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How to Become a Pharmacist in Ireland

Are you thinking about pursuing a career in pharmacy?

Before you can become a pharmacist, there are a number of steps you will need to take. A career in pharmacy takes a lot of time and training. Whether you are looking for a job as a retail or hospital pharmacist, you will need to follow these steps:

1. Study Pharmacy at Third Level

In order to become a pharmacist in Ireland you will need to complete a B.Sc. (Pharm.) Honours Bachelor Degree and M.Pharm (NFQ Level 9).

Ireland has three higher level institutions which are recognised by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland, at which you can study these: University College Cork, Trinity College Dublin and the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland.

As of 2015, the M.Pharm is now integrated in every pharmacy course, meaning each course takes 5 years to complete. For the first four years, you will be achieving the B.Pharm through lectures, tutorials, labs, and placement. After this, your final year will be focused on achieving the M.Pharm by doing a thesis and placement.

As a pre-reg pharmacy student, you can gain experience working as a pharmacy technician while studying! Check out our available roles here.


2. Sit the Professional Registration Exam (PRE)

At the end of your M.Pharm, following an 8 month placement, you will be required to sit the Professional Registration Exam. This exam is only held twice annually.


3. Register with the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI)

Once you have completed your studies and earned your degree, the next step you must take before you can work is to register with the PSI. You can only do this once you have successfully passed the professional registration exam.

On the register you will find the details of every pharmacist who is approved to work in Ireland. This ensures that you meet the requirements and standards of training and service to the public.

The fee for first time registration currently stands at €540.


4. Get Your First Pharmacy Job

Once you are successfully registered with the PSI, you can begin to practice as a pharmacist in Ireland. You have a number of choices when it comes to what area you would like to work in, whether it’s a pharmacist role in a hospital, retail pharmacist role in your local pharmacy, or maybe starting off as a locum.

No matter your preference, here at Clarity we have plenty of pharmacy roles available to suit you. You can view all available pharmacy positions here or book a free consultation with us to get your CV prepared and practice mock interviews.


5. Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

As a pharmacist, your learning and training doesn’t end once you land a job. Under the Pharmacy Act 2007, all pharmacists must undertake continuous professional development throughout their career.

This means you will be required to stay committed to lifelong learning, ensuring that you stay up to date with continuing education and maintain your professional competency. You can do this by keeping up to date with the latest research and taking regular courses to further your knowledge. When you register with Clarity you will gain access to our CPD Hub.

Finally, you must keep a record of your CPD and have the ability to present it to the Irish Institute of Pharmacy (IIOP) upon request. Failing this, you risk losing your listing as a registered pharmacist.


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Posted on 22 April 2022 by Hannah Phipps
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