Studying Pharmacy in Cardiff
What will it be like?
What will it be like studying Pharmacy in Cardiff? The answer to that question comes in several parts. First there is the feel of the place; not just the physical environment but also the sense of the place. Ours is a long-established school of pharmacy. It opened in 1919 and has developed and expanded continuously since then. (A timeline is shown elsewhere on this web-site). Our students tell us that they are aware and proud of this heritage and are determined to be a credit to the School and the generations of pharmacy graduates who have gone before them, as much as to themselves. Our School today is at the forefront of pharmaceutical science and developments in pharmacy practice and its graduates are among the best-prepared in the World for their exciting future careers in healthcare, in research, in the pharmaceutical industry and in closely-related fields.
Teaching, learning and assessment
As you progress through your degree we will raise our expectations of the depth and breadth of your studies. Our overall objective is to encourage you to become an independent learner, able to undertake and understand new challenges in the use of medicines and in healthcare, and to respond to them effectively. You can expect the teaching staff to help you to achieve this independence. We cannot learn for you, but it is our responsibility to help you learn.
You will be taught, learn and assessed through a combination of lectures, practical classes, workshops, practice placements and seminars, complemented by individual and group assignments and, of course, your own private study. Study will become more demanding as you progress. Teaching is organised in modules, over two semesters (Autumn: 14 weeks and Spring: 17 weeks) in each of which there are 11 teaching weeks; the remainder being reading or examination weeks. Christmas, Easter and summer vacations are not affected by the semester system. Key dates for the current academic year are given here. Our teaching is supported by a substantial reliance on web-based and other learning resources, to which you will have access throughout your studies. We make use of the Blackboard ‘virtual learning environment'. Your progress in each module will be assessed during and at the end of the semester(s) in which it is taught. Most modules include formative assessments (assessments which do not count towards your module mark) which are intended to assist your understanding and to provide you and your tutors with an indication of your progress. Methods of summative assessment (assessments which count towards your module mark) are varied; essay assignments, multiple-choice question examinations, conventional written examinations, assessed presentations and practical/skills tests are all used as appropriate.
The personal tutor system is a central part of student support within the Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The role of the personal tutor is to monitor academic progress and to provide feedback and advice to tutees. Tutors also provide personal support, acting as the first point of contact and a gateway to the student support services provided by the University and the Students’ Union. Each student is assigned a deputy as well as a main personal tutor, so that if the main tutor is unavailable –perhaps overseas at a scientific conference – they may see the deputy. The tutor system acts in parallel with the Welsh Pharmaceutical Students Association (WPSA) ‘big brother/sister’ scheme, wherein each Year 1 student is looked after by a student who is further on in the programme.
Personal development plan
Each student is supported to prepare and maintain a computer-generated personal development plan (PDP), incorporating a record of experience and achievement. The PDP helps the personal tutor to monitor the student’s academic and extra-curricular achievements. It assists the student in preparing a CV and keeping it up to date and it assists the personal tutor in preparing references for summer jobs or post-graduation employment. Maintaining a PDP is also good preparation for keeping up to date and moving your career on once you are a pharmacist. Showing evidence of continuing professional development is a legal requirement upon healthcare professionals, including pharmacists.