- Course Structure
- Health Requirements
- Special Programmes
- Interprofessional Education
- FAQ for Prospective Students
- The 8-Star Pharmacist
- Being a Pharmacist
- First Steps
Change in Entry Requirements for BSc (Pharmacy) with Honours for the University Admission Exercise 2013 and thereafter
NEW subject prerequisites for applicants holding:
- Singapore-Cambridge GCE-A Level are:
– Very Good Pass in H2 Chemistry and
– Very Good Pass in either H2 Biology or H2 Physics or H2 Mathematics
- International Baccalaureate are:
– Very Good Pass in HL Chemistry and
– Very Good Pass in either HL Biology or HL Physics or HL Mathematics
- National University of Singapore High School Diploma is:
– Major CAP of at least 4.0 in Chemistry and in either Biology or Physics or Mathematics
- Admission to NUS is based on academic merit as well as open competition among all eligible applicants. In addition to fulfilling admission requirements for the applicant category that the student belongs to, he/she should also ensure that he/she fulfils the subject prerequisites for the courses which he/she wish to be considered for.
If you have a question about admissions, go to: http://www.askadmissions.nus.edu.sg/.
- To better understand the requirements of being registered pharmacists, interested applicants may refer to a guide on fitness to practice at the General Pharmaceutical Council website.
Level 1000 Modules
AY1130 Human Physiology & Anatomy I
PA1113 Basic Pharmacology
PR1110 Foundations for Medicinal Chemistry
PR1111 Pharmaceutical Biochemistry
PR1120 Microbiology for Pharmacy
PR1140 Pharmacy Professional Skills Development I
PY1131 Human Physiology & Anatomy II
Level 2000 Modules
PR2114 Formulation & Technology I
PR2115 Medicinal Chemistry for Drug Design
PR2122 Biotechnology for Pharmacy
PR2131 Pharmacy Professional Skills Development II
PR2133 Pharmacotherapeutics I
PR2134 Self Care
PR2135 Pharmacotherapeutics II
PR2143 Pharmaceutical Analysis for Quality Assurance
PX2108 Basic Human Pathology
Level 3000 Modules
PR3116 Concepts in Pharmacokinetics and Biopharmaceutics
PR3117 Formulation & Technology II
PR3124 Pharmacotherapeutics III
PR3136 Pharmacotherapeutics IV
PR3137 Pharmacy Professional Skills Development III
PR3144 Principles of Research Methods
PR3145 Compliance & Good Practices in Pharmacy
PR3146 Pharmacy Law in Singapore
Level 4000 Modules
PR4196 Pharmacy Research Project and Scientific Communication
PR4197 Pharmacy Internship I
PR4198 Pharmacy Internship II
Returning Full-Time National Servicemen (NSmen), who do not have Biology background and are enrolled in Pharmacy, can consider taking LSM1301X General Biology to learn some basics to Biology. More details are available here (http://www.nus.edu.sg/ibloc/iBLOC.html).
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org).
1. Who are the Pharmacists?
- Pharmacists belong to a group of health professionals who are licensed medicine experts.
- They work in collaboration with other health professionals (e.g. doctors, nurses, dentists and social workers) to provide holistic healthcare for healthy individuals and patients.
- Pharmacists are knowledgeable in the physicochemical, biological and pharmacological properties of the Drug substance; the science and technology of the manufacturing of the various forms of medicinal Products, and the cost-effective and safe use of medicines in Patients so that optimal therapeutic outcomes can be achieved.
- Pharmacists are responsible for a range of pharmaceutical services including management and dispensing of medicines, as well as providng professional advice to patient counseling, and management of long term drug use.
- Some pharmacists are also involved in the manufacturing, sale, marketing, distribution, and research and development of medicines.
2. What is the difference between Pharmacy and Pharmacology?
- Pharmacology is the branch of biomedical science 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.
- While Pharmacy is a health profession where the pharmacists are educated and trained to be involved in a broad scope of practices which includes the discovery, development, manufacture, supply and the management of the use of medicines for patients.
- Pharmacology is an essential subject as part of the Pharmacy programme.
3. What is Pharmaceutical Science?
- Pharmaceutical Science belongs to a branch of science that comprises a range of scientific subjects that deal with various aspects of pharmaceutical substances that are used to manufacture the medicinal products.
- Therefore, Pharmaceutical Science forms the foundational scientific basis of the physical, chemical, biological and the biomedical aspects of drug properties and actions.
- Some examples of subjects that are classified under Pharmaceutical Science include Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Technology, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Pharmacokinetics, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Pharmacoeconomics and Pharmacogenetics.
- Advancements achieved in Pharmaceutical Science will impact drug discovery, drug formulation as well as the regulation and practice of Pharmacy.
4. 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 university degree and are registered with the Singapore Pharmacy Council (http://www.spc.gov.sg/). Therefore the degree is a pre-requisite for entry into the profession.
- The registration of pharmacist is governed by the Pharmacist Registration Act.
- Being a registered pharmacist you are obligated to abide by the laws that govern pharmacy practice, demonstrate good ethical and professional responsibilities towards the care of your patients.
5. 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) taken at the GCE ‘A’ Level Examinations or equivalent examinations.
- For information on the Indicative Grade Profile and Course Places for Pharmacy Programme (Direct Admission), please go to http://www.nus.edu.sg/oam/gradeprofile/sprogramme-igp.html.
- For further information, please go to http://www.nus.edu.sg/oam/index.html and read the relevant application procedures for respective groups of applicants.
6. Is it possible to enter the Pharmacy program without A-level Biology?
- From Academic Year 2013/14 onwards, ‘A’ Level Biology (H2) (or the equivalent) is not a compulsory subject pre-requisite for application to the Pharmacy programme in NUS.
- Therefore you may apply to read Pharmacy without ‘A’ Level Biology.
- However, ‘A’ Level Chemistry (H2) (or the equivalent) remains as the only compulsory pre-requisite subject for entry to Pharmacy.
7. Can someone with colour-blindness or other physical handicap or illness be enrolled in Pharmacy?
- Students, who are colour-blind, are discouraged from taking up Pharmacy as the inability to see and differentiate the colours of medications (e.g. tablets and capsules) accurately, may pose a danger to patients, if they work in the patient care areas.
- This is determined on a case-by-case basis as the applicant’s medical condition is kept confidential and appropriate advice can be provided by the academic advisor.
- Generally, career options will be limited as declaration of fitness-to-practice is required for protecting the safety of the public.
8. 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 your health status will enable you to protect yourself and patients during your course of study.
9. What is the course duration?
- The Pharmacy course is a 4-year professional programme.
- Students are admitted directly into Pharmacy in the first year of study.
- At the end of the 4 years, graduates are conferred the degree of B.Sc. (Pharm), while those who have demonstrated good academic performance over the 4 years will be awarded B.Sc. (Pharm) Hons degrees.
- Graduates with a Pharmacy degree from NUS may be registered with the Singapore Pharmacy Council upon the completion of a 1 year pre-employment competency training.
10. What is the overall course structure like?
- The 4-year professional degree course is made up of 3-year didactic component, in which modules are delivered by lectures, tutorials, and practicals.
- The 4th and final year will expose the students to experiential education, where every student will be required to participate in internships. Students will be rotated through different types of internships, from community pharmacies, hospitals, pharmaceutical industries to regulatory organisations. The internships go towards fulfilling 6-months equivalent of the pre-employment competency training for pharmacist licensing.
- Every student in the 4th year of study is also required to undertake a Final Year Project (FYP).
- Both FYP and Internship are required for graduation.
- During the 4-year programme, students may concurrently participate 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).
11. What are the career prospects for Pharmacy graduates?
- Career opportunities for pharmacists are abundant and diversified.
- There are two broad areas of practice, namely patient care practice and indirect patient care practice.
- Depending on your interests and capabilities, you may develop your career in either area.
- As a registered pharmacist, one may manage and dispense the medications for patients in hospitals, community pharmacies or polyclinics. Collectively, these areas of practice are regarded as direct patient care.
- In the hospitals, and in some polyclinics, you may choose to develop your clinical pharmacy skills further and focus on caring for specialized groups of patients in pharmacist-run clinics (e.g. cancer patients, patients in intensive care, diabetic patients, geriatric patients, patients on anticoagulants).
- In the community and polyclinic pharmacies, you will provide primary healthcare for your patients or the general public.
- Alternatively, those who wish to enter the pharmaceutical industry immediately upon graduation may also do so without completing the pre-registration training. Your strong foundation in pharmaceutical science will lead you to various opportunities in the fast-paced and dynamic pharmaceutical industry.
- There are plenty of opportunities for pharmacy graduates in the pharmaceutical industry and these include pharmaceutical manufacturing, product registration, product development, sales and marketing of pharmaceuticals and clinical trials. Collectively, these areas of practice are regards as indirect patient care.
12. What are the various opportunities that a Pharmacy undergraduate can expect, i.e., leadership building, research opportunities etc?
- There are abundant opportunities for undergraduate students to hone their talents and skills in NUS Pharmacy.
- 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, organizing career talks/seminars and field trips, NUSPS hopes to expose 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 be part of NUSPS by serving in various committees and in the process, develop inter-personal, leadership and networking skills amongst many others.
- Apart from NUSPS, students can also participate in other ad-hoc activities/projects e.g. Pharmacy Youth Expedition Project (YEP) or spend a year at one of the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC). These experiences will definitely broaden their horizons.
- In NUS Pharmacy, students who are interested in embarking on a research career can also participate in undergraduate research projects in Science (UROPS) under close supervision by experienced Pharmacy faculty.
- These research opportunities are open to the students as early as their 2nd year in the pharmacy course.
- In their final year, all students will undertake a compulsory final year research project. Students may have the opportunity to showcase and present their research work in local or even international conferences.
13. Are pharmacy undergraduates allowed to go for exchange programs?
- At this moment, the pharmacy curriculum offer limited options for the semester-long exchange programmes. That said, such possibilities are being explored and updates would be provided at a later notice.
- However, students are free to take part in summer exchange programmes during the university vacation period that spans the months of May-July each year.
14. Will pharmacy graduates be able to switch to a totally different career path should they decide to do so upon graduation?
- Yes, graduates from NUS Pharmacy have been exposed to a rigorous academic programme that prepares an individual for self-directed and lifelong learning to adapt to alternative career paths.
- The curriculum is designed to produce future-ready, well-rounded graduates with skill sets and knowledge that may also be useful in vocations that are not directly related to Pharmacy.
15. I am passionate about healthcare, but my grades are not sufficiently good for entry into the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. Will NUS Pharmacy be a good substitute?
- It is important to recognise that the roles of doctors and pharmacists are fundamentally different. Doctors first diagnose, then prescribe medication and/or decide on treatment options for their patients. The medical course is heavy on clinical practice and direct patient care.
- Pharmacists, on the other hand, are educated in biomedical sciences, pharmaceutical science and clinical science; the knowledge base and skill set are more diversified and the professional roles are different from doctors. Pharmacists remain the most qualified experts when it comes to the knowledge and proper use of medications.
- Although the pharmacy programme remains focused on producing well-trained hospital and community pharmacists to serve in a patient-care setting, many pharmacy graduates have also leveraged on their knowledge and expertise on medication use/ management, and developed successful careers in indirect patient care areas, e.g. health sciences research, regulatory practice, clinical trials management etc.
- Hence, pharmacy should not be seen as a substitute for a medical degree but an orthogonal and complementary role in supporting healthcare at large.
16. How many students are accepted each year?
- The Department of Pharmacy receives a large number of applications each year.
- Student intake fluctuates from year to year based on national manpower projections.
- In the past few years, enrolment was approximately 150-180.
17. May I apply again if I am denied admission 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.
Pharmacist – A member of the Healthcare team.
These days, patients come under the care of a team of healthcare providers that include the doctors, the dentists, the pharmacists, the nurses, the nutritionist, the physiotherapists and a few other allied healthcare professionals.
Within this healthcare team, the pharmacist has the following professional responsibilities:
- To ensure that the right drug is delivered in the correct dose, in the appropriate dosage form, to the right patient who understands the proper use and the potential side effects of the drug.
- To monitor the patients so as to maximise the outcome of the drug therapy.
- To educate patients on the safe use of drugs thereby minimising possible interactions with other drugs and foods.
- To provide information relating to all aspects of drugs for the other healthcare providers within the team.
- To compound and prepare drugs for the special needs of different types of patients.
- To be involved in research and clinical studies with the other healthcare providers to advance the level of patient care.
Pharmacists therefore need to be knowledgeable in a wide range of subjects, including human pathophysiology, pharmaceutical microbiology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharmacology, pharmacotherapy, medicinal natural products, compounding of medicines and laws related to medicines and their use.
The National University of Singapore provides a 4-year course in Pharmacy. Upon completion of the course with good academic performance, graduates are conferred with the degree of Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) with Honours. Graduates are required to complete a mandatory pre-registration training before they can be registered with the Singapore Pharmacy Board.
The course in Pharmacy is aimed at providing a broad-based education to equip graduates for employment in any area of Pharmacy practice in Singapore and at the same time imparting the following qualities to the graduates:
- A sound foundation in scientific knowledge
- A high level of core competencies in pharmacy practice
- Professional ethics and work attitudes
- Generic skills in life-long employability such as critical thinking, problem solving ability, independent learning, teamwork, good communication skills and leadership quality
Very good passes in Chemistry (H2) and in either Biology (H2) or Physics (H2) or Mathematics (H2) taken at the GCE ‘A’ Level Examinations or equivalent examinations.
Career opportunities for pharmacists are abundant and diversified. Depending on your interests and ability, you may develop your career in Pharmacy as a:
- Academic Pharmacist
- Clinical Research Pharmacist
- Community Pharmacist
- Critical Care Pharmacist
- Drug Information Pharmacist
- Home Care Pharmacist
- Hospital Pharmacist
- Industrial Pharmacist
- Infectious Disease Pharmacist
- Nuclear Pharmacist
- Nutrition Support Pharmacist
- Oncology Pharmacist
- Paediatric Pharmacist
- Regulatory Pharmacist