Bangor University is planning to open the first pharmacy school in north Wales, after beginning the MPharm degree programme accreditation process with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
A spokesperson for Bangor University told The Pharmaceutical Journal that the first student intake was expected in September 2025 at the earliest, subject to GPhC approval.
Currently, MPharm courses are available in Wales at Swansea University and Cardiff University, but this will be the first offering in north Wales.
“Our vision is to be recognised nationally and internationally as a leader and innovator in pharmacy education and research, and to develop professionals who can deliver quality, evidence-based, patient-centred care,” the spokesperson said.
They added that certain elements of the programme were likely to be offered in Welsh as well as in English “in line with regional needs and Bangor University policy”, adding that students would also be able to interact with Welsh-speaking patients and environments while on placements.
Staff who are not Welsh speakers or wish to enhance their Welsh language skills will be supported in learning the language, the spokesperson said.
Stephen Doughty, professor of pharmacy and head of the pharmacy programme at Bangor University, said: “It’s an exciting privilege to be able to develop a brand new MPharm curriculum, and to support pharmacy activity in North Wales and to work with regional stakeholders to build a programme that meets both prospective students’ and employers’ needs.”
Elen Jones, director for Wales at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said she was “delighted” with plans for the introduction of an MPharm course at Bangor University.
“The university already has pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists involved in research and delivering the established pharmacology degree and prescribing course. We’re pleased to have already met those involved in the work to establish the school of pharmacy and are delighted to be able to work closely to support them on this exciting development,” Jones said.
“By establishing a pharmacy school in Bangor, we hope that students will see the benefits of staying in north Wales as they embark on their careers. In doing so, this will help tackle the recruitment challenges that all rural areas, such as north Wales, inevitably face and enable the region to build on the high-quality pharmacy provision already in place,” she added.
After the first student intake, the MPharm programme will be subject to annual GPhC monitoring over the first four years of delivery until graduation of the first cohort.
The Pharmaceutical Journal reported in July 2023 that 16 pharmacists had signed up for a Health Education and Improvement Wales-funded course in pharmacogenomics for healthcare professionals at Bangor University in 2022/2023.