Everything you need to know about pharmacy degrees
Are you interested in studying pharmacy, but not sure which pharmacy degree is best or what you can do with your degree?
We’ve got you.
Appealing to anyone interested in health care, pharmacy often goes hand in hand with other health branches like medicine, public health, psychology, and business. But did you know that many people looking at pharmacy programs may also qualify to study medicine or dentistry?
Australian pharmacy schools offer state-of-the-art teaching facilities such as interactive dispensing and counseling spaces, plus cutting-edge teaching laboratories. The universities also showcase exceptional teaching from leaders (and researchers!) in the field, placement opportunities, and business skills training to provide you with a well-rounded professional degree and a competitive career edge.
Australian Pharmacy School FAQs
Will I be able to practice in Canada?
Graduate qualifications in pharmacy from Australian universities are recognized internationally. We’ve seen students graduate with a Bachelor of Pharmacy from an Australian university and successfully become accredited in Canada. Upon their return to Canada, graduates must apply for certification through the provincial regulatory body where they wish to work.
To gain licensing through the Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC), there is a minimum education requirement of 4 years from an accredited pharmacy program. A master’s program format alone will not meet this requirement (as they are fewer than 4 years in length). The 4-year undergraduate program is an equivalent format to Canada’s PharmD.
But I already have a degree. Can I apply for credit?
For pharmacy, all universities accept applications for credit except Monash University, which offers graduate-entry instead of single credits. Some programs will ask that you submit your application for credit at the same time as your general application, while others will require candidates to first have an offer. Check with your admissions officer which protocol you should follow based on the programs to which you’re applying.
To apply for credit, the universities require detailed course outlines for all the courses for which you wish to receive credit. These outlines should include information about the course, the lectures, the professor’s contact information, and the weekly topics covered. Most universities also have a form that must be completed.
What is a considered a competitive average?
As competitive averages vary by university, students who have over a 65% average in university studies are generally eligible to apply to Australian pharmacy programs; however, some universities’ required minimum average is 70%.
For those coming from high school, the minimum average is approximately 80%. Contact us to find out if your grades are considered competitive and to discuss your options.
Do I need the PCAT to apply?
No. The Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is generally only a requirement in North America. OzTREKK’s pharmacy schools assess applications based on GPA and prerequisites.
Can I stay in Australia to practice?
Canadians who graduate from an Australian Bachelor of Pharmacy / Bachelor of Pharmacy Honours program are eligible to continue the steps to practice in Australia; however, it is imperative to understand the visa process that is associated with continuing to live and work in Australia. Please visit our pharmacy licensing page for more information.
Where Can You Study Pharmacy?
Get ready for incredible virtual laboratories and clinical experiences to sharpen your professional skills! (Psst. Some pharmacy programs offer paid internships.) Click on a university below to learn more about the program and admissions requirements.
- Charles Sturt University – Bachelor of Pharmacy
- Griffith University – Bachelor of Pharmacy
- James Cook University – Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
- Monash University – Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy (Graduate Entry)
- Monash University – Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy (Undergraduate Entry)
- University of Newcastle – Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
- University of Queensland – Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours)
- University of Sydney – Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) / Master of Pharmacy Practice
How to Apply to Pharmacy School
Fill out the OzTREKK application. Don’t worry about making a mistake; this application only comes to us. Think of it as your starting point, nothing more than you telling us which programs you’re interested in so we can ensure you don’t miss a deadline.
Once you’ve pressed “Submit,” your OzTREKK admissions officer will contact you to outline your next steps, and will list which documents you’ll need to send to our office.
If you’d like to make changes to your application or to your program selection, don’t stress. We can adjust anything as we go!
What Can You Do with Your Pharmacy Degree?
Do you know how many possible career paths exist for pharmacy graduates?
Having a career in pharmacy isn’t just about dispensing medicines in a corner pharmacy or working as a scientist in a research laboratory. There are so many more opportunities that can provide pharmacy graduates with an exciting and rewarding career!
So, what can you do with a pharmacy degree?
1. Community pharmacist
Do you love to work with people? Community pharmacy might be for you! Community pharmacy is one of the most common choices for young pharmacists, and perhaps the most visible. A pharmacist needs to have an in-depth knowledge of what every single one of those products does, how it might be of benefit and how it might do potential harm. A pharmacist’s technical knowledge needs to be matched by their communication skills.
2. Hospital pharmacist
Hospital pharmacists are medicine experts in the field of medicines. Hospital pharmacy provides the opportunity to work in a supportive team and to be actively involved in patient care. You’ll work closely with medical and nursing staff to make sure hospital patients receive the best treatment. You will advise physicians and nurses on the selection, dose, and type of administration and assist patients in all aspects of their medicines. As well as being responsible for dispensing prescriptions, pharmacists are also involved in the purchasing and quality testing of medicines.
3. Women’s and newborns’ pharmacist
At the other end of the spectrum to aged care is the field of women’s and newborns’ pharmacy, providing clinical pharmacy services to maternity and neonatal patients. Most pharmacists come to this career path with a grounding in hospital pharmacy.
4. Primary care pharmacist
A practice pharmacist works within a general medical practice to deliver direct support to doctors and their patients. They can often give more time and attention to individual cases than a busy community pharmacist can, providing quality care and specialized services such as smoking cessation. This career option provides a great option for pharmacists who want the opportunity to work closely with doctors and provide more in-depth care to their patients, in a non-hospital setting.
5. Pharmaceutical industry / clinical trials
Pharmacists in this area support the management and delivery of clinical trials of new medicines. The role involves coordinating studies from a medicinal perspective, ensuring that drugs used in the trials are imported, stored, accounted for, compounded, dispensed and used in accordance to strict protocols. It may involve liaising with hospital staff, counselling participants and carers, and educating medical and nursing staff.
6. Researcher / academic
Pursuing research and/or academia after that first undergraduate degree is for those who enjoy working with ideas and may not want to give up the books just yet. Pharmacy grads can pursue research in pharmacy practice, as well as a variety of other areas including pharmacotherapy, drug discovery, toxicology, clinical sciences, public health and much more.
7. Locum pharmacist
Have pharmacy degree, will travel! If you enjoy flexibility, you may enjoy being a locum pharmacist. Locum positions are available for many reasons—such as maternity leave, vacation, staff turnover, or relief situations such as when a regular pharmacist calls in sick. This might provide an opportunity to try out different work environments and practices. For those with an adventurous spirit, looking for flexibility and the opportunity to travel, consider a career as a locum pharmacist.
8. Government and NGO roles
Pharmacists have knowledge, skills and experience that can feed into advisory roles, both for the government as well as non-government institutions, such as health funds and private hospitals. Government roles can focus on access to medicines, or eHealth, or public health… the list goes on.
9. Consultant pharmacist
Accredited consultant pharmacists can conduct home medicines reviews and residential medication management reviews.
10. Non-dispensing (general practice) pharmacist
Practice pharmacists deliver professional services from or within a general practice medical centre.
11. Military pharmacist
It might not seem like an obvious path, but the Department of National Defence employs registered pharmacists to work in the army, navy and air force. For a pharmacist, this adventurous role can involve being posted with other allied health personnel to work on board navy ships or be deployed with their unit into remote areas of Canada and overseas.
12. Drug safety officer
As a drug safety officer, you’re responsible for pharmacovigilance activities, including receiving and processing reports of adverse drug events and conducting regular conciliation with health authorities.
13. Mental health pharmacist
Mental health pharmacists in hospitals are responsible for providing clinical pharmacy services to the adult mental health in-patient wards, and psychiatric assessment and planning units. It is a highly specialized career path that requires strong teamwork skills and current drug knowledge in psychotropic drug therapy. The focus of this work includes managing the supply of antipsychotic medications to mental health patients in government units, outpatient clinics, community centres and specialist hospitals.
14. Pain educator, program director or consultant
Chronic and acute pain are fascinating areas to work in. Pain management is a constantly evolving field that encompasses many areas of treatment, not just pharmacy and pain medications. Pharmacists work with pain sufferers to manage their medications and coordinate other forms of treatment.