University Of Limpopo – Department Of Pharmacy

University Of Limpopo – Department Of Pharmacy

Pharmacy Programmes, Diplomas and Certificates at University Of Limpopo

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• Bachelor of Pharmacy ( B.PHARM )

• The Degree of Masters of Pharmacy ( M.PHARM )

The degree of Bachelor of Pharmacy: (BPharm)

The BPharm degree of University of Limpopo (Turfloop Campus), is approved and registered with South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) for purposes of conferring a qualification in Pharmacy in terms of Regulations to the Pharmacy Act (Act 53 of 1974).  After four years of University training the student has to undergo an internship of twelve months in an acceptable environment and one year’s community service.

This Act charges and empowers the Pharmacy Council with the responsibility of controlling the education of pharmacists. To this end, the Pharmacy Council requires all students registering for BPharm II at any University to register with the Pharmacy Council as pharmacy students and Pharmacist’s Assistants. The Pharmacy Council furthermore regularly inspects the institutions training pharmacists. It also prescribes by regulation the minimum curriculum for the B Pharm degree.  The Pharmacy Council also approves of the syllabus at each training institution.  All changes to the rules and syllabus have to be submitted to the Pharmacy Council for their approval. Through the above measures the South African Pharmacy Councils endeavors to maintain and control the level of competence of people entering the Pharmacy profession.

  1. The curriculum

BPharm students are required to have basic knowledge in mathematics, physical science, chemistry and life sciences.

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      2.1 Year one of the BPharm programme

This year is designed to provide students with the basic skills they will need for the whole programme, as well as to prepare them for their professional lives. It includes an introduction to basic scientific principles and covers the principles and practice of biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics, which are essential for an understanding of drug action and dosage form design.

Rational of first year programme

First year programme introduces the student to the profession of pharmacy. It covers the development of pharmacy since the emergence of scientific medicine. It includes the position of pharmacy in the delivery of health care by exploring major issues such as political, legal and ethical issues affecting the practice of the profession. It emphasizes the requirements, responsibilities and attitudes that are essential for success as a professional and examines the various career pathways and roles of the pharmacists.

Students will also be introduced to development of medicine by scientifically studying organic, inorganic and physical chemistry of chemicals to provide an understanding of chemical structures, physicochemical properties and behaviour of drugs at the molecular level. Types of calculations required for compounding of medications, including conversions of different units of measurement are also included.

The course also covers various classes of compounds like alkanes, alkyl halides, alkenes, cyclic aliphatic, aromatic and heterocyclic compounds; stereochemistry and its applications to the activities of pharmaceuticals; chemical reactions of various functional groups; concepts of acidity and alkalinity, solubility, partition coefficient and chemical kinetics; and the use of different classes of inorganic compounds in pharmaceutical/ medicinal applications. Laboratory experiments are designed to illustrate the applications of these concepts in the analysis of pharmaceuticals.

Biopharmaceutics will provide students with an understanding of the relationship between physical, chemical and biological principles as they apply to drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion and factors that influence the bioavailability of administered drugs.  Pharmaceutical aspects of microbiology, will give students the understanding of the nature and use of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents, and the types and use of antiseptics, disinfectants and preservatives. The course includes a study of microorganisms and the clinical infections they cause; theoretical and practical aspects of active and passive immunization against infectious diseases; classification or range of antimicrobial agents; sterilization methods preventing contamination of pharmaceutical products.

Finally, students will also be expected to practice effective communication skills to function effectively as individuals in public, small group and face-to-face interactions with fellow students and persons seeking health care. They will be expected to communicate effectively in writing across a range of forms necessary to the health profession. This will be achieved while practicing basic skills relevant to pharmaceutical Care such as interviewing a patient, conducting health assessment skills, advising patient about their medication dosage, administration and dosage and conduct public awareness programmes in the community.  All modules will be assessed by continuous assessment methods, including written examinations, seminars on selected topics, group presentations, and a final written examination.  All modules in the first year are shown in the table below.

Module nameModule code
Introduction To PharmacyMPRM011
From Atoms To MedicinesMPAT011
Microorganisms, Man And MedicinesMMIC012
Pharmacokinetics And PharmacodynamicsMPBP012
English For Health SciencesHEHS010

2.2 Year two of the BPharm programme

This study year covers the basic principles in clinical pharmacy and pharmacology by considering important organs in the body and the rational of medicine use in treating the diseases associated with the type of organ involved.  The students are also introduced to industrial pharmacy which includes experiential learning in pharmaceutical industry/environment.

Rational of second year:

The basic principles of pharmacology give foundation as a basis for clinical pharmacy and the students are introduced into systems such as nutrition and gastroenterology, cardiovascular pharmacy, respiratory, and topical (ear and eye).  The  industrial Pharmacy will provide the students with an overview knowledge of all aspects of drug development process from discovery to the marketplace that include, manufacturing, testing, regulatory affairs, marketing, sale of pharmaceuticals, storage and distribution. Students will have an opportunity to learn about regulatory and compliance issues as related to drug discovery, development and registration.

The curriculum also includes standard operating procedures, safety and quality within pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, warehousing and pharmacy. Furthermore, the programme  provide the students with knowledge  and skills in the science of compounding medications applying the appropriate good manufacturing  and quality control practices within  a hospital or community setting ensuring that sterile products are prepared  and delivered in a non-contaminated environment.

Finally, the students complete the program with hands –on practical experience within different setting from manufacturing plant as part of their experiential learning where they are required to perform identifiable tasks and projects on compliance, standard operating procedures on drug requisition, storage and handling.  All modules in the second year are shown in the table below.

Module nameModule code
Cardiovascular PharmacyMPCA021
Nutrition And GastroenterologyMPCB021
Respiratory System, Ear And EyeMPCC021
Industrial Pharmacy PracticeMPCA022
Industrial Pharmacy Practice-Based LearningMPCB022
Pharmaceutical ManufacturingMPCC022

 2.3      Year three of the BPharm programme
In this year there is continued integration of pharmaceutical, pharmacy practice and clinical aspects of the programme.

Rational for academic year three

The third year introduces students to clinical pharmacy. Each module content is system based divided into a number of interdisciplinary blocks. Each clinical module is organized according to basic science (anatomy, physiology); major disease processes (pathology and pathophysiology), diagnosis and therapeutic options, pharmaceutical care plan and health promotions and drug management. This is planned and taught in a coordinated fashion, in each module a student will be introduced to pharmacy practice experience; this will involve interactions with health care pharmacists, and actual clinical cases within the institutional settings, under appropriate supervision. Clinical skills will be interfaced with didactic course work that provides an introduction to the profession, and continue in a progressive manner leading to entry into the advanced pharmacy practice experiences in fourth year.

Pharmacy Postgraduate At The University Of Limpopo

The Department of Pharmacy offers postgraduate studies; MPharm and PhD.  Candidates are expected to have basic knowledge in research methodology and research skills.  Admission criteria of the University and further, prescription of access to the qualification by the School of Health Care Sciences and the Department of Pharmacy apply.

MPharm degree in the Department of Pharmacy is a qualification by research only. It aims to train students who are in possession of BPharm qualification and therefore have scientific knowledge, skills and attitude necessary to conduct pharmacy research relevant to South African needs.  The research area can be in Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacy Practice.  Upon completion of MPharm degree, graduates can register for a Doctorate in any national and international institution.

PhD degree in the Department of Pharmacy is also by a research only. It aims to train students who are in possession of a Masters degree and therefore have scientific knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to conduct independent advanced  pharmaceutical research in order to provide pharmacy solutions for Africa and the world.  The research area can be in Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacy Practice.

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