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To work as a pharmacist, you must be on the register of the General Pharmaceutical Council (for England, Wales and Scotland) or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. You study a four-year course leading to a Masters degree in Pharmacy (M Pharm) at a recognized university that meets the standards of education and training for registration. See the website of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society for more information on a career in pharmacy. 




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I work on medicines management which is a public health issue in its broadest sense”

Cathy Quinn – Chief Pharmacist

Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmaceutical technicians are currently voluntarily regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council. However, after June 2011 registration will be mandatory and all pharmacy technicians who are licensed to practise in Britain will have to renew their registration annually. To become a pharmacy technician, you will need to acquire two years of continuous work-experience under supervision of a pharmacist and to complete a college or distance-learning course. Click here for more information about a career as a pharmacy technician.


Community Pharmacists

To work as a community pharmacist you need experience of working as a pharmacist and post-graduate training related to the role. Some community pharmacists own their own businesses, others work out of local healthcare centres or doctors’ surgeries, and others work in large chains.

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“Pharmacy was attractive as I was keen to pursue a career in drug development and disease management”

Terry Maguire – Community Pharmacist


Public Health Pharmacy

To work as a Consultant in Pharmaceutical Public Health, you need post-qualifying experience & specialist education. Normally you should follow the Public Health Register’s standard route: you complete the Faculty of Public Health’s post-graduate programme of Specialty Training in Public Health lasting 5 years. On successful completion of a two-part examination you get a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT). This enables you to meet the standards to join the Public Health Register. If you have sufficient experience you could use the retrospective route. This entails applying with a portfolio of evidence to show that you meet all the standards to be a general consultant specialist in public health.

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“My activities include analysis and interpretation of prescribing. I plan and evaluate pharmaceutical services and contribute to strategy and policy development”

Anne Hinchliffe – Consultant in Pharmaceutical Health



Staying on the register

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society introduced new standards for Continuing Professional Development in 2009 for all who work in pharmacy. You can find out more about CPD in pharmacy by clicking here.

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