Sunderland is the only university in the north of England to offer an Overseas Pharmacist Assessment Programme (OSPAP) that is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council.
Pharmaceutical Sciences for the Overseas Pharmacist Assessment Programme (OSPAP) is designed for those who are qualified pharmacists outside the European Economic Area and who are now looking to become registered pharmacists in the UK.
Our course is one of a small number of courses that are accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council. Their accreditation is based on quality reviews that ensure Sunderland is meeting the required standards.
Completing the OSPAP postgraduate diploma allows for entry to the next stages of registering as a pharmacist in the UK: firstly, 52 weeks of supervised training in employment; secondly, a registration assessment.
Once all these stages are successfully completed, and assuming you have the necessary visa and work permit, you would be in a position to apply for roles as a practising pharmacist in the UK. There is virtually no unemployment of registered pharmacists in the UK.
You can also apply to undertake a Masters research project in addition to your postgraduate diploma. Pharmacy is a particular area of strength at the University of Sunderland and our Department has been teaching the subject since 1921.
The content of this course reflects the accreditation requirements of the General Pharmaceutical Council.
Modules on the course include:
-Pharmacy, Law, Ethics and Practice (60 Credits)
-Clinical Therapeutics (60 Credits)
-Research Methods for Pharmaceutical Practice and Masters Research Project (60 Credits)
Teaching and assessment
We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, debate sessions, online learning packages, tutorials and seminars.
Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working. Assessment methods include end-of-year examinations, practical assessments as well as assignments throughout the year.
Facilities & location
This course is based in the Sciences Complex at our City Campus, which boasts multi-disciplinary laboratories and cutting-edge equipment thanks to multi-million pound investments.
Facilities for Pharmaceutics
We have pharmaceutical-related equipment for wet granulation, spray drying, capsule filling, tablet making, mixing inhalation, film coating and freeze drying.
As well as standard pharmacopoeial test methods, such as dissolution testing, friability and disintegration, we also offer highly sophisticated test methods. These include rheometry, thermal analysis (differential scanning calorimetry and hot stage microscopy), tests for powder flow, laser diffraction, photon correlation spectroscopy, image analysis and laser confocal microscopy.
Facilities for Medicinal Chemistry
Our state-of-the-art spectroscopic facility allows us to confirm the structures of new molecules that could be potential pharmaceutical products and to investigate the structures of potential medicinal substances that have been isolated from plants.
We are equipped with Liquid Chromatography-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Mass Spectroscopy (LCNMR/MS) platforms; this is an exceptional facility for a university. We also have low and high resolution mass spectrometry, nuclear magnetic resonance and elemental analysis equipment.
Our facilities allow you to gain hands-on experience of a wide range of analytical techniques such as atomic absorption spectroscopy and infra-red spectroscopy, which are of great importance in determining both ionic/metal content of pharmaceuticals and simple chemical structures.
You will also gain experience of revolutionary protein and DNA separation techniques, as well as Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography and Gas Chromatography for separating unknown chemical mixtures.
Facilities for Pharmacology
Our highly technical apparatus will give you first-hand experience of the principles of drug action and the effects of drugs on pharmacological and cellular models. As a result, you gain a better understanding of the effects of drugs on specific receptors located throughout the human body and related physiological effects.
You’ll have the opportunity to apply your training in a realistic setting with our two advanced simulation technology ‘SimMan’ models.
Each of our £57,000 SimMan mannequins has blood pressure, a pulse and other realistic physiological behaviour. The models can be pre-programmed with various medical scenarios, so you can demonstrate your pharmacological expertise in a realistic yet safe setting. Our academic team is also actively working with the SimMan manufacturers to develop new pharmacy simulations.
One of the most important skills of pharmacists is to communicate their expertise in a manner that the public can understand and accept.
The University has invested in a purpose-built model pharmacy complete with consultation suite. This allows you to develop skills in helping patients take the correct medicine in the right way, with optional video recording of your interaction with patients for the purposes of analysis and improvement.
In addition, we can accurately simulate hospital-based scenarios in a fully equipped ward environment where medical, nursing and pharmacy students can share learning.
University Library Services
We’ve got thousands of books and e-books on pharmaceutical and biomedical science, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.
Some of the most important sources for your studies include:
-Embase, which is a complex database covering drug research, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology, clinical and experimental human medicine, health policy and management, public health, occupational health, environmental health, drug dependence and abuse, psychiatry, forensic medicine and biomedical engineering/instrumentation
-PubMed, which contains life science journals, online books and abstracts that cover fields such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine and health care
-Science Direct, which offers more than 18,000 full-text journals published by Elsevier
-Web of Science, which covers a broad range of science areas
Sunderland Pharmacy School has a rich heritage in scientific studies and our degree courses are extremely well respected in the industry. We are fully plugged into relevant medical and pharmaceutical industry bodies, with strong links and an exchange of ideas and people. Our vibrant learning environment helps ensure a steady stream of well-trained pharmacists whose most important concern is patient-centred pharmaceutical care.
Employment & careers
On completing this course you can register and practise in the UK as a qualified pharmacist. An entry-level pharmacist usually starts within Band 5 of the NHS pay rates (up to around £28,000). Advanced pharmacists, consultants, team managers and managers of pharmaceutical services are rated as Bands 8-9 and can earn up to £99,000. Currently there is virtually no unemployment of qualified pharmacists. Typical starting salaries for community pharmacists range from £21,000 to £35,000 depending on location, conditions of employment and experience.
Most pharmacists work in the following areas:
Community pharmacy: this involves working in pharmacies on high streets or in large stores. You will dispense prescriptions, deal with minor ailments, advise on the use of medicines and liaise with other health professionals.
Hospital pharmacy: this involves the purchasing, dispensing, quality testing and supply of medicines used in hospitals.
Primary care: this involves working in General Practice surgeries, either as an employee of the Practice or the Primary Care Trust. Roles include Medicines Management Pharmacists, who are responsible for prescribing budgets and the development of prescribing directives.
Secondary care: this involves working in hospitals to supply medicines, manage clinics, provide drug information and prescribe medicines.
Industrial pharmacists are involved in areas such as Research & Development, Quality Assurance and product registration.
Research degrees can be undertaken in many aspects of pharmacy. Sunderland Pharmacy School offers excellent facilities and a wide range of research expertise.
You can also work in areas of the pharmaceutical industry, medical writing and in education. By completing a Masters project in addition to your OSPAP postgraduate diploma it will enhance opportunities in academic roles or further study towards a PhD.