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A Hands-on Approach to the Pharmacy Degree Course at One of the Best Universities in Malaysia at UCSI University

A Practical Approach to Pharmacy at Top Ranked UCSI University in Malaysia

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When it comes to studying pharmacy, UCSI University’s students have a clear advantage – an education that focuses on introducing them to the profession as soon as possible through impactful hands-on learning.

The highlight of this approach would be the UCSI Annual Public Health Campaign. The campaign sees pharmacy students conducting free health checks under the close supervision of their lecturers – who are experienced pharmacists themselves.

Held for 13 successful years and counting, it is proudly spearheaded by the students. The responsibilities range from planning which includes getting the sponsors on board to fund the free community campaign to doing actual health checks – Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement and blood pressure tests.

Having brought the campaign to various states in the country including Malacca, Selangor, Johor and Kuantan, UCSI’s pharmacy student have served approximately 10,000 members of the public.

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Top Rank UCSI University Offers the Recognised Pharmacy Degree with a Practical Focus

Lawrence Kiing, JPA Scholarship Pharmacy student at the Annual Public Health Campaign organised by UCSI University's Pharmacy students

Lawrence Kiing, JPA Scholarship Pharmacy student at the Annual Public Health Campaign organised by UCSI University’s Pharmacy students

“The soft skills I learned such as speaking confidently and professionally to sponsors and the public – even when I am nervous – really help me in my job now. I find it easy to communicate with patients and medical suppliers,” said P’ng Xiu Wen.

P’ng is currently completing her provisionally registered pharmacist stint in a government hospital and was a student counsellor during the 10th and 11th UCSI Annual Public Health Campaigns. Just as important as the soft skills learned, the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences hopes that such hands-on activities will ingrain in the students a sense of familiarity and responsibility for community service.

As a registered pharmacist herself with more than 17 years of experience in pharmacy and academia, Associate Prof Dr Yeong Siew Wei knows that the profession is deeply intertwined with the health of the community.

“We want our students to engage with the community early to prepare them to face the challenges of their future careers,” she said.

All pharmacy students must serve a year internship with the Ministry of Health before serving another year compulsory service as a provisionally recognised pharmacist at a posting selected by the Ministry. This early exposure to community pharmacy work will also further the students’ careers in the future, explains Dr Yeong.

 

A track record of excellence in producing Pharmacists at UCSI University

Such extensive knowledge of the field of pharmaceutical sciences comes from the Faculty’s track record of more than 14

Pharmacy Practice Lab at UCSI University

Pharmacy Practice Lab at UCSI University

years of offering an undergraduate pharmacy programme. UCSI University is one of the earliest private tertiary education institutions to offer a pharmacy programme that could be fully completed locally and has the distinction of being among the few institution with full accreditation by the Malaysian Pharmacy Board.

Its sterling credentials speak for itself and it has graduated approximately 800 pharmacists – 100% of whom have found employment within six months of graduation.

In its constant effort to further the field of pharmaceutical sciences and the health of the community, the Faculty has also given equal emphasis to pharmaceutical research. Notably, this is not limited to the staff members but is also something that the students have shined in.

Research Excellence at UCSI University’s School of Pharmacy

In addition to her active involvement in the UCSI Annual Public Health Campaign, P’ng also has the distinction of

Pharmacology & Physiology lab at UCSI University

Pharmacology & Physiology lab at UCSI University

having published not just one, but three research papers in internationally refereed journals. This is no small feat as she accomplished this while she was still a student.

Concerned that the local herb Sabah snake grass (Clinacanthus nutans) popularly believed to cure cancer, might be toxic, she worked with Associate Prof Dr Chin Jin Han – head of the Postgraduate & Research Department and Associate Prof Dr Gabriel Akowuah – Head of the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department for her research.

“I was concerned because when taken in large amounts, we don’t know if the plant will be damaging to the liver or kidneys,” P’ng explained.

The research papers are ‘Evaluation of the sub-acute oral toxic effect of methanol extract of Clinacanthus nutans leaves in rats’ in the Journal of Acute Diseases, ‘Acute Oral Toxicity Study of Clinacanthus nutans in Mice’ in the International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research and ‘Effect of Methanol Extract of Clinacanthus nutans on Serum Biochemical Parameters in Rats’ in the Journal of Applied Pharmacy

Uniquely, the Faculty champions both lab-based and clinical based research. Chan Mei Fong @ Shobana, P’ng classmate,

Pharmacy student doing her practical at UCSI University's top notch lab

Pharmacy student doing her practical at UCSI University’s top notch lab

chose the latter. Chan’s research involved studying the usage of herbal medicine among female breast cancer patients during their treatment and follow up period.

For Chan, her choice of clinical-based research stemmed from her interest in patient care and her childhood ambition of improving community health.

She worked with Dr Yeong and her research results were then incorporated in an easy-to-read poster and presented in the 11th Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society Pharmacy Scientific Conference in 2012.

Whether it is training pharmacists who will go above and beyond the call of duty for their patients or advancing pharmacy through research, UCSI’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences will continue its track record of excellence.

Top Ranked UCSI University Offers the Recognised Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) Degree Programme

UCSI University’s Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences offered a recognised Pharmacy degree and postgraduate programme

Top rated pharmacy labs at UCSI University

Top rated pharmacy labs at UCSI University

since year 2000. Today, the Faculty boasts dedicated academic staff, cutting-edge teaching and research facilities with seven fully equipped labs and specialised research lab.

The four-year Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) degree programme offers an enriching experience where students learn under the tutelage of the University’s dedicated teaching staff. At UCSI University, academics are active in research and the dissemination of knowledge is enhanced by innovative teaching methods.

Malaysia is rapidly advancing in various areas of pharmacy, including pharmaceutical biology, pharmaceutical technology, pharmaceutical chemistry and clinical pharmacy to name a few.

The early part of the B.Pham (Hons) curriculum focuses students on the fundamental knowledge in pharmacy as the foundation for later years. The curriculum is unique in that it starts off with integrated courses where four main disciplines are being taught for each body system studied.

Students appreciate this mode of learning as it enhances their understanding. This will serve as a strong foundation later as they practice as pharmacists.

Students in the programme will be going through various attachments to enhance their knowledge and skills in pharmacy. These external attachments train students creative and critical thinking, in addition to the research skills needed for their career.

The courses in the programme are arranged into four main disciplines within the Faculty as listed.

Pharmacy project lab at UCSI University

Pharmacy project lab at UCSI University

  • Physiology & Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutics & Pharmaceutical Technology
  • Clinical Pharmacy & Pharmacy Practice

UCSI University’s Pharmacy curriculum emphasises training of professional, competent and competitive pharmacy graduates by focusing on academic ability, research skills and soft skills, while also highlighting communication, team work, critical thinking, innovative thinking, entrepreneurship and leadership.

Professional Recognition of the Pharmacy Degree at UCSI University

Public Health Awareness Campaign organised by the Pharmacy students from UCSI University

Public Health Awareness Campaign organised by the Pharmacy students from UCSI University

The Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) programme is recognised by Malaysian Pharmacy Board (MPB).

Programme Details

The duration of the programme is 4 years.

Lectures and coursework are completed in 14 weeks, with 2 weeks study break before the final exams weeks. There are two semesters in an academic year with a long break from April to July

In each year there are two long-semesters consisting of 14 weeks of instruction with 2 weeks of examinations, and one short-semester consisting of 7 weeks of instruction with 1 week of examinations. The long-semesters start in January and May, while the short-semester starts in September.

In the months of November & December students undergo industrial training under the Co-Operative Placement Scheme to learn and to familiarize themselves with real life working environment.

In addition, students also undertake a research and development project in their final year.

The number of contact hours per subject per week depends on the credit and teaching methodology of each subject. Each credit is approximately equivalent to 1 hour of class, or 2 hours of labs per week.

Subjects for the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) programme at UCSI University

Year 1
July – November
  • General Chemistry for Pharmacy
  • Introductory Physiology
  • Microbiology for Pharmacy
  • Professional Skills I
  • Bahasa Kebangsaan A
January – May
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Basic Pharmacology & Immunopharmacology
  • Basic Medicinal Chemistry
  • Professional Skills II
  • Biostatistics for Pharmacy
  • Introductory Clinical Pharmacy
  • Malaysian Studies
Year 2
July – November
  • Biochemistry for Pharmacy
  • Physical Pharmacy
  • Dispensing & Compounding
  • Antimicrobial Therapy I
  • Nervous System & Pharmacotherapy I
January – May
  • Antimicrobial Therapy II
  • Aseptic Dispensing
  • Pulmonary, Renal & Pharmacotherapy
  • Endocrine System & Pharmacotherapy
  • Nonprescription Drugs
  • Marketing for Pharmacy
  • Islamic Studies / Moral Studies
Year 3
July – November
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis I
  • Dosage Form Design I
  • Cardiovascular System, Blood & Pharmacotherapy
  • Gastrointestinal System & Pharmacotherapy
  • Evidence Based Medicine
  • Basic Pharmacokinetics
January – May
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis II
  • Pharmacognosy
  • Clinical Pharmacokinetics
  • Dosage Form Design II
  • Biotechnology & Pharmacogenomics
  • Nervous System & Pharmacotherapy II
  • Drug of Abuse & Society
Year 4
July – November
  • Hospital Pharmacy Practice
  • Pharmacy Management
  • Pharmacotherapy I
  • Pharmacy Clerkship
  • Research Project
  • Geriatric Pharmacy
January – May
  • Cancer Chemotherapy
  • Pharmacotherapy II
  • Clinical Clerkship
  • Pharmacy Law & Ethics
  • Pharmacoeconomics
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Industrial Management

Intakes for the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) programme at UCSI University

EduSpiral advised us that the Foundation in Science going into Pharmacy would be our best choice with our results. Leow En Qi and Sin Jie at UCSI University's Orientation.

EduSpiral advised us that the Foundation in Science going into Pharmacy would be our best choice with our results. Leow En Qi and Sin Jie at UCSI University’s Orientation.

There is only one intake a year, which is in August.

Interviews

Academically qualified candidates would be required to attend an interview for admission. The outcome of the interview will determine a candidate’s successful admission into the programme.

Assessments

UCSI University School of Pharmacy assesses its students based on the main objective of training competent pharmacists.

The ethics, communication, knowledge, analytical and critical thinking skills are incorporated into its assessments. The assessment methods include various assignments, practical &

visitation reports, oral presentations, research project viva, patient counseling, tutorials, problem based sessions and finally the examinations.

UCSI Pharmacy students have the unique experience in organising and executing the Public Health Campaign each year giving them valuable leadership experience and enhancing their communication skills.

As you know, if graduates work in retail pharmacy, they will need to be able to communicate to the public about the nature and effects of the drugs prescribed to the patients. This public health campaign will definitely help them to add value to their future career as a pharmacist.

For information on the entry requirements, please click here.

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EduSpiral took a lot of time to explain to me the different types of courses that could suit me. EduSpiral then took us on a tour of the Pharmacy labs and other facilities at UCSI. Ka Jun, Pharmacy at UCSI University

EduSpiral took a lot of time to explain to me the different types of courses that could suit me. EduSpiral then took us on a tour of the Pharmacy labs and other facilities at UCSI.
Ka Jun, Pharmacy at UCSI University

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