Skip to main content
Start of main content

Future study

Filling the gap - Master of Pharmacy Extended

This article appears in: Health
Pharmacist and elderly client

Already in the health field and interested in expanding your skills and expertise? Our new Master of Pharmacy Extended Coursework degree is for you.

Designed for those already working in the health sector, this degree offers the opportunity for a career change and progression in a dynamic industry. 

This graduate entry extended master’s is an intensive two year study program designed to prepare students for the full scope of pharmacy practice.

“We’ve condensed three years of study into two academic calendar years. We’ve included extensive professional placement and dedicated research units within the curriculum to qualify for the accreditation at that level,” says Ms Heather Volk, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice at CDU. 

The significant components of research and placement is what differentiates our program from others. We give students the skills for a lifetime of changes in scope of practice and they’ll exit with all the skills required for current scopes of practice including prescribing by protocol.

Filling the gap 

Statistics reflect the increasingly urgent need for more pharmacists. Australia-wide, there are currently only 88 pharmacists per 100,000 people. 

The NSC’s 2022 Skills Priority List found shortages in all states and territories across hospital and retail pharmacists occupation categories, and immigration has added pharmacists to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List. 

Our Master of Pharmacy aims to contribute to improving workforce numbers throughout Australia, particularly in rural and regional areas where staff shortages are highest. 

“The employment prospects for pharmacists are 100 per cent and they’ll receive well above average pay because they’re in high demand,” says Ms Volk.

We see our course as particularly advantageous for rural, remote, and regional students as they won’t need to relocate for study. All students will have the opportunity to visit our campus during a two-week intensive study block in their first year.

Hands on experience

Throughout the Master of Pharmacy, we will organise for students to undertake 400 hours of work integrated learning placements. You will work as close to home as possible and gain on the job training that allows you to graduate better suited and more equipped for the workforce. 

“Traditionally, pharmacy has undertaken block placements, but this new course is integrating one day a week into the program. This will allow students to apply the theory learnt each week into the practical setting of the workplace,” says Ms Volk. 

Work placements are spread over the two years and undertaken in community or hospital pharmacies, as well as in supervised non-traditional sites. An additional three-week placement block in the research unit is undertaken as the last unit of the program.

“All placements are organised in collaboration with the student and the practitioner to ensure the best experience for both parties,” says Ms Volk.

CDU will provide external accredited training through The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, to those who’ve not undertaken training from other providers.

The course advisory board proudly hosts representatives from The Pharmacy Guild of Australia, The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Society of Hospital Pharmacists. Through their networks these individuals assist in facilitating placements both in the NT and across other jurisdictions to help you. 

“Students are encouraged to undertake placement across multiple sites to ensure they have a broad range of experiences,” says Ms Volk.

We use non-traditional sites such as the Community Controlled Health Sector and NT Government sites such as correctional facilities, Medicines and Poisons branch. We plan to use the emerging site of pharmacists in aged care as that scope of practice develops.

A healthy outlook 

At the last budget, the Government announced that it will fund up to 1500 new pharmacy positions across aged care facilities, general practice, hospital and community pharmacy, Aboriginal Health Centres, government policy and regulatory bodies, drug and alcohol, corrections, education and research. 

“Our graduates will be entering a profession where there’s virtually zero unemployment,” says Ms Volk. “The pharmacy workforce is a dynamic environment for graduates to find their place.”

Learn more about CDU's Master of Pharmacy and apply now.

Related Articles

Back to top