A questionnaire study investigating undergraduate pharmacy students’ opinions on assessment methods and an integrated five-year pharmacy degree.

Lezley-Anne Hanna, Scott Davidson, Maurice Hall


Introduction: This research aimed to establish pharmacy students’ views on assessment and an integrated five-year degree.

Methods: Following ethical approval and piloting, final year Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) pharmacy students (n=119) were invited (at a compulsory class) to complete a paper-based questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and non- parametric tests were done; p<0.05 was set as significant a priori.

Results: Response rate was 99.2% (118/119). Most [90.7% (107/118)] considered formative assessment improved academic performance. Many [77.1% (91/118)] thought continuous assessments were fairer when judging academic performance than one-off examinations. Proprietary dispensing examination was the top ranked method; objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) were the least preferred. An integrated five-year degree was welcomed by 60.2% (71/118) due to greater support, standardisation and enhanced integration of learning.

Discussion: This is useful for stakeholders and course developers. These students appear to appreciate integration and assessments that emulate real-life practice but work is required to ensure OSCEs are viewed favourably. 


Assessment, Integrated 5-Year Degree, Pharmacy Students, Questionnaire

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