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Pharmacy

Overview

 

To register and practise as a pharmacist in New Zealand, you will need to successfully complete a four-year University programme leading to a Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) degree or Bachelor of Pharmacy with Honours degree (BPharm(Hons)), followed by a minimum of 44 weeks of trainee internship at one or more approved pharmaceutical establishments.

The Otago BPharm (the oldest university pharmacy degree in New Zealand) and BPharm(Hons) open opportunities to practise as a pharmacist in various professional settings. It is a broad-based university programme in the physical, biological, social and health sciences.

Pharmacy: Medicines for life

Pharmacists are experts on medicines. They have the skills and knowledge to help patients understand and use their medicines in the most appropriate way.

Pharmacists are responsible for giving information about medicines, drug therapy and disease management to patients, doctors, and other health professionals—they may also be involved in the development and manufacture of medicines.

Why study Pharmacy?

Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences and ensures the safe and effective use of medication.

Pharmacy teaches you:

  • About the pharmaceutical, biomedical and social sciences, including biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and physiology
  • How to make and dispense medicine
  • How to provide patient care by providing information about medicines and monitoring their effectiveness
  • About the quality use of medicines, involving real patients and taking a holistic approach to treating disease

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Entry requirements

The Pharmacy Admissions Committee considers applications from candidates in the following categories:

Single Programme Preference

Single Programme Preference is available for students wishing to only apply to Phamacy. It is available to domestic students only.

  • Goal – The School of Pharmacy, with support of its professional bodies, wishes to recruit students who have signalled a strong commitment to its programme.
  • Eligibility – To be eligible students must meet an academic threshold. For details please refer to the main categories below.
  • Application – To apply students will select their single programme. However students are still able to apply for Dental Technology, Oral Health or any programme outside of the Health Sciences restricted entry programmes.
  • Selection – Admissions Committees will firstly select from those applicants who are applying under Single Programme Preference. Thereafter if domestic places are still available, the Committee will select from the group of applicants that have applied to multiple Health Sciences restricted entry programmes.

University of Otago Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) category

To be considered for admission in the HSFY category an applicant must be enrolled in HSFY at Otago and pass all the papers prescribed for HSFY, at first attempt, normally with a minimum average of 65%.

Applicants will also be required to have passed the HSFY English Diagnostic Test or have passed ENGL 126.

Selection for applicants who have met these criteria will be based on their academic score.

Single Programme Preference applicants must pass all the prescribed HSFY papers and normally achieve a minimum average of 65% or better.

First offers are made to single programme preference applicants, if there are domestic places still available then offers will be made to applicants who have applied for more than one professional programme.

HSFY category checklist

Two or More Years of University Study category

Applicants who are not finalists and have completed two or more years of full-time study at a university in New Zealand, including the equivalent of the papers prescribed for the University of Otago's Health Sciences First Year, will be considered for entry into Pharmacy. The Admissions Committees will score the best 120 points achieved in each of a maximum of two academic years of study.

Due to the scoring system for admission to the Professional Programmes, we are unable to score papers that have a pass / fail grade, nor are we able to score aegrotat passes.

Students are advised that their second year of study should include at least three papers at 200-level.

Applicants are normally required to have a minimum B- (grade point average (GPA) of 4) (Otago equivalent). Selection for applicants will be based on their weighted GPA.

Single Programme Preference applicants must pass all the prescribed HSFY papers and normally achieve a minimum B- (grade point average (GPA) of 4) (Otago equivalent) across all papers. Selection for applicants will be based on their weighted GPA, see scoring example:

First offers are made to Single Programme Preference applicants, if there are domestic places still available then offers will be made to applicants who have applied for more than one professional programme.

Two or More Years of University Study category checklist

  • Completed online application form
  • Completed declaration and police vetting form (PDF 190 KB)
  • Certified Copy of current Academic Records (transcripts)
    • We do not require copies of Otago academic records.
    • Result notification forms are not acceptable.
    • Certified transcripts may be obtained from the Registrar of the relevant university.
    • Final semester results will be obtained from your university by the Health Sciences Admissions Office in November.
    • Failure by your university to release your final semester grades in time for Admissions Committees meetings may result in your application not being processed in the current year
  • Completed Māori sub-category requirements (if applicable)
  • Completed NZRIPO sub-category requirements (if applicable)

Graduate category

To be considered for entry in the Graduate category, applicants must have completed, normally in the minimum academic time and within three years of the date of application, the requirements of a first degree awarded by a university in New Zealand.

All applicants in the Graduate category are ranked on the basis of a score derived from the grades achieved in:

  • A bachelor's degree, or
  • A bachelor's honours degree, or
  • A bachelor's degree, followed by a postgraduate diploma equivalent to a bachelor's honours degree from the awarding university

No preference is given to degree qualification or major subject.

The qualifying degree is the first university degree awarded to the applicant.

The score for candidates is based on the best 120 points of papers in each year of academic study. A weighted GPA is used (see example below).

Due to the scoring system for admission to the Health Professional Programmes, we are not able to score papers that have a pass / fail grade, nor are we able to score aegrotat passes.

It is to every applicant's advantage to ensure that each year of study has at least 120 points. A weighting factor is applied for each year of university study.

The weighting factors for a three-year degree see the first year score multiplied by 0.5, the second year score by 1.0 and the third year score by 1.5. Thus a paper score for each paper is generated in the following way: grade point value × number of points × weighting (see example below).

Applicants are required to have a minimum of a B- (grade point average (GPA) of 4) (Otago equivalent) and have passed the HSFY papers (or equivalents). Selection for applicants will be based on weighted academic score.

Single Programme Preference applicants must pass all the prescribed HSFY papers and normally achieve a minimum B- (grade point average (GPA) of 4) (Otago equivalent) across all papers. Selection for applicants will be based on weighted academic score, see scoring example.

First offers are made to single programme preference applicants, if there are domestic places still available then offers will be made to applicants who have applied for more than one professional programme.

Graduate category checklist

  • Completed online application form
  • Completed declaration and police vetting form (PDF 190 KB)
  • Certified copy of current Academic Records (transcripts)
    • We do not require copies of Otago academic records.
    • Result notification forms are not acceptable.
    • Certified transcripts may be obtained from the Registrar of the relevant university.
    • Final semester results will be obtained from your university by the Health Sciences Admissions Office in November.
    • Failure by your university to release your final semester grades in time for Admissions Committees meetings may result in your application not being processed in the current year.
  • Completed Māori sub-category requirements (if applicable)
  • Completed NZRIPO sub-category requirements (if applicable)

Alternative category

To be considered for admission under the Alternative category in Pharmacy, a candidate must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Hold a degree from a New Zealand university and no longer be eligible under the Graduate category; or
  • Have completed a degree at an overseas university at a standard of at least New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) Level 7; or
  • Have completed a master's or doctoral degree; or
  • Be an allied health professional who holds a relevant tertiary level qualification and has completed no less than 5 years of full time work in that allied health profession

All applicants in the Alternative category will be required to complete, to have completed, or be exempted from the papers prescribed for the Health Sciences First Year course and to have achieved a minimum academic standard to be determined by the Pharmacy Admissions Committee in any papers undertaken at University level.

Selection of applicants who have met these criteria will be based on academic merit, a single programme preference for Pharmacy and a possible interview.

Alternative category checklist

  • Completed online application form
  • Completed declaration and police vetting form (PDF 190 KB)
  • Curriculum vitae to include names, addresses, and email contacts of three people who may be contacted for a confidential reference
  • Certified copy of academic records (transcripts) of all university study (including extramural and incomplete courses).
    • Result notification forms are not acceptable.
    • Certified transcripts can be obtained from the Registrar of the relevant university.
    • Applications will not be processed if complete academic transcripts are not attached.
  • Statement of interest
    • A short statement outlining the reasons for wanting to enter the course headed Statement of reasons for wanting to enter the Bachelor of Pharmacy. This must be on one A4 page and include your name and Otago student ID.
  • Names, addresses and (if available) email contacts of three people who may be contacted for a confidential reference.
  • Completed Māori sub-category requirements (if applicable)
  • Completed NZRIPO sub-category requirements (if applicable)

Subcategories

The University of Otago is committed to initiatives that increase the number of indigenous Māori and indigenous Pacific Island graduates. The Division of Health Sciences is focused on ensuring that New Zealand's diverse health workforce needs are met, to honouring the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi / Tiriti o Waitangi and promoting academic equity for under-represented groups.

Applicants may also be considered in one or both of the following sub-categories:

  • Māori
  • Indigenous Pacific (see note)

An applicant in either or both of these sub-categories must provide verified indigenous ancestry of either Māori whakapapa or indigenous Pacific ancestry and be a permanent resident or citizen of New Zealand.

Note: Students applying under the Indigenous Pacific sub-category need to provide verified evidence of family ancestry originating from one or more of the following Pacific nations:

  • American Samoa
  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Hawaii
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • New Caledonia
  • Niue
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rapanui (Easter Island)
  • Rotuma
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Wallis and Futuna

Māori – Form A (PDF 150 KB)

Applicants wishing to be considered under the Māori sub-category must indicate this at the time of application by ticking the Māori sub-category box on the application form along with providing information on their Māori whakapapa. Applicants will also be required to complete and upload the following documents.

  1. An endorsement of Māori whakapapa, and
  2. A written personal statement

Successful applicants from the Māori sub-category are required to attend a mihiwhakatau (greeting) at the commencement of classes in Dunedin. Whānau are welcome and encouraged to attend.

It is recommended that students wishing to apply under the Māori sub-category attend a relevant information session held by the Division of Health Sciences Māori Health Workforce Development Unit (MHWDU) and/or contact the MHWDU to arrange a meeting with staff or for further information:

Email health-sciences-maori@otago.ac.nz

New Zealand Resident Indigenous Pacific Origins (NZRIPO) – Form B (PDF 100 KB)

Applicants wishing to be considered under the NZRIPO sub-category must indicate this at the time of application by ticking the NZRIPO sub-category box on the application form and then confirming their island of heritage / origin. Applicants will also be required to complete and upload the following documents.

  1. An endorsement of Pacific Island Heritage, and
  2. A written personal statement, and
  3. A copy of birth certificate and any other verified information (certified copy) to confirm evidence of indigenous Pacific ancestry

Successful applicants from the Pacific sub-category are expected to be connected and contribute to the Health Sciences Pacific support network.

It is recommended that students wishing to apply under the NZRIPO sub-category contact the staff in the Pacific Islands Research and Student Support Unit (PIRSSU):

Email pirssu@otago.ac.nz

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Application process

Online registration and application

New and returning students are required to complete their application through eVision, which combines both your admissions and enrolment into the University of Otago, and your programme application.

You should apply in the first instance to the 'Health Sciences Undergraduate Professional Programmes' and then select 'Pharmacy' from the list.

If you have any questions regarding your registration please contact the University Information Centre:

Tel 0800 80 80 98 (from within New Zealand)
Tel 64 3 479 7000 (from overseas)
Email university@otago.ac.nz
facebook.com/otagouniversity
Ask Otago: Frequently asked questions

Supporting documentation

For details regarding other required documentation, consult the appropriate checklist available at the end of each Main Category of Admission section.

Appropriate witnesses

You should normally have your documents witnessed as true copies of originals by an authorised person i.e. a person listed in the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957 such as:

The following may also witness documents:

  • Notary Public
  • Court Registrar or Deputy Registrar
  • University of Otago Administrative or Liaison Staff
  • Member of Parliament
  • Land Transport New Zealand, Public Trust, or local authority employee (who must be authorised under the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957—an authorised stamp is required)

Students within New Zealand may wish to check the Yellow Pages for a list of Justices of the Peace in their area. Students from remote areas who do not have access to anyone in the approved categories should contact the University Information Centre for advice.

What the witness needs to do

Witnessed Document Example jpgWhen witnessing the photocopy this person must indicate the authority with which the copy is certified as true (e.g. Certified true copy, W B Smith, Justice of the Peace).

The person's name should be printed under his or her signature if not easily legible.

Other officials or professionals should not normally be asked to witness documents. Check the Yellow Pages for Justices of the Peace in your area.

If you do not have access to anyone in the approved categories, you should contact the University Information Centre for advice.

Application deadlines

Applications for entry in 2017 closed on 15 September 2016.

Outcome of application

You will be advised of the outcome of your application no later than 11pm (New Zealand Time) on 23 December 2016.

If you have a question regarding your application, you are able to contact us at:

Email healthsciences.application@otago.ac.nz

All correspondence must include your Otago student ID number.

Accepting or declining offers

If offered a place, applicants will be advised on the deadline for accepting or declining the offer.

Note, the closing date to accept first round offers is 5 January 2017.

Please think carefully before making your decision; once you have declined an offer(s) there is no opportunity to have the offer(s) reinstated after deadline has expired.

What is the waiting list?

If your Outcome of Application indicates that you have been placed on the Waiting List, you will be contacted should a place become available. Waiting lists are programme-specific and you may not ask to be included on any waiting list other than the one(s) specified.

You can be offered a place from a waiting list right up to the time classes begin. Therefore, you must make sure that you continue your enrolment process for an alternative programme of study.

Deferral of entry

Successful candidates may request to defer their entry to the following academic year.

Requests will be considered on the following grounds:

  • Graduate category or Alternative category candidates who wish to complete current academic study (e.g. an honours year) that in the opinion of the Pharmacy Admissions Committee will enhance a student's future study in Pharmacy. If approved, the Admissions Committee will advise of the minimum grade(s) that must be attained.
  • Serious medical grounds or other exceptional circumstances. Candidates that are approved deferral on medical grounds or exceptional circumstances will be required to provide evidence that they are able to resume study.

To apply for a deferral of entry please complete and return the deferral form (PDF 130 KB)

Deferrals will only be granted for a maximum period of one academic year.

Applicants must have their personal and financial affairs in order when they apply so that if their application is successful, they are able to take up a place at the start of the first semester.

English language requirements

Admission to the programme shall be subject to applicants’ meeting an English language requirement as determined by the Pharmacy Admissions Committee, dependent on the category under which the application is made.

International students

International students are defined as all those students who require a student visa to study in New Zealand. In any given year, a limited number of places in second-year Pharmacy may be available to international students. To be eligible to apply for admission into Pharmacy, international students must have completed all necessary prerequisites at a minimum standard, which is determined on a yearly basis.

Should an international student's residency status change prior to notification of the application outcome, he or she must notify the Health Sciences Admissions Office immediately and will have to compete for admission with other domestic students.

Important dates

  • Online application closing date: 15 September 2016
  • Outcome of application emails sent out by: 23 December 2016
  • Accepting or declining first round offers: 5 January 2017
  • Health Sciences Admissions Office closed: 23 December 2016 to 5 January 2017

Pharmacy second-year start dates

  • Camp: 16–18 February 2017
  • Preliminary Lecture: Friday, 24 February 2017
  • Classes begin: Monday, 27 February 2017

Introductory classes are compulsory. Students who fail to attend classes on the start date risk losing their place.

Health and disabilities

Please contact the University of Otago's Manager of Disability Information and Support, or the Health Sciences Admissions Office, if you have a health condition and/or disability that may affect whether or not you are able to meet the requirements of this programme or obtain professional registration.

Any applicant who has a mental or physical condition that could adversely affect their fitness to practice or is found to have failed to declare a condition may be declined admission to the programme by the Pharmacy Admissions Committee on the recommendation of the Health and Conduct Review Group. Any offer of admission made before responses to medical requests or requests for information regarding an applicants health status have been received is conditional on the information received confirming the applicant’s suitability for admission.

Criminal offences

Any applicant who is, or has been, the subject of criminal charges, or is, or has been, subject to disciplinary proceedings of a tertiary institution or professional body, or is found to have failed to declare a matter may be declined admission to the programme by the Pharmacy Admissions Committee on the recommendation of the Health and Conduct Review Group. Any offer of admission made before responses to requests for information regarding an applicants past conduct have been received is conditional on the information received confirming the applicant’s suitability for admission.

As some convictions may prohibit registration, applicants are advised to consult the regulations of the appropriate registering professional body:

All applicants must consent to verification from the New Zealand Police and Department of Courts that there are no undeclared criminal charges or convictions.

Health and Conduct Review Group

The Health and Conduct Review Group considers a student's suitability for admission to a Health Sciences Professional Programme having regard to fitness to practice issues.

Health and Conduct Review Group – Terms of Reference (PDF 60 KB)
Health and Conduct Procedure (PDF 150 KB)

Vulnerable Children Act 2014

The Vulnerable Children Act 2014 is aimed at providing better protection for vulnerable children. One of the ways it aims to do this, is by introducing 'safety checking'.

If you will work with vulnerable children—as part of a specified organisation that provides regulated services—the Act requires you to be 'safety checked' at least once every three years.

The safety check involves:

  • Identify verification
  • New Zealand Police vetting
  • Reference checking
  • An interview
  • A risk assessment

Applicants who enter the programme will receive further information regarding the timing of these checks.

Further information

See childrensactionplan.govt.nz/legislation-/ for more information about the Vulnerable Children Act 2014.

Culturally-sensitive issues

All students must participate in laboratory, practical and clinical activities, including those that may be unusual in some cultures. In Pharmacy, some aspects of the teaching will require individuals to practise certain techniques on each other that may involve partially undressing or body contact with other students. Training occurs under close supervision and all students are required to participate, as it is essential for their acquisition of clinical skills.

Immunity status

All applicants who are offered and accept a place to the second year, or any subsequent year, of the Bachelor of Pharmacy will be required to provide evidence of their serology status.

Because of the nature of their practice, health professionals are required to take steps to ensure they neither acquire infections from their patients nor transmit infections to patients.

Immunity testing arrangements will be made known during December, preceding the start of the programme.

Please refer to the Infectious Diseases Policy for Health Professional Students (PDF 680 KB) for further details regarding immunity status.

Domestic place numbers

The maximum number of domestic student places available across all admissions categories for 2017 are 120.

Special examinations

Applications from students sitting special examinations will be placed on hold until the special examination results are released. Once you receive your special examination results you must immediately advise the Health Sciences Admissions Office to ensure the processing of your application is completed.

As we do not receive special examination results automatically, it is applicants' responsibility to inform us of the results of special examinations as soon as they become available.

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Programme content

Second-year papers

Third-year papers

Fourth-year papers (for BPharm)

Fourth-year papers (for BPharm(Hons))

  • PHCY 480 Honours Research Project
  • PHCY 481 Quality Use of Medicines B for Honours
  • PHCY 482 Professional Pharmacy Practice C for Honours
  • PHCY 483 Quality Use of Medicines C for Honours

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Careers

While most pharmacists work in community and hospital pharmacies, many also work in primary healthcare environments (with general practitioners), government organisations, industry, medical writing, and academia. Opportunities for pharmacists are constantly growing as the healthcare sector changes to meet the needs of our communities.

Some pharmacists are even involved in border patrol. The role of the community pharmacist centres on the provision of pharmaceutical care to their local community. This may include adherence and clinical medicines review services which aim to optimise health outcomes for their patients.

Pharmacists also provide long-term care services for patients with chronic illnesses, as well as dispensing prescriptions, and assessing and treating some ailments. The goal of clinical medicines review services is to optimise health outcomes of patients by appropriate choice of medicine and dosing schedule, to both increase the effectiveness of medicines and avoid unwanted side-effects or drug interactions.

Some pharmacists offer specialist medicine review services to rest homes or people with complex medication regimens. Hospital pharmacies are responsible for serving the medicinal needs of hospital patients, as well as outpatients who require specialised medicines. Their role also centres on patient care with the majority of hospital pharmacists conducting clinical medicines reviews to optimise health outcomes for patients.

Hospital pharmacists may also be involved with the manufacture of intravenous and oncology medicines, while others provide expert advice on medicines. Some pharmacists work in industrial pharmacy, developing new pharmaceutical products for human or veterinary use. Some responsibilities undertaken by industrial pharmacists are formulation and production, quality control, provision of information on new products, clinical evaluation of new products, and the marketing of medicines.

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Regulations

Regulations for the degree of Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm)

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Disclaimer

The University of Otago makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on its web pages. However the matters covered, including the availability and structure of courses, are subject to regular review and no warranty or representation can be provided regarding the accuracy of such information, and the University does not accept liability for any losses or damage arising directly or indirectly from reliance on the information.

While the University of Otago takes all due care in implementing the regulations, policies, and procedures that relate to the admissions process, it reserves the right to correct any administrative errors that may occur.