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  • Best route?.....

    Hi all,

    I have worked for a good few years as a dispenser in General Practice, and have achieved the BTEC qualification.

    I'm a bit bored with the "dispensing factory" element now, and really would like to train as a Pharmacist.

    However, I don't have the correct A-Levels to apply for a MPharm course straight off.

    What I would like to know is, what would be the best way forward in anybodys opinion? I guess that the BTEC isn't enough by itself, the other options are a Adult Science Access Course, or to re-do my A-Levels.

    Are there any other routes in, or is this pretty much it? I realise that entrance to a Uni is pretty competitive, so what best enhance my chances?

    Any help would really be appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: Best route?.....

    There was a story as year or two back in either the C&D or PJ re a tech who did make it. Should find on their sites.
    johnep

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    • #3
      Re: Best route?.....

      Unfortunately my BTEC isn't at the same level as a Pharm Tech

      The Access Diploma would be ideal to fit round my home situation, young family etc. What I'd like to know is that would I be at a distinct advantage or would it limit my options if I tried to apply with this.

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      • #4
        Re: Best route?.....

        Best people to speak to are actually the admissions people at the uni you want to apply to.

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        • #5
          Re: Best route?.....

          Unfortunately, pharmacy like other sciences is a 'hands on' course which requires daily attendance at a uni. Unless you live close by or have someone to look after things at home, then you will find almost impossible to combine family and uni.
          johnep

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          • #6
            Re: Best route?.....

            Daily attendance isn't a problem. I'll contact admissions, and see what they say.

            Thanks

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            • #7
              Re: Best route?.....

              Hiya Lee

              Why don't you apply for a medicines management foundation degree ( 2 -3 years part-time) ...this will enable you to start on year 2 of the MPharm degree or year 3 of another science degree. There are quite a few UNIs offering this course.
              Kemzo the pharmacist forumly known as kemzero

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              • #8
                Re: Best route?.....

                As I am currently going through a similar problem with thee entry onto the mpharm, I would advise you this:

                Get the University to confirm in writing that they will take you with an Access cert, make sure they stipulate the points requirement and whether they will be flexible on the L2 points requirement if you have existing GCSE's at grade C and above.

                I can only get 12 out of the required 18 points for Keele at L2 as I am only taking maths at level 2. I already have GCSE's at C and above for English and ICT, therefore I am exempt from doing Access L2 ICT and comms. I am still waiting to hear about this.

                Also speaking of Maths, you need to make sure that they will consider Access maths in lieu to GCSE Maths. So far the four local Pharmacy Schools have said:

                Keele:- Yes to access if you get min of 45c at L3 and 18c at L2.
                Aston:- Site says they take access in principle but still waiting to get confirmation.
                De Montfort:- "We are prepared to consider applicants taking a science access course for entry to our MPharm. We would require that you gain the requisite level 3 credits in Biology and Chemistry and we would want to interview you and ask you to sit assessment tests in Chemistry, Maths & English. Subject to a satisfactory interview and passing the tests we would then make you an offer of a place on the Pharm. We will accept the level 2 maths as a GCSE replacement."
                Wolves:- Refuse to take applicants with Access certs even with an additional A-Level alongside.
                Best Regards,

                mr_colt.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Best route?.....

                  Thanks for the help.

                  I have my GCSE's in Maths, English and Chem/Bio/Phys at above a grade C, so that should cover the L2 requirements shouldn't it?

                  I guess it's just a case of sorting out my L3?

                  BTW, I had a look for Medicines Management courses, and couldn't find much. Especially not around here.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best route?.....

                    Should be but, just confirm with the uni they will take GCSE's in lieu of the L2 credits requirement. 5 mins writing and sending an email to the course team can save a whole lot of headache later on. The pharmacy staff at the uni's I contacted were always polite and promptly responded with the info I needed.

                    Foward planning on your part to them shows you are making an effort to get into Pharmacy; they will be more than willing to try to help you through the steps to gain entry to their university.

                    I would like to issue an update on my previous post: Despite what is printed on their website and prospectus, Aston's pharmacy school won't touch Access students with a barge pole. The whole system reaks of Discrimination against Students who cannot do "traditional" entry qualifications due to their age etc. Its sneaky but they know they can get away with it.

                    It is impossible in Staffordshire (and other places too) to take A-Levels in science unless you are willing to travel very long distances to outside the county. This is because a significant number of the tech colleges nationwide have stopped offering the a-levels, they give the excuse that they can be attained from local sixth form schools where the environment is "better" for that sort of "traditional course."

                    What they neglect to tell you is that no sixth form will take a Student over 18. As they can claim that since the 1990's the government has made it law/regulation to hold "non-traditional" routes such as Access or BTEC's up to the same standard as A-Levels. But the current situation makes it a load of crock.

                    Currently, most tech (polytechnical) colleges (the only real option for "mature" students) have abolished their BTEC level 3 pure science courses in favour of fads like forensic science. Most uni's will not view the resulting qualifications as entirely apporiate for Pharmacy as the Students have learnt knowledge specifically tied to forensics. The underpinning science taught isn't as thorough as A-level chemistry for example.

                    Access depth of knowledge for level 3 Biology and Chemistry (they dropped physics due to lack of demand here) is the same as A-level. Unfortunatly a completed Access cert runs just short of being equivalent to 3 A-levels, allowing some universities to actively discriminate against those who cannot enter through the "Traditional" route.

                    One cannot use the excuse the Access students are not sufficently qualified to undertake the m.pharm, De Montfort uses its own entry exams to test the capability and knowledge of Access and other "non-traditional" qualification holders.The fact that it is a fight and a half to get into HE if you are over 18 seems to give rise to a core of very dedicated students who on average do better at uni than their younger counterparts.

                    Admitedly no-one gets into pharmacy without bucket-loads of commitmement, but there is no room for doubt or complacency is you are a mature student.

                    I would love to hear from anyone on the EPB or BPSA on this very real issue of discrimination. I feel it is totally unfair and changes need to be made.

                    mr_colt.

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