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  • Come! Join me for OSPAP!

    I am from Singapore and still in the midst of getting approval from RPSGB to start my OSPAP, hopefully this September, otherwise next Sept. Anyone is starting the course soon? Let's discuss a bit about the different schools! I am quite attracted to the idea of joining Brighton which only have 2 days of classes/week. However, I heard that we have to apply very much earlier as the places are taken up quite quickly. Well, looks like we have to make very early application for everthing, be it school or pre reg placement However, since the couse fees for Brighton is not any cheaper than the rest, I reckon I should just do full time and to be taught rather than doing self study most of the time since the same amount of money need to be paid. Still contemplating between Aston or Sunderland...My friend in Sunderland didn't enjoy her OSPAP over there at all...I wonder if it's the course or the social life there.... Anyone has more info to share about the different schools?

  • #2
    Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

    Originally posted by geekay View Post
    I am from Singapore and still in the midst of getting approval from RPSGB to start my OSPAP, hopefully this September, otherwise next Sept. Anyone is starting the course soon? Let's discuss a bit about the different schools! I am quite attracted to the idea of joining Brighton which only have 2 days of classes/week. However, I heard that we have to apply very much earlier as the places are taken up quite quickly. Well, looks like we have to make very early application for everthing, be it school or pre reg placement However, since the couse fees for Brighton is not any cheaper than the rest, I reckon I should just do full time and to be taught rather than doing self study most of the time since the same amount of money need to be paid. Still contemplating between Aston or Sunderland...My friend in Sunderland didn't enjoy her OSPAP over there at all...I wonder if it's the course or the social life there.... Anyone has more info to share about the different schools?

    Hi Geekay,

    Robert Gordon University has a newish but good OSPAP course. I have enjoyed my time here, at the same time it has been educational and challenging. I guess I could have learnt a lot more. Had friends who enjoyed Sunderland and recommended it to me but I had other reasons to go to RGU. In terms of fees Sunderland and RGU were cheapest when I applied, and for living costs I am told that Sunderland is cheapest. I heard that Brighton's places fill up quite quickly so you may only get accepted for a place next year.

    Another advantage of RGU is that they have (by UK standards) a fairly high number of placements. One natural disadvantage is that it is very far away from London, but a cheap return flight can be around £50. In the end I suggest choosing the one closest to family and friends.
    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
    (T. Pratchett)

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    • #3
      Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

      Hi Paul,

      Yes, RGU could be another option but I used to study in Glasgow for a while and I would really want to try living in England. Scottish are really nice and helpful people and I enjoyed my time there. But I don't really know anyone in Aberdeen though I still have some friends in Glasgow.

      Any idea how's the student crowd like? I understand that Brighton is mainly catered for working adults. What's the mean age of the OSPAP students and the background?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

        Originally posted by geekay View Post
        Hi Paul,

        Yes, RGU could be another option but I used to study in Glasgow for a while and I would really want to try living in England. Scottish are really nice and helpful people and I enjoyed my time there. But I don't really know anyone in Aberdeen though I still have some friends in Glasgow.

        Any idea how's the student crowd like? I understand that Brighton is mainly catered for working adults. What's the mean age of the OSPAP students and the background?

        Mean age: I don't know but the range is quite large from mid twenties up to the unmentionable ages . I know a few people who commute regularly to Glasgow or Edinburgh to see family.

        As far as background is concerned this year we are a very diverse group with different and I am the only hospital pharmacist from Zimbabwe, I expect that this years lot will be just as varied.

        We share quite a few sessions with the undergraduate students, of these I would say mostly in their twenties, a very lively bunch of students. If you do social networking look for the Bebo and facebook RGU groups to see whats type of activities are happening. I feel too old to party so I just hang out with a few friends.

        I found choosing a place very hard so I just chose the city where I have two friends, didn't want Brighton due to the expense and its reputation as a wild city.

        All the best with your choice,
        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
        (T. Pratchett)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

          Hi Paul,

          Unmentionable? haha....alright, I shall not probe further. Well, as for me, the reason that I am more attracted towards Brighton is because of flexible structure which allows me to work. As I have left the university for about 7 years and have been working ever since, I prefer to learn though work experience rather than reading through the inches thick of pharmacology textbooks. But I am still a little hesitant. Why do the places in Brighton get fill up so quickly other than the geographical factor? By the way, what are the chances of OSPAP students to secure a part time job in the pharmacy?
          Well, for the money but more for the learning experience....

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          • #6
            Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

            Originally posted by geekay View Post
            Hi Paul,

            Unmentionable? haha....alright, I shall not probe further. Well, as for me, the reason that I am more attracted towards Brighton is because of flexible structure which allows me to work. As I have left the university for about 7 years and have been working ever since, I prefer to learn though work experience rather than reading through the inches thick of pharmacology textbooks. But I am still a little hesitant. Why do the places in Brighton get fill up so quickly other than the geographical factor? By the way, what are the chances of OSPAP students to secure a part time job in the pharmacy?
            Well, for the money but more for the learning experience....

            Brighton is very popular for the very reason you want to go there, it allows you to work and study at night if you wish, If you are planning on working RGU is probably not the best choice because the timetable is very full and there are no regular free times, at one time I had Thursday afternoons off, then for 5 weeks all Thursdays and at other times different hours on different days each week.

            RGU does have a 'virtual campus' and a lot of material is there study at your own pace,I can't remember when I last opened a pharmacology text book. There a few exams and tests but a lot of applied work like mock patient presentations. One thing I found a problem was all the group work, I'm something of a loner.

            Quite a few of my classmates do work part time. especially on the weekends but I don't know how they manage it, the workload is so heavy here.

            The other thing with RGU is that the semester break is very short so the only real time off is after completion and before starting pre-reg. As I mentioned before there are a few placements, you get to spend some time in a pharmacy talking to the pharmacist and seeing how things are done as part of the course.
            Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
            (T. Pratchett)

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

              That's very nice of RGU to arrange placement for the students! If not for the geographical location, I think it'd be a great choice. Since all different schools have very different structure, I assume that the passing examinations to qualify for pre-reg are not standard across the 4 universities?

              By the way, have you been working in the UK prior to joining the OSPAP?
              I suppose the other issue upon approval would the challenge in finding a pre-reg placement.... *sigh*...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

                Originally posted by geekay View Post
                That's very nice of RGU to arrange placement for the students! If not for the geographical location, I think it'd be a great choice. Since all different schools have very different structure, I assume that the passing examinations to qualify for pre-reg are not standard across the 4 universities?

                By the way, have you been working in the UK prior to joining the OSPAP?
                I suppose the other issue upon approval would the challenge in finding a pre-reg placement.... *sigh*...
                I managed to work as a technician for a few months.

                From what I hear and saw on the adverts all four courses are very different not only in content but also in learning methods and possibly even different assessment methods. You can access the RGU course structure and assessments on its website somewhere on The Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen
                I assume the others also have this information but I haven't looked, if I were you I would contact the schools who can send you a prospectus.

                Pre-reg is a good idea, most places close applications in June and July, so you need to apply well before you start the course otherwise it will be stressful looking for a place just after you have started the course and finding them all gone. It's quite a hassle because most employers expect a reference from a university tutor, which is not easy if you have been out of education for some time, although should be easy for you. The other one is a reference from an employer, which may be a problem for you but there is some flexibility. Pre-reg in Scotland and Wales is centralised I think and applications close in May June, so I did not even get a chance to apply, as had not decided to do the course till July last year.
                Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
                (T. Pratchett)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

                  That's tricky. Well, what if I am unable to provide references from my univeristy tutor? I don't even know if my tutors are still with the university. It has been so long...but employer reference should not be a problem I suppose. However, must it be UK employer? I have just checked the pharmalife website. I am not sure if I have interpreted it correctly but it seems that now, there are still some 100+ vacancies left...doesn't seem that many given that it's only April now..

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                  • #10
                    Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

                    Originally posted by geekay View Post
                    That's tricky. Well, what if I am unable to provide references from my univeristy tutor? I don't even know if my tutors are still with the university. It has been so long...but employer reference should not be a problem I suppose. However, must it be UK employer? I have just checked the pharmalife website. I am not sure if I have interpreted it correctly but it seems that now, there are still some 100+ vacancies left...doesn't seem that many given that it's only April now..
                    I can't see the pharmalife website this year as my account has been deleted, but it depends if you are looking for community or hospital and remember there are no places in Scotland on that website. If you are looking a hospital there probably only 100 hospitals but some have 7 or more places. Boots, Lloyds etc are not there as far as I can remember.

                    I had to make a plan for references, things like two employers and my pre-=reg supervisor who luckily I am still in contact with.
                    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
                    (T. Pratchett)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

                      Originally posted by paul2008 View Post
                      I can't see the pharmalife website this year as my account has been deleted, but it depends if you are looking for community or hospital and remember there are no places in Scotland on that website. If you are looking a hospital there probably only 100 hospitals but some have 7 or more places. Boots, Lloyds etc are not there as far as I can remember.

                      I had to make a plan for references, things like two employers and my pre-=reg supervisor who luckily I am still in contact with.
                      Hi Paul,

                      Sorry there are some issues that I don't get it. You mean you have already found a placement and hence, your account is deleted from Pharmalife? I didn't know that they would just delete the account for whatever reasons. Yes, I realise that the multiples don't post the vacancies there. I suppose they have their own website for the recruitment. If you don't mind, may I ask if you are joining the multiple or independent for your pre reg training?

                      Do the pre-reg employers ask for UK references? It is not possible to get one as I have never worked in the UK prior to OSPAP. Also, pre-reg application starts way before the commencement of OSPAP. So, almost impossible for a non UK graduate to provide a UK university reference..... I believe many foreign pharmacists out there face the same issues...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

                        Originally posted by geekay View Post
                        Hi Paul,

                        Sorry there are some issues that I don't get it. You mean you have already found a placement and hence, your account is deleted from Pharmalife? I didn't know that they would just delete the account for whatever reasons. Yes, I realise that the multiples don't post the vacancies there. I suppose they have their own website for the recruitment. If you don't mind, may I ask if you are joining the multiple or independent for your pre reg training?

                        Do the pre-reg employers ask for UK references? It is not possible to get one as I have never worked in the UK prior to OSPAP. Also, pre-reg application starts way before the commencement of OSPAP. So, almost impossible for a non UK graduate to provide a UK university reference..... I believe many foreign pharmacists out there face the same issues...
                        When they start putting on places for this year Pharmalife deletes all the old accounts and there is no point in me making a new one. References are one of the biggest hurdles in getting a pre-reg place, but I expect employers will accept a non UK employer and non-UK tutors if you have no choice. I just mentioned that because it was a problem many of us had, there is no answer for everyone. I think you just have to find the people who will give you the most relevant references in your own situation, it helps if they have email and a working postal system. I seem to remember something about there being pre-reg places at http://boots.jobs.

                        I am doing a hospital pre-reg, always worked in hospital, I just like the environment.
                        Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
                        (T. Pratchett)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

                          Originally posted by paul2008 View Post
                          When they start putting on places for this year Pharmalife deletes all the old accounts and there is no point in me making a new one. References are one of the biggest hurdles in getting a pre-reg place, but I expect employers will accept a non UK employer and non-UK tutors if you have no choice. I just mentioned that because it was a problem many of us had, there is no answer for everyone. I think you just have to find the people who will give you the most relevant references in your own situation, it helps if they have email and a working postal system. I seem to remember something about there being pre-reg places at http://boots.jobs.

                          I am doing a hospital pre-reg, always worked in hospital, I just like the environment.
                          Hi Paul,

                          Thank you so much for your valuable advice. I understand what you meant by there's no standard answer for everyone. Prospective employers and background of each applicant are different. Thinking about all the hurdels, sometimes I just feel like giving up the idea of going to the UK. I am living comfortably here and why on earth am I doing all these ...*sigh* But it has always been something that I want to achieve. Just so much uncertainties that appear rather discouraging at times...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

                            hello
                            guys
                            im from the philippines and working as a pharmacy assistant here in london..
                            i would like to ask you guys how you applied in OSPAP? is there any interview? because I heard it is very tough to pass for OSPAP...
                            i hope anybody could reply...
                            thanks

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                            • #15
                              Re: Come! Join me for OSPAP!

                              Originally posted by phertuplano View Post
                              hello
                              guys
                              im from the philippines and working as a pharmacy assistant here in london..
                              i would like to ask you guys how you applied in OSPAP? is there any interview? because I heard it is very tough to pass for OSPAP...
                              i hope anybody could reply...
                              thanks
                              Look at RPSGB website specifically this page where there is an application pack. Rpsgb.org: Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme

                              Also contact them if you want details after you read the website. I don't know if it is tough or more a lot of paperwork and box ticking.
                              Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time.
                              (T. Pratchett)

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