RESEARCH ARTICLE: Pharmacy students’ experience of a novel government-funded experiential learning initiative: A mixed-method study (ACTp Study)




Experiential learning, MPharm, Out-of-hours, Pharmacy education, Primary care, Remote and rural


Background: In 2018, the Scottish Government made the Pharmacy Additional Cost of Teaching (ACTp) funding available to support the development of Experiential Learning (EL) in undergraduate pharmacy education. To inform the further expansion of EL in the pharmacy degree evaluation of new EL sites was required.   

Aim and method: A mixed-methods study was undertaken to determine students’ perceptions of four new areas included in an EL pilot: primary care, out-of-hours, specialist sites, and remote and rural.    

Results: There were 43 survey respondents (response rate 72%). Majority agreed the pilot had developed their clinical (n=28, 74%) and communication skills (n=31, 82%), and prepared them for future practice (n=30, 79%). One third felt the EL did not permit them to interact with patients. Focus group and interview participants were positive about their experience and the opportunity to experience new pharmacy roles in non-traditional settings. Many highlighted the lack of hands-on experience and facilitator feedback. Facilitator training and quality assurance of sites are warranted.

Conclusions: Future work should focus on assessment of and feedback for students, and interprofessional opportunities within EL.

Author Biographies

Sabrina Anne Jacob, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Tesnime Jebara, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

School of Pharmacy & Life Sciences

Margaret Watson, Watson Research and Training Limited, Aberdeen, United Kingdom


Scott Cunningham, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, United Kingdom

School of Pharmacy & Life Sciences

Ailsa Power, NHS Education for Scotland, Glasgow, United Kingdom


Anne C Boyter, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences


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How to Cite

Jacob, S. A., Jebara, T., Watson, M., Cunningham, S., Power, A., & Boyter, A. C. (2021). RESEARCH ARTICLE: Pharmacy students’ experience of a novel government-funded experiential learning initiative: A mixed-method study (ACTp Study). Pharmacy Education, 21, p. 466–476.



Research Article