Hello, my name is Bryan and I am a 3rd year Pharmacy student on the 5 year MPharm course. I am going to give you an insight on what it’s like to be a Pharmacy student and why I chose to study Pharmacy at the University of Bradford in comparison to other Schools of Pharmacy in the UK.
Team based learning (TBL)
Team based learning is an interactive learning process where you are assigned to a group of five or six team members (during induction week) and work with your assigned teammates within that academic year.
You will be sitting within your team during the Application Exercise sessions (aka seminar/TBL sessions), where you are given a pharmacy clinical scenario with a range of options (5-8) to choose from.
In my opinion, TBL sessions gave me the opportunity to familiarise myself with real life clinical scenarios that I will encounter in my future practice. TBL sessions help you to develop your pharmacy clinical understanding and personal transferrable skills e.g. leadership, effective communication and problem-solving skills, where you will apply these skills daily once you are qualified as a pharmacist.
Clinical Skills development
Throughout the MPharm curriculum, you will study a wide range of body systems, for example, the gastrointestinal system, cardiovascular system and the musculoskeletal system. You will learn how some of the common drugs interact with various body systems and how this reflects on a patient and is present as signs and symptoms.
The physiological dissection anatomage table features 2D anatomy from a textbook to 3D visual dimensions, where you can look deep into the microvascular structure of the body systems and be able to see how some vital signs are fluctuated with administration of drugs with the human simulator, iStan ©.
By using the human simulator, we can see the changes in our blood pressure and heart rates after giving a dose of adrenaline to the simulator to mimic the therapeutic outcome in real pharmacy practice.
Unique 5-year MPharm course
One of the many reasons I chose to study at University of Bradford is because of the Pharmacy sandwich course, where I can undertake two 6 month pharmacy foundation training placements in either a community pharmacy or hospital pharmacy. Here, I can experience different sectors of pharmacy and get a grasp on which sector I want to pursue before I graduate.
Plus, as an international student, the Bradford sandwich course will grant me a student visa with the right to complete my pharmacy foundation training in the UK without the need to apply for a separate working visa to stay in the UK to complete my training and sit the registration assessment.
Student life outside academic study
Pharmacy is a degree that tests your resilience and self-discipline, in terms of keeping on top of workload. So, beside from academic studies, having a good work life balance is important.
If the weather permits (we all know what the weather is like in Britain), I will travel to the nearest attractions around the Bradford region. For example, I’ll hike to Ilkley Moor or cycle to Saltaire to get some fresh air.
The University of Bradford Students’ Union (UBU) regularly hosts events to different attraction points in the UK such as Edinburgh and the Lake District. If you prefer to stay local, the Bradford Ice Arena and Hollywood Bowl are good options to enjoy an hour of ice skating or have a game of bowling, where you can put your work aside to destress.
So… what is next?
If you have read up to this point, I am glad to tell you that I am about to finish.
It is now up to you to decide where you want to study for the next four years (or five if you decide to study the Bradford five year MPharm degree). I know it is not an easy decision, my advice is look up various university course programmes and understand what modules you will be studying throughout the programme.
You should also look up accommodation nearby your university choices and decide what types of accommodation you would like to live in during the first year. The more you prepare now, the less you need to worry in summertime when A level results are due to release.
Thank you very much for reading my blog and I wish you all the best in your studies.