Press Releases

First generation of pharmacists graduate from the University of Reading – University of Reading

Release Date : 06 July 2009

Four years after enrolling its first students, the University of Reading School of Pharmacy celebrated the graduation of its first cohort of students last Friday, 3 July.

The group of 31 students graduated with an MPharm after the new School successfully completed the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain's accreditation process.

Professor Adrian Williams, Head of the Reading School of Pharmacy said: "I am absolutely delighted that our first graduates have done so well. The past five years have been a tremendously exciting time, from establishing the School in 2004 and creating a completely new course with innovative teaching methods, to working very closely with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to gain accreditation in time for our first group of students to graduate with an MPharm. In tandem, we have developed world class research and entered the School for the Research Assessment Exercise just three years after being established.

"The reputation of the Reading School of Pharmacy is growing rapidly among potential students. From our deliberately small initial group of students, who have been a huge part of the process of creating this new course, we are now receiving 750 applicants for 95 places for the 2009/10 course."

Professor Gordon Marshall, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: "With the opening of the £17 million Hopkins Building this month with its dedicated teaching and research facilities for pharmacy, a £1 million Economic Challenge Investment Fund to provide training and development for the South East's pharmaceutical industry and the drive of our committed staff, the future is looking very bright for pharmacy at Reading."

An important feature of the new School's approach has been its determination to explore and introduce innovative teaching methods on the degree course. Therapeutics teaching, case studies from real life situations, podcast lectures, virtual learning, the use of personal response devices in lectures to vote on ethical problems of dispensing as well as mock patients have all featured in the teaching mix. The School is currently looking at 3D modelling and other new technologies.

The establishment of the Reading School of Pharmacy followed requests to the University for Thames Valley-based locum pharmacists. There was no local pharmacy school between Bath, London, the Midlands and south coast. The first staff were appointed in autumn 2004 and the first intake of students followed in autumn 2005. That first small course has now expanded to almost 100 a year with A level requirements of an A & 2Bs.


Further information from Alex Brannen, Media Relations Manager on 0118 378 7388

Notes to editors:

Images available

- The graduating class of 2009 and staff taken at the graduating reception

- Students awarded prizes for Best Overall Performance. Left to right: Luke Banbury - student, Prof Adrian Williams, Ruth Botting – student. Both students graduated with first class honours degrees

MPharm course content:-

• Sources of medicines

• Pharmacology and Toxicology

• Medical Microbiology

• Genetics and Molecular Biology

• Medicines formulation

• Therapeutics

• Medical Statistics

• Pharmacy Practice

• Economics of the Health industry

• Law and Ethics

• Business Development

• Nutrition in Pharmacy

• Drugs and the Developing World

History of pharmacy at Reading

• Requests for Thames Valley locum pharmacists to trained pharmacists at the University prompted further investigation of the need for a course.

• No local provider between Bath, London, Aston and south coast.

• First staff appointed in autumn 2004

• First intake autumn 2005 – small first course – 40 students, now expanded to almost 100 a year

• Designed the course from scratch – four years of creating a new year's course every year. Match University policies with Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain's policies

• 2009 – 37 students graduating on Friday 3 July

• Once finish four-year degree, undertake a one year pre-registration course with a final exam from the Royal Society. All 31 have places on pre-registration courses

• 70% expected to go into community pharmacy, 20% in to hospital practice, 5% research and 5% pharmaceutical industry

• 22 academic members of staff + teacher practitioners, who work part time in the local health service, to teach on the course to ensure the course is relevant to the clinical setting.

• Now offering Continuing Professional Development courses for qualified pharmacists through the School's Centre for Inter-Professional Postgraduate Education and Training (CIPPET).

Research in Pharmacy at Reading

• Cross disciplinary research, working with colleagues in psychology, chemistry, biological sciences, food biosciences and cybernetics.

• Despite being a new School, the University entered Pharmacy for the most recent RAE. 80% of research ranked as internationally recognised, based on only 3 years research with many new academic members of staff.

A case study of a recent graduate – Ruth Botting – with image is available.


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