Understanding UQ School of Pharmacy placements: Part 1

The UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) is one of Australia’s most comprehensive and well-respected pharmacy degrees, both domestically and internationally, and offers intensive pharmacy placements so students can get fully prepared for their career in pharmacy. UQ School of Pharmacy students undertake more than 350 hours of supervised clinical practice in a range of clinical settings, including hospital and community pharmacies. The school has partnerships with more than 500 pharmacies throughout rural and metropolitan Australia and overseas.

During their placements, students have the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge acquired through coursework and research to practice and develop their clinical skills in real-life settings, and will undertake a variety of sessional practical experiences from year one before commencing two 4-week block placements in year four.


Do you go to placement every year?

Placement is such a key part of the UQ program that it starts from second semester of the first year, and every semester after that. The first-year placement is only a one-day per week of a four-hour shift, making it a bit of an introduction into the community pharmacy world. In your second year it is slightly more intensive with a five-week placement, again attending the community pharmacy one day per week, but, also a second day at a hospital placement. This is a great experience because you get the best of both worlds while receiving hands-on experience in the differences of community and hospital pharmacies. In third year, the first semester comprises a six week community placement, and the second semester is comprised of a two-day hospital placement and a week-long community pharmacy placement. During that week-long placement you are required to be at the pharmacy for full days, like you would if you were working there full-time. In the final year of the program, there is a month long placement for the first month of each semester. One semester is community focused while your second semester is more research focused. Tip: you can also attend one semester placement overseas in any other part of the world!

Do you have to find your own placement every year?

During your first year, the UQ School of Pharmacy will allocate your placement. There is an online portal whereby you can list your top three suburbs, and international students are encouraged to a head start and fill out the portal as soon as it opens. For your future placements, you are required to find your own community locations. If you are unsure where you should start looking for pharmacies, ask friends who are in higher years to see if they can give you the contact information of the pharmacies where they completed their placement.

Are there any assignments or tasks you have to complete prior to placement?

Each year, there will be a set of required tasks you will need to complete over the course of your placement. It is important that you pay attention to each of the patients you encounter as well observe your preceptor’s interactions. You will be required to record an online diary of what your placement shift was like and what you encountered, learned, observed, and areas you think require improvement. In your later years you may be required to dispense a certain number of scripts prior to placement finishing or you may be required to set a number of goals you’d like to achieve prior to completing your placement, such as improving your over the counter (OTC) skills to a certain level.

Stay tuned for Part 2 for more UQ Pharmacy placement tips!

About the UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy Honours program

The UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy program prepares graduates for the contemporary role of the pharmacist in society, ensuring that patients optimize medication usage. Initial courses on chemical, physical and biological studies lead to professional specialties in later years. Practical and clinical science studies begin in first year, providing students with a strong background in professional practice.

Understanding UQ School of Pharmacy placements: Part 1
Learn more about the UQ School of Pharmacy

Program: Bachelor of Pharmacy
Location: Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February
Duration: 4 years
Application deadline: November 29; however, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible, especially if they are seeking credit transfers

Entry Requirements
Applicants to UQ Pharmacy are required to have completed their high school diploma. Applicants should have completed Grade 12 English, Chemistry and Math to meet program prerequisites.
If you have commenced or completed a university degree or any post-secondary studies, your most recent studies will be assessed in terms of your grades. If you have not completed the necessary prerequisite subjects in your post-secondary studies, your high school transcripts will then be assessed for prerequisite subjects.

Credit Transfers

Many international students with prior study (especially those with a science background) are able to enter directly into Year 2. If credit is awarded, students can undertake an additional course in their first and second semester of enrollment and complete the program in just 3 years.

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