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.

May 2020 Professional Registration Exam

The next sitting of the Professional Registration Examination (PRE) scheduled for 8 May 2020 has regrettably been postponed. This decision was taken following careful and detailed consideration of the matter by PSI and RCSI in the context of the current Covid-19 public health emergency. The PRE will be rescheduled for a later date and as soon as a new date has been identified, both PSI and RCSI will be in contact with eligible candidates.

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 and the completion of the National Pharmacy Internship Programme (NPIP). This qualification ceased at end of the 2018/2019 academic year and has been replaced by the by the integrated five-year Master's degree programme. The final cohort of students undertaking the NPIP concluded in September 2019.

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.