PgDip Pharmacy - Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP)

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.

About the course

This course is for overseas (non-EEA) pharmacists who wish to convert their existing qualifications so they can practice as a pharmacist in Great Britain.


The University of Hertfordshire OSPAP is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).

The Overseas Pharmacy Assessment Programme (OSPAP) is a full-time postgraduate diploma starting during September and ending in May/June. The teaching is undertaken over a 3 day week during the academic year which is divided into two terms.  

The OSPAP 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 OSPAP aims to prepare you for UK practice and entry to pre-registration training. Whilst at the University you will be expected to act professionally and in agreement with the Standards for Pharmacy Professionals and GPhC Fitness to Practise standards. You can read these guidelines on the GPhC website.

Take a virtual tour of our facilities

Why choose this course?

  • Excellent facilities including a simulated pharmacy and refurbished labs
  • Placements and visits in hospital and community pharmacy
  • Interprofessional learning opportunities
  • Support for your pre-registration training year which follows on from the OSPAP
  • Friendly and supportive staff
  • Active Pharmacy Society
  • Encouraged attendance at local Pharmacy events such as the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Local Practice Forum
  • University is well placed geographically and has strong links with local healthcare providers and pharmaceutical industries
  • Opportunity to apply for scholarships

How to apply

You cannot apply directly to the University for registration onto the OSPAP.

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. The University admissions tutor will contact you on receipt of your paperwork from the GPhC.

We will invite applicants to visit us (in person or via Skype) for an interview during which we will discuss your work experiences and interest in pharmacy. This will also give you the opportunity to ask us any questions you may have about the course or the university and view our facilities. It is beneficial to have some patient facing experience.

Part of the admissions criteria is an IELTS score of 7 in all elements at a single sitting. The IELTS website provides information on how to prepare and register for this test.  If you don’t fully meet our admissions criteria, this can be discussed upon receipt of GPhC approval.

What will I study?

Teaching during the academic year is divided into two terms, with written assessment 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.

Professional Accreditations

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC)

Careers

After completing the OSPAP Diploma and successfully passing the subsequent GPhC pre-registration pharmacist training year and GPhC registration assessment, you will be able to register and practice as a UK qualified pharmacist in various environments, (including community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy industrial or academic establishments), undertaking a diverse array of challenging roles.

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 52 weeks after successfully completing the OSPAP course. Whilst every effort will be made to guide you through the pre-registration 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.

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.