Master of Pharmacy - MPharm
The MPharm stands for a Master of Pharmacy degree, which is now required in many countries in order to become a pharmacist, which is a change from the past when only a Bachelor of Pharmacy was required. Unlike most master degrees, with this special circumstance it is not a postgraduate degree, but instead, an undergraduate degree that either requires research or coursework within a classroom setting to obtain.
In fact, the MPharm was created to take the place of the Bachelor of Pharmacy when the length of pharmacy school was increased in accordance with the EU harmonization in 1997. Thus, instead of a three year degree to become a pharmacist, students must now take three years of undergraduate school, and then an additional fourth year that is taught exclusively with postgraduate level classes. At the end of which students are awarded their Master of Pharmacy degree and are able to practice.
In the UK the Master of Pharmacy degree is the only way to obtain the qualifications needed in order to become a professional pharmacist. In order to make sure that students obtain the proper skills they need, all schools that offer an MPharm degree must be accredited by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.
The exception to the rule is in Northern Ireland, where the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland is responsible alongside the RPSGB, in regulating the instruction of the Master of Pharmacy degree.
The structure of the Master of Pharmacy degree has also changed slightly, since in the past the degree also included those who did extensive research work while obtaining their degree. Now however, there is a distinction in the focus one takes while studying for their Master of Pharmacy degree, with the extensions of MPharm Clinical, or MClinPharm for Master of Clinical Pharmacy.
It is important to note however, that this is only a one year degree offered to students who have a BPharm, and is not enough in order to become registered as a pharmacist, which is why most students instead choose to pursue this degree. For those who are only interested in the field from a research point of view though, this is the correct path given it is within a shorter time frame, so long as there is no interest in becoming a licensed pharmacist.
-- Other Masters Degrees --
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