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Masters of Pharmacy in UK: Comprehensive Course Guide

Bhavya Rawal Bhavya Rawal
Study Abroad Expert

Masters in Pharmacy UK is a 1-4 year-long course available as a full time (1-3) or part-time (2-4) program at some of the top universities of the UK. The annual course fee for Masters of Pharmacy in the UK ranges between 14,700 GBP - 28,930 GBP (~14 lakhs to 28 lakhs). Basic eligibility criteria for enrollment to masters in pharmacy UK is a bachelor's degree in pharmacy, pharmacology, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or related subjects.

Thetop pharmacy schools in UK prepare pharmacists who can innovate in the field of human health by educating them with fundamentals involved in drug development, patient safety, efficient dosage, and use of medication. 

Graduates of Pharmacy can look for employment in pharmaceutical companies of the UK such as- Pfizer, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co, Bayer, Roche, etc. The entry-level salaries offered at these are illustrated below:

Entry-Level Salary by Company

Why Study Masters in Pharmacy UK?

Uk has risen up the ladder of study abroad destinations in the world for pharmaceutical studies. Around 3000 students enroll for pharmacy degrees every year in the UK, with about 15% international students.

  • According to QS World rankings for Pharmacy & Pharmacology 2020, three universities of the UK come under the top 10 globally ranked universities.
  • Foreign pharmaceutical companies with a major presence in the UK pharmaceutical industry include Pfizer, Novartis, Hoffmann–La Roche and Eisai.
  • One in five of the world's biggest-selling prescription drugs are developed in the UK.
  • The UK is home to GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, respectively the world's fifth- and sixth-largest pharmaceutical companies.
  • According to Prospects.UK around 82% of graduates with a master in degree in pharmacy is employed within a year of their graduation. 95-98% of these find work within the healthcare profession.

These factors not only ensure that an aspirant is offered with a world-class education by leading universities in the country but also ensures that jobs are available with big-brands of the industry. 

Masters in Pharmacy UK: Top Universities

With 4 universities ranking under 50 universities around the world, the UK offers some of the best colleges for masters in pharmacy. The table below contains information about universities offering Masters in Pharmacy UK:

UniversityQS Pharmacy & Pharmacology Rankings 2020Program NameCourse DurationAnnual Tuition Fee( in GBP)
University of Oxford#1MSc in Pharmacology1 year23,505
MRes in Pharmacology1-3 years26,405
University College London#5MSc in Pharmaceutics1 year28,930
MSc in Clinical Pharmacy, International Practice and Policy1 year28,930
University of Nottingham#7Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences, MSc1 year26,955
Drug Discovery and Pharmaceutical Sciences with Industrial Training, MSc2 years21,564. Second year fees are half this amount
King's College London=13MSc in Pharmacology1 year26,550
MSc in Clinical Pharmacology1 year26,550
University of Birmingham#51-100Pharmacy - PhD/MSc by ResearchMSc by Research: 1 year22,500
University of Glasgow#51-100MSc in Clinical Pharmacology 1 year23,500
University of Strathclyde#51-100MSc in Clinical Pharmacy1 year22,600
University of Aberdeen#151-200MSc in Clinical PharmacologyFull time- 1 year
Part time- 2 years
23,000
Aston University#251-300Pharmaceutical Science, MSc1 year18,900
Coventry University-Pharmacology and Drug Discovery, MSc1 year14,700
University of Lincoln-MSc by Research Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical SciencesFull time- 1 year
Part time- 2 years
16,100

Other than the courses tabulated above, universities in the UK also offer Master of Pharmacy degrees (MPham) as integrated UG-PG courses allowing students with an opportunity to laying the foundation of their pharmacy education within UK.

Masters in Pharmacy UK: Highlights

Degrees offeredMSc in Clinical Pharmacy, Pharmacology, Pharmaceutics, Drug Discovery, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, etc.
Duration1-3 years (FT)
EligibilityA bachelor's degree in pharmacy related subjects. Language proficiency.
Annual Course Fee14,700 GBP-28,930 GBP,
Starting Salary74,800 GBP
Job ProfilePharmacist, Pharmacy Manager, Clinical Pharmacist, Pharmaceutical Researcher, Hospital Pharmacy Technician, etc.

Masters in Pharmacy UK: Admissions

For pursuing masters from colleges in UK, there are certain generic eligibility criteria that an international applicant must meet. Below are a few of the general admission requirements asked by the universities of the UK for Masters of Pharmacy.

  • A bachelor's degree in pharmacy, pharmacology, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or related subjects.
  • Proof of English language proficiency: IELTS, TOEFL iBT, PTE.
  • Previous work experience (not required for all courses)

Masters in Pharmacy UK: University-Specific Eligibility

Along with fulfilling basic eligibility requirements international students willing to pursue masters in pharmacy UK must fulfill the following standardized test score requirements and related criteria. 

UniversityUG Academic RequirementIELTS ScoreTOEFL (iBT) ScorePTE Score Intake Season
University of Oxford65% or more7.5110-September
University College LondonCGPA- 7.75/10 or 60%7.010069November, July
University of Nottingham60% or GPA- 3.0/4.0, 6.0/107.5 with min 7.0 in each element--Program starts- Sept
King's College London65% or GPA- 8.5/10 6.5 9262 March
University of Birmingham60-65% minimum6.58859Any time of the year
University of Glasgow60% or more6.59060July
University of Strathclyde60%6.5 (with no component below 5.5)--Course start: Sep
University of AberdeenBachelors with 50%-70%6.59062September
Aston UniversityA first class UG degree6.59363September
Coventry University50-60% in UG6.5 (with no component lower than 5.5)--September, January
University of Lincoln60-70% in UG6.07958-

*In addition to the above-mentioned eligibility criteria, University of Strathclyde also asks for a minimum of 12 months post-study clinical experience in a hospital environment.

Note: As a part of the application process the University of Oxford and the University of Nottingham conducts personal interviews that international students need to go through to get enrolled.

Documents Required with Application

Your applications for masters in pharmacy UK universities must be accompanied by the following documents: 

  • Official transcripts
  • CV/ Resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Reference/ Letter of recommendation(3)
  • Evidence of English Language ability- IELTS, TOEFL iBT, PTE scores
  • A copy of the photo page of the passport

UK Student Visa

To study in a university in the UK you need to apply for Tier 4 UK Visa. Given below is the list of documents you need to provide at the time of application.

  • Details of passport
  • Recent passport size photograph
  • Criminal record(if any)
  • Proof of financial sufficiency
  • Unconditional written consent of sponsor to the visa application
  • Parents’ or legal guardian letters( for under 18 applicants)
  • Tuberculosis test results if the candidate is from a country that has to take the test.

What to Take With You at the Visa Application Centre?

  • Print out of the email confirming the details of your appointment
  • Valid passport or travel document
  • Print out of your completed visa application form
  • All the supporting documents
  • Print out of registration details if you have pre-registered for your visit online

It should be noted that missing documents, failure to provide proof of fundings, incorrect documents format may result in cancellation of visa application.

Masters in Pharmacy UK: Cost of Study

The expenses involved in studying abroad can be divided into - Pre-arrival costs, tuition, and living expenses. Given below are tentative estimates of the expenses that international students can expect while pursuing a degree from the UK.

Pre-arrival Cost

This type of expense is incurred before arrival to the study destination. These include application fees for universities, student visas, and entrance exams required to study in UK.

Type of ExpenseCost (in GBP)
Application Fee40-100
UK Student Visa Application Fee326
IELTS Fee141
TOEFL Fee122-190
PTE Fee141

Typically average flight fare from India to the UK is 160 GBP, this amount varies depending on which city you are flying from.

Tuition Fees for Masters in Pharmacy UK

The cost of pursuing the program ranges between 17,000 GBP to 78,000 GBP. The wide gap in the cost of the study is dependent on the duration of the program. The average annual tuition fees is around 20,000 GBP for most of the popular universities. For an Indian student, the average cost of pursuing masters in pharmacy UK will roughly equal 19 lakh INR per year as per the current conversion rate (June 2020).

Cost of Living in UK

With expensive cities like London, the cost of living in the UK is pretty high. Statistically speaking, it’s 174% higher compared to India. But, living and pursuing a degree from the UK is manageable if expenses are planned wisely and beforehand.

Region-Based Comparison of Average Cost: Living cost in the UK varies depending on the location. Given below is the tentative cost of living in various regions of the UK.

Average Cost of living in Regions of UK

Non-Academic Expenses: Beside rent you need to take care of a few other expenses. Tabulated below are such nonacademic expenses.

Cost InvolvedAverage Expense(GBP/month)
Rent650 (within the city); 550 (outside the city)
Travel Cost55
Telephone and Internet40 
Other Cost250
Total Cost (including other costs)1300-1500 

Besides the above-mentioned expenses, you should keep an average of GBP 250 handy for other expenses like healthcare, entertainment, food, books etc.

Masters in Pharmacy UK: Scholarships

Pursuing a degree from the UK can be expensive. But there are also various scholarships & student loans in UK for international students. The table below contains information about university-specific scholarships for students of masters in pharmacy UK:

UniversityScholarshipApplicable ForStipend Amount (in GBP)
University of OxfordFelix ScholarshipsPG coursesTuition- 29,971-33,919;
Cost of living- 14,099
Clarendon-scholarshipsMasters courses5,003 - 15,009 
Rhodes ScholarshipPG courses15,900
University College LondonIOE-ISH Centenary Taught Masters ScholarshipsMasters ProgramVariable
University of NottinghamSouth Asia Postgraduate Excellence AwardFull-time masters4,000 of tuition fees.
University of BirminghamChevening ScholarshipInternational students in PG coursesVariable
University of GlasgowJoseph Lister India ScholarshipIndian students enrolled in pg courses of medical sciencesVariable
University of Glasgow International Leadership ScholarshipPG courses10,000
University of StrathclydeFaculty of Science Masters ScholarshipPG taught courses2,000-5,000
University of Strathclyde Progression ScholarshipPG taught courses10% of the tuition fee
University of AberdeenAberdeen Global ScholarshipInternational Masters students2,000
Scotland's Saltire ScholarshipsMasters program8000
Aston UniversityVice-Chancellor's International ScholarshipInternational students in PG taught courses8,000
Global Excellence ScholarshipInternational students5,000
Global Ambassador ScholarshipInternational students in UG and PG courses3,000

Masters in Pharmacy UK: Scope

To practice in Great Britain, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). If you are an international student you can either be-

  • qualified as a pharmacist outside of the European Economic Area (EEA),
  • Or, are a non-EEA national with an EEA pharmacist qualification (other than a UK-recognised pharmacist qualification).

You can choose the registration for Overseas(non-EEA) qualified pharmacists.

Overseas (non-EEA) qualified pharmacists

Before applying to register as a pharmacist with the GPhC through this route one must complete:

  • An Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP)(a GPhC accredited Master of Pharmacy degree)
  • 52 weeks of pre-registration training in England, Scotland or Wales signed off as satisfactory by your tutor
  • The GPhC registration assessment with a pass result
  • Meeting the fitness to practice requirements for registration as a pharmacist.

Only after completing these steps, one can apply for registration with the GPhC as a pharmacist. As part of the registration process, applicants have to make a health declaration and character checks are carried out.

Along with working at a community or hospital pharmacist, pharmacy graduates can also find work in academics, pharmaceutical industries, and regulatory bodies. Typically a pharmacist in the UK works 37.5 to 40 hours a week. Tabulated below are a few job designation and average expected salary a graduate of masters in pharmacy UK:

Job DesignationAverage Salary/ Annum( in GBP)
Pharmacist129,000
Pharmacy Manager191,000
Pharmaceutical Researcher170,000
Pharmaceutical Sales Manager179,000
Clinical Pharmacist133,000
Assistant Pharmacist106,000
Assistant Pharmacy Director191,000
Clinical Pharmacy Specialist142,000
Hospital Pharmacy Technician120,000
Pharmaceutical Research Scientist163,000

Post-Study Work Visa in the UK

As of 2021, 2 years stay back policy in the UK will allow international students to stay in the UK 2 years after completing their degree program and find work. International students wishing to stay back after graduation need to apply for a Tier 1 post-study work visa. It helps the graduate visa holder to gain some relevant work experience before they go back to their home country.

Uk houses a few of the biggest pharmaceutical companies around the world and is always in need of skilled Pharmacists. With world renewed universities like Oxford offering quality education in the field of pharmacy international students can easily achieve their career goals. Pursuing a masters in pharmacy UK or a related course may cost a student a huge some but can guarantee cushy returns on their investment.

FAQ

Ques.How long is a Masters's degree in Pharmacy in the UK?

Ans. Master 's in Pharmacy in the UK is 1-2 years long. However, Master of Pharmacy or MPharm which is delivered as an integrated UG and PG course in the UK is 4 years long.

Ques.How much does a Pharmacist earn in the UK?

Ans. The starting salary of a Pharmacist in the UK is 74,800 GBP. This amount increases with level of education and year of experience.

Ques.What is the tuition fee for masters of pharmacy degrees in the UK?

Ans. The tuition fee for masters of pharmacy degrees in the UK varies. But tuition fee for masters of pharmacy in UK mostly ranges between 14,700 GBP -28,930 GBP/year for full-time courses and 7,315 GBP/year for part-time courses.

Ques.What are the basic eligibility criteria for masters of pharmacy degrees in the UK?

Ans. The basic eligibility criteria for masters of pharmacy in the UK is a bachelor's degree in pharmacy, pharmacology, biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or related subjects. International students are additionally required to submit English language test scores with an average of IELTS-7, TOEFL-90, PTE-60.

Ques.Which are the most popular colleges for pursuing masters of pharmacy in UK?

Ans. Top tier universities such as University of Oxford, Kings Colleges London, University College London, University of Glasgow, University of Birmingham, University of Nottingham, etc are some of the popular pharmacy colleges in UK.

Ques. Can one practice as a pharmacist in UK after completion of masters in pharmacy?

Ans. No, practice as a pharmacist you will be required to register with General Pharmaceutical Council.

Ques. Is it worth pursuing masters of pharmacy in UK?

Ans. The cost of pursuing masters in Pharmacy UK is slightly less than its other contemporaries, like USA, Canada, etc. Pursuing a masters degree in UK will allow you access to education at some world-calss higher education institutions. Though the scale at which the jobs expected to rise is slow, but the presence of industry giants in the country allows you to work with the best and earn handsome salaries. 

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