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Master of Clinical Pharmacy (MClinPharm)

Overview

The Master in Clinical Pharmacy (MClinPharm) is the final programme in the postgraduate programmes of study. The PGDipClinPharm papers you have chosen will determine which papers you need to do at this stage.

The MClinPharm must contain the paper PHCY 512 (either during the PGDipClinPharm or at the master's level).

If you have done a traditional PGDipClinPharm then you will need to complete:

  • PHCY 506 Research Methods (30 points)
  • PHCY 512 Advanced Clinical Pharmacy (30 points)
  • PHCY 590 Dissertation (60 points)

If you have done the new PGDipClinPharm (that contains PHCY 512), then you will need to complete:

  • PHCY 506 Research Methods (30 points)
  • PHCY 5A (PDF 50 KB) Thesis (90 points)

For key dates related to the above papers please click here

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Enrolling in the MClinPharm

You should enrol before 10 December, if you plan to undertake study in Semester One, or by May for a start in Semester Two. The dissertation is a two-semester paper, and the thesis is a three-semester paper.

Enrol in the Master of Clinical Pharmacy

This link will take you to the University page for the qualification, which outlines information and regulations for the programme. Using the yellow "Apply Now" button on the top right will start the process. You will first be directed to create (new students to the University) a Student Portal, or log into (returning students) the Student Portal using your username and password. Please remember to return to your Student Portal, as this is where your Letter of Offer will be sent!

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Getting started on your dissertation

Getting started on your dissertation can be daunting and it’s easy to put it off. We encourage you to start planning your dissertation and discuss this with Dan Wright (Paper Co-ordinator for PHCY 590 Dissertation and PHCY 5A Thesis) as soon as possible, even if you are unsure what you would like to do.

Also feel free to ask advice at any point from Sarah Wilson Postgraduate Administrator.

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Choosing a topic

For some people the topic is obvious: something that they've always wanted to do. For others, it takes longer to identify a topic. If you know what you want to do, then you need to find a supervisor and discuss the project with them. They can advise you about whether the project is feasible within the timeframe and resources available. Be prepared to be flexible about your study topic: utilise your supervisor's expertise and knowledge. For some students, their passion for the topic means they want to do a much bigger project than PHCY590, so a supervisor can help you to identify an appropriately-sized component for your dissertation project.

If you are unsure what you want to do, feel free to approach potential supervisors in the School of Pharmacy. Academics like to talk with people about their research and many of them have potential projects suitable for MClinPharm students. 

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Choosing a supervisor

It is useful to have two supervisors: someone who works in your institution or lives in your city / region who can help you with the practicalities of the project, and a staff member in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Otago who knows about the administrative processes. Either of these people could be the primary supervisor in terms of input into the project.

For the local supervisor, think about what kind of advice, support and access to resources you might need, who you would like to work with, and who is most likely to be able to help you. This supervisor does not need to be a pharmacist. Potential supervisors are most welcome to contact either Sarah Wilson Postgraduate Administrator or Dr Dan Wright  (Paper Co-ordinator for PHCY 590 and PHCY 5A) to discuss the MClinPharm dissertation / thesis requirements.

For the School of Pharmacy supervisor, you could look at the School website to find out about staff's research interests. Feel free to approach any staff member and discuss your interests. If you don’t know where to start, contact Dr Dan Wright.

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How much time will my dissertation take?

The 60-point dissertation should take one year half-time. The 90-point thesis should take 18 months half-time. Almost everyone who has done an MClinPharm dissertation or thesis in the past has done this while working full-time as a pharmacist.

When designing your research project it is important to think about your work and other commitments and how you will fit your dissertation work around it. Some projects are more flexible than others in their time requirements.

For example, lab-based projects may require concentrated periods of time in the lab. This can be an advantage if you have this time available, because you can make good progress in a short time. However, if you cannot get these periods of time for research, this kind of project is not suitable for you.

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Ethics approval

All research involving human participants requires ethics approval. Your supervisor at the School of Pharmacy can advise you about whether you need ethics approval, and if so, to whom and how to apply.

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Contacts

Please email either Sarah Wilson, the Postgraduate Administrator or the Paper Co-ordinator for PHCY590, Dr Dan Wright

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Quotes from postgraduate alumni

Kathy Maxwell

Kathy Maxwell, MClinPharm Graduate (186px)BPharm PGDipClinPharm MClinPharm MPS FNZCP RegPharmNZ
Pharmacist and Community Pharmacy Owner / Operator

“It’s been a really good experience and because I’d done my master's, when the opportunity to be part of the editorial advisory board for the New Zealand Formulary came up, I had the confidence to apply. I don’t think I would have if I hadn’t have done my master's.”

Gill Swannick

Gill Swannick, MClinPharm GraduateManaging Editor, MIMS, Sydney

“Completing my master's was mentally stimulating, gave me more confidence in the workplace, and more career opportunities as well. When it was time to do my dissertation it just felt too hard and I couldn’t think of anything interesting. But once I had the idea, I was away.”

Lorraine Welman

President, NZHPA

“A master's degree gives you an extra perspective on pharmacy practice and opens your mind to all sorts of possibilities and new ideas. Completing it, you have a great sense of achievement, especially because of the high standards.

“It's not just a piece of paper, it’s something I've earned. My practice has changed completely because of that experience.”

Ginny Brailsford

Ginny Brailsford, MClinPharm GraduateBPharm(UCT,SA) DipAdTL MClinPharm
Pharmacist and IPP Feasibility Study Team Facilitator, University of Otago

“The dissertation paper in the master's qualification introduced me to the importance and relevance of research in advancing pharmacy practice.  I found this to be a significant and welcome departure from the format of other postgraduate papers which challenged not only my academic outlook but my management and interprofessional skills. The completion of the dissertation helped raise me to a whole new level of thinking.”

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