Course-related extra curricular activities of M. Pharm undergraduatestudents at the University of Portsmouth

David Brown, Asmita Sautreau, Tina Soobiah, Mohammed Ali, Mahboob Ahmed, Sarfraiz Hussain


Little is known of the quality or extent of the pharmacy-related experiences of pharmacy students during their vacations. Such information would be valuable in assessing its relevance to the undergraduate curriculum and in future course design. This study surveyed course-related, extracurricular activity (CRECA) of all M. Pharm undergraduates during a single academic year (August 2002 – July 2003). The overall response rate to the questionnaire was 64.8%.The majority of respondents had completed at least one period of CRECA, mainly during the summer vacation, and most were completed in a community or hospital setting. A major motivation for student choice of activity was gaining a specific workplace experience relating to their chosen career pathway (.80%); the rate of pay was of less importance (,36%).Workplace activities became more sophisticated passing from stage 1 to 4 (corresponding with year 1 – 4 of the course),although range of activity and contact with healthcare professionals and other students were already significant at stage 1.CRECA helped to confirm the student’s career choice in approximately 80% of cases, and 90% had a better understanding of the  pharmacist’s role after completion.  More  than  75%  of  respondents  at  all  stages  thought  that  CRECA  should  beQ1incorporated into the M. Pharm. The advantages and disadvantages of the programme are discussed.  


Work-based learning, pharmacy, undergraduate, community pharmacy

Full Text:



ACPE (American Council on Pharmaceutical Education). (1997).Accreditation standards and guidelines for the professional program in pharmacy leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. Chicago:ACPE.

Beck, D. E., Thomas, S. G., & Janer, A. L. (1996). Introductory practice experiences: A conceptual framework.American Journal of Pharmacy Education,60, 122–131.

Boots. (2004).Boots pharmacy undergraduate vacational programme. Nottingham: Boots the Chemist.

Burnard, P. (1999). Acquiring interpersonal skills—A handbook of experiential learning for health professionals. 2nd ed. (pp.15–22).

Cheltenham: Stanley Thomas Ltd.

COUTH (Council of University Teaching Hospitals). (2001).Strategypaper-collaborative strategies for bridging practice-ready and job-ready.Vancouver: COUTH.

COUTH (Council of University Teaching Hospitals). (2002).Strategypaper-health sciences student placements in public and private settings—issues and opportunities. Vancouver: COUTH.

Elwell, R. J., Manley, H. J., & Bailie, G. R. (2003). Impact of introductory pharmacy experience on student learning, satisfaction and clerkship site productivity: Assessment of the EPOC program. International Journal of Pharmacy Education,1,1–9.

Glaser, R. (1999). Expert knowledge and processes of thinking. InR. McCormick, & C. Paechter (Eds.),Learning and knowledge(pp. 88–102). London: Chapman.

Grabe, D. W., Bailie, G. R., Manley, H. J., & Yeaw, B. F. (1998). The early patient-oriented care program as an educational tool and service.American Journal of Pharmacy Education,62, 279–284.

Hatfield, K., Marriott, J., & Harper, A. (2000). Raising awareness of hospital pharmacy among undergraduate pharmacy students.Hospital Pharmacist,7(7), 199–201.

Joshua, A., & Fleming, G. (2002). A learning opportunity for pharmacy students. Pharmaceutical Journal,269, 106 –108.

London Specialist Pharmacy Services. (2004). Education and training, vacation placement scheme. Date last accessed, July 2004.

Nathan, A. (2003). What an experience! Working in the vacation.Tomorrow’s Pharmacist, October, 29–30. Available online at : last accessed, July 2004.

QAA. (2002).Benchmark Statement for pharmacy. Date last accessed, June 2004.

Rees, J. A., Collett, J. H., Mylrea, S., & Crowther, I. (1996) Based learning in a community pharmacy training programme. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice,4, 171– 174.

Rees, J. A., Collett, J. H., Crowther, I., & Mylrea, S. (1998).Personal learning outcomes of structured work-based learning ina summer vacation work placement in community pharmacy.International Journal of Pharmacy Practice,6, 91–95.

Rogers, A. (1996).Learning and adult education, 2nd ed. (p. 107).Buckingham: Open University Press.

RPSGB. (2002).Accreditation of degree courses, Date last accessed, June 2004.

Shah, R. (2004). Improving undergraduate communication andclinical skills: Personal reflections of a real world experience.Pharmacy Education,4(1), 1–6.

Shaw, J. P. (2000). Undergraduate pharmacy education in the United States and New Zealand: Towards a common core curriculum? Pharmacy Education,1, 5– 15.

Shulman, R., & Lovejoy, A. (2004). Assessing clinical pharmacyexpertise.Pharmaceutical Journal,273, 26–28.

Silverthorne, J., Price, G., Hanning, L., Scanlan, J., & Cantrill, J.(2003). Factors that influence the career choices of pharmacy undergraduates.Pharmacy Education,3, 161–167.

Weinstein, K. (2002). Theory and philosophy of action learning. InAction learning, 2nd ed. (pp. 27–54). Buckingham: Gower.


  • There are currently no refbacks.
article/comments.tpl article/footer.tpl