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Study Pharmacy at Otago

Go beyond the script.

Pharmacists help improve health outcomes for communities, while enjoying an amazing work–life balance.

As medicine experts, pharmacists work directly with patients, helping them understand their medicines and how to use them in the most effective way.

Pharmacists are essential members of the healthcare team. They’re trusted by other healthcare professionals to assess prescriptions and recommend the best combination of medicines.

But this is just part of their role. As a pharmacist, you can also assess and treat health conditions, prescribe medication, and give life-saving vaccinations. This is the future of pharmacy – going beyond the script.

Apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Pharmacist Prescribing (PGCPharmPrescr) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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Apply for the Postgraduate Certificate in Pharmacy (PGCertPharm) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

Apply Now

Apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy (PGDipClinPharm) through the Dunedin campus in 2021

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What is pharmacy?

Pharmacists often work in community pharmacies, in hospital pharmacies and in medical clinics.

For these reasons, pharmacists are the health professionals you see most often. They’re truly at the heart of healthy communities.

Pharmacists can continue on to become pharmaceutical scientists to develop new medicines – or with government and research organisations.

Some patients have chronic or ongoing health issues, and rely on regular contact with community pharmacists to help manage their conditions. Other patients have an acute (short-term) condition that can be treated by medication.

As a pharmacist, you can make an authentic difference to the lives of your patients, their whānau, and their communities.

Background required

There are no subject requirements for entry into the Health Sciences First Year (HSFY) programme, which makes up the first year of the pharmacy degree, but we strongly recommend you take Biology, Chemistry, and Physics to Year 13.

HSFY must be your first year of university study and can only be studied at Otago. If you are considering tertiary study before enrolling, you are strongly advised to contact Health Sciences Admissions first.

What will I study?

After selection from Health Sciences First Year (HSFY), or from one of the other categories, you will commence your pharmacy degree in the second year of university study. Here you will build on the foundational sciences that underpin pharmacy such as drug design, delivery and pharmacology. You will learn about the practice and role of pharmacists in improving the health outcomes of patients and focus on person-centred care in clinical settings and patients in the community.

The integrated papers are supported by a comprehensive skills programme that teaches you how to apply what you learn to the practice of pharmacy. You’ll get hands-on time in our Virtual Professional Practice Laboratory, where you’ll use the latest procedures and technologies. You’ll also get real-life experience at our pharmacy clinic – the only university pharmacy clinic in New Zealand and Australia – and opportunities to learn in different types of pharmacy environments alongside practising pharmacists.

Once you complete your fourth year and graduate, there is a one-year, pre-registration internship programme which is overseen by the Pharmacy Council of New Zealand. This is undertaken as paid employment at an approved site in a hospital or community pharmacy.

Admission to the programme

There are 120 places available for New Zealand students and some additional places for international students.

Admission to pharmacy is competitive, you can apply:

  1. At the end of Health Sciences First Year (HSFY). Entry is based on your grades achieved during this year. You will have a better chance of admission if you apply under the Single Programme Preference (where you only apply for pharmacy).
  2. In the Graduate category, once you have completed two or more years of University study.
  3. In the Alternative category.

We strongly encourage students who are of Māori or Indigenous Pacific descent to apply to Pharmacy. Please request this to be taken into account as part of your application.

See otago.ac.nz/healthsciences for details.

Immunity status

Students who are admitted to pharmacy are required to be vaccinated during their first year of the programme, if necessary.

Please refer to the Infectious Diseases Policy for Health Professional Students for further details: otago.ac.nz/healthsciences

International applications

Persons who do not hold New Zealand citizenship or permanent residency should contact the University’s International Office.

Postgraduate study

The School of Pharmacy has a comprehensive postgraduate programme, including pharmacy professional programmes up to master’s level.

The School also offers research qualifications such as a master’s and PhD.

Career opportunities

You will have many opportunities as a pharmacist. You can work in, and/or own, a community pharmacy and enjoy close relationships with the local community by making medicine-related decisions, monitoring patient therapy, and consulting with physicians and other healthcare providers. Alternatively, you could work in a clinic and provide advice to patients and healthcare professionals about medicines.

As a hospital pharmacist, you are able to specialise in many areas, for example: diabetes, paediatrics, intensive care, respiratory medicine, infectious diseases, cardiology, mental health, cancer management, and more. Hospital pharmacists are a core team member and contribute to hospital ward rounds with the medical team, advise medical and nursing staff, and provide information to patients about their medicines.

Pharmacists also fulfil important roles in places such as the Ministry of Health, Medsafe (medicines registration agency), universities, drug companies, pharmacy regulatory bodies, Pharmac and the armed forces.

Finally, pharmacists can continue their education and complete graduate studies in a variety of disciplines including clinical pharmacy practice, clinical pharmacology, pharmaceutical sciences, and social and administrative pharmacy and embrace additional careers in academia or industry.

Pharmacy qualifications

Explore your study options further. Refer to enrolment information found on the following qualification pages:

Programme requirements

Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm)

Note: Students who commenced with Second Year papers prior to 2018 should refer to the 2017 University of Otago Calendar for current Third Year and Fourth Year paper requirements.

Year Papers Points
1st year

Health Sciences First Year Course

Note: Students enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year course will be required to achieve a satisfactory mark in a standard diagnostic English test or another approved measure of achievement.

126
2nd year

PHCY 210  Introduction to Pharmacy

PHCY 211  Fundamental Pharmaceutical Science

PHCY 220  Integrated Modules A

Note: Candidates for the second and subsequent years of the BPharm programme will normally have passed all papers for the previous year of study.

12

48

60

3rd year

PHCY 310  Integrated Modules B

PHCY 320  Integrated Modules C

60

60

4th year

PHCY 410  Elective Studies A**
PHCY 420  Pharmacy Practice Leadership and Management**
PHCY 430  Elective Studies B**
PHCY 431  Structured Practical Experiential Programme**
PHCY 432  Applied Pharmacotherapy and Patient Care**

15
15
15
20
55

**Further information will be available for these papers in early September.

Bachelor of Pharmacy with Honours (BPharm(Hons))

Year Papers Points
1st year

Health Sciences First Year Course

Note: Students enrolled in the Health Sciences First Year course will be required to achieve a satisfactory mark in a standard diagnostic English test or another approved measure of achievement.

126
2nd year

PHCY 210  Introduction to Pharmacy

PHCY 211  Fundamental Pharmaceutical Science

PHCY 220  Integrated Modules A

Note: Candidates for the second and subsequent years of the BPharm programme will normally have passed all papers for the previous year of study.

12

48

60

3rd year

PHCY 310  Integrated Modules B

PHCY 320  Integrated Modules C

60

60

4th year

PHCY 410  Elective Studies A

PHCY 420  Pharmacy Practice Leadership and Management

PHCY 431  Structured Practical Experiential Programme

PHCY 480  Honours Research Project

PHCY 485  Applied Pharmacotherapy and Patient Care for Honours

15

15

20

36

58

Postgraduate Certificate in Pharmacist Prescribing (PGCertPharmPres)

Papers

Papers

Paper code Year Title Points Teaching period
PHCY210 2021 Introduction to Pharmacy 12 points First Semester
PHCY211 2021 Fundamental Pharmaceutical Science 48 points First Semester
PHCY220 2021 Integrated Modules A 60 points Second Semester
PHCY310 2021 Integrated Modules B 60 points First Semester
PHCY320 2021 Integrated Modules C 60 points Second Semester
PHCY410 2021 Elective Studies A 15 points Full Year
PHCY420 2021 Pharmacy Practice Leadership and Management 15 points Full Year
PHCY430 2021 Elective Studies B 15 points Full Year
PHCY431 2021 Structured Practical Experiential Programme 20 points Full Year
PHCY432 2021 Applied Pharmacotherapy and Patient Care 55 points Full Year
PHCY480 2021 Honours Research Project 36 points 1st Non standard period
PHCY485 2021 Applied Pharmacotherapy and Patient Care for Honours 58 points Full Year
PHCY510 2021 Evidence-Based Practice 30 points 1st Non standard period
PHCY511 2021 Patient-Centred Care 30 points 1st Non standard period
PHCY520 2021 Applied patient-centred care 30 points 1st Non standard period
PHCY521 2021 Elective topics in patient-centred care 30 points 1st Non standard period
PHCY590 2021 Dissertation 60 points 1st Non standard period, 2nd Non standard period, 3rd Non standard period, 4th Non standard period, 5th Non standard period, 6th Non standard period

Key information for future students

Contact us

School of Pharmacy
Tel +64 3 479 7271
Email pharmacy@otago.ac.nz
Web otago.ac.nz/pharmacy