaining skills
- Motivation/commitment to a career in Allied Health.
Previously further criteria have been selected from: awareness of social diversity; provision of assistance; self-awareness; trust and trustworthiness; values and ethics; working with others. Applicants who accept their invitation to be interviewed will be provided information about interview criteria.
Interview questions will not be based on clinical or scientific scenarios which would require specific medical, dental or scientific knowledge. The questions are designed to encourage interviewees to think and to explain their reasoning. The questions may be scenario based, awareness based, or experientially based, but the assessment is evidence based. The interviewer can only rate interviewees on what they say. It is therefore important to give more than one-sentence answers, and that interviewees draw on their own experiences and knowledge to address a topic and provide appropriate examples.
The interviewers will read the questions as they are written to ensure every applicant is asked exactly the same question in the same way. Applicants will need to respond to the specific questions asked. There are no generic questions or opportunities for applicants to list their achievements and skills outside the scope of the questions.
Interview preparation and third party courses
There are many ways to address a question; interviewers are not looking for one specific ‘correct’ answer. Be prepared to articulate your motivation and commitment to working as a health professional in your higher preferenced field. Have some background information about your preferred career, the course and about going to university.
Familiarise yourself with the interview topics. Consider how your own life experiences may reflect aspects of these topics. Find opportunities to discuss the topics with your family, peers and different people in your community.
The University of Western Australia does not recommend or endorse third party interview preparation courses, including those held on University premises. The Faculty does not release any information relating to UWA interview questions to any third party, and interview questions within the topics will be different each year. Furthermore, interviewers and interviewees are required to sign confidentiality agreements regarding the interview process. Therefore, third party preparation course providers do not have access to any information which is not already freely available to applicants.
Applicants may benefit more from generic interview preparation rather than interview preparation which purports to aim specifically at UWA Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences courses.
Applicants who rehearse detailed answers to specific questions risk not addressing the question they are actually asked on the day.
- Course structure and curriculum
Assured Pathway students will undertake a UWA bachelor’s degree of their choice before progressing to the MPharm. Assured Pathway students must complete their bachelor’s degree with MPharm prerequisites and a minimum GPA of 5.0 and will then commence the Master of Pharmacy. The minimum period to complete both degrees is five years.
The default option is the Bachelor of Biomedical Science with the Pharmacology major; however, students on a Assured Pathway may choose to undertake any UWA bachelor’s degree. This provides our students with the opportunity to build a unique skill set that will suit their interests and support their long-term career goals. Students who have an interest in research may like to undertake an honours year before proceeding to their postgraduate professional studies. Students who undertake an honours year, including those enrolled in the Bachelor of Philosophy, will take a minimum of six years to complete both degrees.
Students choose a degree-specific majors and may choose to add a second major from any field. This allows students to combine diverse interests for a unique degree. A student who has an interest in legal issues surrounding use of drugs may combine Pharmacology with Law and Society. Students with an interest in promoting drug awareness may combine a Biomedical Science major with Science Communication or Communication and Media Studies. Students who aspire to management may like to incorporate a major from the Bachelor of Commerce.
Students on a Assured Pathway to the MPharm must ensure that their chosen course of study for their bachelor’s degree will fulfil the prerequisites. These units may be incorporated into any UWA bachelor’s degree as major, complementary, elective or broadening units. Note these are recommendations and it is not a requirement to undertake the specific listed units. Units with similar content may be taken instead. Some units have prerequisites, so refer to the linked unit details.
- Chemistry – Year 12 ATAR Chemistry is accepted, or a tertiary chemistry unit, for example Introductory Chemistry CHEM1003
- Mathematics OR Statistics – Year 12 ATAR Mathematics Applications or higher is accepted, or a tertiary mathematics or statistics unit, for example Mathematics Fundamentals MATH1720 or Statistics for Science STAT1400
- Microbiology – for example, Introductory Microbiology MICR2208 or Infectious Diseases and Immunology MICR2209
- Pharmacology – for example, Foundations of Pharmacology PHAR2210 (Drugs that Changed the World PHAR1101 does not qualify as a prerequisite unit for Pharmacology)
The extended major Microbiology and Immunology and Pharmacology with Maths ATAR or an elective math or stats unit will fulfil the prerequisites. Students who graduate with the Microbiology and Immunology major will be eligible for membership in the Australian Society of Microbiology (ASM), providing an additional professional qualification with the Assured Pathway to Pharmacy.
For students who wish to do a different major or double major, it is recommended to include the following during the first year as major, complementary, elective or broadening units:
- SCIE1106 Molecular Biology of the Cell
- One of BIOL1130 Frontiers in Biology, ANHB1101 Human Biology I: Becoming Human, or ANHB1102 Human Biology II: Being Human; and
- Either CHEM1002 Chemistry—Structure and Reactivity or CHEM1004 Biological Chemistry
These units are prerequisites for Level 2 Microbiology and Pharmacology units.
- Final ranking and availability of places
- Final ranking will be based on ATAR or equivalent and interview score, equally weighted.
- Up to 30 places across the various domestic quotas will be offered for the Assured Pathway to Pharmacy. Up to 10 per cent of available places will be offered to eligible rural applicants, and up to 10 per cent of available places will be offered to eligible Indigenous applicants.
- Registration upon completion
On completion of the MPharm, graduates will have both an undergraduate and a postgraduate degree, ensuring they have a well-rounded skill set as well as the specialist skills needed in their professional career.
Internship and registration for pharmacists
Graduates will be eligible to apply for provisional registration as a pharmacist in Australia or New Zealand, and are required to complete an internship in order to apply for general registration. The internship is a period of supervised practice required by the Pharmacy Board of Australia to be eligible to apply for general registration as a pharmacist.
Graduates who did not complete the majority of their education in English in a recognised country may be subject to additional English language requirements for registration.
For further details regarding registration requirements, refer to the Pharmacy Board.