Have you always wanted to study Pharmacy, but perhaps you’re not too sure what university you want to do it at? Maybe the USYD Bachelor of Pharmacy has piqued your interest!
We’ve talked to Belinda, a third year Pharmacy student at USYD, to help you find out a little more about the great and not so great things within the degree.
If you want to read about the degree in terms of subjects, assessments, scholarships and more, check out what it’s like studying a Bachelor of Pharmacy at USYD here.
Let’s dive in!
Why should you study a Bachelor of Pharmacy at USYD?
If you’re all about being able to help people, and provide support for the community in the health industry, Pharmacy is a great way to do so!
Belinda said, “For me it’s very rewarding! When I was in Year 12, I didn’t know what I wanted to do — I just wanted to be in healthcare, so Pharmacy was a good approach.”
Like almost every degree, there are difficulties and obstacles that’ll come your way, but if you’re focused on being able to use your knowledge to help people, you’ll find the overall degree quite rewarding!
Top 3 Pros of a Pharmacy degree
#1: Very rewarding
Belinda told us, “The reward is what keeps me going! It’s fulfilling to know that you have the skills and knowledge to help someone.”
Pharmacy is all about understanding how drugs/medicine impact the body, so knowing what sorts of prescriptions and medications to provide can really help individuals struggling with a range of health problems.
#2: A hard working culture
The culture of students and the overall cohort can be described as incredibly hardworking! You’ll find yourself surrounded by peers who are focused on achieving the best they can.
“You barely have a bad group! In Pharmacy, all my experiences in groups, everyone has been keen to learn and do their work on time… it comes down to the fact that we’re all working hard on the job,” Belinda said.
#3: Easy to make friends
Another great pro is that the overall culture in Pharmacy is friendly!
Essentially, having no room for electives in a Bachelor of Pharmacy at USYD means that the entire cohort is taking almost all the same subjects. This makes it really easy to become familiar with faces and make friends!
Top 3 Cons of a Pharmacy degree
#1: Heavy workload
It’s worth anticipating a pretty hefty workload in Pharmacy at USYD. The degree is very content heavy and you’ll find yourself in classes at least 4 days a week, if not, 5.
“Pharmacy wasn’t what I expected in terms of workload. I thought it wouldn’t be that hard, but it’s very content heavy, lecture heavy, and memorisation heavy,” Belinda said.
#2: The degree does not make you a registered pharmacist
A common misconception is that the 4-year degree of Pharmacy at USYD will mean you graduate as a registered pharmacist. However, you must complete an additional 5th year where you need to pass an external exam and a final internship.
#3: It can be competitive
Community pharmacy is basically available to everyone in terms of getting a job. However, Belinda explained, “Hospital pharmacy is more competitive, and as everyone is hardworking, this culture can make it quite demanding.”
Essentially, you need to really enjoy pharmacy, and be genuinely interested in what you’re learning to be able to overcome areas of competition and demanding work as it can become daunting at times.
“I wish I gave myself more time to participate in activities and societies when I was in first and second year,” Belinda said.
“I had way more time back then to get involved, and now I want to get involved but I don’t have the time!”
So if you’re looking to branch out socially or just want to try new things, getting involved in clubs and societies is highly recommended especially in first or second year!
What do you wish you had known before starting the USYD Bachelor of Pharmacy?
Belinda said, “I wish I knew how many contact hours I had! It’s because you have labs which can be around 3 hours, workshops, lectures and tutorials… it all adds up.”
In a Bachelor of Pharmacy at USYD, you can expect to have 20 to 30 contact hours a week, which is quite a lot as this is just class time. Meaning assignments and studying add on additional hours of focusing on uni.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
A specific Pharmacy degree is not available at many universities in Sydney. So if you’re looking for something close to the CBD, USYD would be one of your few options.
Many of the Pharmacy degrees within NSW are out in Newcastle, Port Macquarie, Wagga Wagga or in the ACT in Canberra.
Further, many of the universities that offer Pharmacy in Greater Sydney, such as Parramatta, are smaller campuses where the social life and culture is on a smaller scale.
What inspired you to choose the USYD Bachelor of Pharmacy?
“I think I’m very much a people person, and I’m motivated by the idea of helping someone. In community pharmacy you’re exposed to so many types of people, and you can help lots of them which links to the idea of finding pharmacy really rewarding and fulfilling,” Belinda said.
What are the possible career paths?
Although a Bachelor of Pharmacy is a very specific area of study, there are a number of different pharmacist areas that you could venture into, alongside other relevant careers:
- Community pharmacist
- Hospital pharmacist
- Clinical trials pharmacist
- Drug development and production
- Specialist pharmacist
- Compounding pharmacist
A Bachelor of Pharmacy at USYD is also accredited by the Australian Pharmacy Council, so you can progress to become a registered pharmacist after the completion of this degree by fulfilling one year of placement in the Intern Training Program.
Nandini Dhir is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Marketing) and a Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Media and Communications), as a Dalyell Scholar, at Sydney University. She enjoys covering local issues in her area and writing about current events in the media. Nandini has had one of her pieces published in an article with the Sydney Morning Herald. In her free time, Nandini loves doing calligraphy, ballet, and sewing, or is otherwise found coddling her cats.