RESEARCH ARTICLE: Factors affecting academic self-efficacy and learning experiences of pharmacy students: Insights from a qualitative study in Zambia


  • Aubrey Chichonyi Kalungia University of Zambia, Zambia
  • Micheal Chigunta University of Zambia, Zambia
  • James Sichone University of Zambia, Zambia
  • Bugewa Apampa Birmingham City University, United Kingdom
  • Sarah Marshall University of Sussex, United Kingdom
  • Claire May University of Brighton, United Kingdom
  • Georgina Mulundu University of Zambia, Zambia
  • Chiluba Mwila University of Zambia, Zambia
  • Sekelani Stanley Banda University of Zambia, Zambia



Factors, learning experience, pharmacy students, self-efficacy, Zambia


Background: Factors influencing how pharmacy students learn and experience pharmaceutical education have not been elucidated in Zambia.     

Aim: To elucidate contextual factors affecting academic self-efficacy and learning experiences among undergraduate pharmacy students at a public university in Zambia.    

Methods: A qualitative study utilising focus group discussions was conducted at the University of Zambia. Thirty-two undergraduate pharmacy students participated in four focus group discussions. Qualitative data were thematically analysed.      

Results: Four themes and eight sub-themes emerged from the data. Notional time management, learning style, and motivation; educational programme-related factors such as course load, the pace of teaching; the learning environment; and assessment practices affected undergraduate pharmacy students’ self-efficacy and learning experiences.

Conclusion: Addressing the student-related, educational programme-related, and the learning environment factors identified in this study will contribute to the improvement of undergraduate pharmacy students’ learning experiences. This is premised to improve their educational outcomes and future practice of pharmaceutical care.

Author Biographies

Aubrey Chichonyi Kalungia, University of Zambia, Zambia

Department of Pharmacy

Micheal Chigunta, University of Zambia, Zambia

Department of Medical Education Development

James Sichone, University of Zambia, Zambia

Department of Medical Education Development

Bugewa Apampa, Birmingham City University, United Kingdom

Professor of Pharmacy

Sarah Marshall, University of Sussex, United Kingdom

Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Claire May, University of Brighton, United Kingdom

School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Georgina Mulundu, University of Zambia, Zambia

Department of Pathology and Microbiology

Chiluba Mwila, University of Zambia, Zambia

Department of Pharmacy

Sekelani Stanley Banda, University of Zambia, Zambia

Department of Medical Education Development


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How to Cite

Kalungia, A. C., Chigunta, M., Sichone, J., Apampa, B., Marshall, S., May, C., Mulundu, G., Mwila, C., & Banda, S. S. (2021). RESEARCH ARTICLE: Factors affecting academic self-efficacy and learning experiences of pharmacy students: Insights from a qualitative study in Zambia. Pharmacy Education, 21, p. 133–144.



Research Article