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Pharmacy is a popular degree pathway and career for international students studying in Ireland, the UK and mainland Europe.

A Pharmacy degree is perfect for students interested in chemistry and how medicine assists patients’ with their condition. Graduates can pursue careers in a range of settings from a local pharmacy or drug store processing prescriptions to working as part of a multi-disciplinary team in a complex hospital setting – either way, a career in pharmacy is ideal for those interested in health sciences.

Pharmacy qualifications generally last for four years in the UK or five years in Ireland. During your degree, you will study modules in pharmacology, biology and physiology pharmaceutics, chemistry, ethics and economics. And, in many undergraduate programme, students will also benefit from work placements within the industry to provide valuable insights and professional experience. So, it’s easy to see why Pharmacy is a challenging degree for international students to achieve a place in.

So how can you get there? Studying the right Pharmacy qualification is important for your future career and the Pharmacy Foundation Pathway with DIFC Ireland offers guaranteed access to leading Pharmacy degrees.

Exceptional preparation for your Pharmacy degree

The NCUK International Foundation Year – Science programme is designed to prepare you for first year entry to your undergraduate degree. This programme is specifically developed to:

  • Improve your English language skills to the standard required for undergraduate study
  • Develop your academic skills and knowledge in key subject areas
  • Equip you with the necessary study and social skills to succeed in your international studies
  • Orientate you to Western study principles

From an academic perspective, you will study subjects in English, Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology. These are at an equivalent standard to A Levels. However, the International Foundation Year places a strong focus on your preparation for studying at university so you will be better equipped to handle things on your own during your undergraduate studies.

There is no better preparation for your studies abroad. The whole team at DIFC from your classroom teachers and tutors to student services and Placement team, will all be working closely with you to support you in your studies to help you to achieve your goals.

Partnerships with leading Universities

Trying to determine the best places to study Pharmacy can be a daunting task. But, as NCUK’s exclusive study centre in Ireland, DIFC has done all the hard work for you!

By choosing the Foundation pathway, you will have access to study Pharmacy at one of 13 university partners across Ireland, UK and mainland Europe. Each Pharmacy degree has its own unique benefits and during your time with DIFC, we will help you to assess your options. We do this by giving you the opportunity to meet the university representatives at our annual University Counselling Fair, as well as arranging visits to our Irish university partners.

Your main progression options for Pharmacy in Ireland, UK and Europe will be:



For student’s whose budget is limited for university tuition fees, DIFC also provides pathways to Lithuania Medical University and University of Debrecen who offer lower tuition fees due to the cheaper cost of living in Eastern Europe.

Search your Pharmacy degree options using DIFC’s University Course Finder

Options for Year 11 Students in UK Universities

Students from countries like Vietnam or India can fast track their progression to study Pharmacy by pursuing the NCUK International Foundation Year – Science programme with DIFC after successfully completing Year 11.

Therefore, by choosing the Foundation pathway, Year 11 students save an extra year, which would normally be spent studying English to achieve the required IELTS score for entry to a Pharmacy degree. But, not only that, they will be much better prepared for their university studies.

The following NCUK partners accept Year 11 students from Vietnam or India once successfully completing the NCUK International Foundation Year with DIFC:

  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • Kingston University
  • University of Huddersfield
  • University of Bradford

Scholarships available for International Students

Another benefit of the Foundation Year pathway is that it can open up access to exclusive scholarships both with DIFC and the wider partner network – particularly with NCUK university partners.

For the 2020/21 Academic Year, DIFC is offering the following scholarships for Pharmacy pathway students:

  • €2,000 Scholarship for students studying in September 2020

In terms of university scholarships, these tend to change each academic year and are, generally, linked to academic excellence in your Foundation studies. Examples of scholarships awarded are below:

IrelandUniversity College Cork20% off Tuition Fees
UKUniversity of Bradford£3,000 off Tuition Fees
University of Huddersfield£2,000 off Tuition Fees
Kingston University£4,000 off Tuition Fees
University of Manchester£2,000 off Tuition Fees

Some scholarships are automatic and others require students to submit an application. During your studies at DIFC, we will assist you in researching what scholarships are available and support you in any necessary applications.

Download our Pharmacy Foundation Brochure

Choose from Two Intakes

DIFC offers two intakes each year for students to start their Pharmacy Foundation pathway – September and January. Both options allow students to progress onto their Pharmacy degree the following September.

Our September 2020 intake will be starting online for the first semester from September – December, and then students will continue their studies in-class in Ireland from January 2021. Find out more here

Applications are open for September 2020 and January 2021.


Apply Now

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