Queen’s University Belfast, School of Pharmacy

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The BSc degree in Pharmaceutics was founded at Queen’s University of Belfast in 1929, making it one of the oldest pharmacy degree courses in the United Kingdom. Teaching in pharmacy was provided at that time by the Belfast College of Technology. Following a reorganisation of higher education in Northern Ireland, in 1971 the course moved from the College of Technology to a new Department of Pharmacy in Queen’s University Belfast. By 1980, a purpose designed building on the University’s Medical Biology Centre campus, adjacent to the Belfast City Hospital was established. In line with all other UK Schools of Pharmacy, the four-year MPharm degree was introduced in 1997, and together with an increasing focus on internationally competitive research and expanding staff numbers, this put increasing pressure on the available teaching facilities within the School. These have, however, been overcome via a significant investment in infrastructure, including renovations within the original building and the construction of the £3.5 M McClay Research Centre adjoining the original building (2001); the ground floor of which is dedicated to teaching / School administration.

Currently, the School of Pharmacy is one of four Schools in the Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences with eight Chairs (in Pharmacy Practice, Primary Care Pharmacy, Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Microbiology, Biomedicinal Chemistry, Biomaterial Science, Drug Discovery and Experimental Therapeutics), six Readers, four Senior Lecturers and nine Lecturers (with three currently-advertised vacancies). The MPharm programme is further supported by Teaching Fellows, Honorary Lecturers, Visiting Lecturers and, in addition, by the Teaching Practitioner Network, the latter offering excellent training in the clinical aspects of the undergraduate programme. In total 74 staff are responsible for the provision of the MPharm.

The School of Pharmacy at QUB aims to provide excellence in the teaching of pharmacy at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, to pursue research of the highest standards and to contribute to the profession of pharmacy locally and internationally. Moreover, one of the School’s key objectives is to participate in the furtherance of scientific knowledge and professional skills throughout the pharmaceutical profession, both in Northern Ireland and beyond. Clearly, this means that staff must be aware of all national and international developments affecting the science and profession of pharmacy and to contribute to, and participate fully in, such developments. In this case, the proposed scope of work involving an extensive review of educational provision within postgraduate/undergraduate courses and the core competencies achieved, relevant to industrial pharmacy, is in line with our key objectives.

The MPharm programme offered by QUB reflects both the strong research ethos of the School and also recent developments in teaching and learning. It produces Pharmacy graduates who are competent to undertake pre-registration training and who possess the foundation, knowledge, skills and capacity for life-long learning such that they can contribute meaningfully to the profession. The School of Pharmacy at QUB is a vibrant school, which is held in high regard within the University. The School of Pharmacy has also received the overall highest results in the National Student Survey compared to all other UK Schools of Pharmacy (average 4.5; question 22 average 4.6)and more recently, the Times Good University Guide 2010 has ranked the School of Pharmacy as the number 1 School of Pharmacy in the UK

Associated Staff
Dr Gavin P Andrews
Dr Brendan F Gilmore
Dr Ryan F Donnelly
Professor Colin P McCoy
Dr Chris Scott
Professor David Jones