Hope’s Experience of Studying Pharmacy at Newcastle University

Tell us about you!

Name: Hope
Degree Programme: Masters of Pharmacy
Year of Study: 3
Home town: Newcastle
A Levels: Maths, Chemistry, Psychology

Why did you choose to study Pharamcy at Newcastle University?

The best thing about studying Pharmacy at Newcastle University is definitely the opportunities that the degree offers, through placements, schemes such as the Young at Heart clinic, day trips and research opportunities. Post-graduate job links: the School works in partnership with many local organisations such as the NHS Foundation Trusts, which provides both placement opportunities and part time job opportunities. The amount of opportunities to explore your degree and future career are endless at this university. Alongside this, the staff are probably one of the best things as they continuously support you in everything; not just their topic, but also your development into becoming the best pharmacist you can be.

Newcastle’s Faculty of Medical Sciences has strengths in research and teaching; many of the academics have spent time in research and made an impact on medicine, for example Cancer Research. It is inspiring to be taught by them as they can recognise your strengths within the course and point you in the right direction about possible career prospects.

What do you like most about studying Pharmacy at Newcastle University?

My favourite module of the degree so far has been mental health, this was interesting to learn about and the placement in mental health supplied a great deal of knowledge into the medications prescribed in this field of pharmacy. I found it interesting to see the indications of many medications in mental health that I was not aware had benefits in this aspect of health. I find it fascinating to learn about different diseases associated with the mind and how this can implement and affect a patient’s life. This type of care is very different from standard pharmacy, as you really have to put the patient’s well-being at the forefront of their care.

Another aspect of the degree, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, was my placement over summer, which was in palliative care research and the problems around inappropriate prescribing. I could see that the dynamics around prescribing were very different from that of a physical disease. Although this is something I have not yet studied in university, it allowed me to become familiar with palliative care medications and unlicensed prescribing. I enjoyed spending time exploring different roles of the pharmacist that the degree has not yet allowed.

The course provides many facilities for both learning and revising. From anatomy in first year to clinical skills, which represent clinical settings, it really prepares you for aspects of the professional role within pharmacy from the onset of the degree. You can also use the clinical skills for preparation for OSCE which is good because it is in the same environment you get assessed in so you are able to feel more comfortable being in that environment.

What is it like living in Newcastle?

I am originally from Newcastle and lived at home in my first year, so I already knew it really well! I lived in a flat on Pilgrim Street in second year, which was great – I was pleased I moved out (given that, I am from Newcastle) as it allowed me to experience student life properly. I would recommend anyone who can afford to move out to do so because it allows you to form new friendships and memories that you probably would not, if you did not move out. I also believe that I matured a lot during this move out period as it taught me how to balance university, home life and a part time job whilst budgeting money.

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