What is Doctor of Pharmacy
Doctor of Pharmacy is a professional undergraduate degree that is required by several countries including Ghana, Nigeria, and the USA as a basic requirement for registration as a pharmacist.
This pharmacy degree is offered as a six-year duration programme in most countries but some countries offer it as a two-year top-up programme to people who already have a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy.
Click here for a list of all the pharmacy-related courses and their respective duration
In Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) was the premier university to institute this 6 years Doctor of Pharmacy degree programme.
All the other institutions offering Pharmacy in Ghana have now successfully transitioned to the Doctor of Pharmacy programme too.
This means that anyone who wants to become a pharmacist by studying in Ghana will have to apply to study the Doctor of Pharmacy in any of the institutions offering the programme.
Admission requirements for KNUST Doctor of Pharmacy
KNUST accepts three different categories of people into their Doctor of Pharmacy programme. These three categories are:
- Applicants with WASSCE/SSSCE qualification
- Applicants with A’ Level qualification
- Applicants who are considered Mature applicants
Applicants with WASSCE/SSSCE qualification
You need to have a minimum of three passes in the elective subjects (Chemistry, Biology, and Physics or Mathematics). This means that individuals who get anything beyond a C6 in more than one of these elective subjects are not eligible or do not qualify for this course.
Applicants with A’ Level qualification
If you have an A’ Level qualification, you need a minimum of five (5) credits which should include English Language and Mathematics, together with three (3) passes in any of the electives (Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics).
You should also have a pass in General Paper.
To qualify as a mature applicant, you must be at least 25 years at the time of submitting your application forms.
Mature applicants can be applicants with either WASSCE/SSSCE or O’ level qualifications.
For O’ Level, a minimum of five (5) credits including English Language and Mathematics.
For WASSCE/SSSCE, a minimum of credit passes in three (3) of your electives (Biology, Chemistry, and Physics or Mathematics)
Duration of the KNUST Doctor of Pharmacy Course
The doctor of pharmacy programme is a six-year programme leading to the award of a professional undergraduate doctorate degree in pharmacy.
The first five (5) years of the course is spent on campus with the fifth year comprising outside campus work. During the fifth year, students choose an elective for which they will be attached to a particular company or institution to train under depending on the elective of choice.
The following electives are available to every fifth-year student:
- Research and Academia
- Community Pharmacy
- Hospital Pharmacy
- Industrial Pharmacy
- Pharma marketing
These electives represent the various facets of pharmacy that students can look into venturing as future job prospects. As such, this training is to expose students to all potential jobs that they may encounter in the near future.
Students get to choose at least two of these, one for each semester in their fifth year. You are therefore advised to choose those that you have a higher interest in or the ones that you want to explore.
The final year is spent fully in an accredited hospital for practical application of all the knowledge the students have acquired over the previous five years.
Course outline (Programme Curriculum)
First year course outline
The following are the various courses with the respective credit hours that first-year pharmacy students in KNUST will study;
|HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
|ORIENTATION TO PHARMACY AND DISPENSING
|COMMUNICATION SKILLS I
|INORGANIC AND PHYSICAL PHARMACEUTICAL CHEMISTRY
|INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY FOR PHARMACISTS
|POST SHS MATHS
|COMMUNICATION SKILLS II
|HUMAN ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY II
|ORGANIC PHARMACEUTICAL CHEMISTRY I
Second year course outline
|PHARMACEUTICAL MICROBIOLOGY I
|STATISTICAL METHODS I
|PHYSICAL PHARMACEUTICAL CHEMISTRY
|PHARMACY COMMUNICATION AND PATIENT COUNSELING
|PHARMACEUTICAL MICROBIOLOGY II
|ORGANIC PHARMACEUTICAL CHEMISTRY II
Third year course outline
|PHARMACEUTICAL BIOTECHNOLOGY AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
|FRENCH FOR COMMUNICATION PURPOSES
|MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY I
|PHARMACEUTICAL TECHNOLOGY I
|PHARMACEUTICAL TECHNOLOGY II
|FRENCH FOR COMMUNICATION PURPOSES II
|SYSTEMS PHARMACOLOGY I
|PHARMACEUTICAL ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY
|NATURAL DRUG PRODUCTION AND EVALUATION
|PATHOPHYSIOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS I
Fourth year course outline
|BIOSTATISTICS AND RESEARCH METHODS
|SYSTEMS PHARMACOLOGY II
|PATHOPHYSIOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS II
|CHEMICAL PATHOLOGY I
|FRENCH FOR PHARMACISTS
|MEDICINAL CHEMISTRY II
|PHYTOPHARMACEUTICALS AND VETERINARY PHARMACY
|PHARMACEUTICAL CHEMISTRY PROJECT
|CHEMICAL PATHOLOGY II
|PATHOPHYSIOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS III
|SOCIOLOGY FOR PHARMACISTS
Fifth year course outline
|PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT
|ELECTIVE (ACADEMIC RESEARCH, COMMUNITY PHARMACY, HOSPITAL PHARMACY PRACTICE, REGULATORY, MARKETING)
|COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
|PUBLIC HEALTH I
|PHARMACY PRACTICE I
|CLINICAL PHARMACOKINETICS AND THERAPEUTIC DRUG MONITORING
|SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT
|ELECTIVE (ACADEMIC RESEARCH, COMMUNITY PHARMACY, HOSPITAL PHARMACY PRACTICE, REGULATORY, MARKETING)
|PHARMACY PRACTICE II
|PUBLIC HEALTH II
The whole of the sixth year is spent in a chosen hospital on rotational basics. You will be rotating every 6 weeks. There will be a final examination after the end of all six (6) rotations.
|EXPERIENTIAL PRACTICE: INTERNAL MEDICINE
|EXPERIENTIAL PRACTICE: MATERNAL HEALTH
|EXPERIENTIAL PRACTICE: EMERGENCY MEDICINE
|EXPERIENTIAL PRACTICE: CHILD HEALTH
|EXPERIENTIAL PRACTICE: SURGERY
|EXPERIENTIAL PRACTICE: ELECTIVE (HIV/TB, ENT, MENTAL HEALTH, ONCOLOGY)
The video below gives you details about the final year rotation for the doctor of pharmacy student.
Nature and Duration of Examination
Pharmacy students in KNUST undertake two major examinations in the course of any semester. The first one is taken in the middle of the semester and the final one is taken at the end.
The mid-semester examination usually lasts for one week and this involves all courses registered for that semester. This means that students may be required to write more than one exam paper in a day depending on the number of courses they registered in that particular semester.
With the end-of-semester examination, students usually have two to three weeks to write such exams. Mostly, the laboratory related examinations will be written a week prior to the main exams. As such the main exams are usually two weeks long.
Either of the exams may be in the form of multiple-choice questions or theory questions depending on the course and the lecturer’s preference. The majority of the courses will be multiple-choice questions.
For the multiple-choice questions, there are about 4 or 5 different sections involved with each coming with a different set of the preamble. Some of the sections include:
- Assertion type of questions
- Single Best Answer (SBA) questions
- True or False
- Multiple select type of questions
Assessment of students and Pass mark
The faculty employs the weighted average score which is the system of grading used by KNUST. This involves scoring students based on the total credit for the respective courses that were taken.
The pass mark for the doctor of pharmacy students is 50% (CWA). That is for the cumulative weighted average (CWA). Thus, in the course of study, a student stands the chance of being repeated or withdrawn from the institution if their CWA is below 50%.
Also, at the level of the courses, a pass mark of 50% is set for all pharmacy-related courses while a 40% pass mark is set for all other borrowed courses or general university courses like Calculus, Statistics, and Communication skills.
A chunk of the students’ scores in each semester comes from their end-of-semester examinations. Most of the courses in the faculty allocate a 70% score to their end-of-semester exams and 30% to all the other forms of assessment including the mid-semester exams.
Some other courses allocate in the ratio of 60:40
Departments in the faculty of Pharmacy, KNUST
The faculty is known as the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences (FPPS) and falls under the College of Health Sciences (CoHS).
FPPS offers two main undergraduate programmes; Six years Doctor of Pharmacy and Four years BSc. Herbal Medicine.
Currently, the faculty has 6 (six) different departments and they are;
- Department of Pharmaceutical chemistry
- Department of Pharmacology
- Department of Pharmacognosy
- Department of Pharmaceutics
- Department of Pharmacy Practice (Previously Department of Clinical and Social Pharmacy)
- Department of herbal Medicine
Unlike other faculties where students will choose a particular department to belong to, every student in the faculty of Pharmacy will work with all the available departments. That is to say, if you are a student of the faculty, you will be lectured by lecturers from all these departments.
It is only during the fourth-year project work that you will get to choose one of these departments to work with.
Doctor of Pharmacy Class schedule in KNUST
From the first to third year, each class is divided into two main groups, and each group is further divided into subgroups.
The two major groups will be alternating in terms of what time (morning or afternoon) to be attending class every semester.
On a regular day, one set will go to class from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm while the other group will be in their respective lab groups. The groups then switch after 12:30 pm so that the group in class now moves to the lab and vice versa.
The subgroups are for laboratory purposes. For instance, during a particular semester where a year group has about 4 different courses to take that come with labs, there will be four subgroups.
This means that during the period for labs, each group will be in their respective lab.
Student Associations in the faculty
(Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, KNUST)
There are two main student associations in the faculty. Every student will automatically belong to one of these two associations depending on their programme of study. These two associations are;
- Ghana Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (GPSA)
- Ghana Herbal Medicine Students’ Association (GHEMSA)
Aside from these two main associations, there are a number of interest groups that students can choose to belong to.
Some of these interest groups include:
- Pharmacy Christian Fellowship
- Pharmedia (Media Committee for GPSA)
- Editorial committee
- Health committee
- I.T Committee
- Organizing committee
- International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF)
- Welfare committee
Postgraduate programmes offered by the faculty
The faculty offers various postgraduate courses not limited to just pharmacy students. Anyone with the requisite undergraduate qualifications can apply to study for any of the following degree types in the faculty;
- Master of Philosophy (MPhil)
- Master of Science (MSc)
- Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This is offered by all the departments (except the Herbal Medicine department) and so depending on your interest you can choose what to study. For instance, if you are interested in the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department, you can choose to read MPhil. Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
If you are interested in the Department of Pharmacy Practice, then you can choose to read Msc. Clinical Pharmacy.