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, and could include:
dispensing medicines in a community pharmacy, hospital or a GP practice clinic
giving healthcare advice about prescription and over-the-counter medicines
advising on drug dosages and risks, to the public, patients, GPs and nurses
running screening programmes for diabetes, cholesterol or blood pressure
visiting care homes or hospital wards to advise on the use and storage of medications
ordering and controlling stock
running a business, including supervising and training staff
producing medicines when ready-made ones aren't available, for example, cancer treatments
buying, quality testing and distributing medicines throughout a hospital
supervising trainees and junior pharmacists
In education or industry, you could be:
doing research into new medicines
running 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.