If you do not have the qualifications to get onto a MPharm degree, you could do a 2-year pharmacy foundation degree. You would then take a job as a pharmacy assistant or technician and apply for the MPharm degree in your second year.
You'll usually need:
at least 1 A level, or equivalent, for a foundation degree
2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including chemistry
Your tasks will depend on which area of pharmacy you work in. In this role you could:
dispense medicines in a community pharmacy, hospital or a GP practice clinic
give healthcare advice about prescription and over-the-counter medicines
advise on drug dosages and risks, to the public, patients, GPs and nurses
run screening programmes for diabetes, cholesterol or blood pressure
visit care homes or hospital wards to advise on the use and storage of medications
order and controlling stock
run a business, including supervising and training staff
produce medicines when ready-made ones aren't available, for example, cancer treatments
buy, quality test and distribute medicines throughout a hospital
supervise trainees and junior pharmacists
In education or industry, you could:
do research into new medicines
run clinical trials
You could work at a store, in an NHS or private hospital or at an adult care home.
Career path and progression
There's a formal career structure in the NHS, so with experience you could progress to team manager or pharmacy consultant. You could also work in GPs' surgeries or health centres.
Promotion opportunities can be good if you're working for one of the larger pharmacy chains where you can apply for regional or national management positions.With experience, you could set up your own community pharmacy business.
After further training, you could go on to teach pharmacy students at university.
Another option is to move into related areas like scientific journalism or publishing.
To do research, you'll need a further postgraduate qualification in a subject like toxicology or pharmacology.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society offers professional support services.
We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a pharmacist right now.
The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.