UWC Pharmacy

UWC Pharmacy, The School of Pharmacy is the only provider of pharmacy education in the Western Cape and works closely with local health care providers to effectivley train pharmacists for all sectors of the profession. Our undergraduate programme is designed to equip students with the necessary skills to become pharmacists that contribute significantly to the health care needs of the communities they serve. This is highlighted by a number of our graduates that serve in high level positions within the profession.

We have active postgraduate programmes running in all disciplines and are able to promote students to doctoral level (please see our ‘postgraduate’ website for further information).

In order to attain our vision of being the premier provider of pharmacy education in Africa, we always welcome feedback. Please feel free to email us at the address listed in the ‘contact’ section of this site with any feedback.


To be the Premier Provider of Pharmacy Education in Africa with a Global Footprint in the Pharmaceutical Sciences


To  produce  pharmacy  graduates  and  pharmaceutical  scientists  equipped to respond to the pharmaceutical and healthcare needs of society by:

  • Designing   curricula   and   research   programs   that   are   contextually appropriate and internationally competitive.Providing  excellent  education  and  training  in  the  healthcare  and pharmaceutical sciences.
  • Conducting nationally relevant and globally recognized research.
  • Instilling   professionalism, social responsiveness, critical thinking, scholarly pursuit of knowledge and lifelong learning


 Inculcating scholarly attributes with the following values:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Respect


  1. Attract, retain and enable the development of students in line with the Vision and Mission
  2. Provide a contextually relevant teaching and learning environment that will enhance capacity
  3. Enhance  research  and  innovation  that  is  nationally  relevant  and internationally recognized
  4. Attract, retain and develop expertise relevant to the Vision and Mission
  5. Develop and enhance infrastructure in line with the Vision and Mission
  6. Enhance the School’s profile through effective marketing strategies
  7. Develop a strong financial base to ensure sustainability
  8. Promote and develop effective leadership

Pharmacists play meaningful roles in the healthcare of people. They do this through emphasis on correct and rational use of medicines and related products. Pharmacists remain in high demand in the public and private sectors. The corporate part is expanding and demand for pharmacists continues. This applies to South Africa and other countries of the world.  ​

What is the duration of the curriculum?

The curriculum extends over four years. After obtaining the B.Pharmacy degree an internship of one year (in community, hospital or industry) or two years (academic) ensues. This is followed by a compulsory year of community service in the public hospital sector as a fully fledged pharmacist.

Career opportunities with a B. Pharm degree

​​•    Community Pharmacy – Pharmacists play key roles in communities. They dispense medicines, counsel patients on correct and rational use of medication, healthcare products and cosmetics, provide advise on health matters, perform diagnostic screening procedures and refer to other health care workers when there are indications for that. Often they assume positions of leadership in communities they serve.

•    Hospital Pharmacy – Pharmacists in this setting dispense medicines and counsel patients. They may also be involved in small-scale manufacture of specialized medicines such as radio-active pharmaceuticals, total parenteral nutrition preparations and injectables. The management of drug supplies is an important facet in this setting.

•    Industrial Pharmacy – An industrial pharmacist is involved in the manufacture, quality control, packaging, storage, registration and marketing of all types of medicines whether in liquid, semisolid and solid forms including tablets, suppositories, injections and syrups. They usually assume supervisory or other leadership positions in this arena.

•    Academic Pharmacy – This is for pharmacists interested in pursuing careers in academia. This involves teaching and training of university students, pursuing research interests of the individual, the institution and the profession, publications of completed research projects in accredited journals and presentations at conferences of such work. All this for the development and progress of the knowledge base and in this way contribute to the advancement of the pharmacy profession.

•    Other career options are  – The detailing of medicines to prescribers and dispensers thereof on behalf of pharmaceutical companies by pharmaceutical representatives; The assistance in drug clinical trails as clinical research associates; Consultants to medical aids and other pharmaceutical institutions and businesses. Opportunities also exist in the field of regulatory and professional organizations associated with pharmacy such as the Medicines Control Council and The Pharmaceutical Society of South Africa. Pharmacists may also be usefully employed in the fields of cosmetics, food and beverages companies in manufacturing and marketing.​

Skills acquired

  •   Sound communication and writing skills
  •   Interpersonal skills 
  •   Critical thinking abilities
  •   Sound laboratory techniques


Pharmacists play meaningful roles in the healthcare of people. They do this through emphasis on correct and rational use of medicines and related products. Pharmacists remain in high demand in the public and private sectors. The corporate part is expanding and demand for pharmacists continues. This applies to South Africa and other countries of the world.  ​


  • B. Pharmacy
  • M. Pharmacy
  • M. ScPharmacy Administrative and Policy Regulation
  • M. Sc Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Ph.D

A BPharm degree at any South African University does not necessarily entitle one to register as a pharmacist in South Africa. A qualified person with a B Pharm degree is only permitted to work as a pharmacist upon registration with the South African Pharmacy Council. This requirement is supported by legislation and regulations promulgated as part of the national Department of Health. Foreign Workforce management is through arrangements by SADC and other bilateral agreements. 

Undergraduate Programme (B. Pharmacy)

The School of Pharmacy at the University of the Western Cape introduced a new curriculum for this programme in 2013 to accommodate for the changing professional environment.

First Year:

The first year of the programme incorporates foundation modules introducing the subjects of human biology, chemistry, microbiology, pathology, physics and mathematics. Included is a module on the introduction to pharmacy focusing on medical and pharmaceutical technology and the basic principles of pharmacy practice. The basic concepts of pharmacology and drug-receptor theory forms part of the first year of study.

Second Year:

In this year of the programme the core pharmacy disciplines of pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology and pharmacy practice are presented.Pharmaceutics is about the basic physicochemical properties of drugs, dosage forms and the design, formulation and manufacture of pharmaceuticals.Pharmacology at this level revolves around the basic and clinical pharmacology and pharmacotherapy and pharmacology of drugs used in the treatment of various disease symptoms and conditions.  Students are exposed to problem-based learning in pharmacotherapy through the Service Learning in Pharmacy (SLIP) programme. Students visit pharmaceutical and clinical sites for experiential learning.

Pharmaceutical chemistry covers the theoretical and practical aspects of phytochemistry (medicinal plants) stereochemistry and pharmaceutical analysis and quality control.Modules in pharmacy practice will cover aspects of drug supply management as well as the philosophy of pharmacy practice and aspects of pharmaceutical care.Apart from the core modules biochemistry forms part of this year of study.  

Third Year:

Modules in pharmaceutics will cover the study of technology used in the manufacture of medicines as well as the principles of Good Manufacturing Practices or GMP.  Students will also develop in-depth knowledge of the impact of micro-organisms on the production of sterile and non-sterile dosage forms. In pharmaceutical chemistry the emphasis will be on drugs as organic molecules in terms of their properties, discovery, design, synthesis and biological activity. Modules in pharmacology will continue to cover the basic and clinical pharmacology of drugs used for various conditions. Students are again exposed to pharmacy and clinical practice through the SLIP programme. In pharmacy practice, students will be taught how to effectively and professionally communicate with patients, peers and other health care professionals to ensure a positive patient outcome while also gaining management skills relevant to the profession of pharmacy.

Fourth Year:

The final year modules in pharmaceutics covers the more specialised dosage forms and their manufacture, including novel drug delivery systems and biotechnology products while also consolidating all the dosage forms by analysing their drug release characteristics in biopharmaceutics. Modules in pharmacology become more problem-based where students are extensively exposed to various clinical settings where they will be expected to consolidate their learning to assess pharmacotherapy. In pharmacy practice, professional practice is dealt with in greater depth, with a focus on decision-making skills as well as focusing on the laws that govern the practice of pharmacy.

In the final year, students will also be allowed to select one of several elective modules that will allow them to further their knowledge within areas of their interest. At least four modules are presented annually in advances in pharmaceutical sciences, advanced drug design, preclinical and clinical trials and pharmacoeconomics.

Students also undertake a basic structured research project within an area of their interest. Various topics on research methods will be presented and students will be required to complete a research project and present their findings to their colleagues during the final semester.

Registration as a pharmacist:

After the successful completion of the four-year programme an internship of one year has to be completed under the auspicious of the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC). The internship is a structured experiential learning programme conducted at a site approved for such purposes by the SAPC under the supervision of a pharmacist registered as a tutor. The internship includes completion of a portfolio to be submitted online for assessment and passing the pre-registration examination. Upon successful completion of the internship, candidates may register with the SAPC as community service pharmacists and complete one year of paid service in a state healthcare facility. Once these requirements are met, a qualified person is permitted to register as a pharmacist.

Foreign students completing the BPharm degree at a South African University must meet the requirements for registration as an intern or pharmacist as stipulated for such cases.

Detailed information on the modules is available in the UWC calendar. For further information and clarification on the undergraduate programme Ms Reneé Symonds may be contacted by email at rsymonds@uwc.ac.za or telephonically at the following landline number +27 21 959 2991.

Postgraduate Programmes

The following postgraduate degrees are offered in the School of Pharmacy:

M Sc Pharmaceutical Sciences (2 years)

M Sc Pharmacy Administration and Policy Regulation (2 years)

M Pharm (2 years)

Ph D (2 – 3 years)

Applying for postgraduate studies:

For further information on postgraduate studies contact Prof Denzil Beukes via email at dbeukes@uwc.ac.za or telephonically using the landline number +27 21 959 2352.

For enquiries regarding the MSc Pharmacy Administration and Policy Regulation programme contact Mr Rafik A Bapoo at rbapoo@uwc.ac.za or by telephone at +27 21 959 2495.

Ms Benita Van Rooyen may also be contacted for assistance in both instances at email address: bljohnson@uwc.ac.za or by telephone at +27 21 959 3667.

Contact Person

​ ​Ms Renee Symonds

Administrative Officer

Tel : 021 959-2190

Fax: 021 959-3407

Email: rsymonds@uwc.ac.za

Postal Address

School of Pharmacy

University of the Western Cape

Robert Sobukwe Road

P/Bag X17




School of Pharmacy

University of the Western Cape 

Robert Sobukwe Road