Pharmacy (Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme) PgDip

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About the course


The content of the OSPAP course reflects the indicative syllabus provided by the GPhC. As required by the Council, this is a one year, full-time programme. The teaching during the academic year is divided into two terms, and is undertaken over a 4 day week, with written examinations at the end of the academic year in May/June. The programme is composed of five modules which are core and therefore compulsory. The modules cover aspects such as Study Skills, Medicines & Pharmacy Practice, Therapeutics, Pharmaceutical Science, and Preparation for Practice.

The programme will give you an insight into the way the National Health Service in the UK operates, inform you of the health regulatory laws and professional codes pharmacists must abide by, in addition to allowing you to integrate science based knowledge, such as pharmaceutics and microbiology, into clinical and patient focused settings.

The programme aims to prepare you for professional practice as safe, knowledgeable and up to date pharmacists. Whilst at the University you will be expected to act professionally and in agreement with the student Code of Conduct and GPhC Fitness to Practise standards. You can read these guidelines on the GPhC website.

See the leaflet for the course.

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Why choose this course?

  • This programme has now been fully accredited by the GPhC.
  • The Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP) provides theoretical and practical training in key areas relevant to the practice of pharmacy in Great Britain.
  • The programme is designed to enable overseas trained pharmacists (non-EU and those not covered by Directive 2005/36/EC) to become familiar with the practice of pharmacy in the UK.
  • Graduates will be eligible for a one year pre-registration period in an approved pharmaceutical establishment prior to taking the Registration Examination of the pharmacy regulator with a view to gaining entry to the British register of practicing pharmacists.
  • The programme aims to prepare you for professional practice as safe, knowledgeable and up to date pharmacists. Whilst at the University you will be expected to act professionally and in agreement with the student Code of Conduct and GPhC Fitness to Practise standards.

Contact us : For more information please contact M Rial, admissions tutor:

Entry requirements...

You cannot apply directly to the University for Registration onto the OSPAP programme.

In order to enter the Overseas Pharmacist Assessment Programme (OSPAP), you must first successfully complete the adjudication process of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) You can visit the GPhC website and check the details of how to apply, necessary documentation and evidence required.

Once you have been approved by the GPhC you may apply to this university via the GPhC. They will require the following documents to send to us:

1) A copy of your GPhC approved adjudication letter.
2) An authenticated photo of yourself.
3) A copy of your IELTS certificate with a minimum score of 7.0 in each element of the test achieved at one sitting.
4) A letter of good standing from the police or a CRB form (if available).

Without documents 1-3 your application will NOT be processed.

After receipt of these documents from the GPhC you will be sent application details directly from the university. We will interview applicants to discuss their previous experience prior to making an offer. A successful candidate will have relevant patient facing experience, and a demonstrable ability in both English Language and numeracy.

If you do not have the required level of English for entry, our academic English courses can help you to achieve this level.

Study routes

  • Full Time, 1 Years


  • University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield


After completing the OSPAP Diploma and successfully passing the subsequent GPhC pre-registration pharmacist training year, you will be able to register and practice as a UK qualified pharmacist in various environments, undertaking a diverse array of challenging roles within differing commercial, NHS, industrial or academic establishments.

You are strongly advised to check the latest visa details or changes on the Home Office website and UK Border Agency website regarding working in the UK. This is very important as you will need to work as a pre-registration Pharmacist for 12 months after successfully completing the OSPAP course. Whilst every effort will be made to guide you through the application process, including assistance with interview skills and CV writing, please be aware that it is not the University's responsibility to secure you a pre-registration position.

Teaching methods

Teaching during the academic year is divided into two terms, with written examination papers at the end of the academic year (May/June). During the programme, you will be taught and learn via a range of techniques, including formal lectures, laboratory based classes, on-line discussions, tutorials and simulation. You will develop a wide range of academic and practical skills such as written and verbal communication, team work and leadership capabilities, critical evaluation, clinical judgement and organisational skills. You will be expected to submit a variety of assignments regularly, as required by each module leader, in order to meet the specified learning outcomes of the programme.

Work Placement

As part of the OSPAP course you will have the opportunity to undertake short, supervised, hospital and community pharmacy placements as part of your study modules. This practical component will require a letter of good standing from the police authorities in your country of origin if you have not been in the UK for at least 6 months. If you have been in the UK for at least 6 months you will need to complete a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) application form. In all cases students will be expected to attend our Occupational Health Department and received any necessary vaccinations prior to attending placements.


Year 1

Core Modules

  • Medicines and Pharmacy Practice (OSPAP)

  • Medicines and Pharmacy Practice (OSPAP)

    This module will provide students with a thorough understanding of the law as it relates to the practice of pharmacy in the UK. In addition this module will orientate the student to the use of a variety of communication techniques (oral and written) to critically use clinical data to provide a patient centred approach to medicines management. This module will also provide the student with the principles of safe dispensing.

  • Pharmaceutical Science for Practice (OSPAP)

    This module provides a detailed integrated coverage of the development of medicinal products, from the initial identification of new chemical identities as likely drug candidates through to the production of the finalised medicine. Topics such as lead candidate selection, formulation and selection of route of administration, pharmacokinetics and determination of dosing regimens through to the manufacture and packaging of medicines are all addressed. The supporting framework within which medicines are developed is also covered, for example pharmaceutical analysis, pharmacopeial standards and regulatory considerations. Microbiological issues are also focussed on, particularly with regard to the preparation of aseptic medicines.

  • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Therapeutics 1 (OSPAP)

  • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Therapeutics 2 (OSPAP)

  • Preparation for Practice (OSPAP)

  • Preparation for Practice (OSPAP)

    This module will develop the students' ability to practice as a pharmacist in the UK in a professional manner. This module is designed to enable students to work within a pharmaceutical environment to demonstrate advanced knowledge, skills and understanding of professional practice, following a period of work-related learning. This will allow students to map their skills onto a competency framework. The module will also provide the foundation for health promotion and the factors involved in medicine safety. Emphasis is placed on the student taking responsibility for their own learning, through the development of a portfolio.

  • Study Skills and Practice Orientation (OSPAP)

    This module will develop the student's ability to adapt their learning style and orientate them to the various methods of learning provided in the course. The student will also develop personal and inter-personal skills such as: time management, organisational and reflective practice skills to meet the requirements of all modules. The module will explore learning styles, methods of assessment and teaching methods and how these contribute to developing oral and written communication skills. The module will be a foundation for further continuing professional development and also introduce the student to the competencies required at preregistration level.

  • Therapeutics (OSPAP)

    This module will develop the students' ability to critically review various diseases, their clinical management and the use of medicines, using an evidence-based approach. Students will explore through private study and seminars the presentation, diagnosis and clinical management of a range of conditions. This will be supported by using practice case-based scenarios and OSCE simulation. Emphasis is placed on the student taking responsibility for their own learning, through the development of a portfolio.


Fees & funding

Fees 2015

UK/EU Students

International Students

Full time: £10,500 for the 2015 academic year

Discounts are available for International students if payment is made in full at registration

View detailed information about tuition fees

Other financial support

Find out more about other financial support available to UK and EU students

Living costs / accommodation

The University of Hertfordshire offers a great choice of student accommodation, on campus or nearby in the local area, to suit every student budget.

View detailed information about our accommodation

How to apply


Start DateEnd DateLink
01/09/201530/09/2016Apply online (Full Time)


Start DateEnd DateLink
01/09/201630/09/2017Apply online (Full Time)