Exclusive: The University of Sussex has confirmed that it is to close its Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) course.
In a statement released on 14 December 2018, the university said that while current students will be able to complete their degree and “will be supported as they transition into the workplace”, no further students will be accepted on to the course from 2019.
The university will, the statement added, co-operate with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), which has “given written assurances to students” that it will work with the university on the MPharm accreditation process.
The University of Sussex began offering the MPharm degree in 2016. But, nationwide, the number of applicants to schools of pharmacy has decreased significantly over recent years. Only 21,104 prospective students applied for the MPharm in the academic year 2016/2017 — the lowest figure for seven years. In addition, 643 first-year MPharm students were taken on though the clearing process in 2016/2017, compared to 265 in 2011/2012.
In November 2018, the University of Sussex began consulting on proposals to close its MPharm degree: a move prompted by, it said, low student numbers over a prolonged period.
Confirming the decision to close the course, Stephen Shute, pro-vice-chancellor for planning and resources at the university, said: “This development has come about as we want to ensure that any courses that we offer now and in the future are in line with what students actually want to study.
“The demand to study pharmacy at Sussex has been low for some time and we believe it is in the university’s long-term interest to continue to focus our energies on our strengths.”