Undergraduate Programme

Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) – New Integrated Curriculum!

Embrace the new innovative world of healthcare as a modern pharmacist who is equipped with a scientific mind-set and unmatched professional skills for a role that

    • Encourages trust and inspires confidence on the optimal use of medicines
  • Promotes health and well-being of individuals and populations
  • Leads in realising the Singaporean vision of a values-based health system through technological and/or innovative solutions

If you have that aspiration to serve the greater good as a pharmacist, do step forward and join us in the newly minted integrated Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) degree programme at the NUS Pharmacy Department starting August 2020.

 

 

 

Features of the NUS integrated Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) degree

  • Strong academic foundation of scientific thinking

You will learn a suite of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences that will transform you into a practitioner and problem solver who is grounded in strong scientific knowledge evidence.

  • Person and Patient centred

You will hone skills that will enable you to communicate and establish mutually trusting relationships with your colleagues and patients in your line of service.

  • Highly integrated across the basic, clinical and systems sciences

You will make decisions that are supported by strong scientific evidence, based on sound clinical reasoning and have a holistic system perspective.

  • Structured work-place learning in every year of the four-year programme from bio-pharmaceutical industry placements to across our public healthcare institutions

Your learning will be enriched by exposure to the real working environment such that you will see the relevance and importance of what you are learning.

  • Expert academic staff at the forefront of science and clinical practice

You will be mentored by dedicated and experienced faculties who will ensure that you will perform at your maximal capability and realize your ultimate potential.

  • Register with the Singapore Pharmacy Council

Your achievement of the requisite competency will enable you to become a registered pharmacist in Singapore.

 

For programme brochure, please click here.

The Pharmacy programme is offered as a direct admission course. Applicants to this programme must meet the entry requirements stipulated by the Office of Admissions.

Subject prerequisites for applicants holding:

Singapore-Cambridge GCE-A Level A very good pass in H2 Chemistry and
A very good pass in either H2 Biology or H2 Physics or H2 Mathematics.
International Baccalaureate A very good pass in HL Chemistry and
A very good pass in either HL Biology or HL Physics or HL Mathematics.
NUS High School Diploma A very good pass in Chemistry and in either Biology or Physics or Mathematics.
Polytechnic Diploma Applicants will be considered for admission if their Diplomas are relevant and accredited to the NUS course. The list of Diplomas accredited will follow that of NUS Science (Pharmacy) listed by the Office of Admissions.

For more details, go to:
http://www.nus.edu.sg/oam/apply-to-nus/polytechnic-diploma-from-singapore/subject-pre-requisites.

 

Health Requirements

Health Screening and Vaccination Requirements for NUS Pharmacy Students, with effect from 20 May 2014

In accordance with the Singapore Ministry of Health requirements, students enrolled in a healthcare professional programme must undergo the following health screening and meet these vaccination requirements.

Please click here to view the full requirements.

For cohorts 2019 and before under the Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) programme, click here to view the full requirements.

The Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) new integrated curriculum is designed such that learning is holistic and integrated across basic, clinical and systems sciences. This unique approach allows students to make connections and apply concepts learnt in the classroom to solve real-world patient problems alongside practising pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. This makes learning active, engaging and collaborative while preparing students for future practice.

 

 

Learning and Assessment

Each module within the curriculum will adopt a blended learning approach. Students will partake in pre-class learning using a variety of web-based online learning resources. This will be followed by in-class problem-based solving of simulated patient case scenarios and interactive discussion in the format of collaborative learning workshops that are led by our expert faculty. Such classes are further augmented by inquiry-based practicals and pharmacy practice skills laboratory where students acquire different experimental techniques as well as professional skills needed to become exemplary practitioners.


Throughout each module, students will be assessed using different formative assessments that are accompanied by the provision of timely feedback such that any misconception can be promptly clarified. At the end of each year of study, students will also be tested on their competency in knowledge and skills through an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).

Major Requirements for Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) (AY2020/21 onwards)

Year of Study Major Requirements Cumulative Major MCs
Year 1

(24 MCs)

Pass

–      PR1150 Professional Identity Development I

–      PR1151 Applied Patient Care Skills I

–      PR1152 Pharmacy Foundations: Science & Therapeutics I

–      PR1153 Pharmacy Foundations: Science & Therapeutics II

–      PR2156 Integumentary & Ocular Systems: Science & Therapeutics

 

24
Year 2

(36 MCs)

Pass

–      PR2150 Professional Identity Development II

–      PR2151 Applied Patient Care Skills II

–      PR2152 Gastrointestinal System: Science & Therapeutics

–      PR2153 Cardiovascular System: Science & Therapeutics

–      PR2154 Respiratory System: Science & Therapeutics

–      PR2155 Hepatic & Renal Systems: Science & Therapeutics

–      SC2211 Medical Sociology

 

60
Year 3

(32 MCs)

Pass

–     PR3150 Professional Identity & Skills Development

–     PR3151 Infection: Optimising Prevention & Treatment

–     PR3152 Immune & Endocrine Systems: Science & Therapeutics

–     PR3153 Central Nervous System: Science & Therapeutics

–     PR3154 Musculoskeletal Health: Science & Therapeutics

–     COS2101 Computational Thinking for Pharmacy

 

92
Year 4

(36 MCs)

Pass

–     PR4150 Management of Complex Patient Populations

–     PR4151 Creating the Future of Pharmacy

–     PR4191 Discovery Project

–     PR4192A Internship & Pharmacy Management

–     PR4193A Internship & Regulatory Affairs

–     COS2102 Health and Pharmacy Informatics

 

128

Footnote: Accurate as on date of publication (June 2020). Module name may subject to change.

Fitness to Practise

The pharmacy profession is an integral and essential component of any healthcare system. The pharmacists possess a special body of technical knowledge and unique skill set that enable them to carry out professional activities such as dispensing of medications, recommending rational therapeutic treatments, compounding/ manufacturing of medicinal products, regulating the quality of medicine and many others. As pharmacists have access to medicines that can potentially cause harm to self or others, it is important that their cognitive and physical functions are in excellent state. Therefore good pharmacy practices can only be achieved when pharmacists are fit-to-practise. Fitness to practise is demonstrable through the acquisition of competency, the exhibition of good character and behaviour as well as the possession of good physical and mental health. It is a person’s suitability to be registered as a pharmacist without restrictions to practise. In practical terms this would mean the ability to maintain the requisite standards in competency to discharge all duties proficiently as a pharmacist.

Pharmacy students are expected to conduct themselves professionally as they are accorded special privileges and responsibilities that require them to uphold the integrity of the profession. The pharmacy programme offered at the National University of Singapore is multidisciplinary and students are exposed to different learning experiences to enable them acquire knowledge, attitude and skills relevant to the practice of pharmacy. Besides in class learning, students are required to participate in workplace-based internship training, also known as Pre-Employment Clinical Training (PECT), which takes place at various training sites outside the university. PECT is compulsory and students need to pass the experiential rotations before they can graduate from the degree programme.


The Fitness to Practise Procedure

As stipulated above, a student is expected to be able to achieve the requisite competency base by the end of the programme. This competency base is fundamental to embark on the next phase of training upon graduation. If there are reasons which may present a challenge for you to achieve the stipulated competency base, it is advisable that you declare them and seek appropriate advice as early as possible. The fitness to practise procedure is established to assist potential applicants and students in making informed decision on the study of pharmacy.


The fitness to practise procedure will apply to special cases in the following ways.

(a) During the application phase. If a potential applicant has questions regarding fitness to practise and would like to seek advice before making a decision on whether to select pharmacy as a course of study, the person may write to the Department of Pharmacy to seek further clarification. It is important to share the concern with the Department as non-declaration may affect graduation and career advancement subsequently. Please write to the following mailbox phabox2@nus.edu.sg for assistance and advice. All information will be kept confidential.

(b) Pharmacy students will be required to make an annual declaration on whether they possess concerns that may impact their fitness to practise. Those who develop concerns related to fitness to practise during the course of study, it is strongly advisable to declare them as early as possible so that appropriate advice can be given in a timely manner and remedial action taken at the soonest possible time when needed.

(c) Pharmacy students who have been subjected to disciplinary action for misconduct may be referred to the fitness to practise procedure for advisory counseling.


Some of the areas of concern related to a student’s fitness to practise are provided below. Do note that this is not an exhaustive list and clarifications should be sought where necessary.

(a) Criminal conviction

(b) Drug or alcohol misuse

(c) Aggressive, violent or threatening behavior

(d) Cheating or plagiarizing

(e) Dishonesty or fraud

(f) Unprofessional behaviour or attitudes

(g) Health conditions and lack of management of them (failure to follow medical advice/plans and recognize limits/ abilities, or lack of insight into health conditions, that may impair student’s fitness to practise)

It is an exciting time to be a pharmacist! Pharmacists today have been empowered to do so much more for our patients! We are not only playing active roles in promoting safe and effective use of medicines. We are also advancing preventive care within the community and ensuring pharmaceutical care is seamlessly integrated across the different healthcare settings for our patients.

Find out more about what we are doing under the National Pharmacy Strategy.

 

National Pharmacy Strategy – Meet Uncle Tan

Video credits to National Pharmacy Programme Management Office.

 

The Future of Pharmacy

 

As a pharmacist, you can also develop your expertise and interest further by becoming a specialist pharmacist or a collaborative prescribing practitioner that will provide you with greater autonomy to take care of patients with more challenging healthcare needs in collaboration with the rest of the healthcare team.

Hear from our practitioners:

1. Dr Vivianne Shih, BSc (Pharm) Hons, PharmD, BCOP

“As an oncology specialist pharmacist within a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, I ensure that my patients are educated and understand their anti-cancer therapies. Through this process, I help improve my patients’ treatment outcomes and quality of life. It is heartening to know that I have made a difference in their cancer care journey.”

2. Associate Professor Priscilla How, BSc (Pharm) Hons, PharmD, BCPS

“Being a collaborative prescribing practitioner (CPP) in the NUH pharmacist-led anaemia management clinic allows me to be a physician-extender and provide necessary care to my patients in a timely manner. Seeing my patients achieve their treatment goals truly brings much joy and satisfaction!”

Internship Testimonials

Hear from our students:

Johnson & Johnson Singapore

AstraZeneca

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROPS)

This programme allows undergraduates to participate in scientific research under the mentorship of academic staff members.

Pharmacy students who have completed two semesters of study with a CAP > 3.0 are eligible for UROPS. Modular credits obtained from UROPS will contribute towards the graduation requirement of 160MC for Pharmacy major.

For more details on UROPS,  please refer to the following link: http://www.science.nus.edu.sg/undergraduate-studies/ugenh/urops-main

Advisory Service:

Students with problems or queries are encouraged to make appointments to see the academic advisor: A/Prof Christine Teng (Tel: 6516-1996, E-mail at phatbcc@nus.edu.sg)


NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) internship programme

The NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) internship programme offers selected NUS undergraduate or post graduate students a unique opportunity in twelve leading entrepreneurial hotspots across the globe – Beijing, Israel, Lausanne, Munich, New York, SE Asia, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Stockholm and Toronto.

For more details on NOC,  please refer to https://enterprise.nus.edu.sg/educate/nus-overseas-colleges/


University Scholars Programme (USP)

Refer to http://www.usp.nus.edu.sg/about/overview


Interprofessional Education @ NUS

Interprofessional Education (IPE) provides a unique brand of education that prepares students in the healthcare programmes to be “collaborative-practice ready” so that they are better able to work effectively in an interprofessional care team to enhance the quality of care and improve patient outcomes. Interprofessional Education (IPE) @ NUS is delivered through:

1. Interprofessional Core Curriculum (ICC)

Enhanced Curricular components to reflect perspectives from all health professions planned and facilitated by the professors and lecturers of the health professional programmes (HPPs).

2. Interprofessional Enrichment Activities (IEA)

Student-led activities for students from 2 or more HPPs to further develop the core competencies of “collaborative practice-ready: professionals”.

At NUS, five academic units namely the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the Department of Pharmacy, the Faculty of Dentistry and the Department of Social Work fully support the idea of incorporating IPE into their respective professional health programmes.

For more information on IPE, please visit website: https://itumed.nus.edu.sg/ipe/


“Fit Fun Fruit” is co-organized by Pharmacy and Dentistry students with the aim to reach out to the immigrant workers in Singapore.

This is an Interprofessional Enrichment Activity (IEA) which promotes communication, teamwork, role and responsibilities among different healthcare students.

View “Fit Fun Fruit” 2016 video: https://vimeo.com/180342679

Hear from our student Jacob Yeo, Pharmacy, Year 2, what life as a Pharmacy student is all about. 

 

Career prospects for pharmacy graduates are abundant and diversified. Depending on your interests and ability, you may develop your career in patient care as well as non-patient care jobs.

Jobs involving patient care:

  • Community Pharmacist
  • Home Care Pharmacist
  • Hospital Pharmacist e.g. Cardiology Pharmacist, Critical Care Pharmacist, Drug Information Pharmacist, Geriatric Pharmacist, Infectious Disease Pharmacist, Nutrition Support Pharmacist, Oncology Pharmacist, Paediatric Pharmacist, Psychiatric Pharmacist and Transplant Pharmacist
  • Academic Pharmacist (Clinical)

Jobs that do not involve patient care:

  • Clinical Trial and Research Associate
  • Health Informatics Pharmacist
  • Medical Science Liaison
  • Medical Science Writer
  • Pharmacovigilance Pharmacist
  • Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing Representative
  • Academic Pharmacist (Research)
  • Regulatory Pharmacist
  • Research Pharmacist (Pharmacy Practice)
  • Research Associate (Pharmacology, Life Sciences)
  • Pharmacy Entrepreneur

1. Who are pharmacists?

Pharmacists are registered healthcare professionals (registered with the Singapore Pharmacy Council) who are committed to ensuring the best outcomes from medication therapy through patient-centred care. Pharmacists do this by:

  • Educating and advising patients, caregivers, and health professionals on the responsible use of medicines and medicine-related devices,
  • Informing patients, caregivers and health professionals on both the benefits and risks associated with the use of any medicine,
  • Helping patients adhere to their medication regimens,
  • Supporting adverse-event and medication-error reporting programs in the interest of promoting the safer use of medicines,
  • Raising public awareness that more positive health outcomes and important cost savings can result when patients, physicians and pharmacists collaborate in selecting, monitoring, and adjusting medication therapy,
  • Leading on the use of informatics within our healthcare system.

Pharmacists are employed across every aspect of our healthcare system including our hospitals (acute and community), medical centres, intermediate and long-term care facilities, polyclinics and retail pharmacies. Pharmacists are also increasingly working beyond the healthcare institutions delivering pharmaceutical care services directly in the community (e.g. visiting Singaporeans in their homes to review if they are using their medicine optimally).

Pharmacists by virtue of their training are also experts in the development and distribution of medicines and therefore discharge important leadership roles across pharmaceutical industry (manufacturing and commercial) and government agencies whose remit includes access to and the quality of medicines (e.g. ALPS, IHiS, HSA).

CENTENNIAL DECLARATION, Improving Global Health by Closing Gaps in the Development, Distribution, and Responsible Use of Medicines (FIP, 2012).

2. What will I learn in NUS in order to become a pharmacist?

Knowledge

  • To develop understanding of pharmacy practice (professionalism, ethics, physical assessment, therapeutics and prescribing sciences) and the underpinning pharmaceutical sciences (see Questions 3 and 4), skills, attitudes and values that will guide you for your lifelong career as a registered pharmacist.

Ethics

  • To encourage you as a student and as a pharmacist to adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct, always giving top priority to serving the best interests of your patients and wider Singaporean society,
  • To support the confidentiality of patient information through diligent application of privacy standards and compliance with the law including the Personal Data Protection Act.

Innovation

  • To foster innovative solutions in how to develop new services that promote the responsible use of medicines,
  • To lead on the use of healthcare informatics across our health care system in order to improve the quality and ensure the sustainability of our healthcare system.

Leadership

  • To influence the wider society by partaking in policy making to ensure safe and sustainable systems for the development, control and responsible use of medicines in Singapore, the ASEAN region and globally.

3. What is the difference between pharmacy and pharmacology?

  • Pharmacology is the branch of biomedical sciences that is concerned with the study of drug action, which exerts a biochemical and/or physiological effect, on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical functions.
  • Pharmacy is a health profession where pharmacists are responsible to ensure people and patients get the best outcomes from their medicines.
  • Pharmacology is an essential subject within the scope of the Pharmacy programme.

4. What are pharmaceutical sciences?

Pharmaceutical sciences are fundamental to your practice as a pharmacist and are integrated with the clinical and systems sciences throughout your degree programme (see Question 11). Pharmacists are unique as healthcare professionals in having such strong pharmaceutical sciences foundations. So what then are pharmaceutical sciences?

  • Pharmaceutical sciences belong to a branch of science that comprises a range of scientific subjects dealing with various aspects of discovery, development, formulation, manufacturing as well as the quality assurance of pharmaceutical substances.
  • Some examples of subjects that are classified under pharmaceutical sciences include biopharmaceutics, biotechnology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical technology, pharmacogenetics and pharmacokinetics.

The Department of Pharmacy also has a four-year degree programme B.Sc. and B.Sc. (Hons) majoring in Pharmaceutical Sciences. This degree provides deeper training on pharmaceutical sciences, but does not lead to the acquisition of a professional license to practise as a pharmacist in Singapore. Students who are keen in the science of medicines and aspire to seek future employment in the pharmaceutical industry may consider this option. More information can be found in separate brochures and also on the Department of Pharmacy website (https://pharmacy.nus.edu.sg/).

5. Why is Pharmacy regarded as a professional degree?

  • You are only able to practise as a pharmacist in Singapore if you have successfully completed the professional integrated degree in pharmacy and are registered with the Singapore Pharmacy Council (https://www.healthprofessionals.gov.sg/spc). Therefore, the degree is a pre-requisite for entry into the profession.
  • The registration of pharmacists is governed by the Pharmacist Registration Act. 
  • Registered pharmacists are obligated to abide by the laws that govern pharmacy practice, demonstrate good ethical and professional responsibilities (by adhering to the Code of Ethics) towards the care of patients.

6. What are the pre-requisites for admission into Pharmacy?

  • Very good passes in Chemistry (H2) and in either Biology (H2) or Physics (H2) or Mathematics (H2) or Further Mathematics (H2) at ‘A’ Level (or equivalent) examinations.
  • For information on the Indicative Grade Profile and Course Places for the Pharmacy Programme (Direct Admission) in Academic Year 2019/2020, please go to http://www.nus.edu.sg/oam/gradeprofile/sprogramme-igp.html.
  • For information on application, please go to the NUS website and read the relevant application procedures (http://www.nus.edu.sg/oam/apply-to-nus/application) for the respective group of applicants.

7. Is it possible to enter the Pharmacy programme without ‘A’ Level biology?

  • ‘A’ Level biology (H2) (or the equivalent) is not a compulsory subject prerequisite for application to the Pharmacy programme in NUS. Therefore, prospective students may apply to read Pharmacy without ‘A’ Level biology. However, ‘A’ Level chemistry (H2) (or the equivalent) remains as the only compulsory prerequisite subject for entry to the Pharmacy programme.

8. Are there additional requirements for one to be Fit To Practise as a student pharmacist?

A pharmacist is a registered healthcare professionals who are committed to ensuring the best outcomes from medication therapy through patient-centred care. The behaviour, therefore, of all pharmacy students at all times must justify the trust that the public places in the pharmacy profession, including when you are on supervised clinical training during the professional degree programme. This Fitness to Practise, or sometimes referred to as Fitness for Clinical Training, is demonstrable through the acquisition of competency, the exhibition of good character and behaviour as well as the possession of good physical and mental health. Such requirements can go beyond the standard criteria for tertiary education, and they also take into consideration the ability to handle different aspects of the course including laboratory training, industrial and clinical internships. We provide such guidelines for fitness to practise on our website (http://pharmacy.nus.edu.sg/bachelor-of-science-pharmacy/), with coverage similar to those released for other pharmacy programmes elsewhere in the world.

9. Is there any health screening requirement for Pharmacy students?

In accordance with the Singapore Ministry of Health requirements, students enrolled in a healthcare professional programme must undergo health screening and vaccination requirements. Knowing their health status will enable them to protect themselves and patients during their course of study, in particular when they embark on clinical training which can be referred to as Pre-Employment Clinical Training (PECT).

10. What is the course duration?

The Pharmacy course is a four-year professional programme. Some details of each year to note are:

  • Students are admitted directly into the Pharmacy programme in the first year of study,
  • At the end of the four years, graduates are conferred with a professional degree in Pharmacy, while those who have demonstrated good academic performance over the four years will be awarded an honours professional degree in pharmacy,
  • Students enrolled into the programme will, in addition to work-place based training during Years 1-3 of the programme, undertake six months of pre-employment clinical training (PECT) in Year 4 of the programme,
  • Graduates with a Pharmacy degree from NUS may then be registered with the Singapore Pharmacy Council upon the satisfactory completion of a further six months of pre-registration training. The in-course PECT and post-course work-place training will constitute the mandatory 12-month pre-registration training required for registration.

11. What is the overall course structure like?

The curriculum of our four-year professional Pharmacy programme is integrated across the basis, clinical and systems sciences. We chose to structure our curriculum in this way because such integration explicitly makes the connections for you on why you are learning what you are learning and by doing so it will not only make your learning journey more enjoyable but also prepare you to be a great pharmacist. Some features of our integrated curriculum are:

  • All modules are integrated around specific themes rather than specific disciplines. This means that there is no module, for instance, on chemistry but rather chemistry is integrated into modules in the programme so that the relevance of chemistry to your future practice as a pharmacist is always clear to you.
  • Themes of Year 1 include professionalism, practice skills, foundational knowledge and finally how to optimally manage medicines that are used for simple conditions of the skin and eyes. In Years 2 and 3, the themes of professionalism and skills are further developed while at the same time you learn about how medicines maintain health, prevent, treat and cure illnesses in all the other major physiological systems of the body. In your final year (Year 4), we bring all this learning together so that you can rise to the challenge of managing the medicines for the complex patient. At same time, we also empower you to Create the Future of Pharmacy by developing your leadership skills and equipping you with a toolkit to go about health care reform on graduation. Finally, we build on your Year 3 computational thinking competencies, by concluding with a module integrated around the theme of healthcare informatics, so that rather than being afraid of the impending fourth industrial revolution you can embrace it and bring value not only to the practice of pharmacy but to our wider healthcare system,
  • In every year of the programme we integrate work-based learning (otherwise referred to as experiential learning) with your on-campus studies. This purposeful integration means your academic studies are always contextualized to real world practice which not only gives your learning greater meaning but also prepare you from Day 1 in NUS for Day 1 as an independent practitioner. Your experiential learning journey begins in Year 1 when as part of a team of medical, nursing and social worker students you will visit the home of an elderly Singaporean citizen. This supervised visit, debriefing and structured reflections will give your life-long invaluable insights into what it means to be a patient, the reality of living with illness, and the immeasurable privilege of being the healthcare professional in whom such trust is placed. This activity also allows you to interact with students from the other healthcare programmes, preparing you to be interprofessional collaborative practice ready in the future. Such interprofessional education forms an essential part of the programme as well.
  • In Years 3 and 4 of the programme you get the opportunity to generate new knowledge through the Discovery Project. This Discovery Project is integrated into the world of the practice of pharmacy as the research questions you will be answering will be a real-world problem set by a clinical practitioner who is affiliated with our Department. You will, as part of a team, have the opportunity to apply your research skills in finding solutions to the problem and then presenting and defending that solutions back to the clinical practitioner. In addition, those who are more inclined to working on a Discovery Project related to pharmaceutical sciences may work on a research question set by faculties who are pharmaceutical scientists or clinician scientists.
  • During the four-year integrated programme, students may expand their horizons by participating in other academic programmes offered by the University or Faculty e.g. University Scholar Programme, University Town College Programme, NUS Overseas College Programme, Summer Student Exchange Programme, Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programme in Science (UROPS).

12. How will I learn at NUS?

  • We have embraced active as opposed to passive learning in our integrated professional programme. Active learning is different from passive learning in that you are much more participatory in the learning process – by way of, example, a lecture in which you sit, listen and learn is generally regarded as a passive learning whereas in an Interactive Class (IC) you are expected to listen, respond to questions, share your experience and opinion. There are various types of active learning activities throughout our programme in order to suit a variety of learning styles. For example in advance of an IC you are directed to read preparatory material so that your lecturer can engage you in the class where higher forms of learning such as analysis, synthesis, application and critical thinking will take place.
  • E-learning-in advance of an IC you can prepare at home or wherever is convenient by being directed to short, engaging e-learning units that your lecturer will have posted on our learning management system (LumiNUS).
  • Collaborative Learning Workshops (CLW)-you as part of an assigned team will engage in an enquiry around a case study that is presented to you by a multidisciplinary team.
  • Practicals-you have the hands-on opportunity to conduct your own experiments which will give you a deeper understanding of the concepts you will have been introduced to in ICs & CLWs,
  • Skills workshops-the only way to develop skills is by practice and so in our series skills workshops you can to try out your new skills, refine them and practice them so that you are ready for work-place based learning.

13. What are the career prospects for Pharmacy graduates?

Career opportunities for pharmacists are abundant and diversified and are both in clinical and non-clinical settings:

  • Pharmacists are employed across every aspect of our healthcare system including our hospitals (acute and community), intermediate and long-term care facilities, polyclinics, and retail pharmacies. Pharmacists are also increasingly working outside healthcare institutions and delivering services directly in the community (e.g. visiting Singaporeans in their homes to review if they are using their medicine optimally),
  • Pharmacists are also experts in the development and distribution of medicines and therefore discharge important leadership roles across pharmaceutical industry (manufacturing and commercial) and government agencies whose remit includes access to medicines and the quality of medicines (e.g. ALPS, IHiS, HSA).

14. What about student life?

There are abundant opportunities for undergraduate students to hone their talents and soft skills at NUS Pharmacy and include:

  • NUS Pharmaceutical Society (NUSPS), a student-led organisation, comprises several sub-committees (e.g. media resource team, international relations) that work closely together with the mission to engage and empower the student body.
  • By creating internship opportunities, organising career talks/seminars and field trips, NUSPS hopes to expose NUS Pharmacy students to the diverse career tracks that are open to them upon graduation.
  • NUSPS also promotes and raises public awareness of the Pharmacy profession through numerous community outreach activities. Students can contribute actively to NUSPS by serving in various committees and in the process, develop interpersonal, leadership and networking skills amongst many others.
  • Apart from NUSPS, students can also participate in other special activities/projects e.g. Pharmacy Youth Expedition Project (YEP) or spend a year at one of the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC), or participate in overseas exchange programmes. These experiences will broaden their horizons.
  • At NUS Pharmacy, students who are interested in embarking on a research career can also participate in Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Science (UROPS) under the close supervision of experienced Pharmacy faculty members. These research opportunities are open to the students as early as their 2nd year in the pharmacy course.
  • In Year 3, all students will undertake Discovery Project. Students will have the opportunity in Year 4 to showcase and present their research work from their Discovery Project to employers and in local and even international conferences.

15. Are pharmacy undergraduates allowed to go for exchange programmes?

The integrated Pharmacy curriculum does not offer options for semester-long exchange programmes. This is not unusual for a programme which leads to registrations as a healthcare professional as there is a significant core syllabus of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that all students have to undertake. You are, however, encouraged in Years 1 and 2 to take part in summer exchange programmes during the university vacation period that span the months of May-July.

16. Will pharmacy graduates be able to switch to a totally different career path should they decide to do so upon graduation?

Yes, our professional pharmacy programme not only develops the competencies to be a pharmacist but it also develops transversal competencies that will give you the flexibility to pursue many careers. The specific transversal competencies which our programme develops and are valued by many different types of employers are:

  • Communication skills,
  • Conflict resolution management skills,
  • Creativity,
  • Critical thinking ability,
  • Decision-making skills,
  • Healthcare informatics knowledge and skills,
  • Inter-personal relationship management,
  • Numeracy skills,
  • Self-directed learning skills
  • Attitude for life-long learning
  • Awareness in systems science
  • Awareness in legislative regulation

17. How many students are accepted each year?

The Department of Pharmacy receives a large number of applications each year. Based on the admission exercise of the previous year, approximately 160 students are admitted into the programme.

18. May I apply again if I am denied the first time?

  • The Pharmacy programme is highly competitive and we receive a large number of applications each year.
  • You may reapply should you wish to do so.
  • Re-applicants must follow the same application process as new applicants.
+ Overview

Embrace the new innovative world of healthcare as a modern pharmacist who is equipped with a scientific mind-set and unmatched professional skills for a role that

    • Encourages trust and inspires confidence on the optimal use of medicines
  • Promotes health and well-being of individuals and populations
  • Leads in realising the Singaporean vision of a values-based health system through technological and/or innovative solutions

If you have that aspiration to serve the greater good as a pharmacist, do step forward and join us in the newly minted integrated Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) degree programme at the NUS Pharmacy Department starting August 2020.

 

 

 

Features of the NUS integrated Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) degree

  • Strong academic foundation of scientific thinking

You will learn a suite of biomedical and pharmaceutical sciences that will transform you into a practitioner and problem solver who is grounded in strong scientific knowledge evidence.

  • Person and Patient centred

You will hone skills that will enable you to communicate and establish mutually trusting relationships with your colleagues and patients in your line of service.

  • Highly integrated across the basic, clinical and systems sciences

You will make decisions that are supported by strong scientific evidence, based on sound clinical reasoning and have a holistic system perspective.

  • Structured work-place learning in every year of the four-year programme from bio-pharmaceutical industry placements to across our public healthcare institutions

Your learning will be enriched by exposure to the real working environment such that you will see the relevance and importance of what you are learning.

  • Expert academic staff at the forefront of science and clinical practice

You will be mentored by dedicated and experienced faculties who will ensure that you will perform at your maximal capability and realize your ultimate potential.

  • Register with the Singapore Pharmacy Council

Your achievement of the requisite competency will enable you to become a registered pharmacist in Singapore.

 

For programme brochure, please click here.

+ Entry Requirements

The Pharmacy programme is offered as a direct admission course. Applicants to this programme must meet the entry requirements stipulated by the Office of Admissions.

Subject prerequisites for applicants holding:

Singapore-Cambridge GCE-A Level A very good pass in H2 Chemistry and
A very good pass in either H2 Biology or H2 Physics or H2 Mathematics.
International Baccalaureate A very good pass in HL Chemistry and
A very good pass in either HL Biology or HL Physics or HL Mathematics.
NUS High School Diploma A very good pass in Chemistry and in either Biology or Physics or Mathematics.
Polytechnic Diploma Applicants will be considered for admission if their Diplomas are relevant and accredited to the NUS course. The list of Diplomas accredited will follow that of NUS Science (Pharmacy) listed by the Office of Admissions.

For more details, go to:
http://www.nus.edu.sg/oam/apply-to-nus/polytechnic-diploma-from-singapore/subject-pre-requisites.

 

Health Requirements

Health Screening and Vaccination Requirements for NUS Pharmacy Students, with effect from 20 May 2014

In accordance with the Singapore Ministry of Health requirements, students enrolled in a healthcare professional programme must undergo the following health screening and meet these vaccination requirements.

Please click here to view the full requirements.

For cohorts 2019 and before under the Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) programme, click here to view the full requirements.

+ Course Structure

The Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) new integrated curriculum is designed such that learning is holistic and integrated across basic, clinical and systems sciences. This unique approach allows students to make connections and apply concepts learnt in the classroom to solve real-world patient problems alongside practising pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. This makes learning active, engaging and collaborative while preparing students for future practice.

 

 

Learning and Assessment

Each module within the curriculum will adopt a blended learning approach. Students will partake in pre-class learning using a variety of web-based online learning resources. This will be followed by in-class problem-based solving of simulated patient case scenarios and interactive discussion in the format of collaborative learning workshops that are led by our expert faculty. Such classes are further augmented by inquiry-based practicals and pharmacy practice skills laboratory where students acquire different experimental techniques as well as professional skills needed to become exemplary practitioners.


Throughout each module, students will be assessed using different formative assessments that are accompanied by the provision of timely feedback such that any misconception can be promptly clarified. At the end of each year of study, students will also be tested on their competency in knowledge and skills through an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE).

Major Requirements for Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) (AY2020/21 onwards)

Year of Study Major Requirements Cumulative Major MCs
Year 1

(24 MCs)

Pass

–      PR1150 Professional Identity Development I

–      PR1151 Applied Patient Care Skills I

–      PR1152 Pharmacy Foundations: Science & Therapeutics I

–      PR1153 Pharmacy Foundations: Science & Therapeutics II

–      PR2156 Integumentary & Ocular Systems: Science & Therapeutics

 

24
Year 2

(36 MCs)

Pass

–      PR2150 Professional Identity Development II

–      PR2151 Applied Patient Care Skills II

–      PR2152 Gastrointestinal System: Science & Therapeutics

–      PR2153 Cardiovascular System: Science & Therapeutics

–      PR2154 Respiratory System: Science & Therapeutics

–      PR2155 Hepatic & Renal Systems: Science & Therapeutics

–      SC2211 Medical Sociology

 

60
Year 3

(32 MCs)

Pass

–     PR3150 Professional Identity & Skills Development

–     PR3151 Infection: Optimising Prevention & Treatment

–     PR3152 Immune & Endocrine Systems: Science & Therapeutics

–     PR3153 Central Nervous System: Science & Therapeutics

–     PR3154 Musculoskeletal Health: Science & Therapeutics

–     COS2101 Computational Thinking for Pharmacy

 

92
Year 4

(36 MCs)

Pass

–     PR4150 Management of Complex Patient Populations

–     PR4151 Creating the Future of Pharmacy

–     PR4191 Discovery Project

–     PR4192A Internship & Pharmacy Management

–     PR4193A Internship & Regulatory Affairs

–     COS2102 Health and Pharmacy Informatics

 

128

Footnote: Accurate as on date of publication (June 2020). Module name may subject to change.

+ Fitness to Practise (FTP)

Fitness to Practise

The pharmacy profession is an integral and essential component of any healthcare system. The pharmacists possess a special body of technical knowledge and unique skill set that enable them to carry out professional activities such as dispensing of medications, recommending rational therapeutic treatments, compounding/ manufacturing of medicinal products, regulating the quality of medicine and many others. As pharmacists have access to medicines that can potentially cause harm to self or others, it is important that their cognitive and physical functions are in excellent state. Therefore good pharmacy practices can only be achieved when pharmacists are fit-to-practise. Fitness to practise is demonstrable through the acquisition of competency, the exhibition of good character and behaviour as well as the possession of good physical and mental health. It is a person’s suitability to be registered as a pharmacist without restrictions to practise. In practical terms this would mean the ability to maintain the requisite standards in competency to discharge all duties proficiently as a pharmacist.

Pharmacy students are expected to conduct themselves professionally as they are accorded special privileges and responsibilities that require them to uphold the integrity of the profession. The pharmacy programme offered at the National University of Singapore is multidisciplinary and students are exposed to different learning experiences to enable them acquire knowledge, attitude and skills relevant to the practice of pharmacy. Besides in class learning, students are required to participate in workplace-based internship training, also known as Pre-Employment Clinical Training (PECT), which takes place at various training sites outside the university. PECT is compulsory and students need to pass the experiential rotations before they can graduate from the degree programme.


The Fitness to Practise Procedure

As stipulated above, a student is expected to be able to achieve the requisite competency base by the end of the programme. This competency base is fundamental to embark on the next phase of training upon graduation. If there are reasons which may present a challenge for you to achieve the stipulated competency base, it is advisable that you declare them and seek appropriate advice as early as possible. The fitness to practise procedure is established to assist potential applicants and students in making informed decision on the study of pharmacy.


The fitness to practise procedure will apply to special cases in the following ways.

(a) During the application phase. If a potential applicant has questions regarding fitness to practise and would like to seek advice before making a decision on whether to select pharmacy as a course of study, the person may write to the Department of Pharmacy to seek further clarification. It is important to share the concern with the Department as non-declaration may affect graduation and career advancement subsequently. Please write to the following mailbox phabox2@nus.edu.sg for assistance and advice. All information will be kept confidential.

(b) Pharmacy students will be required to make an annual declaration on whether they possess concerns that may impact their fitness to practise. Those who develop concerns related to fitness to practise during the course of study, it is strongly advisable to declare them as early as possible so that appropriate advice can be given in a timely manner and remedial action taken at the soonest possible time when needed.

(c) Pharmacy students who have been subjected to disciplinary action for misconduct may be referred to the fitness to practise procedure for advisory counseling.


Some of the areas of concern related to a student’s fitness to practise are provided below. Do note that this is not an exhaustive list and clarifications should be sought where necessary.

(a) Criminal conviction

(b) Drug or alcohol misuse

(c) Aggressive, violent or threatening behavior

(d) Cheating or plagiarizing

(e) Dishonesty or fraud

(f) Unprofessional behaviour or attitudes

(g) Health conditions and lack of management of them (failure to follow medical advice/plans and recognize limits/ abilities, or lack of insight into health conditions, that may impair student’s fitness to practise)

+ Being a Pharmacist

It is an exciting time to be a pharmacist! Pharmacists today have been empowered to do so much more for our patients! We are not only playing active roles in promoting safe and effective use of medicines. We are also advancing preventive care within the community and ensuring pharmaceutical care is seamlessly integrated across the different healthcare settings for our patients.

Find out more about what we are doing under the National Pharmacy Strategy.

 

National Pharmacy Strategy – Meet Uncle Tan

Video credits to National Pharmacy Programme Management Office.

 

The Future of Pharmacy

 

As a pharmacist, you can also develop your expertise and interest further by becoming a specialist pharmacist or a collaborative prescribing practitioner that will provide you with greater autonomy to take care of patients with more challenging healthcare needs in collaboration with the rest of the healthcare team.

Hear from our practitioners:

1. Dr Vivianne Shih, BSc (Pharm) Hons, PharmD, BCOP

“As an oncology specialist pharmacist within a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, I ensure that my patients are educated and understand their anti-cancer therapies. Through this process, I help improve my patients’ treatment outcomes and quality of life. It is heartening to know that I have made a difference in their cancer care journey.”

2. Associate Professor Priscilla How, BSc (Pharm) Hons, PharmD, BCPS

“Being a collaborative prescribing practitioner (CPP) in the NUH pharmacist-led anaemia management clinic allows me to be a physician-extender and provide necessary care to my patients in a timely manner. Seeing my patients achieve their treatment goals truly brings much joy and satisfaction!”

+ Internship Testimonials

Internship Testimonials

Hear from our students:

Johnson & Johnson Singapore

AstraZeneca

+ Beyond the Classroom

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROPS)

This programme allows undergraduates to participate in scientific research under the mentorship of academic staff members.

Pharmacy students who have completed two semesters of study with a CAP > 3.0 are eligible for UROPS. Modular credits obtained from UROPS will contribute towards the graduation requirement of 160MC for Pharmacy major.

For more details on UROPS,  please refer to the following link: http://www.science.nus.edu.sg/undergraduate-studies/ugenh/urops-main

Advisory Service:

Students with problems or queries are encouraged to make appointments to see the academic advisor: A/Prof Christine Teng (Tel: 6516-1996, E-mail at phatbcc@nus.edu.sg)


NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) internship programme

The NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) internship programme offers selected NUS undergraduate or post graduate students a unique opportunity in twelve leading entrepreneurial hotspots across the globe – Beijing, Israel, Lausanne, Munich, New York, SE Asia, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Stockholm and Toronto.

For more details on NOC,  please refer to https://enterprise.nus.edu.sg/educate/nus-overseas-colleges/


University Scholars Programme (USP)

Refer to http://www.usp.nus.edu.sg/about/overview


Interprofessional Education @ NUS

Interprofessional Education (IPE) provides a unique brand of education that prepares students in the healthcare programmes to be “collaborative-practice ready” so that they are better able to work effectively in an interprofessional care team to enhance the quality of care and improve patient outcomes. Interprofessional Education (IPE) @ NUS is delivered through:

1. Interprofessional Core Curriculum (ICC)

Enhanced Curricular components to reflect perspectives from all health professions planned and facilitated by the professors and lecturers of the health professional programmes (HPPs).

2. Interprofessional Enrichment Activities (IEA)

Student-led activities for students from 2 or more HPPs to further develop the core competencies of “collaborative practice-ready: professionals”.

At NUS, five academic units namely the Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the Department of Pharmacy, the Faculty of Dentistry and the Department of Social Work fully support the idea of incorporating IPE into their respective professional health programmes.

For more information on IPE, please visit website: https://itumed.nus.edu.sg/ipe/


“Fit Fun Fruit” is co-organized by Pharmacy and Dentistry students with the aim to reach out to the immigrant workers in Singapore.

This is an Interprofessional Enrichment Activity (IEA) which promotes communication, teamwork, role and responsibilities among different healthcare students.

View “Fit Fun Fruit” 2016 video: https://vimeo.com/180342679

+ Student Life

Hear from our student Jacob Yeo, Pharmacy, Year 2, what life as a Pharmacy student is all about. 

 

+ Careers

Career prospects for pharmacy graduates are abundant and diversified. Depending on your interests and ability, you may develop your career in patient care as well as non-patient care jobs.

Jobs involving patient care:

  • Community Pharmacist
  • Home Care Pharmacist
  • Hospital Pharmacist e.g. Cardiology Pharmacist, Critical Care Pharmacist, Drug Information Pharmacist, Geriatric Pharmacist, Infectious Disease Pharmacist, Nutrition Support Pharmacist, Oncology Pharmacist, Paediatric Pharmacist, Psychiatric Pharmacist and Transplant Pharmacist
  • Academic Pharmacist (Clinical)

Jobs that do not involve patient care:

  • Clinical Trial and Research Associate
  • Health Informatics Pharmacist
  • Medical Science Liaison
  • Medical Science Writer
  • Pharmacovigilance Pharmacist
  • Pharmaceutical Sales and Marketing Representative
  • Academic Pharmacist (Research)
  • Regulatory Pharmacist
  • Research Pharmacist (Pharmacy Practice)
  • Research Associate (Pharmacology, Life Sciences)
  • Pharmacy Entrepreneur
+ FAQs

1. Who are pharmacists?

Pharmacists are registered healthcare professionals (registered with the Singapore Pharmacy Council) who are committed to ensuring the best outcomes from medication therapy through patient-centred care. Pharmacists do this by:

  • Educating and advising patients, caregivers, and health professionals on the responsible use of medicines and medicine-related devices,
  • Informing patients, caregivers and health professionals on both the benefits and risks associated with the use of any medicine,
  • Helping patients adhere to their medication regimens,
  • Supporting adverse-event and medication-error reporting programs in the interest of promoting the safer use of medicines,
  • Raising public awareness that more positive health outcomes and important cost savings can result when patients, physicians and pharmacists collaborate in selecting, monitoring, and adjusting medication therapy,
  • Leading on the use of informatics within our healthcare system.

Pharmacists are employed across every aspect of our healthcare system including our hospitals (acute and community), medical centres, intermediate and long-term care facilities, polyclinics and retail pharmacies. Pharmacists are also increasingly working beyond the healthcare institutions delivering pharmaceutical care services directly in the community (e.g. visiting Singaporeans in their homes to review if they are using their medicine optimally).

Pharmacists by virtue of their training are also experts in the development and distribution of medicines and therefore discharge important leadership roles across pharmaceutical industry (manufacturing and commercial) and government agencies whose remit includes access to and the quality of medicines (e.g. ALPS, IHiS, HSA).

CENTENNIAL DECLARATION, Improving Global Health by Closing Gaps in the Development, Distribution, and Responsible Use of Medicines (FIP, 2012).

2. What will I learn in NUS in order to become a pharmacist?

Knowledge

  • To develop understanding of pharmacy practice (professionalism, ethics, physical assessment, therapeutics and prescribing sciences) and the underpinning pharmaceutical sciences (see Questions 3 and 4), skills, attitudes and values that will guide you for your lifelong career as a registered pharmacist.

Ethics

  • To encourage you as a student and as a pharmacist to adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct, always giving top priority to serving the best interests of your patients and wider Singaporean society,
  • To support the confidentiality of patient information through diligent application of privacy standards and compliance with the law including the Personal Data Protection Act.

Innovation

  • To foster innovative solutions in how to develop new services that promote the responsible use of medicines,
  • To lead on the use of healthcare informatics across our health care system in order to improve the quality and ensure the sustainability of our healthcare system.

Leadership

  • To influence the wider society by partaking in policy making to ensure safe and sustainable systems for the development, control and responsible use of medicines in Singapore, the ASEAN region and globally.

3. What is the difference between pharmacy and pharmacology?

  • Pharmacology is the branch of biomedical sciences that is concerned with the study of drug action, which exerts a biochemical and/or physiological effect, on the cell, tissue, organ, or organism. More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical functions.
  • Pharmacy is a health profession where pharmacists are responsible to ensure people and patients get the best outcomes from their medicines.
  • Pharmacology is an essential subject within the scope of the Pharmacy programme.

4. What are pharmaceutical sciences?

Pharmaceutical sciences are fundamental to your practice as a pharmacist and are integrated with the clinical and systems sciences throughout your degree programme (see Question 11). Pharmacists are unique as healthcare professionals in having such strong pharmaceutical sciences foundations. So what then are pharmaceutical sciences?

  • Pharmaceutical sciences belong to a branch of science that comprises a range of scientific subjects dealing with various aspects of discovery, development, formulation, manufacturing as well as the quality assurance of pharmaceutical substances.
  • Some examples of subjects that are classified under pharmaceutical sciences include biopharmaceutics, biotechnology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical technology, pharmacogenetics and pharmacokinetics.

The Department of Pharmacy also has a four-year degree programme B.Sc. and B.Sc. (Hons) majoring in Pharmaceutical Sciences. This degree provides deeper training on pharmaceutical sciences, but does not lead to the acquisition of a professional license to practise as a pharmacist in Singapore. Students who are keen in the science of medicines and aspire to seek future employment in the pharmaceutical industry may consider this option. More information can be found in separate brochures and also on the Department of Pharmacy website (https://pharmacy.nus.edu.sg/).

5. Why is Pharmacy regarded as a professional degree?

  • You are only able to practise as a pharmacist in Singapore if you have successfully completed the professional integrated degree in pharmacy and are registered with the Singapore Pharmacy Council (https://www.healthprofessionals.gov.sg/spc). Therefore, the degree is a pre-requisite for entry into the profession.
  • The registration of pharmacists is governed by the Pharmacist Registration Act. 
  • Registered pharmacists are obligated to abide by the laws that govern pharmacy practice, demonstrate good ethical and professional responsibilities (by adhering to the Code of Ethics) towards the care of patients.

6. What are the pre-requisites for admission into Pharmacy?

  • Very good passes in Chemistry (H2) and in either Biology (H2) or Physics (H2) or Mathematics (H2) or Further Mathematics (H2) at ‘A’ Level (or equivalent) examinations.
  • For information on the Indicative Grade Profile and Course Places for the Pharmacy Programme (Direct Admission) in Academic Year 2019/2020, please go to http://www.nus.edu.sg/oam/gradeprofile/sprogramme-igp.html.
  • For information on application, please go to the NUS website and read the relevant application procedures (http://www.nus.edu.sg/oam/apply-to-nus/application) for the respective group of applicants.

7. Is it possible to enter the Pharmacy programme without ‘A’ Level biology?

  • ‘A’ Level biology (H2) (or the equivalent) is not a compulsory subject prerequisite for application to the Pharmacy programme in NUS. Therefore, prospective students may apply to read Pharmacy without ‘A’ Level biology. However, ‘A’ Level chemistry (H2) (or the equivalent) remains as the only compulsory prerequisite subject for entry to the Pharmacy programme.

8. Are there additional requirements for one to be Fit To Practise as a student pharmacist?

A pharmacist is a registered healthcare professionals who are committed to ensuring the best outcomes from medication therapy through patient-centred care. The behaviour, therefore, of all pharmacy students at all times must justify the trust that the public places in the pharmacy profession, including when you are on supervised clinical training during the professional degree programme. This Fitness to Practise, or sometimes referred to as Fitness for Clinical Training, is demonstrable through the acquisition of competency, the exhibition of good character and behaviour as well as the possession of good physical and mental health. Such requirements can go beyond the standard criteria for tertiary education, and they also take into consideration the ability to handle different aspects of the course including laboratory training, industrial and clinical internships. We provide such guidelines for fitness to practise on our website (http://pharmacy.nus.edu.sg/bachelor-of-science-pharmacy/), with coverage similar to those released for other pharmacy programmes elsewhere in the world.

9. Is there any health screening requirement for Pharmacy students?

In accordance with the Singapore Ministry of Health requirements, students enrolled in a healthcare professional programme must undergo health screening and vaccination requirements. Knowing their health status will enable them to protect themselves and patients during their course of study, in particular when they embark on clinical training which can be referred to as Pre-Employment Clinical Training (PECT).

10. What is the course duration?

The Pharmacy course is a four-year professional programme. Some details of each year to note are:

  • Students are admitted directly into the Pharmacy programme in the first year of study,
  • At the end of the four years, graduates are conferred with a professional degree in Pharmacy, while those who have demonstrated good academic performance over the four years will be awarded an honours professional degree in pharmacy,
  • Students enrolled into the programme will, in addition to work-place based training during Years 1-3 of the programme, undertake six months of pre-employment clinical training (PECT) in Year 4 of the programme,
  • Graduates with a Pharmacy degree from NUS may then be registered with the Singapore Pharmacy Council upon the satisfactory completion of a further six months of pre-registration training. The in-course PECT and post-course work-place training will constitute the mandatory 12-month pre-registration training required for registration.

11. What is the overall course structure like?

The curriculum of our four-year professional Pharmacy programme is integrated across the basis, clinical and systems sciences. We chose to structure our curriculum in this way because such integration explicitly makes the connections for you on why you are learning what you are learning and by doing so it will not only make your learning journey more enjoyable but also prepare you to be a great pharmacist. Some features of our integrated curriculum are:

  • All modules are integrated around specific themes rather than specific disciplines. This means that there is no module, for instance, on chemistry but rather chemistry is integrated into modules in the programme so that the relevance of chemistry to your future practice as a pharmacist is always clear to you.
  • Themes of Year 1 include professionalism, practice skills, foundational knowledge and finally how to optimally manage medicines that are used for simple conditions of the skin and eyes. In Years 2 and 3, the themes of professionalism and skills are further developed while at the same time you learn about how medicines maintain health, prevent, treat and cure illnesses in all the other major physiological systems of the body. In your final year (Year 4), we bring all this learning together so that you can rise to the challenge of managing the medicines for the complex patient. At same time, we also empower you to Create the Future of Pharmacy by developing your leadership skills and equipping you with a toolkit to go about health care reform on graduation. Finally, we build on your Year 3 computational thinking competencies, by concluding with a module integrated around the theme of healthcare informatics, so that rather than being afraid of the impending fourth industrial revolution you can embrace it and bring value not only to the practice of pharmacy but to our wider healthcare system,
  • In every year of the programme we integrate work-based learning (otherwise referred to as experiential learning) with your on-campus studies. This purposeful integration means your academic studies are always contextualized to real world practice which not only gives your learning greater meaning but also prepare you from Day 1 in NUS for Day 1 as an independent practitioner. Your experiential learning journey begins in Year 1 when as part of a team of medical, nursing and social worker students you will visit the home of an elderly Singaporean citizen. This supervised visit, debriefing and structured reflections will give your life-long invaluable insights into what it means to be a patient, the reality of living with illness, and the immeasurable privilege of being the healthcare professional in whom such trust is placed. This activity also allows you to interact with students from the other healthcare programmes, preparing you to be interprofessional collaborative practice ready in the future. Such interprofessional education forms an essential part of the programme as well.
  • In Years 3 and 4 of the programme you get the opportunity to generate new knowledge through the Discovery Project. This Discovery Project is integrated into the world of the practice of pharmacy as the research questions you will be answering will be a real-world problem set by a clinical practitioner who is affiliated with our Department. You will, as part of a team, have the opportunity to apply your research skills in finding solutions to the problem and then presenting and defending that solutions back to the clinical practitioner. In addition, those who are more inclined to working on a Discovery Project related to pharmaceutical sciences may work on a research question set by faculties who are pharmaceutical scientists or clinician scientists.
  • During the four-year integrated programme, students may expand their horizons by participating in other academic programmes offered by the University or Faculty e.g. University Scholar Programme, University Town College Programme, NUS Overseas College Programme, Summer Student Exchange Programme, Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programme in Science (UROPS).

12. How will I learn at NUS?

  • We have embraced active as opposed to passive learning in our integrated professional programme. Active learning is different from passive learning in that you are much more participatory in the learning process – by way of, example, a lecture in which you sit, listen and learn is generally regarded as a passive learning whereas in an Interactive Class (IC) you are expected to listen, respond to questions, share your experience and opinion. There are various types of active learning activities throughout our programme in order to suit a variety of learning styles. For example in advance of an IC you are directed to read preparatory material so that your lecturer can engage you in the class where higher forms of learning such as analysis, synthesis, application and critical thinking will take place.
  • E-learning-in advance of an IC you can prepare at home or wherever is convenient by being directed to short, engaging e-learning units that your lecturer will have posted on our learning management system (LumiNUS).
  • Collaborative Learning Workshops (CLW)-you as part of an assigned team will engage in an enquiry around a case study that is presented to you by a multidisciplinary team.
  • Practicals-you have the hands-on opportunity to conduct your own experiments which will give you a deeper understanding of the concepts you will have been introduced to in ICs & CLWs,
  • Skills workshops-the only way to develop skills is by practice and so in our series skills workshops you can to try out your new skills, refine them and practice them so that you are ready for work-place based learning.

13. What are the career prospects for Pharmacy graduates?

Career opportunities for pharmacists are abundant and diversified and are both in clinical and non-clinical settings:

  • Pharmacists are employed across every aspect of our healthcare system including our hospitals (acute and community), intermediate and long-term care facilities, polyclinics, and retail pharmacies. Pharmacists are also increasingly working outside healthcare institutions and delivering services directly in the community (e.g. visiting Singaporeans in their homes to review if they are using their medicine optimally),
  • Pharmacists are also experts in the development and distribution of medicines and therefore discharge important leadership roles across pharmaceutical industry (manufacturing and commercial) and government agencies whose remit includes access to medicines and the quality of medicines (e.g. ALPS, IHiS, HSA).

14. What about student life?

There are abundant opportunities for undergraduate students to hone their talents and soft skills at NUS Pharmacy and include:

  • NUS Pharmaceutical Society (NUSPS), a student-led organisation, comprises several sub-committees (e.g. media resource team, international relations) that work closely together with the mission to engage and empower the student body.
  • By creating internship opportunities, organising career talks/seminars and field trips, NUSPS hopes to expose NUS Pharmacy students to the diverse career tracks that are open to them upon graduation.
  • NUSPS also promotes and raises public awareness of the Pharmacy profession through numerous community outreach activities. Students can contribute actively to NUSPS by serving in various committees and in the process, develop interpersonal, leadership and networking skills amongst many others.
  • Apart from NUSPS, students can also participate in other special activities/projects e.g. Pharmacy Youth Expedition Project (YEP) or spend a year at one of the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC), or participate in overseas exchange programmes. These experiences will broaden their horizons.
  • At NUS Pharmacy, students who are interested in embarking on a research career can also participate in Undergraduate Research Opportunities in Science (UROPS) under the close supervision of experienced Pharmacy faculty members. These research opportunities are open to the students as early as their 2nd year in the pharmacy course.
  • In Year 3, all students will undertake Discovery Project. Students will have the opportunity in Year 4 to showcase and present their research work from their Discovery Project to employers and in local and even international conferences.

15. Are pharmacy undergraduates allowed to go for exchange programmes?

The integrated Pharmacy curriculum does not offer options for semester-long exchange programmes. This is not unusual for a programme which leads to registrations as a healthcare professional as there is a significant core syllabus of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that all students have to undertake. You are, however, encouraged in Years 1 and 2 to take part in summer exchange programmes during the university vacation period that span the months of May-July.

16. Will pharmacy graduates be able to switch to a totally different career path should they decide to do so upon graduation?

Yes, our professional pharmacy programme not only develops the competencies to be a pharmacist but it also develops transversal competencies that will give you the flexibility to pursue many careers. The specific transversal competencies which our programme develops and are valued by many different types of employers are:

  • Communication skills,
  • Conflict resolution management skills,
  • Creativity,
  • Critical thinking ability,
  • Decision-making skills,
  • Healthcare informatics knowledge and skills,
  • Inter-personal relationship management,
  • Numeracy skills,
  • Self-directed learning skills
  • Attitude for life-long learning
  • Awareness in systems science
  • Awareness in legislative regulation

17. How many students are accepted each year?

The Department of Pharmacy receives a large number of applications each year. Based on the admission exercise of the previous year, approximately 160 students are admitted into the programme.

18. May I apply again if I am denied the first time?

  • The Pharmacy programme is highly competitive and we receive a large number of applications each year.
  • You may reapply should you wish to do so.
  • Re-applicants must follow the same application process as new applicants.