We’ve given you the information, but if a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) at QUT is what you have your goals set on, you may still want to know about personal study experiences!
Once again, we’ve got you covered. We picked the brain of graduate, Zahlia, to find answers for all your questions.
Jump in to learn all about what it’s truly like to study this degree, including the pros and cons, student life and Zahlia’s favourite moments!
Why should you study a Pharmacy degree at QUT?
Zahlia, who is in an internship year after completing her degree, explained that she knows all her customers and feels that through a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours), “you can do a lot of good things for people.”
A pharmacy degree provides you with a hands-on approach to study, where you will meet industry professionals, work in labs and learn all about what it is like to be in hospital or community practice.
At QUT, you’ll get a little slice of professional experience before you even begin full-time work!
Top 3 Pros of an Arts degree
Zahlia explained that being in a small and specialised cohort greatly increases your chances of getting a job after university. This degree not only teaches pharmacy knowledge, but it encourages good communication skills, which are essential for finding work!
Employers currently look for graduates who can collaborate and problem solve, which is exactly what this hands-on degree teaches. By studying this highly practical course, you’ll find that what you learn will be favoured by employers.
“You feel like what you’re learning is important,” Zahlia added.
As a bonus, QUT is ranked within the top ten universities for pharmacy in Australia, which is very handy when trying to impress employers.
#2: Practical skills
This degree offers six opportunities for placement, as well as practical classes throughout your study!
You’ll know how to diagnose, prescribe and help patients in a very immediate sense. This is of great benefit to both the patient and the pharmacist, who can feel as if their work makes an impact.
“I can look at a bunch of medicines and almost know what disease someone has, and you can see how different issues could be arising from whatever medication they’re [already] on,” Zahlia said.
Zahlia also loved the challenge of such a hands-on course. “My favourite thing was the challenge… being able to put everything you learned into practice,” she said.
By the time you reach your capstone project, you’ll know how to prescribe and dispense medications, manage a business and assist in collaborative research. That’s the kind of practicality we like to see!
#3: General health literacy
Like any health degree, a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) will provide you with a deep knowledge of health literacy, which can be passed onto patients to better understand their own condition. You will be able to educate and liberate your customers, which is rewarding for both parties.
An emphasis on health literacy also means this course is a great stepping-stone if you’d like to pursue specialised postgraduate study.
“You get a really great understanding of health,” Zahlia said. “So, you’re learning a lot of skills that are really important for the workplace whether you want to go continue with pharmacy or go onto something else afterwards.”
Pair this with great communication skills (which are also taught at QUT), and you’ve got yourself a thriving pharmacist!
Top 3 Cons of an Arts degree
Zahlia explained that this is a very assignment-heavy degree, so you must keep on top of your workload.
Per subject, “You would probably do two assignments a semester,” Zahlia said, with one group assignment and one dedicated to individual research. You’d partake in frequent online quizzes.
“At the end of the semester, you would do an oral exam, which is [usually] pass or fail,” Zahlia noted.
Times that by four a semester, and you have a rather busy assessment schedule, which is definitely something to consider when enrolling! Keeping on top of assignments early and being organised with a good schedule can be the key to thriving in this kind of degree.
#2: Content and contact hours
On top of assessment expectations, this is a degree loaded with content. With many face-face hours and detailed classes, most students are on campus four days a week.
As students progress, study becomes more detailed and the content becomes more specific. This is especially true of patient-centred care subjects that students study in second and third year — these units focus on a particular area of the body per subject (like cardiovascular or gastrointestinal), and can be rather detailed.
“The contact hours… don’t leave much time between work and study,” Zahlia said. She explained that though part-time work during was manageable, it was very challenging.
#3: Inflexible class times
This one is a bit of a double whammy with #2. Because the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) is a very practical-oriented subject with a small cohort, many lecture and tutorial times are quite inflexible.
“Often you can only select one time for each unit, so it is quite hard to work around uni,” Zahlia said.
This is definitely something to consider when reviewing your study load!
“No, nothing whatsoever — I’m really glad I’ve done it and I enjoy the job I have now [as a result of study].”
Zahlia spoke of her course with such ease and familiarity, suggesting QUT fosters an excellent learning culture!
It’s important to remember that everyone has different experiences at university, so you may not appreciate all the same things as Zahlia did in this degree. However, we reckon this is a pretty stellar review, and proves this degree may be worth checking out!
What do you wish you had known before starting Pharmacy at QUT?
“I wish I knew that I would have to do an internship year when I finished… uni is not the end.”
To become a registered pharmacist through the Pharmacy Board under the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, students must complete an approved degree, internship and examination.
To practice as a pharmacist, you must therefore complete a year of pharmacy work under a qualified supervisor, meeting assessment criteria as you do so. This internship can be undertaken either at a hospital, or in community practice like what Zahlia does.
Zahlia explained that this process essentially ballooned her four year honours degree into a five year program, which she didn’t know before she started study.
However, QUT is very accommodating of students’ needs and can help graduates find internships in either hospital or community settings. Zahlia also said that she has learnt a lot through this practical experience, in a job that she “really enjoys”.
Those who plan to go straight into higher study, or who do not wish to register as a pharmacist, don’t need to complete this internship year.
What makes this degree different from the ones offered at other universities?
As we’ve chatted about, QUT is a university that provides dynamic, hands-on degrees.
“We have so many practical skills. [If you] compare the Queensland University of Technology degree to the University of Queensland degree, they do a lot more theory than we do. We learn theory, and then go straight into prac,” Zahlia explained.
She believes this practical approach is really great for students, who begin labs as early as first year.
What inspired you to choose Pharmacy at QUT?
“I knew I wanted to do something in health, but I didn’t know what,” Zahlia laughed.
“My mum suggested pharmacy and [I thought it sounded good], not really knowing what I was getting myself into.”
Yet four and a half years on, and Zahlia’s very thankful she chose to study at QUT. It is hands-on, easy to get to and provides an environment for great friendships to form.
What are the possible career paths?
Studying a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) at QUT opens you up to many career paths in both practical and research-based areas, including:
- Community pharmacy
- Hospital pharmacy
- Pharmaceutical research
- Government advising
- University teaching
This degree also sets students up to pursue high postgraduate study in specialist areas. At QUT, you could explore things like Environmental Health, Diagnostic Genomics, Gerontology or Public Health.
So, there you have it! If you love science, health and people, a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) at QUT could be the perfect degree for you.
With a growing aged population and expanding hospitals, there’s likely to be strong job growth over the next 5 years. Perhaps you could be the next pharmacist out there making a difference.
Lucinda Garbutt-Young hopes to one day be writing for a big-shot newspaper… or maybe just for a friendly magazine in the arts sector. Right now, she is enjoying studying a Bachelor of Public Communication (Public Relations and Journalism) at UTS while she writes on the side. She also loves making coffees for people in her job as a barista, and loves nothing more than a sun shower.