Becoming a Pharmacist

Pharmacists play an important role in the safe dispensing and use of medicines, in providing healthcare services, professional advice, information and counselling to patients. Therefore it is essential that pharmacists undergo extensive education and training in order to provide safe and effective patient care.

To qualify as a pharmacist in Ireland, a person must undertake five years of education and training. There are three pharmacy degree programmes in Ireland which are accredited by the PSI:

Applications for places on these programmes should be made through the Central Applications Office (CAO). Prospectus can be viewed on the relevant university website.

Education

Since September 2015, students commencing a pharmacist qualification in Ireland are undertaking a Master’s degree programme in pharmacy. This is an integrated education and training programme with a range of practical placements dispersed over the course of the programme.

Prior to September 2015, the qualification to become a pharmacist was the successful completion of a four-year degree programme leading to the award of the degree of Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) [RCSI, TCD] or Bachelor of Pharmacy [UCC]. Students who successfully complete a PSI-accredited 4 year Bachelor degree programme in pharmacy are then eligible to apply to complete the National Pharmacy Internship Programme (NPIP). The NPIP comprises of 12 months in-service practical training and the Professional Registration Exam. Upon successful completion of this programme students are awarded a Masters qualification.

This 4+1 qualification is coming to an end and the NPIP will cease entirely with the 2018/2019 academic year. Eligible applicants, who have completed the four year Bachelor programme, and who still wish to complete the NPIP, must do so during the 2018/2019 academic year. Registration of interest to participate is open between 14 December 2017 and 8 January 2018. More details are available on the National Pharmacy Internship page.

Registering as a Pharmacist

Pharmacy graduates, with the requisite academic and practical training, must register with the PSI before they can begin working as a pharmacist in Ireland. This is a separate application process undertaken with the PSI in order to be placed on the Register of Pharmacists. The registration process is part of the PSI's role to ensure that those working as pharmacists in Ireland meet the standards expected to provide an informed, professional and safe service to the public. Read more about first-time registration with the PSI.

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