Mapping teaching, learning and assessment in the MPharm in UK schools of pharmacy

Keith A. Wilson, Jill K. Jesson, Chris A. Langley, Katie Hatfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim To undertake a national study of teaching, learning and assessment in UK schools of pharmacy. Design Triangulation of course documentation, 24 semi-structured interviews undertaken with 29 representatives from the schools and a survey of all final year students (n=1,847) in the 15 schools within the UK during 2003–04. Subjects and setting All established UK pharmacy schools and final year MPharm students. Outcome measures Data were combined and analysed under the topics of curriculum, teaching and learning, assessment, multi-professional teaching and learning, placement education and research projects. Results Professional accreditation was the main driver for curriculum design but links to preregistration training were poor. Curricula were consistent but offered little student choice. On average half the curriculum was science-based. Staff supported the science content but students less so. Courses were didactic but schools were experimenting with new methods of learning. Examinations were the principal form of assessment but the contribution of practice to the final degree ranged considerably (21–63%). Most students considered the assessment load to be about right but with too much emphasis upon knowledge. Assessment of professional competence was focused upon dispensing and pharmacy law. All schools undertook placement teaching in hospitals but there was little in community/primary care. There was little inter-professional education. Resources and logistics were the major limiters. Conclusions There is a need for an integrated review of the accreditation process for the MPharm and preregistration training and redefinition of professional competence at an undergraduate level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-372
Number of pages4
JournalPharmaceutical Journal
Issue number7419
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2006


  • national study
  • teaching
  • learning and assessment
  • UK
  • schools of pharmacy
  • MPharm
  • professional accreditation
  • curriculum design
  • preregistration training
  • student choice
  • science content
  • assessment load
  • professional competence
  • dispensing and pharmacy law
  • placement teaching
  • hospitals
  • community/primary care
  • inter-professional education
  • resources
  • undergraduate


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