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Pharmaceutical Education in Great Britain

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The history of pharmaceutical education has closely followed that of medical education. As the training of the physician underwent changes from the apprenticeship system to formal educational courses, so did the training of the pharmacist. The first pharmaceutical colleges in Great Britain were founded at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The course of instruction leading to a degree in pharmacy was extended from four to five years in 1960. The first and frequently the second year of training, embracing general education subjects, are often provided by a school of arts and sciences. Many institutions, in addition, offer graduate courses in pharmacy and cognate sciences* leading to the degrees of Master of Science* and Doctor of Philosophy in pharmacy, pharmacology, or related disciplines. These advanced courses are intended especially for those, who are preparing for careers in research, manufacturing, or teaching in the field of pharmacy.

Several schools of pharmacy have now adopted a six-year professional course leading to the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy. This professional training includes many subjects common to the medical curriculum and involves training in hospital wards. In this service a professionally trained pharmacist is expected to give advice to the physician in the techniques of administering medication and possible interaction of drugs in the patient, along with expected side effects.

Since the treatment of the sick with drugs encompasses a wide field of knowledge in the biological and physical sciences, it is obvious that understanding of these sciences is necessary for adequate pharmaceutical training. The basic five-year curriculum in British colleges of pharmacy embraces physics, chemistry, biology, bacteriology, physiology, pharmacology, and many other specialized courses such as dispensing pharmacy. As the pharmacist is engaged in business as well, special training is provided in merchandising, accounting, computer techniques, and pharmaceutical jurisprudence. All other countries requiring licenses to practice offer the same basic curriculum with minor variations.

Before one is permitted to practice pharmacy in Great Britain as well as in other countries, in which a license is required, an applicant must be qualified by graduation from a recognized college of pharmacy, meet specific requirements for experience, and pass an examination conducted by a board of pharmacy* appointed by the government. The passing of this board examination carries with it the legal right to practice pharmacy. The holder is then designated* a registered* or licensed pharmacist.


* cognate sciences − сходные науки;

* Master of Science − Магистр наук.

*is designated – называется (обозначается).

*holder – обладатель степени (звания).


Exercise 3. Match each word from column A with its opposite from column B.

1. closely; a) unofficial;
2. obvious; b) to deprive;
3. formal; c) to reduce;
4. to permit; d) unclear;
5. to provide; e) remotely;
6. to extend; f) general;
7. to qualify; g) entrance;
8. specific; h) to forbid;
9. graduation. i) to disqualify.

Exercise 4. Fill in the words from the list, then make sentences using the completed phrases.

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