History of the University

There has been an educational establishment in Cork for over 1,200 years. The institution was founded in 1845 under the original name of Queen’s College Cork. In 1908, under a charter from the Irish Universities Act, it became University College Cork.

The University was established to provide access to higher education in the Irish province of Munster. Cork was chosen for the new college due to its place at the center of transatlantic trade at the time and the presence of existing educational initiatives such as the Royal Cork Institution and a number of private medical schools.

Today, University College Cork is the principal university in the province of Munster, and the largest outside Dublin. UCC has over 20,000 students and an academic staff of over 1,700.

UCC School of Pharmacy

The School of Pharmacy was established in 2003 and is based in the College of Medicine and Health, which also comprises Schools of Clinical Therapies, Dental School and Hospital, School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Midwifery. The School enrolled the first class of 50 undergraduate students for the B. Pharmacy degree in September 2003. The School of Pharmacy has state-of-the-art facilities designed to teach pharmacy to a world-class standard. These include laboratories, teaching and tutorial rooms, and a model pharmacy. Innovative technology is used in over-the-counter (OTC) “responding to symptoms” tutorials. This technology uses interactive patient scenarios across many types of diseases.

UCC Pharmacy Degree

From September 2015, students who enter the UCC Pharmacy program will graduate with a Level 9 Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree. This program will educate students to provide the highest level of pharmaceutical care as part of a health care team and will cultivate an ideal environment and necessary infrastructure conducive to interdisciplinary approaches to addressing research challenges relating to the translation of genomics, protomics and metabolomics into effective therapies.

The degree adopts an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on existing expertise in key disciplines across UCC including Pharmacology, Chemistry, Physiology, Microbiology, Anatomy and Biochemistry, all of which have expertise in the education of students in the health professions at undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional levels.

The pharmacy degree is designed to integrate both the subjects you will study and the placements you will undertake so that you can really understand and apply your knowledge of science and healthcare to drug treatments for patients. Placements will be an integral part of the program. There will be a one day placement in first year, two weeks in second year, two months at the end of third year (summer period), four months in fourth year and eight months in the final year. Placements can be carried out in community, hospital or industry as well as within regulatory organisations but the final eight month placement in your fifth year must be carried out in a patient facing setting.

Length of Program

The Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) program is delivered over 5 years.

Entry Requirements

Applicants may apply directly from high school, on the basis of one or two years of an undergraduate degree or on completion of an undergraduate degree by August of year of entry.

Entry Requirements

Course Details

The teaching of subjects in the School of Pharmacy is modularized.  Each year is worth 60 credits of modules.  Each module is given a certain weighting of credits, depending on the course content.  Listed below are some of the modules which will be taken by the pharmacy students throughout their five years of study.

Course Modules

  • Principles of Human Structure
  • Biochemistry
  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Physiochemical Basis of Pharmaceuticals
  • Pharmacy Practise I
  • Introduction to Pharmaceutics: Formulation Science
  • Introduction to Physiology for Pharmacy I
  • Foundation Pharmacology

  • Molecular Biology
  • Introduction to Pharmaceutical Microbiology
  • Pharmaceutical Technology – Solid Oral and Sterile Dosage Forms
  • Professional Pharmacy Core Skills
  • Research Methods and Applied Data Analysis
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Pharmacy Practice II
  • Cellular and Molecular Basis of Drug Action and Toxicity

  • Gastrointestinal, Hepatic and Endocrine Systems
  • Cardiovascular, Renal Systems & Eye
  • Professional Practice III
  • Respiratory, Musculoskeletal & Dermatological Systems
  • Clinical Immunology and Infection
  • Regulatory Science
  • Pharmacokinetics, from Basic principles to Clinical applications
  • Pharmacognosy and Phytopharmaceuticals

  • Organisation and Management Skills
  • Professional Skills Development
  • Professional Practice
  • Clinical Practice I
  • Central Nervous System
  • Novel Drug Delivery
  • Pharmacy Project

  • Clinical Practice II
  • Emerging Drugs, Drug Design and Mechanism of Action
  • Supply of Medicines & Organisation and Management Skills
  • Leading the safe and responsible use of medicines
  • Professional Practice and Public Health
  • Pharmaceutics of Advanced Therapies
  • Research Dissertation

Program Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this program, students should be able to:

  • Register with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland on the Register of Pharmacists
  • Evaluate interventions to improve prescribing in practice and within the health care team
  • Practice Pharmacy competently in the primary care/secondary setting with due regard to the competencies set out in the Core Competency Framework for Pharmacists Document
  • Communicate effectively with patients and healthcare professionals for the purpose of counselling and advising on medicines and their safe usage and supply
  • Interpret and evaluate prescriptions and supply medicines in accordance with current legislation and professional codes of practice
  • Apply the physiochemical properties of drugs underpinning the design, development and manufacturing of emerging medicines
  • Outline the physiological, biochemical, molecular and genetic basis of disease, drug therapy and drug delivery
  • Recognize common disease states and respond appropriately to presented symptoms
  • Conduct a literature review, design a research protocol, collect and interpret data and write a dissertation

See the College Calendar for more detailed information on the program and the Book of Modules for a more detailed description of program modules.

Applications are now closed for Fall 2024 Entry.

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