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Study for a career in pharmacy

FutureLearn’s free online pharmacy courses are designed to help you improve your pharmacy practice.

As populations age and new medicines and treatments are developed, pharmacists are playing an increasingly vital role in modern healthcare.

Pharmacists are health professionals who are experts in medicine. To become a pharmacist, you need to build the knowledge and skills to support patients in using their medicine and understand why they need it. As the healthcare sector is changing to meet the evolving needs of our society and communities, the demand and opportunity for pharmacists is constantly growing.

If you’re interested in chemistry and intrigued by how different medicines act to assist patients with their health conditions, then a career in pharmacy could be for you.

Work in pharmaceuticals

There are a variety of roles for those working in pharmaceuticals. You may work in a pharmacy dispensing subscriptions or within a hospital suppoting healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses and patients are giving the correct advice and support.

As a pharmacist can work in a diverse range of health settings, from GP practices and care homes to working in the wider pharmaceutical industry.

The different areas of pharmacy can be defined as:

Community Pharmacy

A community pharmacist generally works to provide pharmaceutical support in a community. This might mean reviewing the use clinical medicines in patients and supporting with optimising patient health outcomes. You may also be providing a care service for patients suffering from chronic illness, assessing and treating non life-threatening illnesses, and giving out prescriptions.

Hospital Pharmacy

A pharmacist working in a hospital is in charge of providing medicines for hospital patients and outpatients who need more specialist medicines. This role also requires the pharmacist to conduct clinical medicine reviews and advise patients to improve their health outcomes. You will be giving advice on medicines and may be involved in the production of intravenous and oncology medicine.

Pharmacy in Industry

Pharmacists who go into industrial pharmacy are responsible for developing new pharmaceutical products and medicines for humans or animals. You will be involved with producing and formulating medicines as well as quality management, providing sufficient information on new products and marketing them to the wider industry.

Pharmacy Research

Many who choose to study pharmacy move into a career in pharmacy research. This involves higher education and postgraduate study. As a professional pharmacy researcher you’ll devote your time to exploring how to produce new medicines for treating patients.

FutureLearn’s online courses are ideal for anyone working in the pharmaceutical industry who’d like to specialise their knowledge, or anyone looking to pursue further study in pharmaceuticals and learn how to become a pharmacist.

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