Formal courses leading to a degree in Pharmacy at Rhodes University were first offered in 1956 in what was to become the Department of Pharmacy in the Faculty of Science at Rhodes University. The Department grew to become the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Faculty of Science and in 1980 was established as a Faculty of Pharmacy in its own right when the number of students studying pharmacy exceeded those studying science. The Faculty of Pharmacy is currently the only Faculty of Pharmacy in South Africa. Interestingly the University has had a much longer association with Pharmacy in South Africa and it was at a meeting of the then South African Pharmacy Board in January 1929 in Cape Town that Rhodes University College was recognised as an institution where courses of training and study for the Preliminary Scientific Examination for Pharmacy could be attended.
The Faculty moved from the “hill” into its current premises in 1988, where we have some state of the art research and teaching facilities that you will be able to visit when you are here.
The Profession of Pharmacy is dynamic and has evolved over the decades to one that focusses on patient centred care whilst retaining a fundamental scientific base to ensure optimum patient outcomes. Consequently the Bachelor of Pharmacy degree (BPharm) offered at Rhodes University covers the prescribed minimum curriculum required by the South African Pharmacy Council in addition to other important information so as to grant graduates of the programme access to a preregistration experience that includes an internship and professional competency evaluation.
Internships can be completed in community, hospital, industrial or an academic pharmacy setting. In order to complete their internship, Interns are required to work at an accredited training site for a minimum of 12 months, are required to submit evidence of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and successfully complete two pre-registration examination papers. Successful completion of the internship is followed by registration as a Community Service Pharmacist (CSP), and working as a CSP in the public or other designated sector as required by the National Department of Health.
Successful completion of the CSP year allows registration with the South African Pharmacy Council as a fully qualified pharmacist, which permits pharmacists to practice the profession of pharmacy in any setting within the Republic of South Africa. In order to practice pharmacists are required to maintain their registration with the South African Pharmacy Council annually. The diverse nature of the profession and generalist undergraduate degree permits practice in a variety of settings including but not limited to pharmaceutical manufacturing, wholesaling, independent or corporate community pharmacy and public or private institutional or hospital pharmacy settings. There are opportunities to work as consultants, research or academic pharmacists with a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree, however further specialisation through postgraduate studies may be required to advance your career prospects. Opportunities exist for postgraduate studies that lead to rewarding careers as clinical, industrial and academic pharmacists.