Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

EU Pharmacy (Pharmacy Technician Route)

Key Facts

Course Title: Master of Pharmacy
Award: MPharm
NFQ Level: Level 9
No of places: 2 EU places
Start date: Each September
Course Length: 5 years
Mode of Attendance: Full-Time
Academic School: The MPharm is a new, fully integrated 5-year degree programme accredited by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI). On completion of the MPharm programme, graduates are fully qualified to apply to register as a pharmacist in Ireland and throughout the EU. RCSI is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland (NUI), awarding the MPharm degree to its pharmacy graduates.

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How to Apply

Application process

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  • Applications must be made online directly to RCSI through the College website from 1st November 2017 to 1st March 2018. Late applications may be received after 01st March 2018 but offers are subject to availability. Early application is, therefore, advised.
  • There is a 75 euro application fee payable by credit card.
  • The following documents are required for selection and should be uploaded as part of the online application process:
    1. Certified copies of academic transcripts including English language transcripts (IELTS) if applicable
    2. Copy of passport showing name, nationality and date of birth
    3. A passport style photograph
  • Applicants are required to nominate an Academic Referee as part of the application process. The Admission Office will then contact the referee and request that they provide a ‘Confidential Academic Reference’. The full name, title, position and contact details of the referee is required as part of the online application. It is advisable therefore to inform the referee and seek his/her permission to nominate them as a referee. Please note that the contact details of the referee are required as part of the application and it is advisable to have these details available prior to commencing the application process


Selection process
Applications are reviewed by members of the Admissions Committee and applicants will be selected for admission on the basis of open competition using the following criteria:

  • Academic Eligibility
  • English language eligibility, if applicable
  • Confidential references, a personal statement and life experience (work life balance, extracurricular activities, relevant work/ voluntary experience).
Competitive applicants are then selected from within the overall application pool and the most competitive cohort is offered the opportunity to undertake an interview. The interviews will take place in RCSI Dublin in April 2018.




Course Overview

A qualification in Pharmacy enables a rich and rewarding career that can be pursued in a variety of distinct settings, both nationally and internationally. RCSI are pioneers in pharmacy education, offering the most progressive and modern programme in a reputable and globally respected institution whose sole mission is to educate, nurture and discover for the benefit of human health.

There is a strong emphasis on clinical practice and clinical competence from the beginning of the programme.

Students from years 1 to 3 of the programme have introductory pharmacy practice experiences. This takes the form of:

  • Early patient contact
  • Out of hours pharmacy visits
  • Shadowing a pharmacist
  • Case discussions facilitated by pharmacists
  • Clinical data interpretation and
  • Attendance at hospital grand rounds by video conference link


Students have the option of undertaking a 2-month clinical or non-clinical placement over the summer months prior to commencement of their fourth year. In their fourth year, students undertake 4 months of a structured professional placement in either a clinical or non-clinical setting. In their fifth year, students undertake 8 months of clinical training under the supervision of an RCSI tutor. This ensures that students have the opportunity to apply, in a supervised clinical setting, all of the knowledge and skills acquired over the 5 years at the RCSI School of Pharmacy.
RCSI Pharmacy graduates are confident and capable of meeting the medication related needs of both patients and populations. They are prepared to fulfil their professional responsibilities via clinical practice or to enter into doctoral studies for advanced practice or in the field of pharmaceutical sciences.


Highlights of the MPharm

  • Small, culturally diverse classes - MPharm classes will contain approximately 70 students per year of which 30% will be international students. This diversity offers a unique global perspective and is reflective of the patient populations graduates will ultimately seek to serve.

  • Integrated taught and experiential curriculum - The MPharm degree is delivered over five years, with two semesters per year. Each semester is divided into modules, and the curriculum is delivered using an integrated systems-based teaching approach. The teaching is, supported by student placements in the hospital, community or industrial pharmacy settings. This fully integrated teaching approach enables students to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom and while on professional practice placements to ensure that the student is fully prepared to deliver optimal patient care after graduation.

  • Focus on learning outcomes - Upon entry to the programme students are first introduced to core scientific and professional principles. As their educational journey through the MPharm programme progresses, the student’s curriculum focuses on successive learning outcomes to produce a competent, reflective and patient focused pharmacist, ready for pharmacy practice in all professional domains.

  • Focus on professional development - RCSI’s MPharm programme will produce graduates who are committed to lifelong learning which is a requirement for the effective and safe provision of pharmacist delivered patient care.

  • Bed-side teaching – The Clinical pharmacy faculty within the RCSI Hospital’s Group and at clinical partner sites provides structured bed-side teaching to support and drive attainment of learning outcomes.

  • International electives - Students have the opportunity to travel to the University of Lorraine (France) through the Erasmus programme or to apply to participate in a range of international electives including the USA and China.

  • Practice makes perfect - The programme includes experiential learning opportunities, for example, internships which allow students to practice professional skills under the guidance of an experienced pharmacy practitioner, within the community, the hospital or the industrial pharmacy settings.
  • Career focus - Upon successful completion of the MPharm programme, graduates can register with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland and enter professional pharmacy practice as very well equipped pharmacists, ready to respond effectively to the opportunities and challenges modern healthcare delivery brings.



    What You Will Study

    Professional and practical studies form part of the curriculum from the start and the programme produces graduates capable of undertaking a career in any of the specialties of pharmacy. To provide this, the programme combines the practice of pharmacy with teaching in basic and pharmaceutical sciences to produce a well-rounded professional. The course is structured such that the student progresses from foundation studies, through scientific and professional studies to preparation for practice.

    The academic content is delivered in modules, which are based on the systems of the human body and each module integrates the life-sciences, clinical sciences and practice associated with that system and is defined by a series of learning outcomes.

    Structured experiential learning opportunities are integrated throughout the programme. These include, a 4-month structured professional placement in the fourth year, 1 or 2-month placement option over the summer months between third and fourth year and an 8-month professional placement in the final fifth year.


    Year One
    An introduction to the pharmacist as a Professional and the many roles of the pharmacist is central to the first year of the programme which provides students with a solid grounding in the fields of pharmaceutical sciences and chemistry. The course is delivered as a series of stand-alone and integrated modules with modularised assessment and is structured as follows:

    Year 1 Modules
    Pharmacists: Beginning the Professional Journey
    Health Body and Function
    Physical and Chemical Properties of Drugs and Their Dosage 1
    Professional Development 1
    Gastrointestinal Health: Medicines and Patient Care
    Physical and Chemical Properties of Drugs and Their Dosage 2
    Cardiovascular Health: Medicines and Patient Care


    Year Two
    The second year of the programme is focused on a number of further systems of the human body and is structured as follows:

    Year 2 Modules
    Respiratory Health: Medicines and Patient Care
    Professional Development 2
    Musculoskeletal Health: Medicines and Patient Care
    Central Nervous System Health: Medicines and Patient Care
    Immunology: Self-Protection and Management of Response
    Infection: Optimising Prevention and Treatment Strategies
    Sensory and Protective Structures: Health and Potential for External Delivery


    Year Three
    The third year of the programme is focused on systems of increasing complexity and the health of populations. It includes a module on the drug discovery pathway which looks at the research and discovery pathways of medicines and is structured as follows:

    Year 3 Modules
    The Liver and Kidney: Health, Function and Medicines Handling
    Professional Development 3
    The Endocrine System: Hormones as Signals and Regulators
    Men’s and Women’s Health: Tailored Care
    Stages of Life: The Changing Body and Medicines Handling
    Malignant Disease: Optimising Prevention and Treatment
    The Drug Life Cycle: Discovery and Beyond


    Year Four
    The fourth year of the programme is focused on professional development and practice, in conjunction with global health and population challenges. It also provides for development of research skills, and allows an opportunity to pursue an elective in an area of choice and is structured as follows:

    Year 4 Modules
    Organisation and Management Skills
    Professional Skills Development
    Professional Practice
    Professional Development 4
    Global and Population Health
    Scientific Research Skills
    Options: Advanced Medicinal Chemistry
    Options: Education and Training
    Options: Philosophy
    Options: Communication Through Creative Media
    Options: Social Justice
    Options: Team Based Product Design


    Year Five
    The fifth year is focused on gaining the relevant experience in practice and embedding that knowledge so that students are ready to practice as pharmacists immediately after graduation and is structured as follows:

    Year 5 Modules
    Patient Care and Society
    Professional Development 5
    Decision Making in Complex Care
    Leadership in Pharmacy: Building the Future
    Supply of Medicines and Organisation and Management Skills
    Leading the Safe and Rational Use of Medicines
    Professional Practice and Public Health
    Clinical Research Skills


    Students are required to complete the MPharm programme and graduate in no more than 7 academic years following commencement. Students may only repeat 2 academic years in total during the MPharm subject to programme conditions.




    Why Study Pharmacy at RCSI


    1. Single focus on health sciences: RCSI is focused exclusively on educating healthcare professionals and every student benefits from being immersed in the RCSI multidisciplinary healthcare environment. The College’s teaching staff are experts in healthcare education and the RCSI Health Professions Education Centre ensures that students experience the highest international standards of teaching, learning and assessment using innovative methods and the latest technologies.
    2. International recognition: The MPharm from RCSI is internationally recognised and globally portable.
    3. Professional placements: RCSI has professional experiential placements throughout the Pharmacy programme so that knowledge and skills are always contextualised in a clinical setting.
    4. International electives: Students are offered the opportunity to undertake electives in partnered North American, French and Chinese Faculties of Pharmacy.
    5. Research opportunities: Students are also provided with opportunities to participate in research through the RCSI Research Summer School.
    6. International learning environment: At least 65% of the undergraduate student body is from outside of the European Union, making RCSI a unique College in which to study.
    7. Global Alumni network: Access to a network of over 16,000 Alumni practicing throughout the World.
    8. Location: Dublin ranked as 3rd Friendliest City in the World (Condé Nast Traveller's Guide 2016) and RCSI's city centre location provides superb access to the heart of the City.
    9. On completion of the MPharm, graduates can progress to a doctorate in the pharmaceutical sciences and become leaders in drug discovery
    10. RCSI is home to the Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIOP) – the leadership body for pharmacists in Ireland.




    Entry Requirements


    In order to satisfy basic eligibility requirements, applicants must:

    • Be 23 years of age or older on or before the 1st of January of year of admission to the programme.
    • Meet the minimum entry requirements as outlined below in the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination or equivalent.
    • Present a grade H3 (or higher) in both Higher Level Leaving Certificate Chemistry and Higher Level Biology in the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination or equivalent. Candidates may satisfy these criteria by presenting 2 science results obtained in more than one sitting of the same type of exam, if necessary.
    • Finally, the Pharmacy Technician qualification presented must be at least a Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications (HETAC Level 6).


    Irish Leaving Certificate

    Candidates must present a minimum of 6 subjects [2 x H3 and 4 x O6/H7] in the Irish Leaving Certificate to include a minimum of an O6/H7 in Irish (unless exempt), English, Mathematics, Biology and a third language plus a minimum of a H3 in both Higher Level Chemistry and Higher Level Biology.

    The Pre-2017 Leaving Certificate Grading Scale can be converted into the New Leaving Certificate Grading Scale by using the table below:

    Pre-2017 Leaving Certificate
    Grading Scale
    New Leaving Certificate
    Grading Scale
    New Points at
    Higher Level
    New Points at Ordinary Level
    A1 H1/O1 100 56
    A2/B1 H2/O2 88 46
    B2/B3 H3/O3 77 37
    C1/C2 H4/O4 66 28
    C3/D1 H5/O5 56 20
    D2/D3 H6/O6 46 12
    E H7/O7 37 0



    GCE A/AS Levels

    Candidates must present a minimum of 6 subjects [2 x A2 level subjects (Grade C) and 4 passes (Grade C or above at GCSE level or Grade E or above at A2 level)] to include a minimum Grade C in GCSE English, Mathematics and a second language plus a minimum Grade C in A Level Chemistry and A Level Biology, to be considered for the programme.
    A level applicants must satisfy minimum entry requirements (as outlined above) within three consecutive years, i.e. GCSE (2012), AS Levels (2013), A-levels (2014).


    Other European Examinations

    For specific information on points conversion of European Examinations other than those listed above, please check out the Guideline Entry Requirements for EU/EFTA applicants other than the Leaving Certificate


    English Language Requirements

    Teaching in RCSI is through the medium of English; therefore, all applicants are required to demonstrate a high level of competence in the English language.

    Applicants (whose first language is not English) must either meet the minimum English language matriculation requirement in their secondary school qualifications as outlined above or separately in the IELTS examination (academic stream) with an overall average score of 6.5 and no individual section lower than 6.0.

    Note: All IELTS test results must be less than 2 years old at the time of admission.




    Course Fees


    Free Fees Scheme

    • RCSI is part of the Free Fees Initiative funded by the HEA. The tuition Fees for EU Pharmacy Technicians who have not previously attended University are therefore normally covered under the Free Fees Scheme
    • Students are required to pay a student contribution fee for non-tuition costs. For the academic year 2017/18, the EU Student Contribution fee for Undergraduate Pharmacy is €3,860 per annum (comprising a student contribution charge of €3000, an IT fee of €475 and two one-off fees, a health screening charge of €250 and a National University of Ireland fee of €135).


    EU Fees

    • Free Fees can only be drawn down once and candidates who have previously attended third level education under the Free Fees Scheme are liable for EU fees.
    • Students who are not covered under the Free Fees Scheme are required to pay a Student Contribution fee in addition to the EU Tuition Fees.
    • EU Fees are set by the Higher Education Authority (HEA).
    • In 2017/18, the overall EU fee for Undergraduate Pharmacy via the Pharmacy Technician Route (including the EU Tuition Fee, student contribution charge etc.) is €10,760 per annum.
    • The fee for the academic year 2018/19 is unlikely to change significantly. Confirmation of fee will be available in early 2018.

    Note: Pharmacy is a five year integrated degree programme from 2015 entry. This applies to all undergraduate pharmacy programmes being offered in the Republic of Ireland from 2015. Pharmacy graduates in 2020 will exit with a Master of Pharmacy (Level 9 degree award on the national framework of qualifications) therefore the Free Fees Scheme (Level 8 degrees only) will not cover the cost of the final 5th year of any Pharmacy programme in Ireland. Tuition fee costs for the final 5th year of the Pharmacy programme have not yet been set, however the cost is estimated to be approximately €9,000.






    To review any of the following policy documents and statements, please visit the Policies page:

    • Am I an EU or Non EU Student (for application and fees assessment)
    • Applicants with Disabilities Policy
    • Complaints and Appeals Procedure
    • Data Protection Policy
    • Fees Policy
    • Fitness to Practice Information
    • Policy and Procedure for Admitting Students under 18 years of age
    • Statement on Confidentiality and Declaration of Interest pertaining to admission
    • Statement on Feedback pertaining to admission
    • Statement on Fraud pertaining to admission
    • Statement on Garda (Police) Vetting
    • Statement on Infectious Diseases and General Health
    • Undergraduate Admissions Policy
    • Undergraduate Schools Transfer Policy




    Visit RCSI - Open Days and Education Fairs


    Open Days
    • RCSI hosts a number of dedicated Open Days and Open Evenings throughout the year.
    • The Graduate Entry Pharmacy Open Evening provides potential applicants with an opportunity to learn more about the Graduate and Pharmacy Technician Entry Routes to Pharmacy in RCSI and to meet with current students and staff.
    • For more details on the event, please visit the Open Days Page.


    Education Fairs


    Book a Campus Visit or School Tour
    • To book a guided tour of the RCSI campus, please email the Admissions Office at least one week in advance.
    • Guided tours normally take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am-12pm (outside of bank holidays etc.).






    1. What do I do if I am experiencing difficulties with my RCSI online application?

      Please ensure that you are not applying before or after the application period (1st November - 1st February). If you are experiencing difficulties please email the Admissions Office and indicate what the difficulty is.
    2. Can I have the application form sent to me by post?

      No, all applicants applying directly to RCSI (Non EU applicants and EU Graduate and Mature applicants for Physiotherapy and Pharmacy) must complete the RCSI online application. 




    Contact Us

    The Admissions Office is responsible for the admission of students to all of the College's undergraduate programmes.

    Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
    Admissions Office
    123 St Stephen's Green
    Dublin 2
    Tel: 00 353 1 402 2228




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