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Pharmacy MPharm(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
4 years full time B230 2017
5 years full time including foundation year B231 2017

Why choose this course?

Pharmacy is a science-based healthcare profession that involves the preparation, supply and monitoring of medicines for the treatment and prevention of disease. If you have a keen interest in health issues, disease management and the sciences associated with medicine, this four-year course, taught jointly with St George's, University of London, is ideal.


The Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree is fully accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council.

What you will study

Year 1 introduces the scientific basis of pharmacy, including cell biology, physiology and pharmaceutical and biological chemistry (including the importance of natural products as medicines). You will also study important pharmaceutical dosage forms, formulation and manufacturing rocesses, physico-chemical aspects of drug stability and pharmacopoeial and regulatory requirements. You will gain a clear understanding of the profession of pharmacy and the practical and theoretical aspects of dispensing.

Year 2 places more emphasis on the role of hospital, community and industrial pharmacists. It includes the study of pharmacy law and ethics and good dispensing practice. You will integrate science with practice, learning through case studies how chemistry, pharmacology and pharmaceutics affect clinical practice.

Year 3 focuses on body systems and disease stats. Examples of study include: the role of the liver in health and disease; and cancer – its causes, the science behind its treatment and the clinical management of cancer patients. You will have opportunities to learn alongside other future healthcare professionals, and get to talk to patients about their conditions and treatment.

A major element of Year 4 is the research-based project, for which you will receive tuition in research skills. A problem-based approach is used for more advanced teaching in areas such as pharmaceutical technology and biotechnology. Professional practice topics include advanced prescription analysis, risk management and drug interventions, as well as the wider role of the pharmacist in pharmaceutical care. A total of 20 placement days, mostly in hospital or community pharmacies, are spread throughout the course. These serve to introduce and develop professional skills.

Pharmacy student Arzoo Parveen talks about her experiences of studying at Kingston:

Pharmacy student Maria Kyriakidou talks about her experiences of studying at Kingston:

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This module gives an overview of the cell biology and physiology of the human body. Emphasis is placed on understanding the body as a homeostatic system that controls key components of the extracellular environment (blood, interstitial fluid). The structure and function of the body's constituent cells are explored, as is the subcellular chemistry that allows cellular function. Another emphasis is on how common diagnostic results (BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose) can be used to promote healthful living by non-pharmacological means (diet, exercise).

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Describe the structure, properties and functions of biomolecules.
    • Relate the structure of cells to their function.
    • Describe the function of the different parts of the body separately and as part of specific physiological systems (cardiovascular, renal, respiratory, gastrointestinal, nervous and endocrine).
    • Explain the function of homeostatic mechanisms and how they operate to control the extracellular environment.
    • Describe non-pharmacological strategies promoting health (diet, exercise, smoking cessation, etc) and related diagnostic checks.
  • This module deals with the principles of the role of a professional pharmacist and the pharmacist's various responsibilities in providing healthcare or support for healthcare. The module introduces the principles of health and wellbeing, as well as providing a foundation to responding to symptoms and health promotion knowledge. Basic pharmaceutical skills will be developed including those of dispensing, analysing prescriptions, performing calculations, dosage forms and recognising adverse drug reactions and interactions. In addition, communication skills will be provided together with critical appraisal, presentation and scientific report writing all with the emphasis to application in pharmacy.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate effective communication skills and the ability to collect, evaluate and assimilate information through verbal and written presentation.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the Standards of Conduct and the expectations placed on students, the structure and function of the General Pharmaceutical Council, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and their role in maintaining professional standards.
    • Discuss the different roles of pharmacists in community, hospital and industrial settings, including their level of involvement in patient care.
    • Be able to respond to symptoms/answering queries relating to common parasitic conditions.
    • Carry out dispensing of simple commercially-produced preparations and produce a suitable label for the dispensed products.
    • Discuss the main considerations in health promotion and public health and the role of the pharmacist.
  • This module introduces the idea that chemistry is a central and underpinning science in pharmacy, describing how aspects of organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry are essential to a full understanding of the science of a drug. The module outlines the structure, bonding and chemical reactivity of various important classes of organic molecules, ranging from simpler examples of hydrocarbons or those containing a single functional group, to some of the important biological molecules such as carbohydrates, nucleic acids and proteins. It also examines the chemistry of some inorganic compounds, particularly the complexes of transition metal ions that have important applications in medicine. The importance of the physical and chemical properties of molecules in determining the activity of a drug, including an introduction to structure/activity relationships, is discussed. In addition, an introduction to the essentials of spectroscopy in the analysis of drugs is covered. Thus the module introduces a range of core principles that underpin the actions, absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs in the body, as well as in vitro aspects of stability, pharmaceutical analysis and molecular manipulation.   

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Describe the shape and stereochemistry of the hydrocarbons, monofunctional aliphatic molecules and more complex molecules of biological importance such as the carbohydrates, amino acids, proteins and nucleic acids and understand the reactions and associated mechanisms of these.
    • Explain how ligands may complex and chelate to metal ions and be able to describe the potential importance of these bioinorganic compounds as inorganic drugs.
    • Recognise and describe zero-, first- and second-order kinetics, perform elementary calculations of rate constants and appreciate the role of enzymes in catalysis.
    • Predict the outcomes of reactions and the positions of equilibrium in them from a knowledge of thermodynamic data and the laws of thermodynamics governing their behaviour.
    • Interpret simple spectroscopic data, for example 1H nmr spectra (in terms of chemical shifts, integration traces and spin-spin coupling patterns), 13C nmr spectra (in terms of chemical shifts) and mass spectra (in terms of the molecular ions and simple fragmentation patterns).
    • Demonstrate appropriate Level 4 key skills in written communication, numeracy, laboratory practical work, data collection, analysis and reporting.
  • Making Medicines

Year 2

  • The module builds upon themes and chemical topics that are introduced at the previous level and the science of drugs in conjunction with pharmacologists, pharmaceutical scientists and pharmacists. The chemistry of carbonyl compounds includes carbanion chemistry and the associated reactions with applications in biosynthetic pathways such as the catabolism of glucose. Similarly aromatic chemistry is extended to look at the second substitution reaction-orientation effects using the formation of an anaesthetic as a case study. Asymmetric synthesis will be extended to include the synthesis of chiral medicines using ibuprofen as a case study. The mechanistic chemistry, bioinorganic chemistry and bioanalytical chemistry taught in this module will underpin applications in further level modules.

    The medicinal chemistry topics will include antifungals, enzyme inhibition and novel peptides (solid support synthesis). Drug/receptor interaction will be introduced in terms of bonding interactions and signal transduction. Pharmacognosy will introduce the student to natural products used for the treatment of cancer eg taxol, calicheamicin and vincristin/vinblastin and cardiothoracics such as plant glycosides and bronchodilators. These topics will be taught in the context of themes/case studies and be augmented by inputs covering formulation and pharmaceutics, Regulatory Affairs associated with drug development in terms of clinical trials, licensing and registration.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Identify various types of types of bioorganic and bioinorganic molecules and explain their chemistry and their medicinal actions.
    • Discuss advanced methods in chemistry including asymmetric synthesis of chiral molecules and solid phase peptide synthesis.
    • Describe the chemistry of enzymes and enzyme inhibition, and identify why inhibitors can be drug candidates.
    • Describe analytical and bioanalytical principles and instrumentation. Explain their application in determining the identity, concentration and purity of drugs.
    • Explain the process of drug development from the laboratory to the dispensary-regulatory affairs and pharmacovigilance.
    • Explain methods for the preformulation of a drug, dosage forms and the design of clinical trials.
  • This module reflects the key professional regulations, law and obligations required to become a pharmacist, as dictated by the governing professional body and government legislation. The module advances the knowledge  in relation to legal and ethical practices related to pharmacy. It builds on the skills required for professional practice such as analysing prescriptions and dispensing relevant products, interpretation and application of law using problem solving and professional judgement.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate a full understanding of the Standards and Guidance Documents, including the Standards of Conduct, Ethics and Performance.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the main Laws, Acts and Regulations relevant to the practice of pharmacy such as the Human Medicines Regulations 2012, Medicines Act 1968, Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, Poisons Act 1972 and Data Protection Act 1998.
    • Accurately analyse, label, dispense, and endorse items in accordance with given prescriptions.
    • Fully understand the legal factors that are involved in the journey of a prescription when written by a prescriber to dispensing to a patient.
    • Further explore the ethical perspectives that may be encountered when dealing with medicines.
    • Demonstrate enhanced communication skills required for patient and inter-professional interaction.
  • This module gives an overview of the structure and function CNS. The module deals with neurological and mental health dysfunction including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, drug abuse and addiction, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease epilepsy and pain. The focus will be on the more common psychiatric and neurological disorders, which future pharmacists will need to treat and will cover pathology, diagnosis, treatment and treatment side-effects. There will also be discussion of treatments with respect to drug development and individual variations to treatment. The development of specialist formulations used in the management of these conditions, such as IV infusions, depot injections and patches will also be covered.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Know and understand the structure and function of the CNS and how it influences illness and health.
    • Understand the physical and chemical properties of drugs used in the treatment of psychiatric and neurological conditions.
    • Know and understand the management of common neurological and psychiatric conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and depression, including the ability to compare data from the Cochrane database and NICE guidelines.
    • Explain the options available to manage pain, the drugs used, the formulation of those drugs and be able to select the most appropriate treatment option.
    • Explain the mechanisms of addiction, know the role of the pharmacist in substance abuse and describe how substance misuse services are provided.
  • This module aims to introduce the underlying mechanisms of cardiovascular and respiratory disease and their treatment, including renal systems, the pathology, diagnosis and treatment of related diseases.  The module deals with the altered cellular function and the impact on the individual.  An introduction to the design, effects and mechanism of action of selected drugs and formulations on specific organ systems are also reviewed, as well as consideration of side effects of agents taken to treat disorders of the cardiorespiratory and renal systems.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Describe and explain the physiology of the cardiorespiratory system.
    • Diagnose different diseases and be able to understand differential diagnosis with respect to the systems studied.
    • Discuss the management and treatment options available within those systems based on current guidelines.
    • Discuss and evaluate the chemistry and the pharmacology underpinning selected treatment options.
    • Explain the rationale for the formulation of dosage forms used for delivery of drugs using in cardiorespiratory diseases.
    • Describe and discuss basic knowledge and understanding of the potential side effects of treatments available (toxicology).

Year 3

  • This module serves to develop knowledge of the immune system in health and disease including the use of vaccines. Infective agents and the science and practice of their control are investigated as well as cancer as a disease. The mechanisms of action and practical applications of chemotherapy are described together with novel drug targeting and palliative care. 

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Discuss and critically evaluate the working of the immune system in health and disease.
    • Discuss and critically evaluate the action of drugs, vaccines and other entities which modulate the immune system.
    • Demonstrate a critical understanding between the mechanisms of action and modes of delivery of anti-infective agents and their use in practice.
    • Describe and discuss cancer as a class of diseases and explore in detail mechanisms of action of chemotherapies, their benefits and problems, application in practice and novel targeting technologies.
    • Produce a short literature critical review combining scientific and clinical themes.
  • This module deals with physiology and pathology of the endocrine and reproductive systems and inflammatory processes and how they can be affected by, or cause disease. The chemistry of the drugs which affect the endocrine and reproductive systems and are used to treat inflammatory disease and their relevant structure activity relationships will be covered together with the science and use of various formulations to ensure optimal drug delivery in these areas. The module will use a series of patient centred case studies to link the scientific content and the application of pharmaceutical care to treat and manage patients, in a variety of settings from disease prevention, managing risks, disease identification, responding to symptoms in the community pharmacy, prescribing and dispensing, through to the management of hospitalised patients.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Describe the physiology of the endocrine, renal, reproductive, musculoskeletal systems and inflammatory processes and the pathophysiology of diseases associated with them.
    • Make an appropriate evaluated decision when responding to symptoms/answering queries related to inflammatory diseases, contraception use, emergency hormonal supply, etc and to communicate this information to the patient in an effective way.
    • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the role of pharmacist in detection and prevention of disease, health promotion and treatment optimisation of endocrine disease especially diabetes.
    • Evaluate the therapeutic strategy used to prevent and treat conditions and associated complications in relation to endocrine, renal, reproductive and musculoskeletal systems, indicating the rationale for use of particular drugs in relevant situations while relating the selection of therapy to treatment guidelines/evidence base, drug properties (structure and formulation) and patient factors (eg age, pregnancy, etc).
    • Produce a structured reflective diary and a presentation based on placement experience.
  • This module builds on relevant basic scientific knowledge previously acquired and integrates the subject to cover the presentation, clinical features and management of cardiovascular, respiratory and renal diseases in patients. The module provides an insight into the management of these conditions in primary and secondary care as well as dealing with aspects of public health associated with these conditions.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Critically evaluate the aetiology, epidemiology and pathology of common diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory and renal systems as well as cardiovascular risks including smoking, hyperlipideamia, hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and transient ischaemic attacks.
    • Apply advanced knowledge about such conditions and analyse the presentation and clinical features of such conditions in order to establish an accurate differential diagnosis and to inform safe and appropriate treatment.
    • Evaluate the therapeutic strategy used to prevent and treat these conditions and associated complications, indicating the rationale for use of particular drugs in relevant situations.
    • Explain the rationale and be able to deliver important public health activities for patients with cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, e.g. smoking cessation.
    • Fully understand the science and principles of inhalation therapy and apply that in the care of individual patients.
  • This module will deal with physiology and pathology of the gastrointestinal system, including the liver and how it can be affected by disease, the chemistry of the drugs which affect the gastro-intestinal system and are used to treat gastro-intestinal diseases and relevant structure activity relationships. The science and use of various formulations to ensure optimal absorption, along with the science and practice of ensuring local delivery of drugs not only to the GI tract but also transdermaly. The module will examine the treatment of skin disorders, in addition to dealing with the structure of the skin and its pathophysiology. Drug metabolism and the central role that metabolism plays in many drug interactions will be dealt with within this module. Material that has been considered in previous years (examples; drug dissolution, cell structure) will be revisited in this module and the knowledge built upon.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Evaluate the biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics of gastrointestinal tract (GIT) delivery systems and transdermal systems and how these may be altered by changes in chemical structure or formulation.
    • Describe the physiology of the GIT, liver and skin and the pathology and pathophysiology of diseases of the same.
    • Use advanced knowledge and evaluation skills to diagnose and prescribe appropriate treatments (medicines and other healthcare products) for diseases related to the GIT.
    • Demonstrate teamwork and presentation skills through a presentation assessment.

Year 4

  • This module is designed to integrate advanced clinical and scientific concepts as they relate to patient care. Using complex patient cases as the basis for group discussions and how to apply clinical skills and scientific knowledge (pharmaceutics, chemistry, pharmacology etc) to provide the most appropriate recommendations.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Appraise and select therapy according to guidelines, evidence, drug properties, and the patient.
    • Provide appropriate pharmaceutical and clinical pharmacy recommendations to optimize patient care.
    • Evaluate key considerations in the use of medicines in paediatrics, the elderly and patients with compromised renal/hepatic function.
    • Demonstrate the management of patients with additional needs such as cancer, HIV, surgery and critical care, and understand the role of the pharmacist thereof.
    • Scrutinise the role of novel drug delivery systems and various biopharmaceutical therapies in patient care.
    • Create and critically appraise quality assurance documents and/or data.
  • This module will draw together a number of themes that have developed during the previous three years in order to prepare the student for practice as a preregistration trainee and a future pharmacist, in all areas of practice. The aim of the module is to enable the student to become a pharmacist who can make decisions when faced with a scenario, even if all the necessary information is not available, based on the skills and competences gained throughout the MPharm programme as well as their knowledge. The module also aims to enable you to apply the knowledge gained through your MPharm course in a safe and effective manner for patient care.  

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate an ability to make effective decisions in relation to medication reviews, pharmacoeconomics, prescribing and ability to support decision made by effective use of reference sources and evidence-based guidelines.
    • Demonstrate an ability to dispense, check and endorse dispensed items, counsel patients accurately, perform pharmaceutical calculations correctly and provide appropriate advice when responding to symptoms and promoting public health.
    • Evaluate and critically appraise a range of scientific, social and health studies relevant to pharmacy and understand the role of pharmacist in practice research.
    • Demonstrate and apply knowledge and understanding of the GPhC standards of conduct, ethics and performance for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and judge some legal, ethical, and professional dilemmas and reach a decision that can be justified.
    • Show detailed understanding of the changing role of pharmacists in the UK as part of the healthcare team and how they can maintain links with other professions and demonstrate engagement in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) by producing a structured reflective diary of placement experience.
    • Have up-to-date knowledge of any changes in the pharmacy profession whether in relation to legal, ethical or best practice in light of recent health challenges or updates from the GPhC.
  • This module is designed to meet the research methodology requirements of the MPharm programme. Following a taught introduction to research methodology, you undertake a substantial piece of original research or clinical audit that requires the collection of data and subsequent analysis of that data.

    On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

    • Demonstrate an understanding of the philosophy behind research design, select and design a research project, and produce an appropriate project proposal/protocol (formulate a research plan including experimental work) so as to manage your research time and available resources efficiently either individually, or as part of a small group.
    • Locate contemporary research publications both in text and electronic format and undertake extensive and current literature review, exploiting all available sources of information.
    • Critically analyse and interpret data by applying basic statistical methods and critically appraising current research topics in the primary literature.
    • Demonstrate competence in the preparation of a research report and dissemination of results, and their interpretation, in a variety of ways including oral or poster presentation.
    • Use advanced techniques to generate data relevant to the proposed plan of research.
    • Assess the safety and/or ethics of planned research protocols and show consideration for the safety of colleagues and, where applicable, to develop safe working practices.

Becoming a pharmacist

To become a pharmacist you need to:

  • achieve an accredited four-year degree in pharmacy;
  • satisfactorily complete a year of pre-registration training in approved pharmaceutical establishments; and
  • pass the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) professional registration exam.

This course's accreditation means that if you graduate with an MPharm from Kingston University you can:

  • progress to register for your pre-registration training; and
  • after carrying out your pre-registration experience and passing the GPhC registration exam, go on to become a pharmacist in Great Britain.

You can then work as a pharmacist in a hospital, community pharmacy or the pharmaceutical industry. A number of other healthcare-related jobs will also be open to you.

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Study abroad as part if your degreeMost of our undergraduate courses support studying or working abroad through the University's Study Abroad or Erasmus programme.

Find out more about where you can study abroad:

If you are considering studying abroad, read what our students say about their experiences.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road and St George's, University of London

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This course is taught at Penrhyn Road and St George's, University of London

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